I understand you might be sick of the scenarios from me and what will happen with the Dallas Cowboys in the 2013 NFL Draft but it’s almost over. The draft arrives in just a few days and I want to make sure we’re all informed on what could happen when the NFL’s biggest offseason event kicks off on Thursday night.
We all know the Cowboys sit at pick 18 in the first round and it’s a very scary place in the draft, particularly for Dallas. As Cowboys fans continue to worry about whether or not one of the top two guards in the draft will make it to them, a bigger problem might be arising and his name is Cornellius ‘Tank’ Carradine. Carradine is a defensive end from Florida St. who was considered a top 15 pick in the draft before suffering a torn ACL in late November. Prior to his injury, Tank was more highly regarded than teammate Bjoern Werner.
On Saturday, Carradine was able to workout for scouts and by all accounts it was a very good showing for a player just five months away from major surgery. If you look at any mock draft right now, Carradine’s stock is soaring and a second round steal has now become a first round pick.
If you’re wondering why Carradine’s ascension should scare the Cowboys, here’s the reason. If Chance Warmack, Jonathan Cooper, Kenny Vaccaro, Sheldon Richardson and Tavon Austin are all gone by pick 18, the Cowboys could be in trouble. In this reasonable situation, Dallas’ best play is to draft someone like D.J. Fluker or Sylvester Williams, or to trade the pick. As much as I like Williams and as much as they could use an offensive lineman like Fluker, Carradine is a better player than both.
By NFL comparisons, Carradine is Simeon Rice and even though the Cowboys already have DeMarcus Ware, they could always use another pass rusher. Anthony Spencer is that guy right now but he’s not under contract past this season and the Cowboys need to think about replacing him with a younger, cheaper player and Carradine’s the perfect fit, a natural 4-3 end. Tank would look so good opposite Ware that it’s exciting me to think about it.
However, the Cowboys have recently taken two players coming off major injuries and they need an immediate contributor in 2013. Carradine can contribute but he won’t be a starter and the Cowboys have other needs on the team, which adds to the dilemma for Dallas.
Trading the pick might make sense but the biggest trading chip for the Cowboys right now seems to be Tavon Austin. His name appears to be the name everyone is talking about trading for and the Cowboys pick at 18 seems to be around the point at which teams are looking to move to in order to select Austin. But if he’s been drafted already, the Cowboys might lose that card to play and still that’s not the scariest part for Cowboys fans in this whole scenario.
Here’s the part that should worry Cowboys fans the most; not getting one of the top two guards, not getting Vaccaro at safety, missing out on Richardson for the interior of their defensive line, not trading back, not selecting Tank Carradine and then having the New York Giants take Carradine with the 19th pick. That, folks, would be brutal.
The Giants have the time to wait for him to develop and even though they have other needs too, Jason Pierre-Paul and Tank Carradine would be a nightmare for the Cowboys to play against twice a year. It would be like Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees haunting your dreams. Think about how brutal it would be if the Cowboys miss out on their top targets, including some desperately needed elite offensive line help, and then have their rivals get a stud right after their pick!
I’m scared thinking about this scenario and all Cowboys fans should be worried too. Be afraid, be very afraid, and then hope it doesn’t come true on draft day.