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NFL Draft

2016 Dallas Cowboys Draft: Gut Reaction

I like to think that during the deliberations in the Dallas Cowboys War Room throughout the 2016 NFL Draft that when a tough decision was on the table someone said, “Go with your gut.” The human belly is capable of making some great decisions when under pressure. I mean, how often do you look back at a decision in retrospect and say to yourself, “I should have gone with my gut.”? My gut is nice and full from this year’s Draft and it has fully digested everything that went on regarding the nine newest members of America’s Team.

RJ Ochoa



Cowboys Headlines - 2016 Dallas Cowboys Draft: Gut Reaction 9

I like to think that during the deliberations in the Dallas Cowboys War Room throughout the 2016 NFL Draft that when a tough decision was on the table someone said, "Go with your gut."

The human belly is capable of making some great decisions when under pressure. I mean, how often do you look back at a decision in retrospect and say to yourself, "I should have gone with my gut."?

My gut is nice and full from this year's Draft and it has fully digested everything that went on regarding the nine newest members of America's Team. That's what's so cool about guts - they're diverse. Will McClay, Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones, Jason Garrett... their guts were used to decide who to take. My gut is telling me what I think about them, and it's thinking about food at the same time.

Food is one of the greatest pleasures in this world so I figured - why not marry the two? We walked into the 2016 NFL Draft Cafe with empty stomachs and were ready to feast, so I brought perspective to the Draft in a fashion that your gut will really enjoy. That's right, I built a meal out of these Draftees so that you can truly have a "gut reaction."

We're about to have some fun.

Glass Of Water: Dak Prescott, QB, 4th Round, 135th Overall

Cowboys Headlines - 2016 Dallas Cowboys Draft: Gut Reaction

Alright so we've just sat down at the Draft Table - and we're starving. The very first thing that we see here is a tall glass of water in the form of a quarterback named Dak Prescott (he's 6'2" to be precise).

What makes Dak the glass of water in this meal? Well think about this for a second. We're starving, right? Water isn't exactly what we're craving. We're going to be ordering a drink soon anyway (soda, tea, cocktail, whatever) so the water is really just on standby. We're only going to drink this whenever we're out of our primary drink (like when QB1 is down for instance).

Let's hope that we have great health, uh I mean service, this season and that this water/backup QB isn't ever truly necessary. It's great to have it to lean on in the even that we get really thirsty, though!

Bread For The Table: Charles Tapper, DE, 4th Round, 101st Overall

Cowboys Headlines - 2016 Dallas Cowboys Draft: Gut Reaction 1

You've got your glass of water, but I know that you're looking for some actual substance to start scarfing. Here's that beautiful basket of bread that you've been dreaming about the whole drive over to the restaurant.

What makes Charles Tapper the bread in this meal? The Dallas Cowboys faithful are absolutely starving for some help at the defensive end position thanks to the suspensions of Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence. Tapper is the first sign of actual food that is very sorely needed in the extreme absence of some.

Now I'm not trying to overlook Charles as a prospect here. Yes, the presence of any kind of food looks incredible considering how hungry we are, but Tapper is the real deal. According to Dane Brugler's Draft Guide (which you can, and absolutely should, get right here) he has the fastest recorded 40-yard dash time of all the top DEs in the Draft. Slap some butter on that and let's roll (ba-dum-psh!).

Appetizer: Maliek Collins, DT, 3rd Round, 67th Overall

Cowboys Headlines - 2016 Dallas Cowboys Draft: Gut Reaction 2

This is the first component of the meal that we're consciously ordering, and by we I mean Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli.'s pro comparison for Maliek is Henry Melton, which explains why Rod ordered this dish. It's a situation where we've already gotten something to snack on in the bread, but Rod's been to this restaurant before and swears that this appetizer is the bomb.

Collins gives the Cowboys even more depth at the Defensive Tackle position, and is primarily seen as a three-tech player. We're all going to enjoy the appetizer sure, but Rod is the one who's getting a majority of it and even saving some to eat along with his main dish.

Compliments Of The Chef: Rico Gathers, TE, 6th Round, 217th Overall

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We're at the point in the meal where we've started to get a little full, and we kind of forgot what we ordered. Whoops!

In the midst of our food stupor, out comes the waiter carrying a dish that we've never seen before. He drops it off at the table and lets us know that it's "compliments of the chef" chock full of ingredients that we've never really tasted.

A dash of basketball, a pinch of insane physical traits, and a whole lot of haven't-played-competitive-football-in-forever and we've got ourselves a Rico Gathers! This is the dish that we weren't expecting at all, but we will take it and try it out. What's the worst that could happen?

Palate Cleanser: Darius Jackson, RB, 6th Round, 216th Overall

Cowboys Headlines - 2016 Dallas Cowboys Draft: Gut Reaction 3

It's almost time for the big show so we need to ready our taste buds, that's where Darius Jackson comes in.

Darius, a product of Eastern Michigan, is coming from a team called the Eagles that sported green and white as their colors... so he's basically improving his life by 100% in that regard.

He's an interesting little treat, similar to a strawberry sorbet, and a quick one at that. According to the Brugler Draft Guide only one running back clocked a faster 40-yard dash than Darius. Suddenly this boring palate cleanser is a little tasty, no?

Ultimately though, Darius is likely a practice squad guy so it makes perfect sense that his role in the meal is to ready us for the main dish.

Main Course: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, 1st Round, 4th Overall

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The filet mignon!

This is what we came for: why we made the reservation ahead of time, why we sat in traffic to get to the restaurant, and why we're paying such a big price.

Ezekiel Elliott is the real deal. Forget the fact that he's entering a situation with the Best Offensive Line in the NFL, Top Tier Quarterback, and stud Wide Receiver... even without all of those components this would be one delicious meal.

Coupled with those outstanding side dishes Zeke makes for the perfect main course. We have high expectations, of course, but we know that it's going to deliver. This meal has great reviews and passes all the tests. Grab your fork and let's dig in.

Dessert: Jaylon Smith, OLB, 2nd Round, 34th Overall

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Let's be honest with ourselves here... we don't always need dessert. BUT WE WANT IT. WE HAVE TO HAVE IT.

Jaylon Smith is that piece of, hell the whole, chocolate cake that we saw on the back of the menu right when we sat down. We knew that it was impractical to leave room for such a big piece, but the time has come where the waiter asks and we are ordering it. Oh well.

The Jaylon Smith pick is a bit indulgent. There's no denying that. Typically players drafted in the 2nd Round are expected to come in and contribute right away. Jaylon obviously won't fit that bill, so we'll just have to hope that this cake doesn't show up on the scale in the immediate future.

After Dinner Mint: Kavon Frazier, SS, 6th Round, 212th Overall

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Our collective gut is approaching a point of ultimate filling by this point. It's nearly impossible to fit any more food in there - this meal has been exquisite.

We do want something for a little later, though. When the waiter comes by with those after dinner mints... we're grateful. That's how we should feel about Kavon Frazier.

This is a player who could very well be a starter in 2017. We're talking about a great run stopper and ability to contribute on special teams. Oh and he can pack quite the punch, just like that spark of mint here.

Toothpick For The Road: Anthony Brown, CB, 6th Round, 189th Overall

Cowboys Headlines - 2016 Dallas Cowboys Draft: Gut Reaction 8

We have dined quite nicely, haven't we? The food was excellent from start to finish, and it's about time to head home.

Before we do we need to grab a toothpick, oral hygiene is very important after all! Anthony Brown is the perfect type of toothpick because we want lots of picks from him.

A cornerback isn't totally necessary right now given that the Cowboys haven't let any of theirs go recently, but it never hurts to have more. We want depth, depth, depth... and Anthony Brown helps us clean everything out to keep making room for more.

What do you make of the 2016 Dallas Cowboys Draft Meal? Let us know! Comment below, Email me at, or Tweet to me at @rjochoa!

Tell us what you think about "2016 Dallas Cowboys Draft: Gut Reaction" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!


I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

NFL Draft

The 1 Player Cowboys Should Consider Trading Up For

Kevin Brady




The Dallas Cowboys enter the 2018 NFL Draft needing help in multiple areas. Of course, they could use new blood on the interior of their defensive line, in their linebacker corps, and in their receiver room. Their most important need to fill in the first round, however, seems to be left guard.

If the Cowboys could find an immediate starter at left guard, a dominant player who can function as an effective run blocker and allow Dak Prescott to trust his left side once again, their offense would be back in business. We typically think of the Cowboys offense, and their line in particular, as a strength. But down the stretch in 2017 that simply wasn't the case.

As I've discussed before, there should be realistic options available with the 19th overall selection, particularly Georgia guard Isiah Wynn. There is one player in this NFL Draft class they should consider moving up for if the price is right, though.

That player is Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson.

Make no mistake, Quenton Nelson is the best prospect in the 2018 NFL Draft class. He is a massive, yet athletic interior offensive lineman who cemented himself as the best guard in college football during his senior season with the Fighting Irish.

Nelson plays with an edge that you love from offensive linemen, especially from those you will be asking to run block often. He doesn't just open holes, he embarrasses defensive tackles. He doesn't just smartly use body positioning and footwork, he finishes his blocks and snatches souls. Plus, he shows the athleticism and agility to get to the second level to seal off linebackers.

Quenton Nelson works well in pass protection as well. Often labeled a weakness in his game coming out of high school, Nelson has shown vast improvements in his footwork, awareness, and balance in his pass set while at Notre Dame. He would be a day one starter in Dallas, and would take the Cowboys' offensive line back to their 2014-2016 form.

But how realistic is it that the Cowboys would move up for Nelson?

Well, not very realistic at all. In fact, I'd say it's more likely the Cowboys move back to take Will Hernandez or Isaiah Wynn than it is they give away future assets in such a Day Two-rich draft. If, for some reason, Quenton Nelson falls to around the 12th overall pick however, there could be an opening for the Cowboys to come up and snag him.

I don't condone trading up often whatsoever, but Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson leads a very short list of players I'd move up for if I were the Cowboys. Trading up for a guard seems like flawed logic, but considering the importance and impact he would have for this team, Quenton Nelson is well worth it.


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NFL Draft

Sean’s Scout: Iowa LB Josey Jewell A Hard-Hitting Depth Option

Sean Martin



Sean's Scout: Iowa LB Josey Jewell A Hard-Hitting Option for Depth

Much of what the Dallas Cowboys do at the linebacker position this offseason will be determined by their confidence in Jaylon Smith, which has not wavered since drafting him in the second round in 2016 - making his NFL debut this season. With Anthony Hitchens set to hit free agency and Sean Lee not getting any younger though, the Cowboys could use an injection of youth at LB.

The 2017 Draft marked the first time the Cowboys did not select a linebacker since 2004 (!), making it that much more of a priority this offseason. Should they target a mid-round option with the ability to step in and contribute right away, Iowa's Josey Jewell makes a ton of sense.

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"Iowa LB Josey Jewell is an incredibly instinctive player, reacting to plays with a rare mix of balance, burst, and physicality against the run."

This film clip and quote comes from my full scouting report on Josey Jewell at Slant Sports. Playing primarily the MIKE position at Iowa, Jewell will fit best in the NFL at either WILL or SAM - with the versatility to provide depth at both.

With these two LB spots being ones of need for the Cowboys, Jewell would add a enforcing presence to the second level of this defense, the likes of which have been missing in Dallas for some time.

A square player with adequate power in his hands and above average movement ability, Jewell is a magnet for the football against the run.

"...Josey Jewell plays with the stopping power that NFL scouts absolutely love out of any front seven players. Asked to play a lot of MIKE linebacker at Iowa, Jewell will be a physical presence for any defense to add..."

Jewell1 - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

Jewell is not only comfortable around the line of scrimmage as a sure tackler, flashing the ability to shoot gaps with great burst and technique. Jewell may be far from a "pass rusher", but he does attack blockers similarly, coming downhill to disengage violently.

"Jewell plays with textbook technique in pass coverage as well, playing light on his feet with the balance to hang with shifty receivers throughout the down."

Jewell's vertical movement as a WILL linebacker also make him an ideal fit for the Cowboys, as he could develop quickly into a starter on Nickel packages - requiring him to be one of just two LBs on the field. scout Lance Zierlein actually compared Josey Jewell to Sean Lee in his own scouting report. Outplaying his own second round draft status, I believe Jewell has a chance to do the same as a valuable third round grade on my 2018 NFL Draft Board.

"While Josey Jewell’s Iowa tape left no questions about his ability to move backwards with ease and attack forward, his lateral movement leaves some concerns."

It was ultimately Jewell's limitations as a rangy defender that pushed him down into the third round for me, which is an ideal spot for the Dallas Cowboys to be targeting a linebacker in this 2018 Draft. Jewell's floor would make him a noticeable contributor to the Cowboys' defense in year one, a top 100 prospect that should be an NFL starter in the near future.

Tell us what you think about "Sean’s Scout: Iowa LB Josey Jewell A Hard-Hitting Depth Option" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!


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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft: Would Dallas Consider A 1st Round CB?

Kevin Brady



Cowboys Draft: Would Dallas Consider A 1st

As has been talked about before, the Dallas Cowboys spent a plethora of draft capital on their secondary a year ago. By taking cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis with two of their top three picks, and then tripling down at corner with Marquez White on day three, the Cowboys overhauled their aging cornerback group.

While some fans still want the team to add another safety, drafting a cornerback in the first round seems out of the question.

Or is it?

Historically, 19th overall is a bit of an awkward place to be. In most drafts, teams are running out of first round grades, but drafting a player you've graded as a round two talent in the top 20 can feel like a reach. When put in situations such as these, teams like to trade back, acquire future assets, and feel more comfortable about where they're taking the player they want. The problem is, of course, that you need a team to want to move up to your spot.

Obviously there's a chance the Cowboys are completely cleaned out at receiver and linebacker by the time their on the clock. Regardless of the scenario, taking Georgia guard Isaiah Wynn is my plan A, but the team may feel differently.

I currently have four cornerbacks with first round, or late first-to-early second round grades. This list includes Ohio State's Denzel Ward, Louisville's Jaire Alexander, UCF's Mike Hughes, and Iowa's Josh Jackson. All four are deserving of first round consideration, but in the right situation, I'd have to think long and hard about taking the first three 19th overall.

All three are phenomenal players who should make an impact during their rookie seasons, but the question the Cowboys would have to ask themselves is: "do we have a place for this player?" Sunday Morning Wishlist: DAL Cowboys @ NY Giants 1

Awuzie looks like the CB1 of the future, and Lewis could be effective on the outside as well. Ward, Alexander, and Hughes are all shorter cornerbacks and wouldn't be too much of a change from what the Cowboys already have on the back-end. Still, Orlando Scandrick may be done in Dallas, and Anthony Brown provided more questions than answers during his Sophomore season.

The Cowboys could be put in a situation similar to that of the 2017 NFL Draft. When they finally got on the clock, they only had one first round grade remaining. That player was reportedly running back Dalvin Cook, and considering they had selected Ezekiel Elliott the year before, Cook wasn't ever an option.

I have to wonder that because of how last offseason went, if the Cowboys would even think of taking a cornerback early on in the 2018 NFL Draft.


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