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.
Report: Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch Visiting Cowboys
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.
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.
2018 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Meeting with Texas Safety DeShon Elliott
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.
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.
Cowboys Draft: PSU WR DaeSean Hamilton Fits Cowboys’ “Type”
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.
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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