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Posted: Friday May 2, 2008 12:04PM; Updated: Friday May 2, 2008 2:17PM
Don Banks Don Banks >
INSIDE THE NFL

Snap Judgments (cont.)

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Not only does rookie CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie promise to thrill fans on the field, but dazzle them with charm off it.
Not only does rookie CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie promise to thrill fans on the field, but dazzle them with charm off it.
AP

• Not only did I not know that Randy Moss was a racing fan, but also I didn't even know that NASCAR had a Craftsman Truck Series. Wait a minute. In this case, shouldn't that be Kraft's-man Truck Series?

• Cardinals fans are going to love the team's first-round pick, Tennessee State cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. I know, because he said so himself this week at his introductory news conference at the team complex:

"Not only am I going to bring the athletic ability and hard work and determination, I am also a people person. I am outgoing, very lovable, fun to be around, a man of great character. I'm just a lovable guy.''

Sounds a bit like his first awkward effort at writing a personal profile for Match.com.

Shaun Alexander to the Bengals sounds like one of those great homecoming stories, given that he grew up just across the river from Cincinnati in Kentucky. But why do I get the feeling that if it happens it'll wind up reminding us of Emmitt Smith in Arizona or Eddie George in Dallas?

Maybe because those were two of the most recent examples of great running backs who we knew were done before they knew they were done.

• Speaking of great stories, the Lions drafting Army defensive back Caleb Campbell in the seventh round was one of the feel-good moments of last weekend. But you think maybe ESPN could hold off on the way-over-the-top celebration of Detroit's final pick until he at least makes the team? ESPN staged everything short of a military fly-over inside Radio City Music Hall when Campbell's name was announced.

I'm just wondering if there will be the same amount of fanfare in late August if he would wind up having his name listed in the agate type of the transactions column on roster cut-down day?

• There was absolutely nothing not to love about Kansas City's 12-man draft class, which lead the league in terms of star power, potential rookie impact and solid long-range roster-building. But I still don't know how the Chiefs close the huge gap between themselves and San Diego in the AFC West without giving themselves more starting options than Brodie Croyle at quarterback?

Maybe the Chiefs should talk to the Bears and Ravens about a good team's limitations when it doesn't get quality quarterbacking.

• Spending draft weekend in Dallas gave me the chance to absorb plenty of the wit and wisdom of Jerry Jones, the Cowboys' owner/general manager, who was very much front and center in conducting the team's draft. Jerry-speak has always fascinated me, but I thought he was particularly on his game in his post-picking news conferences.

On whether or not first-round pick Felix Jones is sturdy enough to ever be more than a complementary back behind Marion Barber:

"He's 6-feet tall, 207 pounds,'' Jones said. "Y'all probably heard this, gathered this, but he's thick in the bottom, from the waist down. And we've had another one that was this size, not in height, but about that weight that carried the ball 25, 30 times a ballgame -- Emmitt Smith.''

On the risk of trading for Pacman Jones:

"There's a lot of me that under certain circumstances would rather have somebody who's been knocked down a lot and gotten back up and proven they can get back up. I'd rather be with him or her in tight situations than someone who'd never been knocked down. That does create some resolve, especially in football.

"I'm not trying to sound like some preacher here, but I have always been one that just because a person has made some bad decisions, do not close your eyes and ears and decision-making to giving them an opportunity.''

• You might recall that I was fairly confident throughout the course of the regular season that the '07 Patriots were destined for history's first 19-0 showing. I may have even mentioned it a time or seven in print. Alas, it didn't happen. Now I understand why.

It seems the Patriots have been rather methodical of late when it comes to the business of rescaling the NFL's mountaintop, and I missed the trend. In case you haven't noticed, since last winning a Super Bowl, the Pats have lost in the divisional round ('05, at Denver), the AFC title game ('06, at Indy), and in the Super Bowl ('07).

You know what that means. There's only one more step left to take in '08.

• I could be wrong about this, but Cowboys offensive coordinator and heir apparent head coach Jason Garrett seemed to be the only Dallas assistant who occupied a seat full-time in the team's war room during the draft. The rest of the Cowboys' assistant staff rotated in and out of the room throughout the weekend.

Just another indication that Dallas head coach Wade Phillips is probably what amounts to a well-paid seat warmer in '08.

 
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