Nicco’s Red Zone Blog | A Reply


Nicco’s Red Zone Blog
A Reply to the Gregg Rosenthal, Pro Football Talk article from last week
By Nicco Martinez – Our own featured writer at Silver and Blue Report and Hook’em Report and

Original Article …

With the draft only three weeks away, it’s time to look closer at team needs for every NFL club. Now up: The Cowboys.

OL: The team’s best tackle (Doug Free) is a free agent. So is guard Kyle Kosier. Their other tackle (Marc Colombo) and highest paid lineman (Leonard Davis) should be replaced sooner than later. The Cowboys may reach for a pick at No. 9 because the need is so great.

NICCO SAYS: Trade out of #9 by acquiring multiple picks… 3 or more picks. Use two of those picks on the offensive line and acquire another offensive lineman via free agency.

DE: A position that Bill Parcells emphasized has slowly deteriorated. Marcus Spears will leave, while Stephen Bowen and Jason Hatcher are free agents. It’s a problem when Igor Olshansky is the bedrock of the position. Taking an end in the first round could be a better value considering this offensive line class.

NICCO SAYS: Say goodbye to Spears, attempt to resign one, either Bowen or Hatcher, whichever guy is willing to do the job for the a price that makes our front office happy. Make Jay Ratliff a starting DE, and a backup NT to Josh Brent. Try to acquire another big NT to help Josh Brent, and try to find a late-round DE who has size. I say this on the premise that JJ Watt’s body will not fill out to 310 pounds with his speed intact. I may have to rethink all of this because I believe Watt is a future Hall of Famer at defensive end and he will draw comparisons to Raiders Hall of Famer Howie Long. If I was Jerry Jones, I would lose a lot of sleep of the next week, as I pray nightly for guidance on this subject. One thing is for sure, the 300-pound Jay Ratliff does not have the bulk to be a long-term answer at NT in a 3-4 defense.

S: Jerry Jones overpays a safety every few years (Roy Williams, Ken Hamlin), but he doesn’t have the option via free agency yet. Barry Church showed promise as a rookie and Gerald Sensabaugh might be brought back, but no one here is irreplaceable.

NICCO SAYS: Dallas needs to find out if Alan Ball can be a cornerback or get released because he is not a NFL starting safety. If he can make the cornerback rotation, then it’s a minor plus knowing that he can contribute in-a-pinch as a sub par reserve safety. Church and Sensabaugh need to battle for one starting job, or do it by committee, while Dallas needs to acquire the other starting safety and a backup cornerback via the draft or free agency over this off-season. Shame on Jerry Jones for going into the 2010 season with only 3 CBs on the roster; thanks for the three rings in the 90s, however that decision by Jerry is either ignorant or arrogant, or both. You take your pick.

LB: Anthony Spencer is a free agent after 2011, so the team could use a situational pass rusher that could develop along with Victor Butler. While inside linebacker looks stocked, Keith Brooking shouldn’t be on this team that much longer.

NICCO SAYS: Wade Phillips’ boy, Keith Brooking, needs to be asked to restructure his contract in line with a backup ILB’s salary OR get released. There is NO other option for the over-the-hill LB who was repeatedly torched last season. Spencer should not get a penny until we see his on-field production for a good portion of the season. Acquiring another OLB in the upcoming draft is a good idea.

Overview: The Cowboys are built like a fantasy team: They are deep at the skill positions and they ignore the kicker. They could use help everywhere else, including cornerback where Terence Newman’s contract remains a problem.

NICCO SAYS: I am crazy about two kickers who are in this year’s draft, and they both played in the Big 12 last year. Can you guess who they are??

Dallas’ last two drafts have been so-so at best. They need to do better this year or a significant talent drain will catch up to them in coming seasons.

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