As the NFL combine wrapped up yesterday, the Dallas Cowboys should have a significantly better outlook on the upcoming draft. More importantly, one TCU player would make a great fit in the Dallas clubhouse.
The Cowboys have the No. 9 pick in the draft and should theoretically pick one of the top 10 players available. Granted, no TCU players will make a top 10 draft pick, but there are a number of needs that Dallas has that can be solved with a wisely selected top 10 pick.
A very likely pick of the Cowboys will be Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara.
Drafting Amukamara makes sense for Dallas. The Cowboys’ secondary has been notoriously bad in the past, but with new talent like Amukamara, who can start right out of the gates, the defense will improve. He can tackle and he’s dominant on coverage. He’s capable enough to move to safety, another place where Dallas can improve. He’s willing to push the envelope and has shown himself to be a hard worker.
Rob Ryan will fire up the defense in 2011 as the new defensive coordinator. If Ryan is going to get into people’s faces, old talent like current cornerback Mike Jenkins, who is accompanied to the lazy ways of Wade Phillips, will not adjust well. However, a fresh and undefined player, like Amukamara, will be much easier to mold and make. If Amukamara is available at No. 9, the Cowboys need to snatch him up.
As for the second round, the Cowboys would be fools to not pick soon-to-be TCU alum Marcus Cannon with their second pick. Weighing in at 358 pounds, Cannon is the biggest prospect available. His 33 bench press repetitions tied him for second-best among linemen in this year’s combine. Cannon isn’t athletic enough to be an outside tackle in the NFL, but as a guard, Cannon will be seen as a gifted athlete.
Speaking of which, a guard is something that the Dallas Cowboys could use immediately. The current line is aging and is in need of fresh legs. With exception of Doug Free at left tackle, the youngest starter on the Cowboys offensive line is 27 years old. Leonard Davis has little left in the tank and Kyle Kosier has been regressing in talent. There are no backups waiting in the wings. Instead of trying to invest in a free agent like Matt Light, who is also up there in age, the Cowboys need to find talent that can be homegrown and specially developed for a Cowboys offense.
Marcus Cannon would be a brilliant pick-up in the second round because he is an answer to Dallas’ prayers. He can contribute immediately and offer years as a productive NFL lineman. Cannon will be a huge run-stopper up the middle while being a stronghold against pass-rushers. He poses no character issues and would be ready for a professional, prime-time atmosphere.
The combine proved many things for NFL scouts, but for Dallas, they should have a significantly better outlook on the best players to pick in the draft.
J.D. Moore is a freshman journalism major from Honolulu, Hawaii and a writer for SportDFW.com.