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NFL Draft

2016 NFL Draft: 3 Running Backs I’d Like to see Dallas Draft

Sean Martin



Cowboys Blog - 2016 NFL Draft: 3 Running Backs I'd Like to see Dallas Draft

While the talk of the Cowboys off season for the past weeks have primarily focused on the defensive needs, a few positions on the offensive side of things could still be addressed in the draft.

Outside of the obvious at quarterback, the team could look for an upgrade at wide receiver along with a rookie running back to bring in to split carries with the injury-prone Darren McFadden - who will be playing on the last year of his two year deal in 2016.

This running back class certainly has some intriguing names, and with the top names already performing at the Combine, here are three backs that I would love to see the Cowboys pick up at the right price:

Devontae Booker: Utah

Click here for a scouting report on Booker.

Booker may very well be my favorite running back in this class, as he seems like a perfect fit for the Cowboys running style. Booker possesses the vision to run in the zone blocking scheme mixed with the physicality to create big plays.

Pairing McFadden and Booker together in 2016 could give the Cowboys a very strong smash mouth identity on offense, as they try to get back to their winning ways of 2014.

Alex Collins: Arkansas

 Click here for a scouting report on Collins.

Collins, a product of Arkansas (where Darren McFadden played in college), is another interesting back in this class. While there is certainly room to grow, he has the balanced ability to not only punish defenders but also show impressive speed when hitting the hole.

Collins could benefit greatly from not having to be the featured back in Dallas for 2016. Averaging 5.6 YPC in college, Collins could quickly turn into a dominating back running behind the offensive line for Dallas in the coming years.

Paul Perkins: UCLA

Click here for a scouting report on Perkins.

Perkins is the least physical back out of these three, but he makes up for it with great balance and vision. While the Cowboys would still likely have to add more depth behind Perkins down the line, a formula for immediate success could be found in 2016 and beyond should McFadden see a contract extension and Perkins is added to the backfield.

The case has even been made here at Inside the Star that drafting a running back could help Dallas more than anything this off season. That would of course bring Ezekiel Elliot into the first round conversation, who is the best back available in this draft.

Whatever the team's plan may be at the position (#MillerToDallas), should they go through the draft, I hope the card is turned in for one of the three names above.

Now, what backs would YOU like to see in Dallas for 2016? Feel free to discuss this topic by leaving a comment below! 


Tell us what you think about "2016 NFL Draft: 3 Running Backs I’d Like to see Dallas Draft" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Pleasant NJ, no we're not how you think we are. Host of "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. You may @ me: @SeanMartinNFL.

  • Ethan

    Kenneth Dixon, RB, LA Tech

  • John Milton

    I am hoping that we can trade down to about the 8th spot then get Zeke from the Buckeyes and in the process pick up an extra 2nd round pick

    • Jess Haynie

      I think that's a very real possibility, John. Right now I think they're targeting Jalen Ramsey and if he's gone they just may look to move down to get a stud RB.

    • chrisvegas22

      John….that's a great idea and something they may do with the number 7 Niners. I believe trading with them and asking for the Niners second round pick would be awesome… but if Zeke is picked 6 then it would kind of backfire. We need Wentz or Goff to be available at 4 for this to happen tho. I say draft Zeke 4 and get 3 solid d players in FA.

  • Sean Martin

    Zeke would be great to have, just not getting my hopes up. Booker out of Utah I love though! As for Dixon, I'm always good for one or two incredibly bold draft predictions each year, and he is the focus of one of mine. Almost everyone is saying he will be a very solid, starting caliber back. I don't see it, and I think he will mostly be considered a bust.

  • Zac Fields

    <—– This guy is quickly falling in love with Derrick Henry.

    I'm not particularly high on Alabama runningbacks, but this guy is pushing 250 pounds running a 4.5 forty with a 37" vert. IMO, it's got Jerome Bettis written all over it… on paper, anyway. Not very many guys can carry 250 pounds and put down those numbers at the combine.

    Cheeseburger Eddie Lacy is probably at 255-260 after gaining a bunch of weight and the dude looks like he'd run a 4.9 forty right now. It's RARE to be able to carry that kind of weight and maintain your athleticism.

  • Randy terhorst

    They should bring in millar and if he's to much forte and if he still wants to much Chris ivory and than draft one of those younger guys later for down the road.

  • Jess Haynie User

    They should bring in millar and if he's to much forte and if he still wants to much Chris ivory and than draft one of those younger guys later for down the road.

    Ivory may be more expensive at this point due to age. Forte is 30 years old and Ivory's just 27 and coming off a career year.

  • Sean Martin

  • Zac Fields


  • Sean Martin

    Miller > Hamster

  • Jess Haynie

    McFadden > Miller last year.

  • Sean Martin

    Thus, McFadden + Miller = wins!

  • Sean Martin

    …that's enough math for a Monday though

  • Zac Fields

    I just think Miller is looking for a payday that will far exceed what the Cowboys would even remotely consider.

    I've been reading that Miller was offered $5M/year and he is still planning to hit free agency because he thinks he can get more. I think he'll peg himself as an under-utilized workhorse back with DeMarco Murray-like capabilities (if someone would give him the carries) and about 4 years younger than Murray. So he's going to be looking for something in the $6-7 million range or the closest he can get to the $8M/year contract Murray signed.

    For that price, I'm totally out.

  • Gabe Wright

    I like Collins. #WPS

  • Sean Martin

    I also like Collins a lot, and would be really interested to see if his style would fit in Dallas. Certainly behind this offensive line he shows the burst for a bigger back to be successful

NFL Draft

Report: Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch Visiting Cowboys

Kevin Brady



2018 NFL Combine: 3 LBs Who Impressed
Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

As the 2018 NFL Draft draws closer, teams are beginning to hold their official visits with prospects of their own choosing. The Cowboys have already met with a few different prospects thus far, and they've reportedly added a linebacker to that list this week.

Multiple reports are saying the Cowboys will meet with Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch this week, adding him to the list of 30 potential visits.

Marcus Mosher on Twitter

BoiseState LB Leighton Vander Esch will be a pre-draft visitor for the #Cowboys. Add him to your list of 30, per Tony Pauline.

Vander Esch is a bit of a controversial prospect in the draft world. As I've stated before, he tested like a freak athletically, and his combine profile alone would put him in the discussion on day one. The problems I have with Vander Esch have nothing to do with his athleticism, however, and everything to do with his actual football-playing ability.

On film, I see a player who struggles to get off blocks and will have trouble finding a home with the Cowboys. Still, I wouldn't mind the Cowboys drafting Vander Esch - that pick cannot come in the first round though.

Vander Esch is a long, rangy, and athletic linebacker who is at his best playing laterally and tracking down plays. As a blitzer, Vander Esch has some rather clear issues. He often runs directly into blocks and is unable to shed at the point of attack. I also don't think he is as instinctual a player as some of the other linebackers in this class, such as BYU's Fred Warner or Alabama's Rashaan Evans.

The way things are looking, however, Vander Esch is going to be a first round pick. And if not, he'll almost certainly be a top 50 pick. I wouldn't be very comfortable taking him at 19, and I'd have to think twice before even taking him at 50 for that matter.

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NFL Draft

2018 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Meeting with Texas Safety DeShon Elliott

Sean Martin



2018 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Meeting with Texas Safety DeShon Elliott
(Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire)

With more pressing needs on offense at guard and wide receiver, and defensively at DE or LB, the Cowboys' concerning lack of proven ability at safety has taken a backseat in this offseason's roster build. With the expectation that new Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard will elevate the play of the entire Cowboys' secondary, the team is doing their due diligence on safeties available in the 2018 NFL Draft - starting with Texas' DeShon Elliott.

Josh Norris on Twitter

It appears Texas S DeShon Elliott is visiting the #Cowboys today

With 63 tackles and six interceptions in his final season at Texas, Elliott took full advantage of being a starter in the Big 12 for the first time in his career, flying onto the NFL Draft scene.

Elliott is a well-balanced, average athlete with the upside to be targeted late in April's draft and make a difference.

If they had to play a game tomorrow, the Cowboys would be rolling with Jeff Heath, Xavier Woods, and Kavon Frazier at safety.

Finding an expanded role this season for Frazier should be a priority in Dallas, as should supplementing Heath and Woods with additional talent. DeShon Elliott would fit this group well, along with the Cowboys' scheme, given his range and disruptive ability.

Should Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie, Anthony Brown, and now Byron Jones help the Cowboys reach their full potential at CB, the Cowboys safeties will not be tested in single coverage up the field often. This is an area that Elliott was exploited in at Texas plenty of times, performing better as a true free safety or second-level player.

Continuing to add young talent at the right price is key to the Cowboys' ongoing rebuild on defense, now visiting with a local safety prospect that should be available to them in the later rounds. Texas' DeShon Elliott is officially a name to consider come draft week in Dallas.

Tell us what you think about "2018 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Meeting with Texas Safety DeShon Elliott" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft: PSU WR DaeSean Hamilton Fits Cowboys’ “Type”

Kevin Brady



Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Last week, I detailed what the Cowboys tend to look for when drafting a wide receiver. In terms of a combine profile, Dallas clearly has a "type" of wide-out they like to target.

The Cowboys certainly need to upgrade their receiving corps, but with the plethora of other holes to fill, they may not be able to do so until the 3rd or 4th round. Luckily for the Cowboys, there is at least one receiver which both fits their profile and should be available early on day three.

That player is Penn State wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton.

Kevin Brady on Twitter

Working on something for @InsideTheStarDC... here's the height, weight, 40 time, and 3 cone for every WR DAL has taken since 2010.

First, let's re-examine what the Cowboys like to look for. As you can see from the above graphic, the Cowboys draft targets all seem to fit a similar profile. If we treat Dez Bryant as their "ideal" draft pick, the trends become even clearer. Dallas wants to find a wide-out who is about 6'1" 205 pounds, runs nearly a 4.5 40 yard dash, and about a 6.9 three come time.

DeaSean Hamilton, coincidentally, is 6'1" 203 pounds, ran a 4.47 40 yard dash at the Penn State pro day, and ran a 6.84 three cone at the combine. Penn State's all time receptions leader stole the show at the 2018 Senior Bowl, putting all of "Draft Twitter" on notice to his talent.

An efficient and smooth route runner, Hamilton looks natural coming in and out of breaks, creating separation with his precise routes. The Cowboys don't have many receivers on their roster who can win with their route running, and adding a player like Hamilton would greatly help third year quarterback Dak Prescott moving forward.

With the ability to play in the slot, as well as potentially being a Z receiver for the Cowboys and a replacement for Terrance Williams, Hamilton would be an excellent draft target in the third or fourth round. And, keeping in mind how nicely he fits their typical draft profile, I'd expect Dallas to target Hamilton during the 2018 NFL Draft.

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