SAN ANTONIO, TX
Why did the Cowboys trade back? I would have stayed put and drafted Sharrif Floyd.
Rowan: You wouldn't be in the minority among fans. Entering the draft, it seemed like defensive line was a need. That's apparently not the case in the minds of the majority of Cowboys executives and coaches. Floyd was considered by many the top defensive tackle in the draft, but the Cowboys viewed him more as a one-technique than a three-technique and weren't willing to pull the trigger on that player.
David: Jerry Jones and Co. made it pretty clear once the first round was over: contrary to popular opinion, they didn't consider the interior of the defensive line to be a big priority. They were concerned with the interior of the offensive line, however, but they didn't see an offensive linemen who was worth taking as high as No. 18. Travis Frederick probably wasn't worth taking at No. 31, either, but he was the highest-rated player available, according to the team's projections. It's going to take a while to find out if it was the smart decision. But it's not going to look very good for the Cowboys if Floyd is a star in Minnesota.
How does this draft help us when we need to replace more than one offensive lineman? Not to denigrate the players they selected, but where's the beef? I'm not upset about selecting Frederick in the first, but he can't replace the 3-4 positions that need an upgrade.
Rowan: That's the question the Cowboys will face if Travis Frederick isn't the missing piece they see him as on the line. Something still needs to be addressed with the right tackle spot, and I wouldn't be surprised in the least to see a free agent player like Clabo or Winston picked up. But as it stands, unless Ronald Leary makes strides to compete, the line doesn't seem much different. The Cowboys think a strong base in the middle in Frederick will make everyone around him better, and it's a risky move.
David:Good question. The early inkling around here is that Frederick is going to get a crack at center this season, but you can't forget about Phil Costa, who put on a show against Baltimore in his lone appearance last year. Doug Free's future still looks pretty uncertain, and that position might get addressed this summer in free agency depending on if Free is released or takes a pay cut – Tyson Clabo and Eric Winston are two of the names people are throwing around in that [embedded_ad] regard. Both Frederick and Costa could potentially play center or guard, so you could see both of them earn starting spots at one position or another. It's hard to say until training camp kicks into gear, but the offensive line could look much more different than you'd expect by the start of the season. At this point in time, Tyron Smith's spot is the only one that looks 100 percent guaranteed. It should be a fun competition to watch.