A Closer Look At The Cowboys' Draft Picks

Who's He? A versatile defensive player who boosted his draft stock with a strong senior season. A Ted Hendricks Award finalist for the nation's top defensive end, Spencer finished second in the nation with 26½ tackles for losses and had a team-high 10½ sacks.
Unique Quality: Ready-made size. Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips mentioned that San Diego's Shawne Merriman also weighed 260 pounds as an incoming rookie. He had the prototypical size to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 in proportion to his speed, and so does Spencer.
How He Fits: Spencer will likely compete with Bobby Carpenter and Greg Ellis at left outside linebacker opposite Ware. Ellis made a successful transition last season before tearing his Achilles' tendon and is progressing nicely with his rehabilitation. Carpenter, last year's first-round pick, alternated between outside and inside linebacker but played well in Ellis' spot in the final weeks. Spencer also figures to put his hand on the ground as a defensive end in the four-man front of the nickel.
Worth Mentioning: Despite missing practice all week with a foot injury, Spencer led the Boilermakers with nine tackles and two for loss last year against Penn State offensive tackle Levi Brown, Arizona's fifth overall pick.

Who's He? A hard-nosed offensive lineman who started 25 college games at guard and the final 13 at tackle. Marten has great size and toughness, two traits the Cowboys are looking for in young offensive linemen. Pat McQuistan had similar qualities when he was drafted in the seventh round last year.
Unique Quality: Versatility. Marten can play both tackle spots or move to guard if needed, though the Cowboys project him as a tackle.
How He Fits: The Cowboys realize they can't continue shelling out big bucks for free-agent offensive linemen. They're counting on Marten and fourth-round pick Doug Free to provide depth behind starting tackles Flozell Adams and Marc Colombo, and his their presence will allow the club to take a look at McQuistan at left guard this summer.
Worth Mentioning: Colombo is a fellow Boston College alum, and not surprisingly, he and Marten both have a good work ethic. Boston College has produced several good NFL linemen over the years.

Who's He? A tremendous athlete who played mostly quarterback at Washington but will play wide receiver in the NFL. Stanback said he has 4.3 to 4.4 speed in the 40, which is even more impressive considering his size. He could become a bigger, faster version of Patrick Crayton, who also played some quarterback in college.
Unique Quality: Athleticism. To put Stanback's raw ability in perspective, he was a track star at Washington, running a 10.48 in the 100 meters and also was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 2006 after not playing baseball since high school.
How He Fits: The Cowboys have plenty of depth at wide receiver. Crayton had a career season behind starters Terry Glenn and Terrell Owens, and the Cowboys are pleased with last year's undrafted receivers Sam Hurd and Miles Austin. But Stanback could find an early niche as a return specialist while developing his receiver skills. An intriguing prospect.
Worth Mentioning: Stanback is still recovering from season-ending foot surgery last October, so his availability for the off-season mini-camps might be in question.

Who's He? Another versatile lineman the Cowboys hope will develop into a long-term contributor, though he won't be asked to start right away.
Unique Quality: Agility. Free earned the nickname "Doug Freak" for his running ability. Northern Illinois head coach Joe Novak said Free is a better athlete than former NIU standout Ryan Diem, now a starting tackle for the Colts.
How He Fits: See Marten. The Cowboys are committed to developing Free and Marten as potential starters down the road, but for now they'll be asked to provide depth and insurance. Jones also said Free might be able to play backup center if needed.
Worth Mentioning: Free almost quit football in the ninth grade to work at a dairy farm in his hometown of Manitowoc, Wis. He decided to keep playing, and then he grew. A lot. Free went from 5-10, 155 pounds as a high school freshman to 6-5, 210 as a sophomore, suffering badly from growing pains, he said.

Who's He? Considered the best kicker at this year's combine, actually out-performing Colorado's Mason Crosby, who was taken a few picks after him in. Has an extremely strong leg, exhibited by his kickoffs, recording touchbacks on 31 of 49 kicks.
Unique Quality: Folk's field-goal percentage improved each of the three years he kicked fulltime at Arizona, going from 61.5-percent accuracy his sophomore season to 75 percent this past season.
How He Fits: Will enter camp competing with Martin Gramatica to become the fulltime field-goal kicker. Will have a leg up because of kickoff ability, but must prove a reliable field-goal kicker to win job. Made only 50 percent of his kicks at Arizona between 40-49, and that won't get it done. But if kickoffs are strong enough, might force club to keep a kickoff specialist, which buys him time to continue working on field-goal accuracy.
Worth Mentioning: Can also punt. Finished out season punting after Arizona's starter injured himself, and averaged 44.7 on 22 attempts.

Who's He? A throwback fullback, a guy who is a load blocking, can run a little, became a reliable receiver out of the backfield and was one of the most valuable special teams players (coverage) at UConn. After dealing with some disorderly conduct issues, missed junior season but paid his own way to return to play as a senior without a scholarship.
Unique Quality: Is a pretty tough kid, and one of those workout junkies. Should become an instant hit in coverage on special teams, which might be his ticket onto the 53-man roster as a rookie.
How He Fits: Will battle Lousaka Polite and Oliver Hoyte for one of the two fullback spots on a team that will reinstitute the fullback into the offense. His special teams qualities might give him the edge over Polite if they are dead even on fullback capabilities.
Worth Mentioning: This former All-America wrestler in high school was voted the Huskies' Most Valuable Player by his teammates this past season, and to think he rushed for just 78 yards on 23 carries and caught 14 passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns. That's how special he was on special teams and contributing to the team concept.

Who's He? The cornerback played at a Division I-AA school, but was awfully good at that level. In three games this past season he held the receivers he was covering to no receptions, and generally lined up against the opponent's top receiver. A big, sturdy corner who should excel in man coverage. Cal Poly advanced into the second round of this year's past I-AA playoffs before losing to Texas State.
Unique Quality: Shutdown corner in college, allowing the receivers he covered just 29 receptions in 2006. Timed in 4.32 in the 40, so for a big guy, he can fly.
How He Fits: Will compete for a backup corner spot on the roster, and basically will be trying to beat out either Jacques Reeves or Nate Jones for a roster spot. If he shows enough promise, financial considerations will be in his favor since his first-year base salary will be $285,000 while Reeves and Jones are scheduled for the $850,000 restricted-free-agency tenders they recently signed.
Worth Mentioning: Was on his way from high school to play at Cal, but his scholarship was derailed when the school fired its coaching staff. At the time, Cal Poly was the next best alternative for the former high school four-year honor roll member.

Who's He? Obviously not very thick, but still managed to start for 3½ seasons in the Big Ten. That accounts for something. Must have a nose for the ball, ranking third in the Big 10 in passes defended. Is known pretty much as a ball-hawk, and set career school record for passes defended.
Unique Quality: Pretty strong for how thin he is, and actually finished fourth on the team in 2005 with 55 tackles, then followed that up with 62 tackles last year. Named the Illini's Most Outstanding Defensive Back in '05.
How He Fits: Same as Brown. Will compete for a backup corner spot, and must show he has more promise as a rookie than either of the team's two fourth-year corners, Reeves and Jones. Special teams play might decide if he makes the 53-man roster,
Worth Mentioning: Was a two-time high school state champion in the 110-meter hurdles in Michigan, and his sister, Tracy, ran track at SMU, and holds the state high school records in the 200 and 400.

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