The Dallas Cowboys are in somewhat of a waiting period until this weekend plays out and know who their opponent is, so there isn't a whole lot of news surrounding the organization. I thought it would be fun to use this downtime to complete my first 2017 mock draft for...
The closer we get to the end the 2016 NFL season, the more we know about the playoff picture. Also at this time of year, we are starting to learn which college prospects will decide to enter the draft, which is why we are starting to see more mock...
Mock drafts for the upcoming 2017 NFL draft have started to surface with a little more frequency here lately around the Internet. The last few weeks, both Pro Football Focus and CBS Sports released their first 2017 mock drafts. I guess Todd McShay must have been feeling a little left...
The 2016 regular season in the NFL is coming to an end, but despite the fact there are still a few games and the playoffs left to play, we are already starting to see 2017 mock drafts. A few weeks ago I wrote an article about the recently released Pro...
On Tuesday night, I was doing some preliminary work on 2017 NFL Draft prospects - finding it hard to fully get into college tape when a world of 11-1 Dallas Cowboys football surrounds me. While I'm certainly still focused on Dallas' regular season and playoff run, this fascinating chart...
Admittedly, May and June can be tough months for football fans. We are almost stuck in football limbo as the draft has ended and training camp is still months away. So, when something as simple as a tweet proposing a hypothetical scenario arises, we all dive in head first to talk about that topic. Respected NFL Draft analyst and Dallas Cowboys' fan Dan Turner proposed one of these hypothetical scenarios last week. Turner asked how you would rank the Cowboys five major selections of the past two drafts if they were all in the same draft class?
The Cowboys have made their qualifications for an ideal defensive lineman pretty clear over these past few seasons. Rod Marinelli likes guys who are big, but can move. He looks for athleticism in all of his defensive linemen, especially quick lateral movements and take-offs. He values SPARQ scores, testing, and overall athleticism in all of his defensive players, but especially in his linemen. If Marnielli was a sculptor, his "David" would look a lot like Rodney Coe.
Going into the 2015 season there weren't too many people would have identified Wide Receiver as a major position of need for the Dallas Cowboys. But, injuries to Tony Romo and Dez Bryant exacerbated the lack of playmakers on the offensive side of the ball a season ago. Terrance Williams had rather high expectations going into last season, considering his stellar playoff performances in 2014. I thought he could be the Alvin Harper to Dez Bryant's Michael Irvin, but without Romo on the field Williams was quiet, to say the least. Cole Beasley and Lucky Whitehead can produce for Dallas, but they aren't the type of players who are meant to provide a consistent outside threat.
As soon as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the Dallas Cowboys' intentions to draft Ohio State Buckeyes Running Back Ezekiel Elliott with the fourth overall pick, the projections for his rookie season numbers began. Fans, analysts, and writers alike all began predicting incredible feats for Zeke's rookie year. We heard it all from 2,000 yards to being a lock for Rookie of the Year. It was almost impossible to temper our excitement and expectations. But, without reeling in our expectations a bit is it possible we are setting Zeke up for failure before he even takes a snap as a Cowboy?
For the majority of this Draft Film Review series, I have followed the order which the Cowboys drafted. Meaning, I reviewed the players drafted in the first four rounds before I reviewed those taken in the sixth. In the case of fourth round selection and former Mississippi State Bulldogs Quarterback Dak Prescott, however, I decided to wait until the end. I did this for a few different reasons. First of all, I find him to be possibly the most intriguing of all the Cowboys rookies.
The Cowboys running back carousel seemed to finally stop turning when the franchise decided to draft Ohio State stud Ezekiel Elliott with the 4th overall selection of this years draft. Following the addition of Alfred Morris, drafting Zeke added another formidable back to an already crowded position group. Then, in the sixth round, the Cowboys added yet another running back by selecting Eastern Michigan Eagles speedster Darius Jackson. Though the addition of a second running back in one draft class, especially considering the quality of back which was added in the first round, raised some questions and concerns among fans, Jackson could actually have an impact as a Cowboy. Darius Jackson is a zone-blocking type of running back who brings a good mix of power and speed.
The safety position has been characterized by inconsistent play for the Cowboys for the past few seasons. The team seems to think that Byron Jones has a chance to solidify himself as the starting Strong Safety as early as next season, and I tend to agree with this assessment of Jones. However, while Barry Church and JJ Wilcox have their strong points, they also have a ton of deficiencies which are evident whenever you turn on the tape. Both Church and Wilcox have struggled with taking poor angles, resulting in missed tackles and big plays for the offense (see CJ Spiller's overtime touchdown). Due to these deficiencies, we knew that the Cowboys needed to address the safety position at some point in the 2016 NFL Draft.
The Cowboys approach to both Free Agency and the NFL Draft proved a few things to me. For one, they think this team is a legitimate contender that can make a run for NFC supremacy in 2016. But more importantly for this write-up, the organization doesn't seem to see the secondary as a true place of weakness. Or, if they do, they didn't do much to strengthen it. I would agree that Dallas' defensive backfield falls further down their hierarchy of needs when considering position groups such as the defensive line, but I did feel like it needed to be addressed in some way.
Finishing so poorly in 2015, the Cowboys were in prime position to add two first-round type players with their 4th and 34th overall selections. Fans wanted more than just first round talent, however, they wanted two players who could make an immediate impact in 2016. They got just that in Ezekiel Elliott fourth overall. The Cowboys then caused quite an uproar with their second round selection, Notre Dame Linebacker Jaylon Smith. Smith was a consensus top-ten pick entering the New Year, but on January 1st of this year the trajectory of his entire career changed when he suffered a severe knee injury.
The dust is just starting to settle after the 2016 NFL Draft and fans are just now starting to come to grips with the selections that their favorite teams made. The Dallas Cowboys in particular are a team that have already faced a lot of scrutiny based on their draft selections, but whether you agree or disagree it doesn't really matter at this point. For those of you who weren't satisfied with the Cowboys 2016 draft class, Senior Analyst for NFLDraftScout.com Dan Brugler has already published his first Super-early 2017 NFL Mock Draft. Now, there is really no way of exactly knowing what team will be selecting where so what Brugler did in his mock draft was use the current Vegas odds to win next year's Super Bowl.
Leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft I was nearly positive that the Dallas Cowboys would address the wide receiver position at some point, but as we know now I would have been proven wrong. After watching the Cowboys receivers struggle throughout the 2015 season I thought for sure that the organization would have put serious thought into upgrading the position, but whether it was by design or lack of interest, they decided to forgo drafting a WR with any of their nine draft picks. However, if you think about it in a roundabout way they did use a 2016 draft pick on a wide receiver when they traded their 2016 5th round pick to the Oakland Raiders in order to obtain the rights to Brice Butler. Butler may have been one of the top WRs if he would've been a part of the 2016 draft class if you compare his pre-draft measurables against the other receivers. Brice Butler's pre-draft measurables Ht.
The defensive line issues for the Dallas Cowboys have been well documented this offseason. From injuries to suspensions to just overall poor play, there have been a ton of questions surrounding this unit. But after Tyrone Crawford's surgery, the signing of free agent Cedric Thornton, and now the addition of former Nebraska Cornhusker Maliek Collins through the draft, the interior rotation of their defensive line seems to be in a good place. Collins was selected by the Cowboys in the third round with the 67th overall selection. He was the first of two defensive lineman selected, the second of which I have already broken down on Inside The Star:
The 2016 Dallas Cowboys draft class is here, and it covers just about everything we expected it to. After their premier fourth overall pick was used on running back Ezekiel Elliott, a move that will help Dallas dominate time of possession and keep the defense off the field, the bulk of the team's remaining picks were spent on stacking that very defensive unit. Jaylon Smith and Maliek Collins highlighted the 2nd and 3rd rounds, and three of the four picks the Cowboys had in the fourth round also went towards the defense. Defensive end help was provided by Oklahoma's Charles Tapper, while Anthony Brown and Kavon Frazier helped secure the secondary. However, there is one fourth round pick that went towards the offense, and that is what I am here to talk about.
In the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Cowboys decided to address arguably their biggest draft need by selecting former Oklahoma Sooner Defensive End Charles Tapper. When evaluating Tapper, the first thing you notice is that he is an athletic freak. At 6'3" 270 pounds Tapper ran a 4.59 40-yard-dash at the combine, the fastest time of any defensive lineman who ran. Tapper's combine performance generated a lot of buzz around him, as he had previously been flying under most radars due to the defensive line depth in this draft class, especially in the interior.
The Cowboys sat out of the fifth and seventh rounds this year with no selections. However, they were a major presence in the sixth round with four draft picks. The first of those picks was cornerback Anthony Brown out of Perdue, whose selection was covered in more detail by our own Sean Martion. Here is a brief rundown of our final three picks from the 2016 Draft: #212 - Kavon Frazier, S, Central Michigan The easiest way to tell you about Frazier is to point to his NFL.