LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 30: Linebacker Anthony Barr #11 of the UCLA Bruins strips the ball from quarterback Cody Kessler #36 of the USC Trojans for a fumble and a turnover in the fourth quarter at Los Angeles Coliseum on November 30, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. The Bruins won 35-14. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Better late than never, the NFL Draft is finally here.
And better late than never, the Cowboys need help. Day one, immediate defensive help.
We all watched in anguish last season as Dallas was consistently gashed for 400 yards and 40+ points in another 8-8, non-playoff season. With their 11 picks over the next three days – including No. 16 in tonight’s first round – the Cowboys certainly will make defense a priority.
Is a trade possible? Of course. The Cowboys have made switched places in the first round via deals in 20 of Jerry Jones’ 25 previous drafts. Last year they traded down from 18 to 31 and picked Travis Frederick, and in 2012 they traded up from 14 to No. 6 to nab Morris Claiborne.
This doesn’t seems like a year to get too cute. There are a handful of defensive players that could walk into Valley Ranch tomorrow and be a starter on a defensive unit now led by Rod Marinelli and sorely seeking playmakers.
This is how I see the first round going down:
If UCLA defensive end Anthony Barr is still on the board at No. 16, book it, he’ll be a Dallas Cowboy. At 255 pounds and with superior speed and agility, he’s the type of hybrid linebacker/defensive end in the mold of DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer. The Cowboys would be thrilled to have Barr fall into their lap.
If Barr is already gone – which is entirely possible – the Cowboys will look at Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald or a safety: Calvin Pryor from Louisville or Alabama’s Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
I see the Cowboys drafting one of those four players tonight. But again, it is the NFL Draft. And it is Jerry Jones.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.