With the Cowboys headed for the top of the draft board come April, we thought we'd get a jump start on introducing you to the players who could wind up being a big part of the next Cowboys team. Next up is Anthony Castonzo.
Name: Anthony Castonzo
Position: Offensive Tackle
School: Boston College
Why He Should Be the Pick: If Sunday's win creates some momentum that leads to a few more victories in the final seven games, the Cowboys won't be picking at the very top end of the draft. While that takes them out of the running for some talented players, it does land them in a slightly better spot to take care of their needs.
Improving the offensive line is at the very top of the list of the Cowboys to-do list this offseason, which would seem to be a negative. This year's draft class is short on the kind of top-end blockers that normally appear at the start of drafts which means that you aren't going to land a Jonathan Ogden or Orlando Pace to build around for the next decade.
That doesn't mean that there isn't a chance to get better, however. Castonzo has been a four-year starter at BC and his size and athleticism give him a base to grow on for an offense that figures to be heavy on the aerial attack in the years to come. Doug Free has done a nice job at left tackle this year, but his run blocking skills might be a better fit on the right side while Castonzo takes over the blind side.
Why He Won't Be the Pick: Castonzo might be a square peg for a round hole. There's little more valuable in the NFL than a true left tackle, but trying to make one out of a guy who isn't a perfect fit never really works out. The Cowboys might be better off addressing other spots early and adding a guard or developmental tackle later instead of spending an elite price on someone who is merely above average.
There's also the general aversion to drafting offensive linemen in the Jerry Jones era working against Castonzo. Even for a tackle, he's a bit non-descript and Jones isn't going to see his name in any headlines for making such a conservative selection. That shouldn't matter, but we all know that it does.
Likelihood: Not too high, somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 percent. There are the reasons listed above, but there's also the fact that Castonzo might not grade out better than Derek Sherrod of Mississippi State, Nate Solder of Colorado or Gabe Carimi of Wisconsin. The lack of a clear standout at tackle means that the combine and workouts are going to be crucial in the decision-making process.
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