Dallas Cowboys Failed in Their Guard Evaluation Last Year

By Ben Grimaldi
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The fact that the Dallas Cowboys are looking so deeply into drafting a guard so high in the 2013 NFL Draft should tell Cowboys fans one thing, they failed in their evaluation of Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings. There is no other conclusion to come to when Dallas is seemingly hoping and praying that Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper make it to pick 18.

It doesn’t bode well for the Cowboys evaluators or scouts that just one year into signing two interior linemen, the team still feels they don’t have the talent needed at the position. It’s clear the Cowboys need an upgrade just one year after signing two players to the same spot and they don’t believe in them.

Last offseason the Cowboys brought in Bernadeau and Livings hoping the bigger bodies would stop the pressure opponents were getting up the middle and in Tony Romo’s face. The thought was for the team to get two big guards, at a cheaper price, to surround Phil Costa with so he wouldn’t be so overwhelmed at center. Doing this it would force defensive linemen to take longer to get around them before they got to Romo, and by adding that small bit of time would allow Romo to be more efficient in the pocket.

It hasn’t worked and the Cowboys are admitting they missed at the position last offseason by looking into the guards for this year’s draft. Bernadeau is a backup player who got exposed and paid too much money by the Cowboys. His best position actually appears to be center and Dallas will be looking at using him there more this season.

Livings played just as his scouting report suggested and can be summed up in one word, inconsistent. He plays well one week and then struggles the next with not much rhyme or reason for it. He’s still likely a starter and is a decent player for the Cowboys but there were hoping for more out of him.

The bottom line is the Cowboys could’ve had a much better player for the interior of their offensive line during last year’s free agency period but instead they went for two average players and paid too much money for them. With the money they gave to Bernadeau and Livings the Cowboys could have signed one of the top centers in free agency or a better player at guard last year, and they might not be in this position in 2013. Talk all you want about the failed draft classes of 2008 and 2009 but they also failed to address their guard position properly when they had the resources to fix it last year.

The Cowboys failed in their evaluation of the guard position last offseason and it has forced them into hoping they can get lucky enough to draft one of the top guards this year. And NFL teams aren’t built on hope.

Ben is a Cowboys writer for Rantsports.com and you can chat with or follow him on twitter @BenGrimaldi

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