Twitter Mailbag: Terrance Mitchell, JC Copeland, Aggressive Defense

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Terrance Mitchell could very well be the fourth corner and I have Davon Coleman as a bubble player currently. Even though it is early on I have Mitchell on the active 53 while Coleman most likely practice squad at this point. The thing that could play into the favor of Coleman is carrying a heavy load of defensive linemen to keep fresh legs as they get into late game situations.  

The best option at fullback could be JC Copeland. Even though Tyler Clutts played that role last season, he doesn’t have much of a presence in offensive production. If you are looking for a blocker there is no need to keep a fullback as another tight end can fill that role. Copeland has shown that he can be a threat even though it may be a small one. On my list for runningbacks he is listed along with DeMarco Murray, Lance Dunbar and Joseph Randle.

I would say a seven. With the a lot of new faces on this defense it will take some time to get accustomed to their style and abilities. The youth that has been infused in this team will allow them to be more aggressive.

 

 

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Draft Cowboys Friday Mailbag 7-18-14

Sep 15, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Fisher (72) blocks against Dallas Cowboys defensive end Anthony Spencer (93) in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City won the game 17-16. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 15, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Fisher (72) blocks against Dallas Cowboys defensive end Anthony Spencer (93) in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City won the game 17-16. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Every week from this point on I will try and answer as many questions as I can. If you have a question you would like to be featured in this weekly mailbag email them to draftcowboys@icloud.com.

My first question comes from @Uneek1973 on twitter:

Q: It seems as though the Boys have taken some chances on guys that had a lot of early potential in their careers… Who do you think makes the most impact right away?

A: I think the new Demarcus will. Lawrence can be a guy to be disruptive and most likely will mainly be in the game during pass rushing situations. Lawrence is going to be relied upon give that Spencer will most likely start the season on the PUP list.

@BigJimSports asks:

Q: With all the changes on the defensive side of the ball (both players and coaching), is it enough to sustain what the offense is going to do to make us a solid team coming out of the NFC?

A: The defense doesn’t have to be much better than it was a season ago to win the NFC East. The problem really lies on how healthy is Tony Romo. Should Weeden have to play significant snaps I don’t see this team doing very well. The changes that were made on defense should be enough to help when the offense is unable to generate points.

@SSgtFlo1 asks:

Q: Expected red-zone numbers for Dez Bryant in 2014? Not the greatest percentage in 2013, but targeted nearly 21 times I believe. Up, down, same?

A: Dez is one of the absolute best right now in the NFL when it comes to red zone targets. Yes you are right he was targeted 21 times and I expect a slight increase. With Linehan’s use of route combinations, I fully expect him to get a few more targets and hopefully continue his trend of scoring more touchdowns than the season before. He had 13 touchdowns last season and I am hoping for 15 this year.

@HackMorris asks:

Q: How much better should people realistically expect this defense to be given the difficult schedule?

A: Yes this schedule is going to be very difficult. With the Cowboys’ top two defensive players gone from a season ago, Rod Marinelli is going to have to get creative. The defensive line should be a lot better this season at getting to the quarterback which will help this secondary that was abused at will a season ago. Overall I think they should be around the 24th or 25th ranked defense in the league.

Friday Twitter Mailbag 3/29/13

Each week I will be taking your questions regarding your Cowboys and the NFL Draft. Send me a message via twitter or email me directly. Without further ado, let’s dive right into the topics that you want to hear abouts.

Kyle D asks “Will the Cowboys look hard at Tavon Austin if he is available?”

Austin is a very intriguing player coming out of West Virginia, he catches the ball very well and has great straight line speed. In any other draft class I would say yes there is a real possibility he is a Dallas Cowboys if available. However if he was to fall to them I would expect Jerry’s phone to be ringing with potential trade offers. We know that Minnesota is in need of a player like Austin to fill the role of the recently departed Percy Harvin. However if they want to move up seven slots in the draft it will cost the Vikings both of their first round picks (23,25).

Daniel B asks “Could the boys surprise everyone (2012 Claiborne) and move up in the draft since all the holes are being filled before?”

With Dallas only have six draft picks I would say it is very unlikely they would make a move. Although I wouldn’t put it past Jerry. I only can see them tying to move up for one of three players (Warmack, Cooper or Floyd). The one thing that could change all of that is Anthony Spencer, it is unlikely they would move him for potential picks. However if a deal cannot be struck it becomes increasingly more likely.

Chad N asks “Would you take Werner or Fluker if your other targets are off the board?”

Now that Monte Kiffin is putting in his 4-3 scheme, defensive end has more depth. With that being said you can never have too many pass rushers. DeMarcus Ware has had a bit trouble staying on the field with injury issues and Werner could be a good insurance policy. I do like D.J. Fluker, but not enough to take him with their first round pick. Fluker would be an upgrade over Free if he is still available in the second round.

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Robert L asks “What are your thoughts on Bell?”

Le’Veon Bell is a big physically gifted running back. At 6’2 and 230 pounds, he could really eat up clock and yardage later in games when the defense is worn down. He isn’t going to replace Murray, but with his injury issues you always are in need of a dependable back. Lance Dunbar and Phillip Tanner aren’t the type of running backs that can play every down. We do know the Cowboys are interested in Bell as he had a private workout recently at Valley Ranch.

Stephen S ask “Is it finally time to find Romo’s replacement?”

I know that many of you in Cowboys Nation are ready to get rid of Tony Romo, however let me remind you what you had to go through to get him. The list of Clint Stoerner, Chad Hutchinson, Vinny Testaverde, Quincy Carter and I could go on. Romo is the leader of the offense and he is an intense competitor. Without his mobility and vision downfield, this Cowboys team would be mediocre at best. I will agree that Jerry should be looking for the future. Matt Scott of Arizona and Zac Dysert of Miami (Ohio) are two names that could be later round selections. The Cowboys should use a pick any higher than a fifth to find a backup quarterback.

Iowa State Recap

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The Iowa State Cyclones took the field on Wednesday for their Pro Day. This is the last chance for many of the Draft Day hopefulls. Although some of them will receive one on one workouts with coaches. There are three players that participated that should receive strong consideration from the Cowboys.

A.J. Klein participated in most drills while not running the 40 yard dash, however he did run a 4.66 at the NFL Combine earlier this year. Klein benched 225 pounds with 24 reps, which was 4 reps better than his combine attempt. In his other drills Klein had a 33 inch vertical jump. Even playing the inside linebacker position could easily make the adjustment to outside, much like his teammate Jake Knott.

Jake Knott is coming off a torn labrum that cost him the final four games of his junior season.  Knott didn’t record a 40 time after tweaking his hamstring on his first attempt. Knott followed up with 20 reps at 225 pounds and a 34 inch vertical.

Jake McDonough who could be an undrafted free agent or a late round pick, had a very impressive Pro Day. On the bench he pounded out 37 reps, 27.5 inches on the vertical jump and a 5.24 40 time. At 6’4” and 290 pounds is a big defensive end, who if needed could play inside the three technique.

Cowboys Draft Targets: Kenny Vaccaro Prospect Profile

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Guest Written by: Matt Johnson

The NFL is turning into a passing league and as it evolves, defensive backs become more of a necessity if you want to win games. This year the best safety in the draft in Texas Longhorns FS Kenny Vaccaro and he is the type of player teams drool over. Vaccaro rocketed up draft boards during his senior season, displaying his coverage skills and versatility. Vaccaro is definitely the best safety in this class, and would be a surprise to see him make it out of the Top 15 picks.

Measurables:

6’ 0” 214 lbs.

Strengths:

One of the immediate things I love about Kenny Vaccaro is how physically intimidating and aggressive he can be as a safety. When lined up in the slot he makes first contact with a receiver, and isn’t afraid to knock them off their route. Vaccaro can play in both zone and man-to-man coverage with the size to help inside. His aggressiveness also finds itself in the running game, where he isn’t afraid to come screaming off the edge to lay out the quarterback or down the middle to knock down the running back. Vaccaro can cover receivers and tight ends or if need be come in as a run stopper.

I mentioned earlier how Vaccaro can help in the passing game, but it is more than something he just does well. When you watch him in coverage, you believe he could be a very good corner at the next level. He can physically outmatch and wear down receivers in the slot, but he also has the athleticism and size to cover tight ends. When in coverage, Vaccaro also has shown good awareness for reading the QB’s eyes and playing the ball in coverage.

Weaknesses:

While you have to love Vaccaro’s aggressive style of play, it can also be one of his biggest downfalls. Against the run Vaccaro loves to attack, but often will over pursue the ball carrier. He will come in from the wrong angle and when he goes to attack, ends up missing on the play and letting his man break free into the open field. Just look at what happened vs. Oklahoma State when he had Joseph Randle one-on-one and a cut move later was left standing, as Randle was 10 yards down field heading for the score. He is an aggressive safety, but at times that aggressiveness can burn him.

When in coverage Vaccaro can provide great coverage, but he isn’t someone a defense can rely on for turnovers. As his 5 career interceptions indicate, Vaccaro is the type of safety who can cover guys but doesn’t make as many plays. When the ball is thrown his way, he still hasn’t proven he has the hands to hold onto it. Vaccaro also needs to work on keeping up with his man, as he doesn’t have the speed to catch up with him from behind.

Projection:

While there is plenty of speculation about where Kenny Vaccaro may go in the NFL Draft, there is very little questioning his talent. Vaccaro is a great cover safety who can play zone or even man-to-man well. He is a physical safety who can come in against the run and lay someone out, or jam a receiver at the line. Vaccaro has the versatility to play either safety position, which coaches will love. Vaccaro likely won’t make it out of the Top 15 and could even sneak his way into the Top 10.

Kenny Vaccaro Highlights:

Grade:  85/100

Dallas Cowboys Big Board

 

As we inch ever so much closer to April 27th and the NFL Draft, I wanted to put together the Cowboys Big Board. Players that should be on their War Room board in the first few rounds. One player of note is Tavon Austin isn’t a player I expect them to target, however if there at 18 it would give this team some leverage for making a deal to get more draft picks.

Player Team  Position Ht Wt
Chance Warmack Alabama G 6’3″ 320
Sheldon Richardson Missouri DT 6’3″ 290
Kenny Vaccaro Texas S 6’1″ 215
Sharrif Floyd Florida DT 6’3″ 298
Matt Elam Florida S 5’10” 206
Lane Johnson Oklahoma OT 6’6″ 303
Jonathan Cooper North Carolina G 6’3″ 310
Arthur Brown Kansas State LB 6’1″ 228
Tavon Austin West Virginia WR 5’9″ 176
Eric Fisher Central Michigan OT 6’7″ 297
D.J. Fluker Alabama OT 6’6″ 335
Eric Reid Louisiana State S 6’2″ 208
Sylvester Williams North Carolina DT 6’3″ 320
Khaseem Greene Rutgers LB 6’1″ 220
Kawann Short Purdue DT 6’3″ 310
Stepfan Taylor Stanford RB 5’11” 210
Justin Pugh Syracuse OT 6’6″ 292
Margus Hunt Southern Methodist DE 6’7″ 280
Kyle Long Oregon OT 6’7″ 312
Alvin Bailey Arkansas G 6’5″ 315
Montee Ball Wisconsin RB 5’11” 218
Le’Veon Bell Michigan State RB 6’4″ 244
 Brian Schwenke California C 6’3″ 305
 Kevin Reddick North Carolina LB 6’2″ 240
 Sean Porter Texas A&M LB 6’2″ 230

 

Justin Durant Update

News broke earlier today that Justin Durant had agreed on a two year deal with the Cowboys according to Adam Shefter from ESPN. However shortly thereafter reports started to emerge that this was indeed not the case. Clarence E. Hill from ESPNDallas tweeted that this is against the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

It is a well known fact that Cowboys haven’t made any headway with potential extensions with Romo or Spencer. Once either or both of these deals are finalized then the Cowboys can pursue the Durant deal. If there isn’t any immediate progress, Doug Free could be released to open up $7 million in cap space.

Stay tuned here or over on our partner site Dallas Cowboys Nation for any updates.