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One Wild Day

The Cowboys succeeded in filling most of their needs on day two of the draft, even drafting at least one player who seems to be destined for a special teams career. From Quarterback to Kicker, the Cowboys drafted twelve players in rounds three through seven. The Cowboys seemed to have their own agenda that strayed away from what the “so called experts” projected for them, however they made some notable selections.

The team waited to fill a big need at the safety position until the fifth round where they selected Clemson’s Michael Hamlin. Ironically Hamlin has the same physical features and style of play that Ken Hamlin has, and played the free safety position in college, but they are not related. Adding to the secondary the Cowboys selected a pair of teammates at cornerback out of Cincinnati, drafting DeAngelo Williams in the fifth round and Mike Mickens in the seventh. Mickens could be this years Orlando Scandrick. In 2008 Mickens led the nation in interceptions, and has exceptional speed.

The long awaited pick of a wide receiver came late in the seventh round, and could prove to be a very good pick as well. The Cowboys were able to pick Oklahoma’s Manuel Johnson with the 229th pick. Johnson isn’t as well known as his teammate Juaquin Iglesias who was drafted in the third round, but most consider Johnson to have better hands. He has good quickness, and average speed. Johnson is coming off an elbow dislocation that occurred against Kansas, while he did return one game later, his production fell off.

The most surprising pick, maybe of the entire draft, was the selection of USC kicker David Buehler. Given the fact that the Cowboys already have a pro-bowl caliber kicker in Nick Folk, it was a big shock. Buehler may be a kicker but he is definitely an athlete. He ran a 4.62 in the 40 yard dash, and did 25 reps of 225 lbs at the scouting combine. He does have experience at fullback, strong safety and linebacker, and could potentially be a special teams player if he is unable to beat out Nick Folk for the kicking job. Folk has had trouble on kickoffs, rarely ever seeing a touchback. Buehler is known for his big leg, and is more than capable of putting the ball in the endzone on every kickoff, so the Cowboys may be looking to use him and Folk together.

Other players the Cowboys drafted included little known Jason Williams, outside linebacker out of Western Illinois, Robert Brewster, Offensive Tackle from Ball State, Defensive Ends Victor Butler from Oregon State, and Brandon Williams out of Texas Tech. They also added Stephen Hodge who could play linebacker or strong safety but will probably be relegated to a special teams player from TCU. John Phillips, a 6’5 251lb tight end out of Virginia was the Cowboys pick at 208, and will seemingly be the replacement for Tony Curtis who just signed with the Chiefs. And last but not least quarterback Stephen McGee from Texas A&M was the first selection of the fourth round. McGee was one of the players invited to Valley Ranch last week and there were strong indications prior to the draft that the Cowboys were looking to select him, however it was probably a surprise that it happened so early. McGee was the second fastest quarterback in the draft running a 4.66 in the 40 yard dash, with an impressive 4.49 in the 20 yard shuttle. McGee appears to have all the tools to be a solid backup, and people within the organization feel that he can one day be a starter. McGee could potentially see some time in the upcoming season with the implementation of the Wildcat offense, which he would seemingly transition into very well having run the option offense at Texas A&M.

Only time will tell how the Cowboys actually did in this years NFL draft, but for now it appears that they quietly had a very strong performance. Jerry Jones as well as others inside the organization feel that they drafted several potential starters and players who will see significant playing time this season. As for the other players drafted, it could be difficult for them to find themselves a spot on the roster.

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