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April 28, 2011

Just CHILL: Five thoughts before heading to Valley Ranch for the NFL Draft

Mymug1  Here are a few thoughts before the draft:

1. Jerry Jones and Tom Ciskowski must get it right early. The Cowboys want to trade down and pick up an extra pick. What they can't do is try to be too cute and miss an opportunity to take a difference maker. Jones does not want to be drafting in the top ten because that means you have had a bad season. That they are in the top ten means they get a chance to take special player. They need to make the most of this opportunity.

2. The move of Alan Ball back to cornerback from a disappointing turn at safety means the need at safety is even greater. The problem is that that this not a good draft for safeties. The good news is that there is help in free agency. With the league set to open its doors again, free agency could start up very soon. Raiders safety Michael Huff,a former Longhorn, wants to sign with the Cowboys. He is from Irving and said at the Mavs playoff game on Monday that he can't wait to talk to Jerry Jones.

3. Third string quarterback Stephen McGee can rest easy during the draft. The Cowboys will not be searching for his replacement. He should thank Tony Romo and backup Jon Kitna for getting hurt last year, giving him an opportunity to play. He did well enough in the last two games for the Cowboys to decide he is worth investing a little more time in.

4. Marion Barber's future could be decided on what the Cowboys do the next three days. If they take a running back in rounds two or three, he's is all but gone. He has a $500,000 roster bonus due in June and a $4.25 million base salary next season. The Cowboys can avoid paying that by cutting him. Vice-president Stephen Jones said the Cowboys will not have the league's highest payroll in 2011 as they did in 2010.  To make that happen they will have to depart with several veterans. Barber, Marc Colombo, Roy Williams, Keith Brooking and Leonard Davis are the prime candidates for roster purges.

5. The Cowboys will probably not draft an end in the first round. But they must come away with one, maybe two defensive ends in the draft just because their numbers are so low at the position. They would love to come away with a potential starter but its not a must as they will re-sign either Stephen Bowen or Jason Hatcher if not both. Still they need more bodies. Kenrick Ellis from Hampton is a mid-round option.

Clarence Hill




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get rid of Dion Anderson, move Barber to fullback, draft a running back, restructure Barber's contract. or cut him and let the Eagles, Redskins, or the Giants get him so they can come back and run all over us.

And now that we know they took the OT Smith, could it be that a broken collarbone persuaded Jerry that this was a smart pick to make?

I think Barber has been Earl Campbell-ized. I loved Marion Barber, but backs with his running style don't last very long. I mentioned Earl Campbell, the great former Longhorn and Houston Oiler running back. When Campbell started going downhill, he went down quick and this is what we've seen with Barber. Barber was good, never great, but his time has come and gone. The body can only take so much.

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