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2017 Mock Draft Challenge: Your Chance To Be The Dallas Cowboys GM

Brian Martin

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Dallas Cowboys Hold 28th Overall Pick in 2017 NFL Draft 1

How many of you have claimed that you could've done a better job as the General Manager for the Dallas Cowboys in regards to drafting players?

I'll be completely honest and say that I'm guilty of such an accusation. I'm sure there are plenty of you out there that will admit to the same.

The Dallas Cowboys have done a much better job of drafting players the last several years, but Jerry Jones still receives a lot of flak for the way he is handles the draft as the GM/Owner.

Now, I know it's still early to be doing mock drafts, but I thought it would be fun if we all had the chance to play GM for once and select the players we would personally choose for the Dallas Cowboys.

Of course, there has to be rules. To keep things as fair as possible for this exercise we will use CBS Sports player rankings to help us decide where each individual player will be available when it's the Cowboys turn to draft.

Okay, this is how it will work. You have to draft a player that is within the correct slotted area. For instance, the Cowboys have the 28th overall draft pick in the first round, so you can't draft anybody that is ranked lower than 28th. This will continue through all seven rounds until you have completed the draft for the Dallas Cowboys.

Simple enough, right? It's a little bit more difficult than you might think.

Below is my attempt at playing GM for the Dallas Cowboys using the CBS Sports player rankings.

Round 1 (28th overall) - Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn

Round 2 (60th overall) - Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA

Round 3 (92nd overall) - Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State

Round 4 (132nd overall) - Jeremy Sprinkle, TE, Arkansas

Round 6 (212th overall) - Xavier Woods, S, Louisiana Tech

Round 7 (231st overall) - Treyvon Hester, DT, Toledo

Round 7 (249th overall) - Joe Williams, RB, Utah

With the Cowboys first-round draft pick I decided to try and improve the pass rush with the selection of Carl Lawson. Lawson has an injury history, but I believe he is one of the more pro-ready pass rushers in this draft class.

Fabian Moreau will help improve the secondary and will probably end up being a starter as a rookie. He has the size, speed, and fluidity that you look for in a cornerback and I think he will make an instant impact his first year in the NFL.

In the third round I decided to give Dak Prescott another weapon in the receiving game by drafting Chris Godwin. I think Godwin will be an upgrade over both Terrance Williams and Brice Butler, and also help Dez Bryant see less double coverage.

This is where things started to get a little bit more difficult. There are a lot of players that I like in this slotted area, but I decided to go with Jeremy Sprinkle because of my concerns at the tight end position. Geoff Swaim and James Hanna will be returning from serious injuries, and Rico Gathers is a huge question mark. Sprinkle could be that #1 TE after Jason Witten's contract expires after the 2017 season.

In the six round decided to add depth to the safety position with Xavier Woods. I think Woods will continue to impress coaches and scouts this off-season and he could be a steal in the sixth round.

The Dallas Cowboys hold two seventh round draft picks. With the first one I added Treyvon Hester, an athletic defensive tackle that I think Rod Marinelli will mold into a good rotational player. Hester is the penetrating type of defensive tackle that Marinelli prefers along his defensive line.

With the Cowboys final draft pick I decided to add a little depth to the running back position with the selection of Joe Williams. Williams would be an excellent complementary back to Ezekiel Elliott. He is a threat to score any time he touches the ball and is a tough runner between the tackles despite his size.

Well, there you have it. Now that you have seen how I would draft for the Dallas Cowboys, it's your turn.

Use the comment section below to share what you would do as the GM of the Dallas Cowboys using the CBS Sports player rankings.



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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57 Comments

57 Comments

  1. Donny Cook

    January 24, 2017 at 7:36 am

    Round 1….Damarcus Walker….DE/DT…..He can play inside and out, Demarcus Lawerence has not lived up to that ‘QB Hunter’ label on his draft…Dallas needs a double digit sack artist.

    Round 2… Raekwon McMillan, ILB, Ohio State excellent for depth, can see him as a starter, however would like to see him improve in pass coverage, but solid against the run. when Dallas subs, he’s a starter regardless, would not be surprised at all if can he play all 3 linebacker positions

    Round 3…. Cameron Sutton, CB, Tennessee, he’s a physical corner, teams usually avoided the corner he was in) With Carr and Claibornes future unknown, best to draft one.

    Round 4… Jeremy Sprinkle, TE, Arkansas good size, excellent blocker, Witten isn’t getting any younger sadly

    Round 6…. Josh Reynolds, WR, Texas A&M…TWill’s contract is up…Brice Butlar’s contract is up, at 6’4 190…would like to see him pack on 15-20 lbs in the offseason..other then that..would love to see him opposite of Dez Bryant and Cole Beasley

    Round 7….. Zach Banner, OT, USC , a mammoth individual to see the least, listed at 6’9 344, would love to see him on Dallas O-line, Doug Free is who Doug Free is, not getting any younger and his penelties are just killer for Dallas offense. You can’t rely on Chaz Green to stay healthy. While he’s played on the left side at times for the Trojans, Banner is probably more of a smash-mouth right tackle for the NFL. He has a lot of strength at the point attack and obviously is a massive blocker. Banner showed some athleticism by playing some basketball at USC

    Round 7…Like you, I can see Dallas getting Trayvon Hester

    Undrafted pet cats

    Barry Sanders, RB, Oklahoma State no I am not kidding, name alone, DMC’s contract is up, Dunbars is up, Alfred Morris’s contract is up next year…good for depth

    Jason Hatcher, DE, Kentucky Hatcher was stuck behind Bud Dupree and Za’Darius Smith in 2014, but the backup still managed 28 tackles with 5.5 for a loss and 1.5 sacks, you can never have enough pass rushers

    Tony Bridges, CB, Ole Miss for depth

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      January 24, 2017 at 9:02 am

      Donny, I would be on board with your draft. I’m not a big fan of Walker’s though. I see him more as a DT than a DE. He’s not very explosive off the edge, but would probably be a good 3-tech for the Cowboys.

      I’m also not real sure about taking a linebacker so early. That’s the one position that the Cowboys are pretty deep.

      • Donny Cook

        January 24, 2017 at 2:24 pm

        I think Walker would be a huge upgrade over Tyrone Crawford, I am not trying to down Crawford because last 2 years he’s had 9.5 sacks, but Walker is one of those pass rushing DT’s at 3 tech we need, I know we got depth at linebackers but I can state the case for Raekwon, at 6’2 243, he’s got good size, never gives up on the play, can rush the passer, can stuff the RB, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7Txm41fQ5Q you can mute it, his highlights, seems allot like the the way Sean Lee plays

        • Brian Martin

          Brian Martin

          January 24, 2017 at 2:39 pm

          I agree that Walker might be an upgrade over Tyrone Crawford, but Crawford isn’t likely going anywhere because of his contract and the Cowboys drafted a 3–tech last year, Maliek Collins.

          Don’t get me wrong I like McMillan. I just don’t know if the Cowboys would invest so highly in a linebacker with the starting spots all but locked down.

  2. Erie Adams

    January 24, 2017 at 7:46 am

    using standard CBS Rankings witch I tend to find VERY unlikely I always use Matt Millers Rankings since he is always closest to the draft’s but for this purpose only
    I do see Mathis and Hendrickson both ALOT higher closer to draft time but if Cowboys draft fell like this then I would be one happy happy camper

    28: R1P28

    CB

    MARLON HUMPHREY

    ALABAMA

    60: R2P28

    S

    BUDDA BAKER

    WASHINGTON

    92: R3P28

    TE

    JAKE BUTT

    MICHIGAN

    132: R4P27

    EDGE

    JOE MATHIS

    WASHINGTON

    212: R6P27

    EDGE

    TREY HENDRICKSON

    FLORIDA ATLANTIC

    231: R7P10

    QB

    JOSHUA DOBBS

    TENNESSEE

    249: R7P28

    S

    DALLAS LLOYD

    STANFORD

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      January 24, 2017 at 9:04 am

      I prefer Matt Miller’s rankings as well. I honestly don’t see Marlon Humphrey available in the first round for the Cowboys, but if he is I would absolutely write his name down on the draft card.I also kinda doubt that Baker is there in the second. I could see him going in the first round.

    • Erie Adams

      January 24, 2017 at 11:17 am

      Cheating and using Matt Millers BB on this draft

      28: R1P28
      EDGE DEREK BARNETT
      TENNESSEE one of the top 4 Edge Rushers in this draft Slides a bit and Dallas Runs to the Podium
      60: R2P28
      DL MALIK MCDOWELL
      MICHIGAN STATE has his up and down moments that caused him to slide down a little as well but with Rods coaching he could be a first rd talent with a 2nd rd pick
      92: R3P28
      CB CHIDOBE AWUZIE
      COLORADO very good Cb not talked about a lot could be day 1 starter
      132: R4P27
      WR DEDE WESTBROOK
      OKLAHOMA Dez 2.0 tall fast good route running comes with baggage not as much as Nixon from OK does but just like Dez did coming out of college
      212: R6P27
      RB JAMES CONNER
      PITTSBURGH Beat Cancer and can replace DMC with ease
      231: R7P10
      LB RILEY BULLOUGH
      MICHIGAN STATE Home run hitter who some times is WILD and takes him self away from the play but with Rods Coaching just like his team mate can be Sean Lee 2.0
      249: R7P28
      QB CHAD KELLY
      OLE MISS was projected to be top 3 qb last year when talking bout 2017 draft needs work but would be better then Kellen and Dirty Sanchez as a backup

      • Brian Martin

        Brian Martin

        January 24, 2017 at 11:23 am

        This would be an excellent draft for the Dallas Cowboys. However, I don’t see Barnett or McDowell available for the Cowboys in the first round. I think both players get drafted before the Cowboys on the clock at 28.

        • Erie Adams

          January 24, 2017 at 12:25 pm

          So do I but Collins could very well drop to Rd 2 with alot of inconsistency and we could see 3 or 4 qb’s go in rd 2 as well and now Steelers Big Ben throwing a wrench in things as well

          • Brian Martin

            Brian Martin

            January 24, 2017 at 1:54 pm

            That’s why these mock drafts are so fun. There are so many unknown variables that come into play when trying to figure out where each player will get drafted.

  3. Saul molina

    January 24, 2017 at 8:15 am

    I would try to move up and get Solomon Thomas or Derek barrnett

    • Erie Adams

      January 24, 2017 at 8:46 am

      Solomon will be top 10 pick Barnett could fall to mid 20’s

      • Saul molina

        January 24, 2017 at 8:49 am

        We have to move around we have to get someone of that caliber

        • Saul molina

          January 24, 2017 at 8:49 am

          We have to move around we have to get someone of that caliber

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      January 24, 2017 at 9:08 am

      I’m not as big as a fan of Solomon Thomas as a lot of people. I think he would be better as a defensive tackle in the Cowboys 4-3 scheme. And I honestly don’t like the idea of moving up in the draft for anybody. This draft is deep at the defensive end and cornerback position.

      • Saul molina

        January 24, 2017 at 9:25 am

        If we could get the top corner or maybe the second top corner I would agree but there are more questions at corner in this draft than defensive end

        • Brian Martin

          Brian Martin

          January 24, 2017 at 10:00 am

          This is actually pretty deep class of cornerbacks.

          • Saul molina

            January 24, 2017 at 10:07 am

            If my cowboys are smart they will go defensive end and pick up a corner in free agency maybe Tremaine Johnson

          • Brian Martin

            Brian Martin

            January 24, 2017 at 10:20 am

            I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cowboys signed a DE and CB in free agency

          • Saul molina

            January 24, 2017 at 10:31 am

            It would be smart to draft Solomon Thomas or Derek Barnett and get trumaine Johnson and resign MO Claiborne then you have a he’ll of a secondary

          • Brian Martin

            Brian Martin

            January 24, 2017 at 10:39 am

            The Cowboys would likely have to trade up to draft Solomon Thomas or Derek Barnett and I just don’t see them doing that because they would have to give up too much. This is a deep defensive end draft class and they can find good players without trading down.

          • Saul molina

            January 24, 2017 at 10:50 am

            If they trade up to like 15 they won’t have to give up that much

          • Brian Martin

            Brian Martin

            January 24, 2017 at 10:55 am

            That would likely take their first and second round draft picks. That’s too much for me

          • Saul molina

            January 24, 2017 at 11:00 am

            Nah first and fourth that would work

          • Brian Martin

            Brian Martin

            January 24, 2017 at 11:11 am

            I think that’s wishful thinking, but if that’s the case I would be on board

          • Erie Adams

            January 24, 2017 at 11:20 am

            13 spots is FAR more then adding a 4th rd pick would cost 1 and 2 and could be a 6th too 1 & 2 only gets you like 5 spots so no way a 1 & 4 gets you 13

          • Brian Martin

            Brian Martin

            January 24, 2017 at 11:24 am

            It could be done with this year’s first and next years first, but there’s not a player in this draft I would do that for with the exception of Myles Garrett.

  4. Kevin Zanella

    January 24, 2017 at 8:52 am

    28 David Njoku. TE. Miami 6’4′ 240. Athletic Freak would give immediate upgrade and stretch capability to the position.

    60 Jourdan Lewis, CB. Michigan. 5’10” 186. Sticky coverage guy who is actually better overall than his much more bally hooed teammate Jabrill Peppers.

    92. Joe Mixon, RB. Oklahoma. 6’1″ 226. Look no further than what Atlanta did with two explosive RB’s working in tandem. Mixon had off field issues and will slide because of it. He is supremely talented and could help in kicing game as well.

    132. Daeshon Hall, DE. Texas A&M. 6’5″ 270. Most overlooked Hall while watching Garrett on the other side, but the kid, while he lacks some technical skills that are coachable, was still very productive.

    212. Xavier Woods, SS. Louisiana Tech. 5’11” 203. Simply put… the kid is a playmaker. He would compliment Jones perfectly on the back end. Great value here.

    249. Brandon Bell, OLB. Penn St. 6’1″ 233. Senior captained the Nittany Lions on defense and was argubly their best player on defense. Value pick.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      January 24, 2017 at 9:10 am

      Kevin, This is a great draft. I don’t know if the Cowboys will even have Mixon on their draft board. I’m not sure they would want to deal with the negative publicity that he would bring to the organization, especially after what they went through with Greg Hardy.

  5. nick

    January 24, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Get Sidney jones some how some way. Trade romo for the texans 1st rd pick and then trade both our 1st Rd picks for the Browns 2nd pick in the 1st rd. he’s a baller and playmaker. Let him pack on 5-10 lbs and practice against dez everyday and he will have no problem with bigger receivers. I think he’s going to be the best corner in this draft by far and the best to come out in a long time I’ve seen him play and watched his games. He’s from the same school as Marcus peters but I think he looks better than peters did coming out. He’s going to be a REAL shut down corner. He’s got Excellent all around speed, ball skills, back pedal, short area quickness and burst. He’s got confidence and swagger through the the roof. He’s got passion for the game hes a fiery competitor that always get his hands on the ball. Super tight sticky coverage. Uses excellent technique, very good at reading the quarterback and receiver, understands the game, you will see him run the route for the receiver a lot of times. Physical in run support for being a little “under weight”, he could get better with coaching though. Best of all he’s “the right kind of guy” never had any problems off the field and I hear he’s an excellent teammate and locker room presence. A few pounds under desired weight and an inch shorter than most corners doesn’t scare me away He’s a baller a FOOTBALL PLAYER. JERRY JONES, STEPHEN JONES, WILL MCCLAY, GARRETT LET’S MAKE HIM A COWBOY PLEASE !!!

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      January 24, 2017 at 10:02 am

      Nick, I also really like Sidney Jones. I’m just not a big fan of trading up in this draft. It’s deep in the positions that the Cowboys need to address.

      • Erie Adams

        January 24, 2017 at 10:50 am

        cowboys won’t have to move up for S Jones but IMO he is Byron Jones 2.0 S Jones is going to be CB 4 or maybe even 5 on most boards you got the 2 fla boys OSU guy Bama CB and OSU could have 2 guys above S Jones

        • Brian Martin

          Brian Martin

          January 24, 2017 at 10:58 am

          Erie, I don’t think Sidney Jones is like Byron Jones at all. Byron Jones is more of a safety, whereas Sidney Jones is definitely a CB. But you’re right, there are other cornerbacks just as good that might be available without having to trade up.

  6. Randy Martin

    January 24, 2017 at 9:50 am

    I love this! I started early doing mocks and it’s interesting to see how players are moving up and down the boards as we get closer. Big disclaimer we all know is Fanspeak drafts do a poor job of replicating reality but it is what it is so without further ado:

    1. Takk McKinley, DE-I know he is a bit undersized for DE at 6-2 but his speed on the edge will pay huge dividends and give us that guy we need.

    2. Charles Harris, DE- What??? He shouldn’t have been here but he was so I could not let him stay on the board and I double dipped. With McKinley and the other pieces we have on the line things are about to get real and Marinelli is ecstatic.

    3. Zay Jones, WR-Playing at East Carolina he may not have got the attention of some big name prospects but at 6-1, 200 lbs and yes 158 receptions his senior season for 1746 yards. He kind of works the middle of the field like Beasley but thinking about Bryant, Jones, and Beasley gets me excited! Unless T-Will signs a hometown discount he can walk and goodbye Brice Butler. If Andy Jones is ready I think we are in good shape with that group at WR.

    4. Kevin King, CB-Excellent boundary corner with the height and length Dallas likes at 6-3, 190 and played across from Sidney Jones at Washington.

    6. Aaron Jones, RB-Thinking about TE at this slot but the guys I was looking for were gone. The Dunbar experiment is over and it’s time to let him and McFadden walk. Had 1773 rushing yards at UTEP this season and has great hands as a receiver. 5-10 and 200 lbs. But looks durable and powers through tackles showing a fierce stiff arm. Yeah it’s UTEP but I like what I see.

    7. Ezra Robinson, CB- 2nd team FCS All American at Tennessee State has 5 INT’s this season with 42 tackles and will add needed depth of we lose some of our backfield through free agency.

    7a. Jonathan McLaughlin, OT- Represents an excellent choice as a backup with the potential to start at Tackle down the road. At 6-5, 300 lbs., Playing at LT, he can play either side he was a 4-year starter at VaTech.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      January 24, 2017 at 10:08 am

      Randy, I would absolutely be on board double dipping at defensive end if those were the two players available. I like Zay Jones, but I like Chris Godwin better if he still available in the third. Kevin King would be a great addition to the Cowboys secondary. A TE in the sixth round that I like is Hayden Plinke out of UT El Paso. He 6’5″, 265 and is a good in-line blocker and receiver. If you haven’t heard of him you might check him out

      • Randy Martin

        January 24, 2017 at 1:05 pm

        Funny you brought up Plinke. At that pick it was between Jones and Plinke, both out of UTEP. I would be fine with that pick as he has some strong upside. I went with Jones because I’m tired of Dunbar and we still have Hanna, Swaim, and Gathers. Not sure about Hanna’s health, Gathers development, but Swaim showed growth both as a receiver and blocker. If Swaim or Gathers is not the next Witten we have to find him as I think it’s JW’s last season. It will be interesting to see what Dallas might do if OJ Howard or David Njoku are available at #28. I think either could be the next Witten. we have to go BPA and not fill positional needs.

        • Brian Martin

          Brian Martin

          January 24, 2017 at 1:46 pm

          Randy, I’m really hoping that we have seen the last of Dunbar. There are some good backs in this draft that would be an upgrade.

          I’m actually a little worried about the tight end position. Swaim and Hanna are both coming back from serious injuries. And Gathers is still an unknown.

  7. Mark Pilling

    January 24, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    Using Fanspeak mock draft tool (with the CBS rating) worked out very well for us:

    28: R1P28
    EDGE DEREK BARNETT
    TENNESSEE
    60: R2P28
    EDGE DAWUANE SMOOT
    ILLINOIS
    92: R3P28
    CB KEVIN KING
    WASHINGTON
    132: R4P27
    OT CONOR MCDERMOTT
    UCLA
    212: R6P27
    S MONTAE NICHOLSON
    MICHIGAN STATE
    231: R7P10
    DL ISAAC ROCHELL
    NOTRE DAME
    249: R7P28
    WR JEHU CHESSON
    MICHIGAN

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      January 24, 2017 at 1:47 pm

      Mark, I would be on board with this draft.

    • Erie Adams

      January 24, 2017 at 2:24 pm

      i have drafted almost that same exact draft on FS before with exception of the Rochell guy I admit I have only scouted around 150 players so far so I have zero clue who he is I do love the KK in the 3rd pick I am very high on all the Wash players really high on Joe Mathis

  8. Erie Adams

    January 24, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    this is what I am Afraid the Cowboys will do

    28: R1P28

    TE

    O.J. HOWARD

    ALABAMA

    60: R2P28

    CB

    JOURDAN LEWIS

    MICHIGAN

    92: R3P28

    OT

    TAYLOR MOTON

    WESTERN MICHIGAN

    132: R4P27

    EDGE

    BRYAN COX

    FLORIDA

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      January 24, 2017 at 3:06 pm

      I don’t think that would be a terrible draft. Of course, it would all depend on what they did in free agency.

  9. Mike Capesius

    January 26, 2017 at 8:37 am

    1-Taco Charlton DE Michigan-Speed and strength to be every down player eventually.
    2-Amara Darboh-WR-Michigan- Great hands, speed and strength-very good size
    3-Jarron Jones-DT-Notre Dame-Penetrater from DT position
    4-Vince Biegel-LB-Wisconsin-May not have measurables but the guy is a tackling machine
    5-Jalen Myrick-CB-Minnesota-Speed to spare, can also return kicks
    6-Dallas Lloyd-SS-Stanford-Playmaker with good size and speed, besides, the name fits
    7-Sojourn Shelton-CB-Wisconsin-Smaller but fast and is a playmaker, also can return kicks

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      January 26, 2017 at 10:21 am

      Mike, I’m really not that high on Taco Charlton. He has all the measurables you look for in a DE, but he is continuously the last one off the line at the snap the ball and is still really raw as a prospect.

      I would be on board with the rest of your draft though

    • Erie Adams

      January 26, 2017 at 12:27 pm

      Darboh is one of my Pet Cats but no way I see him as a 2nd rd pick

      • Brian Martin

        Brian Martin

        January 26, 2017 at 1:30 pm

        I have him in that 2-3 round range

  10. Erie Adams

    January 26, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Did one last PRE Combine Mock with 1 trade

    28: R1P28

    S

    JABRILL PEPPERS

    MICHIGAN

    60: R2P28

    WR

    JOHN ROSS

    WASHINGTON

    68: R3P4

    CB

    JOURDAN LEWIS

    MICHIGAN

    92: R3P28

    TE

    JAKE BUTT

    MICHIGAN

    132: R4P27

    EDGE

    TREY HENDRICKSON

    FLORIDA ATLANTIC

    212: R6P27

    RB

    JAMES CONNER

    PITTSBURGH

    231: R7P10

    LB

    BEN BOULWARE

    CLEMSON

    249: R7P28

    QB

    TREVOR KNIGHT

    TEXAS A&M

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      January 26, 2017 at 1:25 pm

      This would be a fantastic draft! Although, I would like to see DE taken earlier.

  11. Randy Martin

    January 27, 2017 at 10:39 am

    Ok so I didn’t didn’t follow the rules and used Matt Millers board which is far more realistic. This may be the best draft yet though it is pie in the sky.

    VIEW EACH TEAM’S DRAFT

    28: R1P28
    WR MIKE WILLIAMS
    CLEMSON
    60: R2P28
    EDGE CARL LAWSON
    AUBURN
    92: R3P28
    CB CAMERON SUTTON
    TENNESSEE
    132: R4P27
    EDGE DAESHON HALL
    TEXAS A&M
    212: R6P27
    DL TANOH KPASSAGNON
    VILLANOVA
    231: R7P10
    RB DE’VEON SMITH
    MICHIGAN
    249: R7P28
    OT JUSTIN SENIOR

    I didn’t get a TE and simply followed the board. We all know Williams wouldn’t fall to 28 and Hall and TK aren’t going to fall this far given their Senior Bowl showing but they did this morning. I also would love to have De’Veon Smith as a backup to Elliot as he does everything well.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      January 27, 2017 at 10:58 am

      This would probably be the Cowboys dream draft. How could it not be? I’m right there with you on De’ Veon Smith. He’s more quick than fast, but I love how hard he runs the ball and he’s difficult to tackle.

  12. osnappp

    January 27, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    28. TreDavious White CB
    60. Obi Melifonwu SS
    92. Tanoh Kpassanon DE
    132. Josh Reynolds WR
    212. Chad Kelly QB
    231. Freddie Stevenson FB
    249. Brandon Bell OLB

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      January 27, 2017 at 6:27 pm

      This wouldn’t be a bad draft for the Cowboys. Although, I don’t think they would draft a fullback. They have Keith Smith and he had a really good year. Brrandon Bell is a little undersized also. I don’t know where he would play. Maybe outside linebacker?

      • osnappp

        January 27, 2017 at 9:35 pm

        Think they should do what they been doing and take the best player, I think Stevenson is the best fb in the draft, and that should be better than the 15th best at another position

        • Brian Martin

          Brian Martin

          January 28, 2017 at 9:58 am

          I believe they will continue to take the best player available approach unless there is a similar graded player at a need position.

  13. Richard Perry

    January 28, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    1… Haason Riddick OLB
    2… Zay Jones WR
    3… Tanoh Kpassagnon DE
    4… Damontae Kazee CB
    5… Xavier Woods SS
    6… DeAngelo Henderson RB
    7… Ben Boulware ILB

  14. Jason Pruett

    February 2, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    I like this draft exercise, Brian. In my latest post on my personal blog, I drafted for Dallas using my own composite big board, but the CBS Sports board is my go-to as a starting place every draft season, so they certainly share some similarities. My 1.0 is as follows:

    R1: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennesee
    R2: Desmond King, DB, Iowa
    R3: Amara Darboh, WR, Michigan
    R4: Carroll Phillips, OLB, Illinois
    R6: Brian Hill, RB, Wyoming
    R7: Brad Watson, DB, Wake Forest
    R7: Keith Towbridge, TE, Louisville

    Full write-up here:
    https://ringsidetosideline.wordpress.com/2017/02/02/drafting-dallas-2017-7-round-mock-draft-1-0/

    While it doesn’t quite fall within the rules for the exercise, I was actually able to reproduce the first four picks with the Fanspeak On the Clock Mock Draft Simulator using the CBS big board as I was going through the process of building my mock, so it’s certainly possible. Now, whether the Cowboys would actually draft some of these players is another question. But, as acting GM, I would be quite pleased with this class.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      February 2, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      Thanks for commenting Jason. I would definitely be on board with this draft for the Cowboys. I also read your writeup on your blog. Good stuff

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NFL Draft

3 Potential Day 2 Tight End Prospects for the Dallas Cowboys

Brian Martin

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3 Potential Day 2 Tight End Prospects for the Dallas Cowboys

By now it's no secret the Dallas Cowboys don't have a first-round draft pick in the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft. The Amari Cooper trade took care of that, meaning sitting through the entire Day 1 could be a little tiresome for us fans. But, Day 2 of the draft could get really interesting for the Cowboys, especially as it pertains to the players/positions they could target.

Today, I wanted to take a look at a few of the Day 2 tight end prospects the Dallas Cowboys could be interested in. This would be the second tier of TEs behind the likes of T.J. Hockenson, Noah Fant, and Irv Smith, all of which should be gone by the time the Cowboys are on the clock at 58th overall in the second round.

I really believe that if the Dallas Cowboys plan on drafting a starting caliber tight end in this year's draft class they are going to have to do it with either their second or third round selection. The TEs available beyond that point probably aren't much of an upgrade over Blake Jarwin or Dalton Schultz, which is praise in itself about the upside of the young TEs they currently have on the roster.

With all of that in mind, I put together a list of three tight ends I would personally target on Day 2 if I were the Cowboys. I tried to identify what they typically look for in a starting TE (size, speed, athleticism), while also taking into account the ones that are are versatile enough to contribute on all three downs in both the running and passing game.

Isaac Nauta, Georgia

Isaac Nauta

Georgia TE Isaac Nauta

Isaac Nauta is a former five-star recruit who never really lived up to his billing during his time with the Georgia Bulldogs. He is a top-notch blocker both in line and when split out wide, but due to the Bulldogs run heavy offense he never really developed into the pass catcher many envisioned him becoming. He possesses good speed and terrific hands to be a threat in the passing game though, even if he doesn't show a lot of separation ability on film.

Nauta looks and plays like a prototypical Dallas Cowboys tight end. He has the desired size (6'4", 246), athleticism, and skill set to step in and be the Cowboys TE1 as a rookie. His blocking ability alone will get him on the field early, but he also shows enough pass catching ability to be a threat in the passing game as well. Overall, Nauta is a pro-ready three down TE who is a high floor prospect with very little downside.

Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M

Jace Sternberger

Texas A&M TE Jace Sternberger

Jace Sternberger is a former three-star recruit and the definition of a one-year wonder. He was basically a complete unknown before the 2018 season and had just one catch for 5 yards during his two years at Kansas before deciding to transfer to JUCO. He didn't fare much better at Northern Oklahoma A&M, but Jimbo Fisher thought enough of him to bring him aboard a Texas A&M, essentially turning him into an All-American and first team All-SEC.

Sternberger is almost the exact opposite of Isaac Nauta, but still has the desired traits the Dallas Cowboys look for in their tight ends. Unlike Nauta, Sternberger is much more accomplished as a passing threat. He runs and moves like a big wide receiver and possesses good separation ability. Due to his size (6'4", 250) and athletic ability he is difficult to bring down after the catch as well. He's not as accomplished as a blocker as Nauta, but he shows good technique and will improve in time with added strength. He has the ability to be the Cowboys TE1 as a rookie.

Dawson Knox, Ole Miss

Dawson Knox

Ole Miss TE Dawson Knox

Dawson Knox is a former walk-on quarterback at Ole Miss, but spent the last two years playing tight end for the Rebels. He is one of the more difficult tight ends to evaluate in this draft class due to the unorthodox offense he played in and his usage in the system, but may actually be more pro-ready than many of us believe. He does have the size (6'4", 250), speed, and natural hands to be a complete three-down TE in the NFL and reminds me a little bit of George Kittle when he was entering the league.

Knox is still pretty raw as a player, but moldable and he has the upside to be one of the best tight ends in this entire draft class. He could probably compete to be the Dallas Cowboys TE1 as a rookie, but it might be better for him to be in a timeshare of sorts while he develops his God-given talent. Nevertheless, I have a hard time seeing him making it out of Day 2 of the draft, especially after he puts on a show at the NFL Scouting Combine. His talent might be too much for the Cowboys to pass up.



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NFL Draft

Could Cowboys Take Another 2nd Round Risk On DT Jeffery Simmons?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Could Cowboys Take Another 2nd Round Risk On DT Jeffery Simmons?

The Dallas Cowboys have taken a few risks when on the clock in the second round of the NFL Draft in recent years. Randy Gregory and Jaylon Smith, both important starters on defense, were drafted to the Cowboys after they went down on many teams' draft boards. In 2019, they'll have the opportunity to take yet another risk. Recently, one of the best defensive tackles in this year's class, Jeffery Simmons, suffered a torn ACL while going through a drill during his workout in Florida.

Simmons took to Twitter to share the unfortunate news that will drastically affect his draft stock only a couple of months before the Draft.

Jeffery Simmons on Twitter

Jeffery Simmons on Twitter

https://t.co/0NAzPv0bvY

Before the injury, Jeffery Simmons was seen as a top draft prospect. Some even envisioned him being drafted in the top 10. As a 21-year old defensive tackle from Mississippi State, Simmons had an impressive career during his time in college football. In three seasons he managed to rack up 157 tackles and seven sacks.

If one thing is clear it's that the Mississippi State product will be an impact player when he gets on the field on Sundays. His quick reaction on the get-off will still interest a lot of teams despite his injury. A sound defender on the running and passing game, he'll pay big dividends for whichever team decides to pull the trigger on him come April.

Due to their recent second round draft history, I can't help but wonder if the Dallas Cowboys will consider him when they're on the clock in the second round. This year though, there will be a big difference. Pick #58 will be the first time the Cowboys will be on the clock in this year's draft after trading away their first rounder for Amari Cooper last year.

It will be tough for them to wait until the third round to pick a player they could actually put on the field for the 2019 season. Specially considering the fact that they're a football team with title aspirations this year. Despite their history and the fact that Simmons will be one hell of a pro, I believe the team will not want to make such a pick in the second without a first round selection.

The team has a big need at DT, although Antwaun Woods and Maliek Collins were very serviceable in 2018. We'll see how tempted they are if Jeffery Simmons is still on the board when they're on the clock.

Tell me what you think about "Could Cowboys Take Another 2nd Round Risk On DT Jeffery Simmons?" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft: Film Notes on Maryland Safety Darnell Savage Jr.

John Williams

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Cowboys Draft: Film Notes on Maryland Safety Darnell Savage Jr.

The Dallas Cowboys defense was one of the better units throughout the season, but it wasn't without its flaws. An area where they struggled was in creating turnovers and at times against the run. As good as they were in 2018, they have positions where they can use upgrades; defensive tackle and safety. Xavier Woods showed a lot of promise in his second season with the Dallas Cowboys and should continue to be a prominent player moving forward, but Jeff Heath's full-time role may have run its course. Today we're going to look at Darnell Savage Jr, safety from Maryland.

Per College Football Reference, Darnell Savage Jr. stands at 5-11 and weighs in right at 200 pounds. In his last three years at Maryland he played in 35 games. He averaged 56.67 tackles, 2.67 interceptions (3.5 per season over his last two seasons and four in his senior season), and three tackles for loss over his final three seasons. He had eight pass deflections as a junior and two more as a senior.

Savage could be a player that's in play for the Dallas Cowboys at number 58 of the second round.

I watched the Texas and Temple Games from 2018.

Darnell Savage Jr. Film Notes

  • Maryland lined him up in two-deep cover two looks a lot and dropped him into different coverages. From his two-deep alignment, he would move into cover-3, cover-4, and man coverages.
  • Temple or Texas looked to avoid him as part of their game plans. The one time the either Texas or Temple through his way, he came down from his 2-deep look into man coverage and jumped a five yard out route and intercepted the pass, taking it to the end zone for a touchdown.
  • He's excellent in diagnosing bubbles screens and swing passes. On several occasions he met the ball carrier five yards behind the line of scrimmage and dropped him for a loss.
  • Savage wraps up in the open field against. Once he diagnoses the play, he gets moving toward the ball in a flash.
  • Willing to take on bigger blockers and receivers with the ball in their hands. Stymied the 6-4 225 pound Lil' Jordan Humphrey from Texas on a bubble screen after Humphrey had broken one tackle. Savage wrapped him up and brought him to the ground.
  • Temple attempted to run a reverse after the hand off and Savage came all the way from across the field to meet the runner for a six yard loss.
  • Plays with excellent speed and aggressiveness when he sees the play. Sometimes Savage gets caught watching the action on his side of the field and doesn't recognize what is happening in the middle or opposite side of the field.
  • Several times on the read-option, it appeared that he didn't recognize that the QB had given the ball away. It could be that he was schemed to take the quarterback, but one time the runner went against the grain to Savage's side of the field and he was unable to get to him before he scored a short touchdown.
  • Maryland had Savage cover tight ends and wide receivers and again, Temple and Texas didn't throw his way much at all.
  • Again, in a two-deep safety look came up from 10 yards deep to make a play on a toss to the running back and tackled him for a four yard loss. It's dangerous to run things to the perimeter with this guy. If he gets to the line of scrimmage unblocked, he's bringing you down.
  • When blocked on runs to the perimeter, he does a good job of stringing the play to the outside. Savage works his blocker and doesn't give up on the play. He fights to get unblocked in order to make a play.
  • When a team runs play action or hands the ball off out of shotgun or pistol formations, Savage is slower to react and diagnose the play. He'll need to get quicker in processing what's happening there at the next level.
  • One of the more impressive plays I saw him make was on a trick play. Temple attempted to run a wide receiver pass to the outside. Everyone bought the wide receiver reverse and even Savage did too, but was able to use his quickness and speed to make up five yards of separation that the Temple receiver had on him to be in good coverage. The Temple receiver wasn't able to come down with the catch and Savage's coverage affected that.

Summary

Darnell Savage Jr. doesn't have a ton of height, but he's an explosive player who can play down in the box and in two deep looks for the Cowboys. He's a guy that would pair well with Xavier Woods as you could use those two interchangeably depending on the matchup you face week-to-week. He's an aggressive player who uses his speed to get into the play and cause disruption. Savage could be around for the Dallas Cowboys at 58 and if they don't sign one of the big name free agent safeties, should be the selection. If he isn't a day one starter, he'd be starting by the end of the season.



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