|Robinson's fate is being|
A few years ago, ESPN Dallas mainstay Bryan Broaddus told me NFL teams make a couple of draft boards. They assemble a preliminary one, right about now, which uses tape study and All Star game data. They then tweak that board after the Combine, the copious interviews and the pro day workouts. He noted that the preliminary board is the purest one an organization can get, because it's based wholly on on-field performance, and not on the underwear Olympics, as the Combine has come to be known.
Last week, I asked Wes Bunting what he hoped to learn at the Combine. His words echoed Broaddus'. He said this is when teams start blowing smoke, either hinting at players they like, or starting the process of disinformation, to throw rivals off their plans. (Much more on this later.)
Right now, we're in position to build our own confidence board. To lock down what we think and what we know the Cowboys need, and how they're likely to act, before any pre-free agent and pre-draft hucklebucks.
Let's start with the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram blog report today that Anthony Spencer may be franchised by the team. The post draws no conclusions. It cites a team source who says Spencer may be kept on a one-year deal. That makes some sense, if the team is playing conservatively. It does not know if it can sign Mario Williams in free agency. And it does not want to be shoe-horned into spending its top draft pick on a pass rusher, especially when it's not sure what options it may have at pick 14.
The team may throw deep for Williams. It may chase a Melvin Ingram. It may roll the dice on Victor Butler. Or, it may cover itself with one more year of Spencer.
All the story confirms is that team meetings are underway. We've taken our shots at the Cowboys 2012 blueprint. Now, the guys at Valley Ranch are doing the same. The scouts have returned from all the All-Star games. The coaches have concluded from their post-season breaks. The real blueprint is being drafted.
The Combine starts in ten days or so. Dozens of collegians will be interviewed there. A couple dozen agents will also be interviewed, to gauge their clients' opinions on joining the Cowboys.
We're about to enter the fibbing season. Take a deep breath, while you can.
Later today: Stanford Routt's 2010 and 2011 and how he rates in the free agent corner field.