Finally Feeling A Draft

can't go into the season as is, even if last year's sixth-round pick Justin Beriault is returning from knee surgery? Don't worry, he does. 

When asked if he felt OK at safety since nothing has happened there so far, Jones was succinct, saying, "No, I don't think we feel OK. We just weren't able in the free agency thing, we just weren't able to put a player in position to want to commit to what we thought we were getting. We just couldn't make the commitment. 

"Early on, couple of them went off high, the two that we had one and two, went off real high (i.e. too expensive) for what we wanted to do for their particular situation, age and otherwise." 

Now as safeties go in the draft, from the Cowboys' position, there probably won't be one worth selecting with either of their first two picks, unless of course, something totally unforeseen occurs. Says Jones, "But I don't think there is enough there to dictate a draft pick, especially with one of the top two." 

But, now hear this: 

"But if the value came, and we saw a couple of players there who are outstanding defensive backs, it could make you do some things with some of backs you got to give you some help at free safety - if you were able to get them, if you understand what I'm saying," Jones said. " 

Perfectly. 

"If you drafted a top corner that fell down there strong, then you might be able to do some things with one of our guys there," Jones finished with, just in case you didn't understand. "It just wasn't there (in free agency), and we were ready to go." 

Hmmmm. Anthony Henry to free safety? Aaron Glenn to free safety? Jacques Reeves to free safety? Very interesting. 

But, going back to where we were, if you are playing the percentages on just what position the Cowboys might select with that first pick, and assuming it's not going to be a quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, defensive end, cornerback or free safety, then what does that leave you? 

Outside linebacker and offensive lineman. Maybe a defensive tackle, you know, a nose type. 

To me, the outside linebacker in the 3-4 opposite DeMarcus Ware has a huge question mark hovering overhead. Sure, Singleton is a viable option. But again, he turns 31 the second week of training camp. Sure, Kevin Burnett is last year's second-round pick, but after all his injuries and coming off ACL repair the final week of the season, how much do you want to count on him? 

After that, you have an equally unproven Kalen Thornton, probably more suited to play behind Ware, and Eric Ogbogu, who couldn't get on the field much last year. 

Where is my Willie McGinest or Carl Banks for the left side? Where is my linebacker big enough to stand up on the line of scrimmage to play the run, yet fast enough to run with the tight end, and on top of all that, crafty and agile enough to rush the quarterback? 

That's what I'm talkin' about. 

Now I don't have to have one of these guys, but I'm sitting there at 18, and if a player of this caliber is worth drafting here, then he's mine. 

Same with the offensive line. I don't think I absolutely must take a tackle, and I'd certainly be hesitant drafting any guard or center in the first round, but if I'm on the clock and an offensive tackle just happens to be the top guy standing on my board, why not? Hey, bet you the Cowboys would have taken Arkansas offensive tackle Shawn Andrews two years ago with their first pick and then grabbed one of the available running backs in the second round, possibly still Julius Jones, if Philly hadn't jumped up to take him. 

Simply signing Fabini doesn't solve all your tackle needs, plus his contract doesn't suggest he just has to start. Plus, if the Cowboys don't match Tampa Bay's offer to Tucker, they will need a versatile backup anyway. So offensive tackle, why not? 

And a big, beefy nose tackle? Sure, they paid Jason Ferguson like a starter. But he turns 32 in November. And who's behind him? Thomas Johnson? And behind him? A speed-bump nose tackle, and no arguments here. 

Now there is some national thinking out there the Cowboys must take a wide receiver in the first round. Get real. With what they're paying T.O. and now Terry Glenn, they

MICK SHOTS

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