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Broaddus: Grading The First & Second Picks; Contract Questions
IRVING, Texas – I decided to play a little “True or False” with some questions I’ve been hearing about the Cowboys in the past week or so.
False: I believe that in due time you will see both of these talented players get extended, which would be the absolute right thing to do. Bryant and Smith have proven that they are young, building block players for this club. Even though Smith’s option was picked up, making his contract a five-year deal, I have a feeling that it is going to be easier to get his deal done first than it is Bryant’s.
While Bryant and his camp have to believe that he is surely on par with Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald, the Cowboys might believe that he falls somewhere between those top two and Mike Wallace at $12 million per season. When you look at the top tackles in the league, there is only a $1.5 million difference between Joe Thomas and Trent Williams ($11.5 to $10), who is ranked fourth. On top of that, at 23, Smith is a full two years younger than Bryant, making it more appealing to lock him up, as he potentially has a very long career in front of him.
My feeling is that it will be the Cowboys and Tyron Smith to find a common ground more quickly, thus helping the deal.
- Zack Martin will play his entire Cowboys career at guard?
True: This is a total projection on my part, and even though I believe that he could line up at right tackle and be outstanding, his fit appears to be that of a guard. He is just such a natural-looking player when he is lined up inside. His body type, strength, power and mobility have that appearance of a guy that can play 10 to 12 years and never miss a beat.
There is already some nice chemistry with him and Travis Frederick, who I believe is in the same boat. With the way that these quarterbacks are affected with inside pressure, keeping the front of the pocket clean is just as important as having a left tackle and with this club potentially looking at a quarterback change in the next two to three years, you do not want issues inside breaking in a new quarterback. Zack Martin will help in that transition.
- Could DeMarcus Lawrence be the starter opening day?
True: I know what this coaching staff is saying about bringing Lawrence along slowly and only playing him on rush downs, but if he is better than what they are playing with in the preseason and he shows the ability to not only put pressure on the quarterback in the passing game but also handle that ball right at him in the run game, then he should be the starter.
To this kid’s credit, he has done a nice job of battling Tyron Smith and Jermey Parnell each day, making his share of plays. These practices have not appeared to be too big for him at all and I am starting to see the technique work that he is doing with Leon Lett and Ben Bloom starting to pay off. The faster that Lawrence can develop ways to escape these blockers, the more equipped he is to handle a starting role, and I believe that he is on that path.