We don't know if D-Ware would've been as effective last year had it not been for the injury, switching to a new scheme and having new DC Marinelli. When looking for Ware's replacement in the draft, do we look for a traditional 4-3 DE like Ealy or a 3-4 OLB like Barr, who's more similar to Ware, that we'd convert to DE?
Rowan: Ideally, the coaches would have an idea where to put a player to immediately fit in the scheme. But if a 3-4 outside linebacker is graded substantially better than a 4-3 defensive end counterpart and both are available, I’d be more tempted to take that linebacker. If the player in question is Barr, some coaches may feel like he can play end. Others may seem him a better fit as a strong side linebacker. The Cowboys could use a stud at either spot.
David: I think it all depends on the player in question. It wouldn’t be smart to pass on a guy as undeniably talented as Anthony Barr just because he isn’t a traditional fit – find a way to make his talent translate. In general, though, I think it makes sense to look for guys who are better suited for your scheme – especially when you’re looking in the later rounds.
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The Cowboys have told us in the past that they plan on using more two tight end sets, but they also have FB
Rowan: Their two-tight end ideas didn’t come to fruition the way they’d discussed them prior to the year, and until I actually see it happen, I don’t really believe it. I think they knew last year they were better and more comfortable out of three wide receiver sets. It’ll depend largely on the draft as well. They’ll want to get Escobar more involved this year in some capacity, and Scott Linehan’s had a history of getting multiple tight ends the ball, but if they take a receiver in the first few rounds I’d assume they’d stick more to the three-wide sets.
David: I’m positive they want to find ways to get Escobar on the field, given his lofty draft position. But it’s pretty widely accepted that the Cowboys ran the ball better out of their “11” formation last season, so who can say if that involves using him as an extra tight end? Maybe the answer is to use Escobar off the line of scrimmage more often, as receiving is always going to be his strong suit over blocking.