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NFL Draft

Can the Cowboys Still Afford to Take a QB at #4?

Sean Martin



Cowboys Headlines - Can the Cowboys Still Afford to Take a QB at #4?

Although it has been relatively quiet, it has been a very good off season for the Dallas Cowboys thus far. They have put an emphasis on re-signing their own free agents, by locking up Morris Claiborne, Rolando McClain, James Hanna, and Kyle Wilber. They also went out and upgraded the starting 1T defensive tackle spot by bringing in former Eagle Cedric Thornton on a team-friendly deal. 

Elsewhere in the division, the Giants took the opposite approach and spent as much money as they could upgrading their defense with average-at-best acquisitions. 

The Eagles have parted ways with former Cowboy DeMarco Murray, but more importantly have also traded Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso to the hapless Dolphins. In return, they have moved up to the 8th spot in the upcoming draft.

This puts three of the four NFC East teams into the top 10 of the first round. Dallas will of course be picking at #4, while the Eagles hold pick #8 and New York is spotted to pick at #10 overall.

The Cowboys, if healthy, have aspirations of winning a Super Bowl in the coming seasons - and that starts with winning the division. To do so, they likely have to bring in some immediate impact talent during this draft - primarily with the fourth overall pick.

Even if the Giants took a step back in free agency, they will improve through the draft along with the Eagles and even the Redskins. While the consensus from Jerry Jones and the Cowboys this off season has been the belief that this roster should compete for the division easily in 2016 at 100% health, it can't hurt to have an impact first-round rookie on the roster.

The Cowboys were the talk of the league last season after the draft when they walked away with three potential first round talents in Byron Jones, Randy Gregory, and La'el Collins.

While Gregory is still trying to find himself in this league, after having his rookie season washed away by injury before being suspended weeks ago for the first four games of 2016, Jones and Collins look like potential stars. The two could become the foundation for an incredible group of young talent when entering their second season alongside the team's 2016 rookie class.

Many fans once advocated for the team to select a quarterback to backup Tony Romo with the fourth pick, myself included, but that has died down significantly. I am now much more in favor of this team bringing in a player like Florida State's Jalen Ramsey or Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott.

The Cowboys defense could be on the verge of something special in 2016, and adding another play maker for Rod Marinelli's secondary to be paired with Byron Jones will only further help them return to their turnover-forcing ways of 2014.

A ball-hawking defense paired with an offense that may not only feature a healthy Romo and Bryant but a rookie WR such as Josh Doctson could have this team near the top of the league early on next season - making fans forget about the future beyond Romo for the time being.

Likewise, Ezekiel Elliott could also take this offense to the next level running behind "The Great Wall of Dallas". The return of Romo will keep defenses honest, allowing a tandem of Darren McFadden and Elliott to run all over opposing team's.

Both of these selections would only further help the Cowboys separate themselves from the pack in the NFC East - as they look to contend for the Lombardi trophy in 2016 and beyond.

Who are you hoping gets their name called for the Cowboys in the first round? Do you still want a quarterback? Joining me on #TeamRamsey? Let us know! Leave a comment below or find me on Twitter @ShoreSportsNJ! 

Tell us what you think about "Can the Cowboys Still Afford to Take a QB at #4?" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Pleasant NJ, no we're not how you think we are. Host of "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. You may @ me: @SeanMartinNFL.

  • Jess Haynie

    I think the conservative approach to free agency makes it clear Dallas is planning to focus on the draft for needed improvements, thus making QB in the first few rounds unlikely. What worries me is that they may have painted themselves into a corner with the need for a pass rusher. I hope they don't end up reaching on Bosa or Buckner out of necessity.

  • Youngin

    If the Cowboys could somehow get Eric Weddle without breaking the bank, picking up Ramsey with the 4th, if he's still there, would elevate the defense immediately, in my opinion. It would give them a formidable secondary they haven't had in a LONG time, since Darren Woodson was playing. These are all big if's, but I'd rather they use the pick on defense than offense.

  • Sean Martin

    Plenty of later round options for pass rush in this class, @Jess Haynie.

  • Zac Fields

    The depth at pass-rusher is part of the reason I think the Cowboys would pass on Bosa. I don't think he's necessarily a great fit for our defense anyway, and it almost feels to me like drafting a pass-rusher at #4 with such a deep class seems counter-intuitive unless he's just flat-out the best prospect you can get by far at that spot.

    As for a quarterback, I do think the quiet free-agency probably precludes them from drafting one at #4. I still think they should at least target someone in the 3rd round or so like Dak Prescott. Let's at least take a shot at trying to get in a good position for the post-Romo era.

  • Ethan

    In what universe can you say the Cowboys defense may be on the verge of something special? Their secondary is a major concern, they have almost no proven pass rush, and their 2 best LBs are a injury or suspension away from being gone a whole year? Other than that, the defense's future is bright, indeed

  • Sean Martin

    When healthy, they played very solid defense at the end of this season. Was it the type of defense that wins you games? No. But it was something to hopefully build on. Drafting Ramsey not only gets you more turnovers but it tightens up the secondary – which is the first area you mentioned.

    Pass rush is a serious concern. I hope we land Chris Long, get a very motivated Randy Gregory back, and then add a rookie such as Blair or Spence.

  • Rodney

    Pick up Ramsey with the 4th pick and hope Henry will be available in the 2nd rd. Get a pass rusher in the 3rd & maybe Cook or Prescott would be available in the 4th…both are decent QBS that could be groomed by Romo & Garrett. OR grab Elliott with the 4th pick and trade (2nd & 7th rnd pick) back into the 1st rnd and grab a pass rusher…THAT BOY FROM Ga. (Leonard) pretty good.

NFL Draft

Report: Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch Visiting Cowboys

Kevin Brady



2018 NFL Combine: 3 LBs Who Impressed
Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

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.

Marcus Mosher on Twitter

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.

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NFL Draft

2018 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Meeting with Texas Safety DeShon Elliott

Sean Martin



2018 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Meeting with Texas Safety DeShon Elliott
(Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire)

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.

Josh Norris on Twitter

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.

Tell us what you think about "2018 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Meeting with Texas Safety DeShon Elliott" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft: PSU WR DaeSean Hamilton Fits Cowboys’ “Type”

Kevin Brady



Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

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.

Kevin Brady on Twitter

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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