Connect with us

NFL Draft

5 SPARQ Score Standouts the Cowboys Should Consider Drafting

Brian Martin

Published

on

5 "Three Sigma Athletes" the Dallas Cowboys Should Draft

SPARQ is a rating system a lot of NFL teams, including the Dallas Cowboys, are are using to further evaluate potential prospects entering the NFL Draft each year. Watching and studying film is still the best way to evaluate NFL hopefuls, but analytics such as SPARQ are just another tool to help in the evaluation process.

In case you didn't already know, SPARQ is an acronym for Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction and Quickness. The SPARQ rating is deprived from a formula that combines results from standard measurements of the NFL Combine. It's basically a rating system that helps measure sport-specific athleticism and the results from these tests are combined and weighed using a formula specific to football.

There's no way of knowing how much value the Dallas Cowboys or any other NFL team places on these SPARQ scores, but it is a good resource to have in order to measure a players athletic ability. Today, I want to shine the light on a few of these SPARQ score standouts who the Cowboys could draft.

S, Sheldrick Redwine, Miami

Sheldrick Redwine

Miami S Sheldrick Redwine

Sheldrick Redwine may not be one of the top safety prospects in the 2019 draft class, but you wouldn't know it if you were solely assessing him off of his SPARQ score. According to 3sigmaathlete.com, he tested in the 95th percentile, making him the second best safety prospect in this year's draft class behind only Juan Thornhill.

Redwine is an intriguing option for the Dallas Cowboys if they miss out on one of the top safety prospects with one of their first two picks. He is an aggressive, versatile safety with the ball skills and run support ability to challenge for a starting role as a rookie. Right now he may be best around the line of scrimmage as a box safety until he proves he can be more consistent in his coverage responsibilities.

DE, Ben Banogu, TCU

Ben Banogu

TCU DE Ben Banogu

Ben Banogu has somehow managed to fly a little bit under the radar in this year's EDGE draft class, but his stock is rising. According to 3sigmaathlete.com he has the best SPARQ score of any edge-rusher, testing in the 97th percentile. That in itself speaks volumes to his athleticism, but it really hit's home when you take into consideration the players he edged out. Montez Sweat for instance created a buzz for himself at the NFL Combine, but Banogu ended up testing just a little bit better.

I can confidently say Ben Banogu is definitely someone the Dallas Cowboys are familiar with. He played right down the road at TCU where he tallied 34.5 tackles for a loss and 17 quarterback sacks in 27 games. He participated at Dallas Day for local prospects, which will give him a chance to show off his athleticism and prove why he should be a consideration for the Cowboys on draft day. His production and athleticism may be too much for them to pass up.

TE, Foster Moreau, LSU

Foster Moreau

LSU TE Foster Moreau

It seems as if the Dallas Cowboys may have their sights set on selecting a tight end at some point in the 2019 NFL Draft. Luckily, this is one of the deepest TE groups in recent memory and we could see as many as six get drafted in the top 100, three of which could go on the first-round. The Cowboys have the luxury of not having to take one early if they don't want to with Jason Witten now back in the mix.

With Witten back, Dallas could wait until Day 3 before pulling the trigger on what they hope to be their future TE1. A player they should target in that range is Foster Moreau out of LSU. He was seldomly used in the passing game during his time with the Tigers, but his athletic profile is really intriguing. He surprisingly tied with T.J. Hockensen with the second best SPARQ score this year and tested in the 85th percentile according to 3sigmaathlete.com. Only Noah Fant tested better.

DT, Trysten Hill, Central Florida

Trysten Hill

Central Florida DT Trysten Hill

Trysten Hill is someone the Dallas Cowboys have shown a pretty strong interest in so far in the draft process. Rod Marinelli personally put him through drills during Hill's Pro Day, and he was one of the Cowboys 30 pre-draft visitors. For me, that suggests he's a strong candidate to be a member of their 2019 draft class.

I've been a fan of Hill's for a while now and was really excited the Cowboys were showing an interest in him as well. But, even I was surprised when I looked up his SPARQ score. He tested in the 81st percentile and finished just behind Quinnen Williams at six amongst this year's defensive tackles according to 3sigmaathlete.com. With so many of Dallas' DTs under a one-year contract, a player with the athletic profile of Hill makes a lot of sense.

CB, Derrek Thomas, Baylor

Derrek Thomas

Baylor CB Derrek Thomas

Like Trysten Hill, Derrek Thomas was one of the Dallas Cowboys 30 pre-draft visitors this year. He has the size and length Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard prefers in his cornerbacks and would be a good developmental player in the late rounds or as a possible undrafted free agent. At least that's where he's projected to end up in the draft, but his SPARQ score suggests he could be better than that.

According to 3sigmaathlete.com, Thomas tested as the 10th best cornerback in this year's draft class, finishing in the 90th percentile. This could be the reason the Cowboys have shown an interest in him in the first place, because his tape isn't that great. Teams are looking for certain traits to develop in the later rounds of the draft and Thomas' athleticism is definitely something worth gambling on in the hopes of unlocking his potential.



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.

Advertisement
Comments

NFL Draft

Dallas Cowboys 2019 Draft Needs: Special Teams

Jess Haynie

Published

on

Brett Maher, Chris Jones

Some have argued that the words "kicker" and "punter" don't belong in the same sentence as "NFL Draft." But just last year, six special teams players were drafted by NFL teams. Could the Dallas Cowboys consider such a player with one of their 2019 draft picks?

From 2009-2018, various teams have drafted 19 kickers and 18 punters. The highest pick was a second-rounder; Tampa Bay's selection of Roberto Aguayo in 2016. Outside of one pick in the third round and another in the fourth, the other 34 picks have all been in rounds 5-7.

The Dallas Cowboys have only contributed on pick to this total. In 2009 they selected David Buehler in the fifth round, two years after using a sixth-round pick on Nick Folk.

Ten years later, could Dallas finally use another draft pick on special teams?

There are a few of factors that make this possible. For one, the Cowboys are already fairly loaded with talent across the roster. A late-round pick spent at any number of positions would have a hard time surviving final cuts.

Second, in terms of the quality of player versus the round, there's no better value than on special teams. You can possibly get the best kicker in the country in the fifth or sixth round; no other position offers that.

Lastly, and most importantly, the Cowboys have a pretty clear opportunity to upgrade at kicker. They also could use the draft to save some cap space by making a change at punter.

Brett Maher

Dallas Cowboys K Brett Maher

As I've written about beforeBrett Maher was a Jekyll & Hyde kicker in 2018. He was brilliant from long range but a major liability closer in, and his 80.6% total field-goal accuracy was near the bottom of the league.

While Maher's distance is a true asset, does it outweigh the risk of him missing a game-winning FG from 35 yards? And what about extra-point kicks, for that matter?

Dallas should certainly bring Brett back in 2019 to compete for the job. Remember, he was still Dan Bailey's backup until close the start of the regular season. Perhaps a full offseason as the primary kicker would help him stabilize his game.

But given the uncertainty, the Cowboys could easily justify spending a late-round pick at kicker. They could potentially land LSU's Cole Tracy or Utah's Matt Gay, two of the top prospects in this draft class.

The worst-case scenario is that Maher beats one of these guys and you cut them. But there was a high probability that you'd have cut whoever you drafted at another position anyway. Essentially, you'd have spent a late draft pick as an insurance policy against Maher's development.

That's not bad business. In fact, maybe you'd be able to trade that kicker at final cuts to a team who suffers a preseason injury or is otherwise dissatisfied at the position. There's a chance you could even recoup your draft pick.

6 Cowboys Players Primed To Make Their First Pro Bowl

Dallas Cowboys punter Chris Jones (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

Another consideration is at punter. Chris Jones has been a very solid one for a while now, but he turns 30 in July and counts $2.3 million against the salary cap. Could the draft give Dallas a chance to get someone younger and cheaper?

Let's say Dallas drafted one of the nation's top punters like Jack Fox out of Rice or Stanford's Jack Bailey. They'd have that player on a four-year rookie deal costing roughly 20% of what Jones' does.

Dallas could trade or release Chris Jones for $800k in 2019 cap relief, or $1.8 million if he's cut after June 1st. That would push $1 million of dead money onto the 2020 cap.

Those aren't big numbers, so the real gain here is if you think one of the top rookie punters could match or even exceed Jones' play. Then you've got that player on the cheap for the next four seasons.

I would not predict that the Cowboys will spend a draft pick at either kicker or punter, but the point of all this is that you can't entirely dismiss it. 2019 presents the right mix of circumstances for Dallas to consider it more than they have in the past, especially considering how long Dan Bailey was a fixture on the roster.

Brett Maher doesn't enjoy that same status. Dallas could easily look at some of the top kickers available and think that an upgrade is possible.

Will that lead to the Cowboys spending a draft pick on special teams for the first time in a decade?

Draft Likelihood: 10%
Projected Round: *6th-7th

* The Cowboys don't currently have a 6th-round pick, but could acquire one in a potential trade.

~ ~ ~

Other Draft Needs Articles



Continue Reading

NFL Draft

Potential CB Prospects Dallas Cowboys Could Target in Each Round

Brian Martin

Published

on

Potential CB Prospects Cowboys Could Target in Each Round

It has somewhat flown a little bit under the radar, but Dallas Cowboys Passing Game Coordinator and Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard has been touring around the country working out several cornerbacks in this year's draft class. With Byron Jones and Anthony Brown entering into the last year of their contracts, it wouldn't be all that surprising if the Cowboys draft a CB at some point in the 2019 NFL Draft.

With that in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to share with you some of the cornerbacks the Dallas Cowboys could target in each round in which they hold a draft pick. In order to keep it as realistic as possible I tried to narrow it down to the potential CB prospects that fit Richard's parameters. We all know he likes those tall, lengthy defensive backs and that's what I tried to focus on.

Let's take a look…

Second Round

Joejuan Williams

Vanderbilt CB Joejuan Williams

Justin Layne, Michigan State

Justin Layne was a four-star wide receiver recruit coming at a high school, but ended up becoming a three-year starter on the other side of the ball at cornerback during his time at Michigan State. He has tremendous ball skills due to his background at receiver and has the size and length (6'1", 192) Kris Richard covets in his defensive backs. He needs to continue to improve is overall technique, but he has Day 1 starting potential.

Joejuan Williams, Vanderbilt

Joejuan Williams was a two-year starter during his time at Vanderbilt and primarily played press and off-man coverage. At just a smidge under 6'4", Williams typically towers over the wide receivers he faces, which has allowed him to find success at this point because of his mere size and length. He has the skill set and athleticism to become an eventual starter in the NFL, but really needs to develop his mechanics and the mental side of his game a little more.

Third Round

Jamel Dean

Auburn CB Jamel Dean

Jamel Dean, Auburn

After overcoming three major knee injuries earlier in his career, Jamel Dean eventually became a two-year starter to finish his career at Auburn. He has elite size (6'1", 202), length (31 3/4" arms), and speed (4.3 40-yard dash), but his durability is a red flag moving forward. He also needs to play with a little better mean streak, especially in press man coverage. The talent is there though and he has a chance to develop into a really good starting CB if he can stay healthy.

Isaiah Johnson, Houston

Isaiah Johnson is another player with elite size (6'2", 208), length (33" arms), and speed (4.4 40-yard dash) at the cornerback position and is someone Kris Richard has met with and worked out on a number of occasions. Johnson was a former three-star wide receiver recruit coming out high school before making the switch to CB his final year in Houston. He played mostly bail technique for the Cougars and is still really raw as a CB prospect, but he has immense upside. He will likely need a year or two to further develop his craft before he can be relied upon.

Fourth Round

Lonnie Johnson Jr.

Kentucky CB Lonnie Johnson Jr.

Lonnie Johnson Jr., Kentucky

There are actually three Kentucky defensive backs the Dallas Cowboys could target, but Lonnie Johnson Jr. is the top-ranked prospect so far. He has the size, length the Cowboys are looking for, but he really needs to refine just about every aspect of his game before he's ready to compete at the next level. He has tremendous instincts which has gotten him to this point, but he's going to have to develop both technically and mentally if he wants to find any kind of success in the NFL. All of the tools are there though.

Jordan Brown, South Dakota State

Jordan Brown was a three-year starter at South Dakota State, playing primarily press and off-man coverage. He has the size, length to play as a boundary corner in the NFL, but only has average top end speed. He is a competitor with a scrappy mentality that unfortunately runs a little hot and cold at times. He plays with good balance when making his transitions, which allows him to stick with receivers. Overall, he is a solid developmental mid-round pick with starting upside.

Fifth Round

Michael Jackson

Miami CB Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson, Miami

Michael Jackson was a two-year starter at Miami on the right side, playing mostly press man. He is a good-sized athlete with the kind of length and athleticism Kris Richard is looking for in his cornerbacks, but he has shown a tendency to struggle against savvy route runners. He's not the most fluid of athletes and will struggle in his transitions, so he might fit best in a defensive scheme that plays a lot of zone or cover 2.

Kris Boyd, Texas

Kris Boyd was a three-your starter during his time in Texas and played on both the right and left side, often times shadowing the opposing team's best wide receiver. He plays with the desired competitive nature and checks all the boxes as far as size, speed, and athleticism are concerned for a starting caliber cornerback. But, he plays undisciplined and doesn't trust his eyes, often times causing him to arrive late with his reads. If he can become more disciplined he could be a steal this late in the draft.

Seventh Round

Chris Westry

Kentucky CB Chris Westry (Photo By Donald Page)

Chris Westry, Kentucky

Chris Westry was a three-year starter at Kentucky, but gradually started to see his playing time decrease with the emergence of Lonnie Johnson Jr. and Derrick Baity Jr.. At 6'4", 199 pounds and legitimate 4.35 speed, Westry has extremely rare size and speed for the cornerback position. Unfortunately, he is a better athlete than he is a football player right now and might be nothing more than a developmental project.

Derrick Baity Jr., Kentucky

Derrick Baity Jr. worked his way into the starting lineup at Kentucky as a freshman and ended up becoming a four-year starter. He has excellent size for the position (6'2", 197) and is light footed with good ball skills, but he doesn't play with the kind of physicality you'd think from my player his size. He is an untrustworthy tackler and undisciplined with his fundamentals. His size and ball skills should get him drafted, but he might be nothing more than a developmental project.



Continue Reading

NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft: Will A Quarterback Be Considered?

Kevin Brady

Published

on

Cowboys Draft: Will A Quarterback Be Considered?

Dak Prescott is the current and future starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. Let's make that clear.

Prescott has done more than enough over the first three years of his career to earn this "franchise quarterback" title, and the contract he will eventually receive from the Cowboys' front office.

But that doesn't mean the Cowboys shouldn't consider drafting a quarterback this year. Or next year. Or the year after that.

Quarterback is the game's most important, and highest paid, position. It's the position where a player can most greatly effect a game individually, both positively and negatively.

And it's the position you must make sure is accounted for heading into any new season. Yes, the Cowboys clearly trust now fourth-year quarterback Dak Prescott, but adding talent to your QB room is never a bad thing. In fact, it's typically a great thing.

Behind Prescott are Cooper Rush and Mike White. Rush beat out now-offensive coordinator Kellen Moore for the backup job during the 2017 preseason, and then held off rookie Mike White in 2018 to maintain the job.

When the Cowboys drafted White, however, they had dreams of a new backup quarterback in mind. White didn't perform as well, or progress as quickly, as some had hoped leaving Cooper Rush as the unquestioned QB2, however.

Is Cooper Rush good enough, though?

This is a question which really is yet to be answered. And if the Cowboys have it their way, it will never be truly answered. He was excellent during the 2017 preseason, no doubt about it. But he was, well, bad last year. Rush and the offense struggled mightily during the preseason, and while lack of offensive line depth didn't help him, Rush's play didn't spark much optimism or excitement either.

The Cowboys would be wise to consider drafting a quarterback later in the 2019 NFL Draft, but they shouldn't spend too much time worrying about it either way. The backup quarterback, especially behind Dak Prescott, will bring his value in terms of game-planning and aiding Prescott, rather than with his actual arm talent.



Continue Reading



Enjoy 40% commissions on officially licensed products as a FanPrint affiliate. You can even make your own, fully licensed Cowboys and player designs! Get started here

Trending