The 2010 NFL Draft is over, which means that the Dallas Cowboys can start getting used to the idea that the Denver Broncos will be the most-talked about team of the 2010 football season (they drafted Tim Tebow — as if you didn’t already know). They can also congratulate themselves on some pretty strong picks (the consensus on their 2010 NFL Draft grade for Dallas seems to be a B), beginning with Oklahoma State’s Dez Bryant in the First Round. So what does the new crop of draft picks look like for the Cowboys for 2010?
Although many thought wide receiver Dez Bryant would be snatched up in the top ten selections, he was still around when the Dallas Cowboys turn came at #24. According to the Bleacher Report, Dallas was hoping to fill positions at safety and offensive tackle, but just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to add to their receiving arsenal. Pairing Dez Bryant up with the explosive Miles Austin could see some pretty spectacular aerial shows in Dallas this season.
Dez Bryant was one of only two offensive players chosen by the Cowboys in the seven rounds of the 2010 NFL Draft. The other was monster offensive tackle Sam Young of Notre Dame. Young’s biggest drawback seems to be his size (6′ 8″, 316 pounds), which limits his mobility, and an inability to get down low. But it is also his size that is an asset, being able to manhandle smaller defensive ballplayers and taking up plenty of room as players attempt to penetrate the line.
The Dallas Cowboys drafted inside linebacker Sean Lee of Penn State in the second round. Some have questioned the pick, but Lee, despite being small, is quick and ball-conscious, having an uncanny ability to shed tacklers. He played for the great Joe Paterno — need more be said?
Although they skipped the third round, they picked up Akwasi Owusu-Ansah out of Indiana University (Pennsylvania) in the Fourth Round. Owusu-Ansah not only is a highly rated cornerback (or could be used as a safety by the Cowboys’ defense as needed) but can serve as a threat on kick return squads as well.
Dallas had two picks in the Sixth, the first being Sam Young. The second, cornerback Jamar Wall of Texas Tech, shows that the Cowboys are stressing a young, mobile secondary. Wall has good instincts, but his drawbacks include unexceptional speed, something necessary for catching the receiver that just feinted you out of position.
The Cowboys picked up William and Mary defensive tackle Sean Lissemore in the last round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He’s fast, which seems to be what the Dallas defense is shaping up to be — smaller, faster. The Cowboys are looking to rotate him out with other defensive tackles.
According to Calvin Watkins’ blog for ESPN, Dallas signed another eight undrafted free agents on Saturday, only one of which was a defensive ballplayer, safety Barry Church out of Toledo. The other seven included another wide receiver, two rushers, and quarterback Matt Nichols out of East Washington. Jerry Jones has also made it known that he might sign up to as many as 16 undrafted free agents.
Concentrating on offensive players shows that Dallas is thinking ahead, hoping to keep an effective passing game and at least keep their current rushers (Marion Barber, Tashard Choice, Felix Jones) on their toes. All those defensive secondary draft picks indicates that the Cowboys are looking to develop a fast secondary as well, which could lead to a few more interceptions during the season.
Of course, whether or not any of the 2010 NFL draft picks pan out remains to be seen. Training camp begins in San Antonio at the end of July.