Draft Day Target: OT Shawn Andrews

The Cowboys have let it be well known that they intend to acquire more talent on the offensive line in the upcoming NFL Draft. Today, we take an in-depth look at All-American tackle Shawn Andrews from Arkansas, a prime candidate to be taken next month in the first round.

OT Shawn Andrews
6-4.5, 360, 5.45
Projected Draft Position: Mid-First Round

The 2004 NFL Draft probably won't be anything like the last two years for the Dallas Cowboys. Gone is a top 10 pick and gone is the undeniable need for help in the secondary.

Well, the case can still be made for one more quality cornerback, but most experts tend to agree that the Cowboys will look to bolster their offense instead of their defense.

After all, the Cowboys' defense finished the 2003 regular season ranked first in the NFL.

Two of the primary areas receiving the most attention this offseason are on the offensive line and at running back, where the Cowboys will look to improve their rushing attack under second year head coach Bill Parcells.

Last week, we profiled one offensive tackle the Cowboys have already shown a significant interest in, and this week, we turn the attention to another prospect that appears to be a main target in Valley Ranch in Arkansas' Shawn Andrews.

Andrews, the most decorated offensive lineman in Arkansas school history, is likely a mid to late first round selection.
"Andrews is a dominant strong-side blocker and a powerful tackle that destroys opponents at the point of attack," notes NFL Draft Expert Tony Pauline. "He's quick off the snap, he sets with a wide base and immediately gets his hands up, controlling defenders at the point."

"He's massive, yet shows decent footwork and the ability to slide laterally in pass protection," adds Pauline. "He's also a decent athlete for a big man and displays some skill out to the second level."

In 2002, Andrews was the first sophomore in Arkansas history to earn first-team All-America honors. In addition, he was also a consensus All-SEC selection and won the Jacobs Award, recognizing the league's best blocker.

At the NFL Combine last month, Andrews was one of the most physically impressive linemen in attendance.

"He moved well and looked athletic," said Pauline of Andrews' combine performance. "He was good in his hips and showed patience, working hard throughout the session. He did get too tall in pass protection drills and didn't really show great lateral movement however."

The only question regarding Andrews and the Cowboys at this point is, will he actually be available once the Cowboys go on the clock with the 22nd pick?

Several experts are suggesting Andrews could go as high as the 15th overall selection, which would obviously force Jerry Jones and company to go in another direction.

Regardless, interest in Andrews appears to be legitimate.

"He's a player that can be dominant in every aspect of the game, and is a prospect whose skills warrant a high draft selection," added Pauline. "Certainly, he's a player that can be a fixture in the NFL for a long time to come."

The Cowboys need help on the line, and the organization has always targeted bigger linemen anyways. Will it be Andrews? We'll have to wait until next month to find out for sure!

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