NFL.com is no different than the rest of us. With no football to speak of, we as the fans can only rehash old topics of discussion. Today's topic is in regards to the young talent in the NFL, and specifically, this topic relates to within the Dallas Cowboys roster.
NFL.com Analyst Elliot Harrison had the unenviable job of putting together the roster of the top NFL players under 25 years old. We at Cowboys 101 think he actually did a pretty admirable job. First off, picking Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson over both RG3 and Andrew Luck is gutsy, even if it's backed up by the stats. Also picking unheralded players such as Reshad Jones and Jon Asamoah is a nice change from the normal range of over-hyped guys we've become accustomed to over the years.
Another surprise is seeing two Dallas Cowboy players on the list. Two! Only six teams on the list had more than one selection. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Dallas Cowboys, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Miami Dolphins all had two selections, while the Seattle Seahawks and Cincinatti Bengals tied for the lead with 3.
Dallas actually possesses 29 players that qualify under the 25-years old age limit. The only other players that would even warrant possible consideration (by our accounts at least), would be CB Morris Claiborne and LB Bruce Carter. Yet, nobody should argue that either of those guys should have replaced the selections of Patrick Peterson, Richard Sherman, Navorro Bowman, or Luke Kuechly. Now let's get to the Dallas players that were actually selected.
First off, we have the youngest player currently on the roster, LT Tyron Smith. Harrison had this to say about the former #9 overall pick:
"Smith draws his fair share of flags, but he recently turned 22 and is already a two-year starter with immense upside. He has played left and right tackle, giving up three sacks in 2012."
Fair assessment all around. Cutting down on the penalties should be Smith's main goal for 2013 as he continues to settle into his LT position that will likely be his until the next decade.
The other guy on the list is Dez Bryant. Oh Dez. The breakout star has garnered plenty of praise not only for his pro-bowl-worthy numbers, but also for the grit and toughness he displayed in trying to will this team to the postseason. He grew up in front of our eyes and is truly deserving of this award. Harrison's blurb is as follows:
"Every team has a guy capable of being a knucklehead. Bryant fits that role … but he can also take over a football game like T.O. circa 2002. Bryant had 1,382 yards and 12 scores in 2012."
Except for the cringe-worthy comparisons to TO, Harrison is again right on point. Dez can win you a game just as fast as he can lose you one. Luckily, Dallas Cowboy fans saw a lot more of the former than the latter in the second half of 2013.
What's your take? Do you agree with Elliot Harrison's selections? Sound off in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter!
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