The Dallas Cowboys have the 18th pick in the first round of the NFL draft, and while the offensive line has been an issue for quite a while, the defensive changes in the scheme means they might need to address defensive tackle before anything else, giving Sylvester Williams coming out of North Carolina the preference over any other pick.
Williams really distinguished himself during his senior season with the Tar Heels, recording six sacks and 13.5 tackles for a loss. The Cowboys are moving to a 4-3, transitioning into Monte Kiffin’s Tampa 2 defense, which means that one player in Jay Ratliff isn’t going to be enough anymore, not that Ratliff is causing a lot of people to be pleased for staying another season with the team.
Despite being quite a force to be reckoned with when healthy, Ratliff played in only six games last season and his behavior in the dressing room (reported mood swings) and his DWI arrest have really hurt his standing in the eyes of Jerry Jones and the coaching staff.
However, Ratliff wasn’t cut, as its believed that when he is 100%, his ability to draw the double team is something the Cowboys, in their current limited cap situation is something they simply can’t afford to give up on. Jason Hatcher, 30, is supposed to be the second defensive tackle in a four man front.
The Cowboys need speed, and they need youth. While Williams isn’t the greatest of pass-rushers, he’s got speed and motor, especially when chasing rushing plays, even outside the box. With the Cowboys needing some impact and speed from the middle and not just relying on DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer, adding Williams to the mix might be the right course to proceed in.