Bosa makes perfect sense because of the Cowboys’ needs and where Bosa will be on most draft boards come April.
Greg Hardy is unlikely to be back. Jeremy Mincey is also a free agent. So is Jack Crawford. Randy Gregory has been suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season. DeMarcus Lawrence is recovering from offseason back surgery.
The Cowboys desperately need defensive end help.
But Bosa had just five sacks last season, and his performance at the combine was not great. Teams expected him to run faster than 4.8 in the 40-yard dash.
The question becomes, is Bosa a right defensive end or a left defensive end? To use the Cowboys’ history as an example, picture DeMarcus Ware as the prototype right defensive end -- tremendously athletic, speedy, with the ability to bend around the corner. As for the left defensive end spot, Greg Ellis is a good example -- more sturdy and less athletic, plays with more power.
The right defensive ends are the elite of the elite. Is that Bosa?
Two years ago the Cowboys moved up in the second round to take Lawrence because they felt he was the last right defensive end available who could play right away. Last year Lawrence was moved to left defensive end in part because the team acquired Hardy. He led the team with eight sacks. Now there’s speculation the Cowboys could move Lawrence back to the right side in 2016.
Left defensive end, right defensive end, it doesn’t seem to matter much to the Cowboys. They need pass rushers.
“I mean you’ve got to get your four best players on the field and you can’t manufacture a right end if there’s not one there,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “A lot of guys who play right end maybe aren’t the perfect -- what you’d call the perfect fit -- but can still be highly productive there. If you end up having four really solid players than you can still I think get good pressure on the quarterback.”
What really interested me in McShay’s latest mock draft is who was available at No. 4 along with Bosa. Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey went to the Jaguars at No. 5.
One of the unanswerable questions in the NFL is this: Does a pass rush make a secondary, or does a secondary make a pass rush?
With pressure on the quarterback, the secondary doesn’t have to cover for as long. With quality coverage on the back end, the pass rush has more time to get to the quarterback.
Personally I believe a pass rush makes a secondary. We hear defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli and head coach Jason Garrett talk endlessly about affecting the quarterback. They don’t talk as much about affecting the wide receivers.
Ramsey might be a better player, filling a need at corner or even safety, but because of the importance of his position Bosa won out on this mock draft.