Senior Bowl watch for the Cowboys
1. Jay Ratliff's status with the team didn't seem in doubt when the Cowboys arrived at the Senior Bowl. But after being arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated raises questions about his future. The Cowboys are headed to a new defensive scheme, switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3, and we've got a few players who might fit into that defensive-tackle, three-technique scheme, who will play today. Penn State's Jordan Hill (6-foot-1, 294 pounds), Kawann Short (6-foot-3, 280 pounds) from Purdue and Brandon Williams (6-foot-2, 341 pounds) from Missouri Southern play for the North. Williams, because of his size, might be more of a nose in a 3-4.
2. The Cowboys spoke with two defensive ends who will play for the North in SMU's Margus Hunt, measured as the tallest player at the Senior Bowl at 6-foot-8, and Texas' Alex Okafor, who is 6-foot-4 and 261 pounds. Okafor said he can play either as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme or defensive end in a 4-3. It's too early to determine if Okafor or Hunt are first round picks, but if the Cowboys don't re-sign or franchise Anthony Spencer in the offseason, drafting an end could be a realistic possibility.
3. The Cowboys need at least three tackles to go with during game days. Tyron Smith, Doug Free and Jermey Parnell were the trio during the season. Free was inconsistent in 2012 and there is concern about his future with the team. Should the Cowboys invest a draft pick on a tackle? The South roster has 6-foot-6, 302 pounder Lane Johnson from Oklahoma, who will get snaps at right tackle in the Senior Bowl. It's also worth checking out Eric Fisher, a tackle from Central Michigan from the North.
4. The Cowboys could release veteran fullback Lawrence Vickers this offseason and go younger at the position. When you see how bad the running game was in 2012, you have to look at more than the running backs coach, who was released. There are two fullbacks -- Tommy Bohanon from Wake Forest and Kyle Juszczyk of Harvard -- who are worth looking at on Saturday.
5. Tony Romo isn't going anywhere, so talking about his demise with the Cowboys is pointless. However, drafting a quarterback in the middle rounds might be something the Cowboys consider. Mike Glennon, the 6-foot-6 quarterback from N.C. State, could increase his stock among NFL teams with a strong performance today. Glennon might be worth taking a pick on in the second round.
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Play Podcast ESPN NFL Insider Ed Werder joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Jerry Jones' recent comments, Cowboys OTAs, Dez Bryant and more.
Play Podcast Todd Archer joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Tony Romo news and what he will be watching for in OTAs.
Play Podcast Nate Newton joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his comments on how Jason Garrett should handle being on the hot seat and not let Jerry Jones get in the way.
Play Podcast Cowboys safety Barry Church joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the new defensive scheme and the impact it will have on him, how much more intense he expects practice to be with Monte Kiffin and his expectations.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider Ed Werder joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Cowboys news, including Jason Garrett downplaying Tony Romo's involvement in offensive planning and play calling.
Play Podcast John Lynch joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss playing for Monte Kiffin and Rod Marinelli, why Cowboys fans should be excited about the new defensive staff, why Valley Ranch will no longer resemble a country club and his thoughts on the Cowboys' roster.
Play Podcast Herm Edwards joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Cowboys news and give his take on what new face will make the biggest impact for Dallas.
Play Podcast Nate Newton joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what he saw at the Cowboys' rookie minicamp and how he helped Rod Marinelli on the defensive side of the ball.