Being that this is Jason Garret’s first draft, this was an opportunity for him to put his stamp on the team. He did so, taking an offensive lineman in the first round; the first time the Cowboys have done so in roughly three centuries.
The Cowboys had the ninth overall pick, which they used on USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith. Smith was the right pick for the Cowboys, even if it wasn’t a great value pick. In a perfect world, they would have traded down and let Smith or Anthony Castonzo fall to them, but taking Smith ninth is the next best thing. He was the most talented tackle in the draft, and he could anchor their offensive line for the next ten years.
This was a draft that was deep in first round offensive line talent, but there were no elite offensive linemen. Smith was the closest thing, but the difference between him and Castonzo or Nate Solder or a couple of other guys may not be as big as one would think considering where they were drafted.
The selection of Bruce Carter was one that, as a Giants fan, made me Jets green with envy. Carter has legitimate injury concerns, and could even miss the 2011 season. But when he is fully healthy, he is a top 15 talent. If the Cowboys get lucky and Carter is able to put his injuries behind him, it’s as if the Cowboys got two high first round picks in this draft.
It’s questionable whether they should have addressed running back as early as they did, but Demarco Murray in the third round is okay, but not great value. But wouldn’t this have been a good place to address the secondary? The Cowboys need all sorts of help back there, and based on the value of the Murray pick, I can’t help but feel like this wasn’t the best move. Also, there were a number of RBs available later in the draft that I like as much as Murray.
When they Cowboys finally did address the secondary, they reached for Josh Thomas in the fifth. Thomas is a solid cornerback, but he wasn’t great value. Dwayne Harris, on the other hand, was a much better value pick, and he could contribute as a fourth WR and kick returner right off the bat.
Overall, I view this draft as similar to the Eagles; a solid draft overall, but only a couple of picks that would make a rival executive jealous. The highlight of the draft was the selection of Bruce Carter, and I believe this draft will ultimately be defined by his development. If he can regain his health and play up to his talent level, the Cowboys will look back at this draft as a success.
Grade: B- / who cares, it's too early to tell