IRVING, Texas -- ESPN Insider Mark Dominik was the general manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2009-13.
He spent 19 years with the Buccaneers and his time coincided with Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli and assistant head coach/defense Monte Kiffin. He knows what they want in draft prospects, so it was interesting to note that Dominik has cornerback among the Cowboys’ hidden draft needs in this Insider piece.
Here’s what he said:
Dallas Cowboys: Cornerback
The Cowboys have acquired three cornerbacks of note over the past two years in Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne and B.W. Webb, so this might not look like a need area if you just skim through Dallas' depth chart (especially given their issues at other positions). But there is a real concern about the play of Claiborne, the No. 6 overall pick in 2012, and if they don't think they can get him straightened out, the Cowboys will need to add another corner in order to hold up in pass defense against their NFC East rivals.
He did not mention Orlando Scandrick, who was the Cowboys’ best cornerback in 2013. Earlier Tuesday, Calvin Watkins said the Cowboys need more from Carr, who received a five-year, $50 million deal from the club two years ago. Webb was mostly lost as a rookie and lost his job late in the season to Sterling Moore. Dominik correctly points out the thoughts on Claiborne, who is entering his biggest seasons.
But I wonder just how high the Cowboys would select a cornerback considering how much they have invested in Carr, Scandrick and Claiborne with picks and money. Would they go after the likes of Darqueze Dennard, Bradley Roby or Justin Gilbert?
TCU’s Jason Verrett is scheduled to visit with the team during the Dallas Day, but he is coming off shoulder surgery. Does he fit what Marinelli wants from corners?
The draft is not just about 2014. It is about the future as well. Scandrick’s re-worked deal late last season all but guarantees he will be around in 2015. The Cowboys have not restructured Carr’s contract, in part, because it would make it more possible to release him after this season if he does not find his 2012 form. Claiborne is signed through 2015 with a team option for 2016, but if he does not improve significantly this season then it would seem unlikely the Cowboys would exercise it.
So maybe drafting a cornerback, even early, makes sense after all.