'Boys Next OT in Own Backyard?

IRVING, TX -- The good news: the standout offensive tackle the Cowboys desperately need, Dallas native Jonathan Scott, lives right in their backyard.

The bad news: the Cowboys don't traditionally think highly of University of Texas products, whispering that Longhorns often show up "soft'' in the NFL.

"Jonathan is from Dallas, he went to Carter High School, and he went to college at UT,'' says Scott's agent, Dallas-based Jordan Woy. "Jonathan would love to be a Cowboy.''

Nobody at Valley Ranch is ready to speak on the record specifically about Scott, the 6-7, 315-pound All-American and national champion. But someone close to the situation will tell us this, again not specifically regarding Scott: "There is a reason some Texans guys who were stars there don't become stars in the NFL. They're soft.''

Soft physically. That's what the Cowboys thought about Arizona offensive lineman Leonard Davis when came out of UT. Soft mentally. That's the explanation scouts give for why so many Longhorns tend to eventually blend into the NFL woodwork. The latest example might be Detroit receiver Roy Williams, a superstar talent who has somehow become "just another guy'' with the Lions.

There are already internet scouting reports that suggest Jonathan Scott "may lack aggressiveness'' and "is passive at times.''

Nevertheless, he was a dominant player at Texas, where he was a four-year starter. He began his career as a right tackle but played the final three seasons at the more-critical left tackle spot.

"He's obviously worthy of being a high first-round pick,'' Woy says, "even with all the other good tackles, and left tackles, that are available.''

Davis and fellow Longhorn O-lineman Mike Williams are recent top-five picks. The only lineman figuring to go that high this April is Virginia's D'Brickashaw Ferguson. Miami's Eric Winston and Scott are likely to compete to be the next O-lineman taken -- possibly in the top 10. Marcus McNeill (Auburn) and Winston Justice (USC) will also be first-round tackles.

Dallas' tackles in '05 were Torrin Tucker and Rob Petitti. Not good enough. Even with Flozell Adams returning from injury for next season, the club needs help.

Can the Cowboys find a way to get to Dallas kid Jonathan Scott? It could be hard -- as long as he's not "soft.''

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