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NFL Draft

4 Aggies Who Are Possible Draft Selections for the Dallas Cowboys

John Williams



4 Aggies Who Are Possible Draft Selections for the Dallas Cowboys

They've searched far and wide to get an understanding of this draft class in hopes of finding the best players possible for the 2019 season and beyond. The Dallas Cowboys, however, may find some of their best options right down the road in College Station.

During their pre-draft visits, the Dallas Cowboys hosted or met with three players from Texas A&M University. Jace Sternberger, Trayveon Williams, Kinglesy Keke, and Daylon Mack have all been discussed as potential selections during the 2019 NFL Draft, which starts on Thursday.

Each of these players fit a position of need for the Dallas Cowboys and each have a different cost attached. Let's talk about each one, where the Cowboys could grab them. and the likelihood of their choice.

Jace Sternberger, Tight End

The Dallas Cowboys have been rumored to need a tight end for the last two drafts. Heading into the 2018 draft, they still had future Hall of Fame inductee Jason Witten on the roster. Then he shocked Cowboys Nation with his seemingly sudden retirement just before the second round of the draft started.

The Cowboys didn't panic and stayed true to their pre-draft game plan. They did select a tight end in the fourth round of the draft; Dalton Schultz. As we head into 2019, there is still a large spotlight on the tight end position though Jason Witten again shocked the world and came out of retirement to return to the Dallas Cowboys.

Though they would seem set at the position, there is still some uncertainty. Witten is in an advanced NFL age. Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz still have a lot to prove.

That brings us to Jace Sternberger, who was the focal point for the Aggies passing offense and had a tremendous 2018 season. Last season, Sternberger caught 48 passes for 832 yards and 10 touchdowns. He averaged 17.3 yards per reception.

Here's his game log from 2018. You can see that he performed well even against the stalwarts of the SEC.

2018 Game Logs Table
Receiving Rushing
Rk Date School Opponent Rec Yds Avg TD Att Yds Avg TD
1 2018-08-30 Texas A&M Northwestern State W 5 56 11.2 2 0 0 0
2 2018-09-08 Texas A&M Clemson L 2 48 24.0 0 0 0 0
3 2018-09-15 Texas A&M Louisiana-Monroe W 3 42 14.0 1 0 0 0
4 2018-09-22 Texas A&M @ Alabama L 3 59 19.7 1 0 0 0
5 2018-09-29 Texas A&M N Arkansas W 4 51 12.8 0 0 0 0
6 2018-10-06 Texas A&M Kentucky W 5 95 19.0 1 0 0 0
7 2018-10-13 Texas A&M @ South Carolina W 7 145 20.7 1 0 0 0
8 2018-10-27 Texas A&M @ Mississippi State L 2 13 6.5 0 0 0 0
9 2018-11-03 Texas A&M @ Auburn L 3 59 19.7 0 1 4 4.0 0
10 2018-11-10 Texas A&M Mississippi W 4 76 19.0 0 0 0 0
11 2018-11-17 Texas A&M Alabama-Birmingham W 4 85 21.3 2 0 0 0
12 2018-11-24 Texas A&M Louisiana State W 5 75 15.0 2 0 0 0
13 2018-12-31 Texas A&M N North Carolina State* W 1 28 28.0 0 0 0 0
13 Games 48 832 17.3 10 1 4 4.0 0
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 4/21/2019.

Sternberger's athletic testing wasn't great, but he's an ascending player that could make an impact in the NFL. He's more of a positional blocker, but is willing to get physical and fight in the running game. Sternberger has a good feel for zone and man coverage and shows an excellent ability to make plays down the seem.

Many people think he could be gone by the time the Dallas Cowboys go on the clock in the third round at pick number 90, but I think 58 could be a bit early for the Cowboys to take a tight end. Given that there will be defensive lineman, safeties, and wide receivers available to the Cowboys around 58, I'd imagine they wait till later in the draft to take a tight end, if they take one at all.

Projected Round: Late 2nd, Early 3rd

Cowboys Draft Probability: 30%

Trayveon Williams, Running Back

The Dallas Cowboys aren't looking for a lead back. They've got one in two-time NFL Rushing Champion Ezekiel Elliott. What they do need is a reliable backup behind Elliott to take five to 10 touches a game to keep their lead back fresh.

Though diminutive in size at 5-9, 200 pounds, Running Back Trayveon Williams is a player that the Dallas Cowboys met with at the NFL Scouting Combine and could have some interest in.

Rushing & Receiving Table
Rushing Receiving Scrimmage
Year School Conf Class Pos G Att Yds Avg TD Rec Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg TD
*2016 Texas A&M SEC FR RB 13 156 1057 6.8 8 19 91 4.8 0 175 1148 6.6 8
*2017 Texas A&M SEC SO RB 12 173 798 4.6 8 20 192 9.6 0 193 990 5.1 8
*2018 Texas A&M SEC JR RB 13 271 1760 6.5 18 27 278 10.3 1 298 2038 6.8 19
Career Texas A&M 600 3615 6.0 34 66 561 8.5 1 666 4176 6.3 35
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 4/21/2019.

Trayveon Williams was a very productive player for the Aggies in his three seasons, scoring 35 total touchdowns in three seasons, including 19 in 2018. In 2018, he totaled 2,038 yards from scrimmage and 6.8 yards per touch. That's incredible production for a player who played in the SEC. Though he didn't have a great showing against Alabama, he ran with the toughness of a player with 20 more pounds on him.

2018 Game Logs Table
Rushing Receiving
Rk Date School Opponent Att Yds Avg TD Rec Yds Avg TD
1 2018-08-30 Texas A&M Northwestern State W 20 240 12.0 3 1 2 2.0 0
2 2018-09-08 Texas A&M Clemson L 17 31 1.8 0 3 40 13.3 0
3 2018-09-15 Texas A&M Louisiana-Monroe W 22 128 5.8 1 0 0 0
4 2018-09-22 Texas A&M @ Alabama L 8 31 3.9 0 1 6 6.0 0
5 2018-09-29 Texas A&M N Arkansas W 29 152 5.2 2 1 13 13.0 0
6 2018-10-06 Texas A&M Kentucky W 24 138 5.8 1 6 72 12.0 0
7 2018-10-13 Texas A&M @ South Carolina W 19 78 4.1 1 1 4 4.0 0
8 2018-10-27 Texas A&M @ Mississippi State L 10 26 2.6 0 4 45 11.3 0
9 2018-11-03 Texas A&M @ Auburn L 17 107 6.3 2 5 75 15.0 1
10 2018-11-10 Texas A&M Mississippi W 31 228 7.4 1 3 15 5.0 0
11 2018-11-17 Texas A&M Alabama-Birmingham W 20 167 8.4 2 1 8 8.0 0
12 2018-11-24 Texas A&M Louisiana State W 35 198 5.7 2 1 -2 -2.0 0
13 2018-12-31 Texas A&M N North Carolina State* W 19 236 12.4 3 0 0 0
13 Games 271 1760 6.5 18 27 278 10.3 1
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 4/21/2019. 

This guy is just a good football player. Against Alabama, Clemson, and Mississippi State he struggled, but those squads each feature defensive lineman that will be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Alabama's defensive line features three guys that could go by pick 100.

Though his athletic testing doesn't show it, he's a player with quickness and enough speed to get to the corner. He did test similarly to former Cowboys Nation draft darling Duke Johnson in the 40, vertical jump, and broad jump. Williams tape looks better than his testing, though it will be his size and his testing that keeps him in the range for the Dallas Cowboys to consider him.

I don't believe that the Cowboys will take a running back higher than the fourth round. The runner they select won't have a huge role in the offense because of Ezekiel Elliott. Therefore it makes it difficult to spend a premium pick (rounds 1-3) on a player whose role is limited before even steps foot on the practice field.

With the quickness and speed he displayed on tape, Williams could be a nice change of pace back for the Cowboys if they were to select him. The question is, does he fit what the Cowboys are looking for. We won't know until they draft, but if they don't see him as a potential three-down back, Williams may not be the runner that they're looking for in the fourth or fifth round.

Projected Round: Late 4th, Early 5th

Cowboys Draft Probability: 60%

Kingsley Keke, Defensive Tackle

One of the positions of question surrounds the defensive line and in particular defensive tackle. They've got Maliek Collins, Tyrone Crawford, Kerry Hyder, Antwaun Woods, and Christian Covington all slated to take snaps at defensive tackle. Given that Maliek Collins, Antwaun Woods, and Kerry Hyder will be free after 2019 and they could find cap relief from Tyrone Crawford next offseason, the Cowboys would have a seriously gaping hole at defensive tackle.

Texas A&M Defensive Tackle Kingsley Keke is a player that could fit into the Cowboys 2019 plans and beyond. Keke has experience playing all over the defensive line for the Aggies and was very productive in 2018.

Defense & Fumbles Table
Tackles Def Int Fumbles
Year School Conf Class Pos G Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds TD FF
*2015 Texas A&M SEC FR DL 7 2 6 8 0.5 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0
*2016 Texas A&M SEC SO DL 11 16 21 37 7.0 4.0 0 0 0 4 0 0
*2017 Texas A&M SEC JR DL 12 21 33 54 2.5 1.0 0 0 0 2 2 0
*2018 Texas A&M SEC SR DL 13 18 33 51 11.0 7.5 0 0 0 1 1 1
Career Texas A&M 57 93 150 21.0 12.5 0 0 0 7 3 1
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 4/21/2019.

His 7.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss are evidence of a disruptive player. Though he didn't register a sack against Alabama, he played well during the rest of his SEC schedule. Only one of his sacks and three of his tackles for loss came against non-Power 5 conference opponents.

Athletically, he didn't test great, but he tested similarly to Ohio State Defensive Lineman Dre'Mont Jones. Jones has been mentioned as a potential second round pick. Dane Brugler and Jonah Tuls have Keke projected in the fourth or fifth round.

Keke is a tall and long player, which fits the defensive line prototype for Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli. At 6-4 and 288 pounds, Keke has the size to play the 3-tech position and has experience playing the 1-tech and on the EDGE. This Cowboys coaching staff loves versatility from their defensive linemen.

Projected Round: Late 4th, Early 5th

Cowboys Draft Probability: 70%

Daylon Mack, Defensive Tackle

One final player from the Aggies that could hold some interest from the Dallas Cowboys, is 1-technique, Daylon Mack.

After seeing the way the Los Angeles Rams abused them up front in the playoffs, the Cowboys could use some beef on the inside. The question is, do they value the 1-technique defensive tackle position enough to spend a draft pick on one?

I'm not sure that they do.

Antwaun Woods was a pick up off of the Tennessee Titans practice squad. Before him, they used Maliek Collins as the 1-tech in 2017. And before that, they tried Cedric Thornton for a season. The Cowboys front office has had opportunities to address the 1-tech spot along their defensive line, but have shown little interest in doing so.

The Cowboys brass met with Mack during the Senior Bowl week and he could have a role with the Cowboys in 2019 if they made him a selection.

In 2018, Mack recorded 5.5 sacks and 10 tackles for loss for the Aggies. At 6-1, 336, you could imagine that Mack wouldn't test very well athletically, and he didn't. The only test where Mack scored better than the 25 percentile was in the bench when he recorded 30 reps of 225 pounds. That placed him in the 80th percentile among defensive tackles.

Read Kevin Brady's Scouting Report on Daylon Mack.

Projected Round: 5th Round

Cowboys Draft Probability: 5%

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Obvioiusly, it's possible that the Cowboys don't select any players from Texas A&M, but I found it intriguiging that they have shown interest in four of their top players during the draft process. If I had my choice of which they would select, it would be Kinglsey Keke in the fifth round. I think he has a lot of upside as an interior rusher. He wouldn't have to start in year one, but could be a rotational player that would figure into the competition at 3-tech in 2020.

There are several schools that have produced really good draft classes this year, but none has garnered more interest from the Dallas Cowboys than the Aggies of Texas A&M.

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could. Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.


NFL Draft

Cowboys Land CB in Matt Miller’s way-too-early 2020 NFL Mock Draft

Brian Martin



Matt Miller's 2020 Mock Draft Predicts Cowboys Strengthen Their Secondary

What better way to kick off the 2019 NFL regular-season and the start of college football then a way-too-early 2020 mock draft? Well, you're in luck. Matt Miller, one of my favorite draft analysts, just released his latest 2020 NFL Mock Draft for and you may be surprised as to who he selected for the Dallas Cowboys.

One of the reasons I enjoy Matt Miller's work above many other so-called "draft analysts" is because he has his ear to the ground and has a pretty good connection with scouts around the league. That kind of information is pretty invaluable, but he also has a solid understanding of team "needs". Add all of that up and you get a really solid guesstimate of who could be on a certain teams radar, in this case the Dallas Cowboys.

Let's take a look at who Matt Miller predicted the Dallas Cowboys could draft in the 2020 NFL Draft with their first-round selection. Miller set this particular mock draft according to current Super Bowl odds from Caesar's Palace.

25. Dallas Cowboys

Bryce Hall

Virginia Cavaliers CB Bryce Hall

The Pick: CB Bryce Hall, Virginia

Matt Miller predicting the Dallas Cowboys select Cornerback Bryce Hall with there first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft definitely seems like a plausible possibility. He knows the Cowboys can't afford to pay everyone and he even said as much. With Byron Jones and Anthony Brown entering a contract year in 2019 and with Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis having expiring contracts after 2020, Dallas' secondary could definitely need addressing.

The Cowboys know this as well which is why they probably attempted to add some developmental depth to the CB position through the 2019 NFL Draft when they took Mike Jackson in the fifth-round. Jackson has the attributes they look for in their corners, but in no way has he looked like he'd be ready for a starting role next season. That makes Miller's Bryce Hall selection a definite possibility.

According to Miller's 2020 mock draft Bryce Hall is the fourth secondary player to come off the board. There were three cornerbacks selected ahead of him and one safety. He does fit the mold Kris Richard prefers in his CBs (6'1", 200) and also has the physical playing style in press coverage Richard likes as well. All in all, this is a very solid prediction for the Dallas Cowboys.

Whether or not the Dallas Cowboys would choose to select a CB this early is unknown at this point. But, it certainly seems like a high possibility considering all the corners with expiring contracts in a year or two. I think the Cowboys could look into taking a tight end or a safety with their first-round pick as well, but again it's way too early to have any kind of clue as to how their draft board will look like when the 2020 NFL Draft rolls around.

I don't know about you, but I'll be keeping a closer eye on Bryce Hall this season just in case Matt Miller is correct. I'd like to get a head start to see just how well he would fit, or not, with the Dallas Cowboys.

Do you like the Bryce Hall selection for the Dallas Cowboys?

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NFL Draft

2020 RB Options for the Cowboys if Things Turn Ugly With Ezekiel Elliott

Brian Martin



2020 RB Options for Cowboys if Things Turn Ugly With Ezekiel Elliott

The Dallas Cowboys could have a Le'Veon Bell-type situation on their hands in regards to Ezekiel Elliott. It's been reported Zeke is contemplating a holdout until his financial demands are met by way of a contract extension. This could put the Cowboys between a rock and a hard place.

Ezekiel Elliott is technically still under contract for two more seasons because of the fifth-year option he carries as a former first-round draft pick. Threatening to hold out seems a little premature, but Zeke has the Cowboys by the short hairs right now, meaning the leverage is on his side.

This is a situation that could, unfortunately, turn ugly, and quickly.

Check out Ep. 6 of Cowboys Weekly - Segment 1 for more discussion from Inside The Star on Ezekiel Elliott's Hold-Out situation:

The Cowboys have several other mouths to feed and Zeke may not be at the top the list considering his continued immaturity issues off the field. His on-field production is undeniable, but so are the red flags that keep popping up. It may be time for Dallas to look for his successor and fortunately, the 2020 running back draft class is a pretty good place to start.

Let's take a look…

Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

Jonathan Taylor

Wisconsin Badgers RB Jonathan Taylor

Jonathan Taylor (5'11", 219) would probably be the ideal candidate to replace Ezekiel Elliott for the Dallas Cowboys. He is one of the more productive collegiate running backs expected to enter the 2020 NFL Draft and has the intangibles that are eerily similar to Zeke as far as size, speed, and power are concerned. Unfortunately, that likely makes him a top 10 selection, putting him out of reach of the Cowboys.

Taylor doesn't come without his warts though. As a true Junior, he's seen a lot of action in his three years as the starting RB for the Badgers. That wear-and-tear is a cause for concern because it could lead to durability issues once in the NFL. He also has struggled with his ball security. He's put the ball on the ground 12 times in the last two seasons, which will need to be cleaned up at the next level. But, there's no denying his talent.

D'Andre Swift, Georgia

D'Andre Swift

Georgia Bulldogs RB D'Andre Swift

D'Andre Swift (5'9", 215) is one of my favorite RB options in the 2020 draft class to replace Ezekiel Elliott if things turn ugly with the Dallas Cowboys. He doesn't have the same kind of production as Jonathan Taylor and is still somewhat under the radar because he's been stuck in a committee with the Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, and Elijah Holyfield the last two years. But mark my words, he will be the next great RB to enter the NFL out of Georgia. Swift could be as ideal of a candidate to replace Zeke as there is.

Dallas likes an inside runner with zone vision as well as someone who can be a threat in the passing game, and D'Andre fits the bill. Despite being a little smaller in size than Zeke, he still possesses the power to run inside. Then throw in his receiving ability, 32 catches for 297 yards and three touchdowns last season, and you have someone who is more than capable of replacing #21's offensive production. He's projected to be a late first-round pick, which could put him within striking distance of the Cowboys.

J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State

J.K. Dobbins

Ohio State Buckeyes RB J.K. Dobbins

J.K. Dobbins (5'10", 214) could be someone who is already on the Dallas Cowboys' radar as a potential Ezekiel Elliott replacement. They seem to have a liking for Ohio State running backs (Zeke, Rod Smith, Mike Weber) and could turn to another Buckeye to carry the rock. Dobbins, an all-purpose back and native Texan (Houston, TX) checks all of the boxes the Cowboys typically look for in their featured back.

Dobbins has the size, speed, and vision to be a featured back in the NFL. He has rushed for over 1,000 yards his last two seasons while splitting time with Mike Weber and has averaged about 200 receiving yards during that time span as well. He's not the most physical back, but he keeps moving his feet upon contact. He also needs to improve in pass protection in order to become a true three-down RB in the NFL. But his vision, shorter area quickness, elusiveness, and patience as a runner are all top-notch.

Travis Etienne, Clemson

Travis Etienna

Clemson Tigers RB Travis Etienna

The breakout season of Quarterback Trevor Lawrence, unfortunately, overshadowed the Heisman-worthy year Travis Etienna (5'10", 200) had in 2018. In his first year as a starter, he rushed for 1,658 yards and 24 touchdowns, all the while averaging an impressive 8.1 yards per carry. If he can follow that up in 2019 he could become the most coveted back in the 2020 draft class and become a really intriguing option for the Dallas Cowboys.

Etienne will probably need to add a little bit more "good weight" and muscle to his frame if he wants to be considered a featured back in the NFL. If he can accomplish that and not lose any of his elusiveness or speed he should climb up draft boards. If not, he may not be of much interest to the Cowboys because they already have a similar RB in Tony Pollard. He does possess plug-and-play talent though, making him a potential Ezekiel Elliott replacement.

Najee Harris, Alabama

Najee Harris

Alabama Crimson Tide RB Najee Harris

Najee Harris (6'2", 230) is yet another big, physical running back who has had to remain patient and wait his turn at Alabama, but 2019 could be his breakout season. With Bo Scarbrough, Josh Jacobs, and Damien Harris ahead of him on the depth chart the last two years, Najee saw limited playing time. But, when he did receive the opportunity to showcase his skill set he didn't disappoint. His physical talent could make him a top-5 running back come draft time.

Despite his limited playing time last the two seasons, he averaged over 6 yards a carry. He rushed for a career-high 783 yards and four touchdowns on just 117 carries in 2018 and should easily surpass those totals this season. In doing so he should become one of the more sought after RBs in the 2020 draft class. With the Cowboys, as Zeke's potential replacement, his physicality would pair nicely with Tony Pollard's slashing style. A Harris/Pollard duo could be just as productive as the Cowboys running game has been in the past.

Honorable Mention

The above five running backs are all potential Ezekiel Elliott replacements who I really like and will likely receive the most national attention due to the programs in which they play. But, they are only a few in what looks like a really strong 2020 RB draft class. Here a few honorable mentions you should also keep a close eye on as well.

  • Cam Akers, Florida State
  • Eno Benjamin, Arizona State
  • Kennedy Brooks, Oklahoma
  • Ke'Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt
  • Kylin Hill, Mississippi State

I believe any of these running backs mentioned above at any point in the article could be in play for the Dallas Cowboys if they choose to play hardball with Ezekiel Elliott over his want for a contract extension. The 2020 running back draft class has a plethora of potential starters and this could be in the back of the Cowboys mind when they're determining where they want to spend their money. Paying top dollar for an RB might not fit in their budget, even for one as talented as Zeke.

Do you like any of these potential RBs as replacements for Ezekiel Elliott?

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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft: Reviewing Kansas DT Daniel Wise

Kevin Brady



Cowboys Draft: Kansas DT Daniel Wise

Throughout the post draft media process, the Cowboys' decision makers have been adamant that they found multiple draft-able players in undrafted free agency this year. Each of which, of course, will have an opportunity to compete for a roster or practice squad spot this summer.

One of those players who almost certainly had a draft-able grade despite fall through all seven rounds, is Kansas defensive tackle Daniel Wise.

At 6'3" and 290 pounds, Wise projects as a 3-technique in the NFL, and should compete for that very role on the Cowboys defense. Wise is not an overly bendy or athletic player, but he has a good initial quickness which allows him to penetrate gaps well. Wise plays with excellent effort, having the type of motor that I'm sure Rod Marinelli valued highly during the pre-draft evaluations.

A strong and powerful interior presence, Wise can offer some upside as a pass rusher as well. He has quick, active, and heavy hands. When combining his hands with his get-off, Wise is a real threat as a pass rusher. Maybe his most impressive pass rushing quality, however, is the effort which he plays with. Never giving up on a play, you'll have to block Wise until the final whistle or he will threaten for effort sacks.

In college, Wise was often asked to be a two-gap defender from the 5-technique, but that's just not where he'll be at his best. Rather, he should be used in the role the Cowboys likely envision for him, allowing him to play with power at the point of attack and disrupt the running game.

But what are Daniel Wise's chances of even making the team?

The Cowboys made a concerted effort to improve their defensive line this offseason, specifically on the interior. By adding free agents like Kerry Hyder and drafting Trysten Hill 58th overall, Dallas has improved what was considered a weakness during the postseason a year ago.

Not all of these talented defensive tackles will make the team, though, it's simply a numbers a game. And cutting an undrafted free agent will certainly be easier to do than cutting someone who will be owed real money, or was acquired through premium draft capital.

Regardless, Daniel Wise will have the chance to prove his worth during training camp and the preseason. And based on how he projects through his college tape and physical attributes, he'll likely make those final decisions very difficult on the Cowboys' staff.

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