The Cowboys have reportedly began formal talks with DeMarcus Ware, and they have let him know they want him back, but in a way that will help the Cowboys get under the cap. The Cowboys have always been creative with their contracts, so I would expect the Cowboys to lower his base pay, but with a decent sized signing bonus. Question is, how much will the Cowboys be offering Ware which will satisfy him, but still give us some room to breathe for free agency.
My last post focused on the best defensive tackles that could be available for the Cowboys, and today, I’ll take a look at the more explosive type defensive ends. Whether we keep Ware or release him, the Cowboys will be adding a defensive end somewhere in this draft. Marinelli wants to keep fresh players in rotation, but players that can bring pressure and be disruptive. This draft will have some defensive ends that will fit the mold.
I have 7 defensive ends that have the best numbers from the Combine, so let’s take a look.
The consensus defensive ends with first round grades; Jadaveon Clowney and Khalil Mack will be long gone by the #16 pick. So, if Dallas wanted to pull the trigger on one of those guys, they would need to give up to much.
For this table I used CBSSports.com for the player draft projections and the measurables from Mockdraftable.com. So, from all the Combine prospects, I sifted through the numbers and these are the guys that should fit the Cowboys profile. The positional average is taken from all the previous defensive tackles in previous years.
The next rated player in my list is Dee Ford. He had his Pro Day today and his numbers were solid. Couple Ford’s Pro Day with his production and recent Senior Bowl domination, and you have a player that will be an impact player.
But at #16, that may be too rich for the remaining defensive end prospects, so if they wanted to get one these guys, the gameplan will be to trade down and accumulate picks. The Cowboys could trade down and likely land a player like Ford or Crichton.
I would feel fine in taking any of these players in this list, and perhaps double-dip and grab another in later rounds like Larry Webster or Jonathan Newsome. The player to watch could be Kareem Martin from North Carolina. The Cowboys have taken several players from North Carolina over the years, and in a year when Dallas needs defensive help, Martin could be a player that could come in and be an immediate impact player. According to Mockdraftable, Martin compares to fellow rookie Clowney with 81% similarity, and 77% match to Ziggy Ansah from last year’s draft. He also compares closely to Gaines Adams, Chris Kelsay, and Michael Johnson. Not bad at all.
The NFC East has some big tackles, and speed is a premium attribute the Cowboys will be looking for in their defensive ends. The Giants are solid with Beatty and Pugh. The Eagles have Peters and Johnson. The Redskins have Williams and Polumbus. Solid rotation will be keep this year, we didn’t have it last year with a bunch of no names. Marinelli was able to get the most with what he had, but this draft will need to get him some players on the defensive line, whether it be drafting two defensive ends, two defensive tackles, or a defensive tackle and defensive end combo. Pick your combination, it’ll happen in this draft, its just a matter of where these guys get drafted.