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NFL Draft

2017 NFL Draft: Could This Stud Defensive Linemen Fall To The Cowboys?

Kevin Brady



Malik McDowell, Michigan State

Every one on planet Earth knows what the Cowboys need to improve on this offseason. At the top of that list is defensive linemen, and with the depth at defensive end in this upcoming draft class, most don't anticipate Dallas having much trouble doing so.

There is a chance, however, the Cowboys go in a direction other than defensive end when its time to make their first round selection. If this happens, the odds are they will look at cornerback, wide receiver, or tight end.

I would like to suggest a different position, one that they improved vastly in last offseason but could still use another upgrade, however. That position is defensive tackle, and the perfect player to fill this Cowboys' need is Michigan State defensive lineman Malik McDowell.

Last offseason the Cowboys drafted Nebraska d-tackle Maliek Collins and signed former Philadelphia Eagles d-tackle Cedric Thornton. While both players, and of course Terrell McClain, had fine seasons in 2016, adding an athletic freak like McDowell into the rotation could make a big difference for the Cowboys pass rush.

In my draft work over at Slant Sports, I recently completed a scouting report on McDowell. After reviewing the tape, I came away overly impressed with McDowell's ability to get to the passer from the interior line.

"McDowell is a patient pass rusher at times, setting up the blocker how he likes and then beating them with ease. McDowell’s ability to swipe hands off helps him greatly, but his quick swim is his most effective pass rush move.

On this play he uses that swim to perfection, forcing the center to power down to the right before swimming back to the other side."

nfldraft malik mcdowell 3 - Streamable

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McDowell also rushed the edge at times at Michigan State, something I explored in the scouting report as well.

"Going against Mike McGlinchey, who will more than likely be the top rated tackle in the 2018 draft, McDowell does a great job of swiping hands, dipping, and ripping around the edge. Kizer steps up, however, and does his best to get away from the rush. This is where McDowell’s relentlessness and motor shine through, as he refuses to be denied his opportunity for the sack."

nfldraft malik mcdowell 2 - Streamable

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I have not seen McDowell mocked to the Cowboys at all, especially considering how he doesn't match Rod Marinelli's prototype defensive tackle build, but I do believe he could be a valued addition to the Cowboys defense.

Yes, they have other, more urgent needs, but adding McDowell could give the Cowboys an interior pass rush they lacked in 2016. And McDowell/Collins together on the inside for years to come? That wouldn't be fair.

The question becomes, will McDowell fall to the Cowboys at 28? I think he is a first round prospect, but with the depth on the defensive line in this draft class McDowell could fall to the end of the round.

If Malik McDowell is sitting there at 28, it would be hard for the Cowboys to pass up on him.

Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and am currently a college student. Lets get going.

  • Ethan Chazin

    Love your writing Kevin but no way! DE is a definite NEED sorry of seeing Rogers shred our D in ’14 and ’16

    • Kevin Brady

      It’s a very good point, Ethan, but I believe McDowell could add pass rush production from the inside. It wouldn’t be as much as an EDGE rusher, of course. Thanks for reading, Ethan!

      • Brad Mundie

        McDowell can rush from the edge, he can play any spot.

    • Brad Mundie

      With Malik Collins, McDowell inside or Collins Irving inside Lawrence LDE McDowell RDE we would have a nasty pass rush. Or any Combination of Mayowa, Lawerence, Collins, McDowell, Irving….Our pass rush would INSTANTLY be nasty and we’d get to Rodgers.
      McDowell can play ANY SPOT on the line.

  • Brad Mundie

    Get him…I am on the McDowell bandwagon!

NFL Draft

Alabama LB Rashaan Evans Joins Dallas Cowboys List of 30 Visits

Sean Martin



Alabama LB Rashaan Evans Joins Dallas Cowboys List of 30 Visits

The Dallas Cowboys are the only remaining team in the NFL yet to sign an outside free agent, turning their attention towards what should prove a memorable 2018 NFL Draft from AT&T Stadium. Without filling any roster holes with top FA talent, the Cowboys' biggest loss of the offseason remains LB Anthony Hitchens - joining Matt Eberflus with the Colts.

The remaining market on free agent linebackers looks bleak, and without Eberflus on their sidelines the Cowboys may not feel as confident in their ability to acclimate newly acquired talent here. In search of another starter alongside Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith, the Cowboys will be hosting Alabama prospect Rashaan Evans for a pre-draft 30 visit.

Bobby Belt on Twitter

Cowboys pre-draft visitors: WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama OG Will Hernandez, UTEP OL Kolton Miller, UCLA (@TonyPauline) RB Nyheim Hines, NC State (@TheWolfpacker) WR Daurice Fountain, Northern Iowa (@ConnorNFLDraft)

Evans is just the latest Crimson Tide defender to rise up draft boards as a hard-hitting linebacker that plays as a magnet for the football. This is a player with the ceiling to potentially step in for Lee or Smith should he be called on early in his Cowboys career, along with the talent floor to blend in with this team's projected starters at WILL and MIKE to add speed and tenacity to Rod Marinelli's unit.

The jostling for quarterback prospects at the top of the draft has already begun, with as many as five quarterbacks coming off the board before Dallas picks at 19th overall. Already planning on addressing their offensive line depth in free agency, the chances of an impact defender sliding to the Cowboys are increasing.

While there is no denying that Evans' presence would be felt from day one at The Star, I've already gone on record in naming him a "Player to Avoid at 19th Overall".

"Depth can be found at LB throughout this 2018 class, making Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds the only players I would consider with pick #19 at this position. Additionally, I've graded Evans as a third round player."

Should Edmunds or Smith be the linebackers that the Cowboys are in position to draft, this conversation changes entirely. Unlike Evans, these two prospects would be the "best available players at a position of need" that the Cowboys could target in the first round.

Rashaan Evans undoubtedly benefited greatly from the talent level of his surrounding Alabama defense - which will send multiple starters to the NFL again this season. Making enough plays to certainly be one such starter, Evans may prove in a tough spot to grab for the Cowboys come draft time.

This won't stop America's Team from doing their due diligence on a prospect that could help take their defense to another level, particularly against the run. Evans is officially on the Dallas Cowboys' radar, and could be their first LB selected in round one since Bobby Carpenter in 2006.

The Cowboys will also be meeting with Evans' Alabama teammate Calvin Ridley. Amazingly, they have not selected any player out of Alabama since 2001 (Tony Dixon). Planning valuable meetings with the draft's top receiver and one of its best linebackers gives SEC fans of the Cowboys hope that this streak will end next month.

Tell us what you think about "Alabama LB Rashaan Evans Joins Dallas Cowboys List of 30 Visits" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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NFL Draft

2018 NFL Draft: Cowboys to Hold Visit with UCLA Tackle Kolton Miller

Sean Martin



2018 NFL Draft: Cowboys to Hold Visit with UCLA Tackle Kolton Miller
(Jacob Snow/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Dallas Cowboys have been frustratingly unsurprisingly quiet through the start of free agency, as their opportunity to improve at the AT&T Stadium hosted 2018 NFL Draft is rapidly approaching. Offensive line depth remains a team need for the Cowboys, one they're actively looking to address by visiting free agent Guard Marcus Martin while planning a pre-draft visit with UCLA Tackle Kolton Miller.

Bobby Belt on Twitter

I'm told UTEP Guard Will Hernandez is another of Dallas' 30 pre-draft visitors. Hernandez joins Alabama WR Calvin Ridley and UCLA G/T Kolton Miller on the list of reported visitors for the #Cowboys. Since 2014, 14 of Dallas' 35 picks (40%) have been pre-draft visitors.

Protecting one of the top quarterbacks available in the draft in Josh Rosen through college, Kolton Miller absolutely blew up the Combine in Indianapolis - entering the draft as one of the most athletic available linemen.

It is this athleticism and versatility that the Dallas Cowboys should absolutely be looking for, if trying to add another "blue chip" player to an offensive line already featuring LT Tyron Smith, C Travis Frederick, RG Zack Martin, and RT La'el Collins.

Kolton Miller Longest Offensive Lineman Broad Jump 2018 NFL Combine

Kolton Miller with the broad jump world record for an offensive lineman at 10 1 wow

Tyron Smith's health (along with the level of play the Cowboys received at his spot in his absence) and the FA status of Jonathan Cooper are both reasons the Cowboys should consider adding a new, controllable option to their dominant offensive line. Whether this is with the 19th overall pick, or later on with a prospect like Miller, will depend on how the board falls through the first 18 picks of the draft.

With ten total picks coming in, the Cowboys could be positioning themselves for a move up the board to land an impact defender, or an additional piece for Kris Richard to work with in the defensive backfield. Staying home at 19th overall and selecting a player capable of playing swing tackle would not only be a safe option for the Cowboys, but a smart one with Ezekiel Elliott returning full-time to the lineup in 2018.

Without Elliott for six games in 2017, the Cowboys still managed nine wins. This is a point lost to most of Cowboys Nation, especially those watching the entire playoffs without their team in it, only to watch the Eagles hoist the Lombardi. Elliott's impact on each's week game plan for Dallas is hard to understate, and the Cowboys' trust in him begins up front.

Testing as an elite athlete with the film to match at tackle in the Pac 12, Kolton Miller should be a welcome addition to America's Team - getting the opportunity to learn the Cowboys' way with a trip to The Star in his future.

Tell us what you think about "2018 NFL Draft: Cowboys to Hold Visit with UCLA Tackle Kolton Miller" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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NFL Draft

Can Powers of Persuasion Help Make Will Hernandez a Cowboy?

Brian Martin



Can Powers of Persuasion Make Will Hernandez a Dallas Cowboy?

There is no shortage of NFL hopefuls who would like to become a member of the Dallas Cowboys in the 2018 NFL Draft. But, not one of them have used their powers of persuasion to make their intentions known as much as former UTEP offensive guard Will Hernandez.

Throughout the entire draft process, Will Hernandez has done nothing but stand out when given the opportunity. He first started to make waves at the 2018 Senior Bowl, where he pretty much dominated his competition. Then, he improved his draft stock even more by putting on a show at the Scouting Combine.

The 6'2", 330 pound offensive guard has likely cemented himself as a surefire first-round draft pick and is arguably the second-ranked OG in the entire 2018 draft class. He is a plug-and-play prospect for any team who drafts him, but he has made his intentions well known that he would love to play for the Dallas Cowboys.

Back in February, Will Hernandez was spotted hanging out with the Cowboys bookend offensive tackles, Tyron Smith and La'el Collins, to see the premiere of the movie Death Wish, starring Bruce Willis.

Will Hernandez on Twitter

@PujolsFive Cowboys fans will appreciate this post!! ⭐️ Movie Premiere #Deathwish Great movie!

To see Will Hernandez rubbing elbows with a few of the Dallas Cowboys talented offensive lineman only strengthened the connection for Hernandez becoming a draft pick by America's Team. But, this wasn't the only time the former UTEP offensive guard was seen out with a Cowboys player.

In March, he was once again seen out on the town with the Cowboys All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith.

All of this can probably be chalked up to a current player hanging out with an NFL hopeful, but as a Cowboys fan you want to believe it's more than just a coincidence.

The Dallas Cowboys without a doubt need a new starting left guard. It can be argued it's the team's biggest need this offseason and Will Hernandez fits the bill to a T. He would immediately upgrade the entire offensive line and solidify the unit for years to come.

The only problem is, the Dallas Cowboys have already invested quite a bit in their offensive line and taking Will Hernandez in the first round would be considered by some as overkill. I for one wouldn't be opposed to taking him at 19 if he is the top rated player when the Cowboys are on the clock.

It's hard to know if seeing Will Hernandez hanging out with Tyron Smith and La'el Collins improves his chances of being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, but it definitely doesn't hurt. Offensive lines around the NFL perform at their best when they play as a cohesive unit, so developing a bond already could be viewed as a good thing.

Who knows, maybe Will Hernandez's powers of persuasion will pay off and end up being the deciding factor to help him become the next first-round offensive lineman drafted by the Dallas Cowboys.

Do you read anything into Will Hernandez hanging out with Cowboys players?

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