Hey everybody, how’s it going?  Well, now that that’s out of the way, I want to show you a really thoughtful post I was reading from Blogging the Boys.  I figure the lockout talk is a dead horse at this point, and everyone is really starting to get geared up for the draft, even if said lockout prevents teams from actually doing anything with their shiny new toys.

USC OT Tyron Smith

So, in the article, the author is debating whether the Cowboys should stay at nine and take the top player on the draft board or trade down to get more picks.  As it also points out, Jerry Jones has already stated that he has received interest from two teams for that ninth pick.

He makes a pretty compelling argument for both sides, but ultimately decides it’s best to take your guy if he’s there.  Who that guy is is anyone’s guess.  The basis of his argument focuses on the offensive line, although a player like Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara is a possibility as well.  I mentioned back in January that I wouldn’t have a problem with taking him, since he is widely regarded as the second best corner prospect, and ESPN Scout’s Inc. has him listed squarely at number nine on its board.

Anyway, like I said, it’s mainly about offensive line, specifically a debate between taking USC OT Tyron Smith (listed at number 10 on the board) or trading down and taking Wisconsin OT Gabe Carimi (#22) and Florida C Mike Pouncey (#25).  This is just one example.

Wisconsin OT Gabe Carimi

I won’t rehash everything from the article, since you can read it yourself, but it is an interesting situation to ponder.  If I knew for certain that Dallas could get both of those players, I think trading down would be best.  I especially like the idea of getting Pouncey because he could play guard or center.  There is a lot of uncertainty involved, however.  For one thing, there is no way to know what every other team will do with absolute confidence.  Moreover, both Carimi and Pouncey are rated as first round prospects.  Trading down yields a lower first round pick and probably a second rounder to go with it.  Will one of them fall into the second, or would Dallas have to trade back into the first to get the other?  I think that would be difficult because they’d have to give up a lot to do that I imagine.

Florida C/G Mike Pouncey

So then it comes back to taking Tyron Smith at nine.  I’m fine with that, just as I would be if Dallas took Amukamara.  I’m not a draft guru, and I’m not going to pretend I know everything about these guys when I don’t.  Many of them I’ve never seen play, or have seen them very little.  However, I feel pretty safe in trusting the judgment of guys like Mel Kiper.  The impression I get is that the cream of the crop on the offensive line just isn’t up there with other drafts.  If the guy Dallas wants is right in front of them, pull the trigger, but just don’t reach for a guy.  Cornerback and offensive line are needs, but if the right player isn’t there at nine, trading down is the best way to go.  Dallas often takes this route, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see it again this year.

It’s tough to really say what they should do, because a lot can take place in the next few weeks, as well as the day of the draft.  Everything that happens with the teams ahead of them affects what the Cowboys can do.  I don’t have an absolutist standpoint.  They just need to be smart and be willing to adjust the game plan with whatever plays out.