Grading the Cowboys Draft

A look back at what went down this weekend for the Dallas Cowboys in the 2005 NFL Draft.

1 (11) Demarcus Ware; DE - Troy State
1 (20) Marcus Spears; DE - LSU
2 (42) Kevin Burnett; OLB - Tennessee
4 (109) Marion Barber, III; RB - Minnesota
5 (132) Chris Canty; DE - Virginia
6 (208) Justin Beriault; S - Ball State
6 (209) Rob Petitti; OT - Pittsburgh
7 (224) Jay Ratliff; DE - Auburn

Analysis: Looking to get bigger and more physical defensively, the Cowboys jumped at the opportunity to select Ware. A true pass rusher, Ware should provide Dallas the pass rusher they have sought since the arrival of head coach Bill Parcells. While Ware is questionable against the run and the Cowboys believe he has the athletic ability to be a force with experience.

The selection of Marcus Spears provides the Cowboys the obvious ability to utilize the speed and quickness of Ware at outside linebacker. In Spears, Dallas secures the services of a solid defensive end that plays the run well, and has some ability to get to the quarterback.

The combination of these two players clearly suggests that Bill Parcells is serious about going to the 3-4 defense.

Burnett is a talented outside linebacker that has the ability to be a very productive linebacker in this Dallas defense. Very good initial burst makes Burnett tough to handle when coming on the blitz and is very sound in his approach on run defense. Burnett has had some problems when engaged by large offensive linemen and will need to work on using his hands better.

Nevertheless, he should step in and compete with Bradie James at the weak-side linebacker spot.

Grade: A

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