IRVING, Texas – Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, considered by many a top-five talent, fell right into the Cowboys’ laps at No. 18 overall.
The Cowboys responded by trading down, opting to take the Nos. 31 and 74 picks from the San Francisco 49ers instead of taking the defensive tackle.
“We were unanimous that it was the smart thing to do to trade down,” owner/general manager Jerry Jones said. Coach Jason Garrett publicly agreed, although his body language in the war room seemed to tell a different tale.
Why not just stay put and take Floyd?
“We feel like, first of all, defensive line is a position of strength for us,” Jones said. “Number two, in our system, we probably would put a premium on quick-twitch potential three-technique. We view him as not that, but certainly capable of getting there.”
The Cowboys’ top two defensive tackles are 31-year-old Jay Ratliff and 30-year-old Jason Hatcher, who is entering the last season of his contract. Their depth at defensive tackle: four-year veteran Sean Lissemore; Brian Price, a former second-round pick who is trying to earn a roster spot after injuries and personal issues derailed his career in Tampa Bay; and a few unproven young players.
The “quick-twitch” knock on Floyd could be construed as questioning his pass-rush ability after he racked up only 4.5 sacks during his college career. Floyd, who was selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the 23rd overall pick, is considered to be extraordinarily explosive for a 297-pound man.