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Mailbag: Does Spencer Tag Mean Fewer DL Drafted Early?

Posted Mar 5, 2013

TYLER VINTON
EL CAJON, CA
With the Cowboys putting the franchise tag on Spencer again, do you think they will still draft a defensive lineman in the first couple of rounds, or do you think they now go for a running back or other skill position?

Nick: You don’t pass up on pure pass rushers. If there’s an end who can get after the quarterback, I think you definitely consider it, even at No. 18. If Spencer returns, it’ll probably be on a one-year deal anyway. And Ware is now 30 so it’d be a smart move to get a defensive end. As for running back, that’s more of a mid-round pick in my opinion.
 
Rowan: The defense could still use a brawler in the middle of the line at tackle – someone who can be a force in the running game or create some inside pressure. There’s no obvious answer for which player will line up next to Jay Ratliff as a starting tackle next season, so if that type of player falls to 18, I could see the Cowboys making a move. I also wouldn’t be shocked to see them snag a pass rusher in the first few rounds while also grabbing a running back prior to the sixth round.
 
 
MICHAEL HYDE
ATLANTA, GA
I disagree with the "best available" draft strategy. Wouldn't the Cowboys be crazy if they drafted a receiver at 18 if he was the best available?

Nick:I don’t know if I’d call it crazy. But I know what you’re saying – this team has bigger needs than that. And 18 is a tricky spot. Because it’s not like a wide receiver will be considered a “can’t-miss-player” or he wouldn’t have fallen to 18. Personally, I’d pinpoint my needs and go best available within that group. So among the
offensive tackles, guards, defensive tackles and safety – you can find best available in that group.

Rowan: I think it would be a poor move. I’ve said from the start this team needs offensive line before anything else. If the Cowboys picked best available offensive lineman, I would deem it a success. I could understand best available offensive lineman, defensive tackle or safety, at this point, but simply picking best available at a position where the Cowboys are well off doesn’t make as much sense to me for a team that needs as much immediate help as possible.
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