Just CHILL: Give the Cowboys Draft a "B" but Lawrence's development will be true tell
The real story of the Cowboys 2014 draft won't be told for a couple of years. Only then when will we get a chance to see how the players the Cowboys drafted panned out as well those they passed on _ with Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel at the top of the watch list in Cleveland.
But we can judge them now on their performance of the weekend in terms of the players, the value and filling needs.
Zack Martin will be a walk-in starter and provide immediate help. He was a consensus top-16 player. Demarcus Lawrence was the pass-rusher the Cowboys felt they had to have. Anthony Hitchens may not be a household name, but he was very productive in college at Iowa and receiver Devon Street has the potential to be a big-time playmaker.
The Cowboys have been criticized and rightly so for giving up too much to get Lawrence. For a team with as many needs as they have sacrificing a third-round pick was a hefty price. He better be worth it. Hitchens was also considered a reach in the fourth round. Other draft pundits had him as a possible seventh-round pick.
The Cowboys had a clear vision for what they wanted to achieve. Defense, especially the defensive line was the top priority. They had hoped to attack the defense in the first round but when all their targets were gone, they opted for the best available player in Martin, who also filled a secondary need in the draft. They then went heavy defense with seven of their final eight picks. They took five front-seven players. Street filled a huge need at receiver, giving the Cowboys an outside option behind starters Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams.
BOTTOM LINE: This draft will be determined by how well Lawrence does. The Cowboys needed immediate pass-rush help and identified him as the only player left who could do that, sacrificing a potential starter in the third round to get him. There was already pressure on him having to replace DeMarcus Ware. Now this. Will he be up to the task?