Give The Cowboys A Hand

$30 million in signing bonuses for three offensive linemen after spending $13 million over the previous two years for two guys. That's hurts, but it's the price of fouling up the past several years.

So they went into this draft with an eye on Boston College street-mauling tackle James Marten, and snagged him in the third. Then spent a fourth on offensive tackle Doug Free. Overkill? Like what now happens to Pat McQuistan, last year's seventh-round tackle they liked so much? Can you say left guard, possibly creating a little inexpensive competition for Kyle Kosier while grooming youngin's for the future?

Now then, remember, no glaring needs. So they take a flier on a great athlete, this Isaiah Stanback from Washington. He masqueraded as a quarterback at Washington, but man, you should see this guy run. He's just a ball player; just get the ball in his hands. They will try, throwing it to him. But you could hand it to him. Or you could have him receive kicks. Hey why not, because at that point in the draft this kid had a dimension guys playing traditional positions didn't have. I mean, you guys were all ga-ga over Woody Dantzler? Well, Woody might become a poor man's Isaiah Stanback if this Seattle-area athlete's foot fully heals.

Then throw in a fullback - a real fullback - and two more corners. Remember, you can never have enough corners. Hey, Courtney Brown and Alan Ball basically are here to stare down Jacques Reeves and Nate Jones. They are in their fourth seasons, and scheduled to make $850,000. Well, what if you find better - or better potential - for $285,000?

And that leaves us the kicker, Nick Folk. Someone said it would be a cold day in hell when the Cowboys draft a kicker. (Might have been me.) Hey, we thought it would be a cold day in hell before Jones plucked down a $2.5 million signing bonus for a kicker. Well, in consecutive years he's done both. Global warming must not be making the down under scene.

But again, what would you rather have, the consensus best kicker at the combine or maybe in the sixth round some spare nose tackle or inside linebacker or someone with questionable character and little chance to make the team? Kick that around a tad.

Yeah, yeah, I know they didn't get a receiver. But amend that to a traditional receiver. I'm guessing Stanback has more talent in his left thumb than any of those remaining receivers at that point did in their entire beings. I know they didn't get the big bodied nose to back up Jason Ferguson or a safety, which really they didn't need, or the inside linebacker.

But you can't get everything, and in this draft what you were getting on a shallow second day in a traditional sense might not have been worth your while anyway.

So I'm saying, sometimes you just got to give credit for what got done instead of what didn't get done. Sort of like when the doctors told me dad had about a 90-percent chance of pulling through a heart procedure at his age. Me, I was focusing on the 10 percent with great anxiety, while a surgeon friend of mine said, hey, 90 percent in our business is pretty darn good.

Catch my drift?

(Insert applause now.)

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