The Cowboys have stated that they are “fine” with what they have on the Offensive Line, but I think that they would be prudent to invest in Offensive Line help. We have to open up more holes for DeMarco Murray and give Romo more time to operate in the pocket. While it is amazing the things that they can do, solid offensive line play will give them more chances to make plays. We hear what type of Offense that the Cowboys want. For the most part, they have the skill players to get it done. But what they want to happen and what we saw was far apart due to inconsistency. Nowhere was it more apparent than the offensive line.
With the Salary Cap how it is, the Draft is the best way to go about this. There are several players that the Cowboys have been looking at. Several of these players will be at the combine looking to impress with their workouts and interviewing skills.
Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan is the best O-Lineman in the draft in the Cowboys eyes. He is a player that the Cowboys will benefit from in this Defensive Heavy Draft. The more potential prospects jump up on teams boards, the more likely it will be for a player of his caliber to move down. It will be interesting to see how they fare as it will give you an idea of where he might be slotted. Talent and Potential dictate the order for the most part. You would have to go back to the 2009 and 2010 Draft to find where two offensive Tackles were taken in the Top 15.
Jonathan Cooper is the second best guard going into the combine and will be looking to take advantage of the WAR MACHINES absence. He is a big guy who possesses all the tools needed to excel in the NFL. He is a monster with a mean streak who plays with balance and strength.
Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma is a nice talent. Apart from his size and measurements, you get to see his foot work. He did a nice job of protection at Oklahoma and showed some quickness to him. He is a student of the game and a very good athlete. He was recruited to OU as a Defensive End where he was moved to Tight End. He was then moved to the offensive line where recently fired Bruce Kittle and Bill Bedenbaugh developed him into the prospect that he is today. A very good story of what hard work and dedication will take you.
Dallas Thomas, Tennessee played Tackle and Guard in College but is projected as a Guard. He was one of the more consistent players in the Volunteer Offense. He did a good job in pass protection and showed that he could mix it up and move people around in the running game. Thomas is a player that is almost ready to come in a be a starter. He is a player that I will be tracking come Draft day.
Brennan Williams and Kyle Long are also players that will garner attention. Williams was the Tackle for Giovanni Bernard and the Tarheels at UNC but suffered a torn laburnum that ended his season. His medical evaluations will be key going forward. Both he and Kyle Long have NFL pedigree as both of their fathers played in the NFL. Chris, Kyles brother is currently playing for the St. Louis Rams.
Travis Fredrick, Guard, from Wisconsin along with Alvin Bailey, Guard, from Arkansas had down seasons. Was it the competition that got to them or was it the change in coaching staffs and schemes? In the interview process these will be the questions that are asked of them. But it is clear that these players have talent. What does Callahan and Frank Pollack see in them? Solid coaching and development could turn these players into solid starters in the NFL. Alvin Bailey is the more athletic out of the two but Fredricks experience and flexibility is something that could come in handy.
David Bakhtiari, OT, Colorado, Oday Aboushi, OT, Virginia and Justin Pugh, Syracuse are also names to keep in mind. While they are not he biggest names out there, they have some NFL skills that could transition nicely and are prospects that could be of interest. Tony Romo and DeMarco Murray need solid Offensive Line play to have success. If they do not have success, neither will the Cowboys.