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NFL Draft

Cowboys 7-Round Mock Draft: Dallas Double Dips At DE

Brian Martin

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2017 Cowboys Draft: Dallas Gets Much-Needed Defensive Help

Yesterday I dropped my first 2017 first-round mock draft for all 32 teams. Things didn't fall exactly the way I would've liked in order for the Dallas Cowboys to come away with a "war daddy" defensive end, but they were able to upgrade the defense with their first-round selection. Today, I thought I would continue with of the rest the Cowboys draft picks through all seven rounds.

I personally think the Dallas Cowboys will go heavy on defense, so that's what I decided to do in this mock draft as well. Continue reading below to see how I think things could shake out for the Cowboys after the completion of the 2017 NFL Draft.

R1/28 - DAL: Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State

Has prototypical size for an NFL CB and would likely step and as a day one starter on the outside for the Cowboys. He is scheme diverse, but needs to become more physical in run support.

R2/28 - DAL: Josh Jones, S, NC State

Jones started two years as a strong safety before moving to free safety his final year at NC State. He has the prototypical size teams look for in their safeties and would be a day one starter next to Byron Jones on the back end of the Cowboys defense.

R3/28 - DAL: Dawuane Smoot, DE, Illinois

Talented DE who already has experience in Rod Marinelli's 4-3 defensive scheme after playing under Lovie Smith at Illinois. Played better in 2015, but dropped weight in 2016, which seemed to affect his play. Would likely compete with Charles Tapper to start opposite DeMarcus Lawrence as a rookie.

R4/26 - DAL: Noah Brown, WR, Ohio State

Big/physical WR that fits the parameters the Cowboys look for in their outside wide receivers. Wasn't utilized much at Ohio State and is still learning the position, but has the skill set to develop into a #1 WR.

R6/27 - DAL: Joe Mathis, DE, Washington

Talented pass rusher that has some off the field concerns that need to be addressed. Also has struggled with injuries. Injury prone? Cowboys have targeted Chris Peterson coached players in the past: Orlando Scandrick, Tyrone Crawford, and DeMarcus Lawrence.

R7/10 - DAL: T.J. Logan, RB, North Carolina

Shifty 3rd down/change of pace back that will take over Lance Dunbar's role. Can contribute on special teams as a return specialist as well. Is a natural pass catcher, but needs to work on ball security.

R7/28 - DAL: Blair Brown, LB, Ohio

A little bit undersized, but is a good sideline to sideline LB that shows good instincts to quickly diagnose and attack. Would provide depth to the LB position and contribute on special teams as a rookie. Has potential to become a starter.

The Dallas Cowboys shore their secondary with their first two draft picks by selecting Gareon Conley and Josh Jones. Both defensive backs are immediate upgrades over what the Cowboys lost in free agency and will be fixtures in the secondary for years to come.

Dawuane Smoot and Joe Mathis have both proven that they are capable of getting after the QB in college, but the NFL is a different beast. Expect defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli to get the best out of them. Smoot and Mathis will compete with second-year DE Charles Tapper to start opposite DeMarcus Lawrence in 2017.

Noah Brown could make Brice Butler expendable, but he probably still needs a year to develop his skill set more before becoming a consistent contributor. He has the size, speed, and skill set to develop into a #1 WR for the Cowboys and could be used as a red zone target as a rookie.

T.J. Logan and Blair Brown are both valuable depth players that will make their living on special teams as rookies. Both players are talented enough to see snaps at RB and LB as rookies and could carve out a nice role with the Cowboys for years to come.

How do you feel about these draft picks for the Dallas Cowboys?



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.

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21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Corey

    April 4, 2017 at 11:25 am

    This actually doesn’t look to bad if it all falls this way

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      April 4, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      I would mind if this was the way things turned out.

  2. Assassin

    April 4, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    Havent seen too much on most of these guys except for Smoot. Like him a lot in 3rd.

    Unless we pick up at TE in FA or the Cowboys know more about Rico than the public does, we may need to go TE at some point.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      April 4, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      I agree that TE may need to be addressed at some point in the draft.

  3. Assassin

    April 4, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Also, wouldnt mind taking a flyer on Chip Kelly, the Mississippi QB if he’s around in the 7th. One of those too much talent to ignore, but a head case/medical issue folks.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      April 4, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      I think you meant Chad Kelly, not Chip Kelly. I agree, but you might be able to pick him up as an undrafted free agent. That would be the ideal scenario.

      • Assassin

        April 4, 2017 at 3:57 pm

        I suspect he will be someone’s late round pick. No sooner than the 5th though. Medical issues are a concern. Plus he’s a bit of a headcase. If I were an NFL GM, I would ask his teammates about playing with him, if they would follow him and if they would want to be on another team with him. QB has to be a leader.

        The “good” thing about his headcase stuff is that they are all aggression issues. I would take that over drugs anyday

        All the talent in the world. Decent TD to INT numbers. Jim Kelly’s nephew. Good bloodlines

        • Brian Martin

          Brian Martin

          April 4, 2017 at 4:00 pm

          The only reason I said that the Cowboys might prefer to take them as an undrafted free agent is because I think they may be starting to move on from taking these so-called “troubled” players. It all depends on where he falls on their draft board. They may have somebody still there in the late part of the draft they like more.

          • Assassin

            April 4, 2017 at 4:49 pm

            I know where you’re going. But I also remember when we moved away from any ‘head cases’ back in the White House days. Doomed us to some really mediocre to bad years. I think there has to be a balance. Just think if we had taken Honey Badger instead of taking him off our boards as a headcase

          • Brian Martin

            Brian Martin

            April 4, 2017 at 7:12 pm

            I’m not disagreeing with you. I just think it’s going to depend on how their board sets up.

  4. Assassin

    April 4, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    Ran a Fanspeak Mock, here are mine;

    28: R1P28 DL CARL LAWSON AUBURN
    60: R2P28 CB CHIDOBE AWUZIE COLORADO
    92: R3P28 LB T.J. WATT WISCONSIN
    133: R4P26 S MARCUS MAYE FLORIDA
    211: R6P27 TE PHAROH BROWN OREGON
    228: R7P10 WR RICKY SEALS-JONES TEXAS A&M
    246: R7P28 OT CLINT VAN HORN MARSHALL

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      April 4, 2017 at 7:13 pm

      I could live with that

    • Terry

      April 5, 2017 at 2:59 pm

      TJ watt won’t last that long

      • Assassin

        April 6, 2017 at 9:32 am

        Probably not. But you take what’s given to you. This was from the Fanspeak Mock. Pretty cool little free mock tool. I like it as I start to understand who players are that arent the bigger names.

    • Assassin

      May 11, 2017 at 6:25 pm

      I got one right!

  5. dallas1966

    April 4, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    I would shout for joy, if this was the way the draft fell for the Cowboys.

    The only exception, I would select Marcus Williams, Safety, Utah, over Jones.

    It’s time to end the 21 years, in the wilderness.

    In McClay, I trust!!

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      April 4, 2017 at 7:15 pm

      I wouldn’t mind either of those selections. I’m a little higher on Jones because of his versatility to play SS or FS

  6. Harold Keith Wiseman

    April 5, 2017 at 11:32 am

    In the draft ,I would draft Obi in the1st,DE,,DT in the 2nd,cb,in the 3rd/4th,6th /7th DL

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      April 5, 2017 at 7:44 pm

      There are a few safeties I like better, but I could live with that

  7. Geezy_Gaming

    April 6, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Im really against not going DE in the 1st round. But this mock is fantastic and if it went this way I will be very happy.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      April 6, 2017 at 2:37 pm

      I think it’s going to be tough to find a DE in the first round at 28.

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NFL Draft

3 Potential Day 2 Tight End Prospects for the Dallas Cowboys

Brian Martin

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3 Potential Day 2 Tight End Prospects for the Dallas Cowboys

By now it's no secret the Dallas Cowboys don't have a first-round draft pick in the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft. The Amari Cooper trade took care of that, meaning sitting through the entire Day 1 could be a little tiresome for us fans. But, Day 2 of the draft could get really interesting for the Cowboys, especially as it pertains to the players/positions they could target.

Today, I wanted to take a look at a few of the Day 2 tight end prospects the Dallas Cowboys could be interested in. This would be the second tier of TEs behind the likes of T.J. Hockenson, Noah Fant, and Irv Smith, all of which should be gone by the time the Cowboys are on the clock at 58th overall in the second round.

I really believe that if the Dallas Cowboys plan on drafting a starting caliber tight end in this year's draft class they are going to have to do it with either their second or third round selection. The TEs available beyond that point probably aren't much of an upgrade over Blake Jarwin or Dalton Schultz, which is praise in itself about the upside of the young TEs they currently have on the roster.

With all of that in mind, I put together a list of three tight ends I would personally target on Day 2 if I were the Cowboys. I tried to identify what they typically look for in a starting TE (size, speed, athleticism), while also taking into account the ones that are are versatile enough to contribute on all three downs in both the running and passing game.

Isaac Nauta, Georgia

Isaac Nauta

Georgia TE Isaac Nauta

Isaac Nauta is a former five-star recruit who never really lived up to his billing during his time with the Georgia Bulldogs. He is a top-notch blocker both in line and when split out wide, but due to the Bulldogs run heavy offense he never really developed into the pass catcher many envisioned him becoming. He possesses good speed and terrific hands to be a threat in the passing game though, even if he doesn't show a lot of separation ability on film.

Nauta looks and plays like a prototypical Dallas Cowboys tight end. He has the desired size (6'4", 246), athleticism, and skill set to step in and be the Cowboys TE1 as a rookie. His blocking ability alone will get him on the field early, but he also shows enough pass catching ability to be a threat in the passing game as well. Overall, Nauta is a pro-ready three down TE who is a high floor prospect with very little downside.

Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M

Jace Sternberger

Texas A&M TE Jace Sternberger

Jace Sternberger is a former three-star recruit and the definition of a one-year wonder. He was basically a complete unknown before the 2018 season and had just one catch for 5 yards during his two years at Kansas before deciding to transfer to JUCO. He didn't fare much better at Northern Oklahoma A&M, but Jimbo Fisher thought enough of him to bring him aboard a Texas A&M, essentially turning him into an All-American and first team All-SEC.

Sternberger is almost the exact opposite of Isaac Nauta, but still has the desired traits the Dallas Cowboys look for in their tight ends. Unlike Nauta, Sternberger is much more accomplished as a passing threat. He runs and moves like a big wide receiver and possesses good separation ability. Due to his size (6'4", 250) and athletic ability he is difficult to bring down after the catch as well. He's not as accomplished as a blocker as Nauta, but he shows good technique and will improve in time with added strength. He has the ability to be the Cowboys TE1 as a rookie.

Dawson Knox, Ole Miss

Dawson Knox

Ole Miss TE Dawson Knox

Dawson Knox is a former walk-on quarterback at Ole Miss, but spent the last two years playing tight end for the Rebels. He is one of the more difficult tight ends to evaluate in this draft class due to the unorthodox offense he played in and his usage in the system, but may actually be more pro-ready than many of us believe. He does have the size (6'4", 250), speed, and natural hands to be a complete three-down TE in the NFL and reminds me a little bit of George Kittle when he was entering the league.

Knox is still pretty raw as a player, but moldable and he has the upside to be one of the best tight ends in this entire draft class. He could probably compete to be the Dallas Cowboys TE1 as a rookie, but it might be better for him to be in a timeshare of sorts while he develops his God-given talent. Nevertheless, I have a hard time seeing him making it out of Day 2 of the draft, especially after he puts on a show at the NFL Scouting Combine. His talent might be too much for the Cowboys to pass up.



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NFL Draft

Could Cowboys Take Another 2nd Round Risk On DT Jeffery Simmons?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Could Cowboys Take Another 2nd Round Risk On DT Jeffery Simmons?

The Dallas Cowboys have taken a few risks when on the clock in the second round of the NFL Draft in recent years. Randy Gregory and Jaylon Smith, both important starters on defense, were drafted to the Cowboys after they went down on many teams' draft boards. In 2019, they'll have the opportunity to take yet another risk. Recently, one of the best defensive tackles in this year's class, Jeffery Simmons, suffered a torn ACL while going through a drill during his workout in Florida.

Simmons took to Twitter to share the unfortunate news that will drastically affect his draft stock only a couple of months before the Draft.

Jeffery Simmons on Twitter

Jeffery Simmons on Twitter

https://t.co/0NAzPv0bvY

Before the injury, Jeffery Simmons was seen as a top draft prospect. Some even envisioned him being drafted in the top 10. As a 21-year old defensive tackle from Mississippi State, Simmons had an impressive career during his time in college football. In three seasons he managed to rack up 157 tackles and seven sacks.

If one thing is clear it's that the Mississippi State product will be an impact player when he gets on the field on Sundays. His quick reaction on the get-off will still interest a lot of teams despite his injury. A sound defender on the running and passing game, he'll pay big dividends for whichever team decides to pull the trigger on him come April.

Due to their recent second round draft history, I can't help but wonder if the Dallas Cowboys will consider him when they're on the clock in the second round. This year though, there will be a big difference. Pick #58 will be the first time the Cowboys will be on the clock in this year's draft after trading away their first rounder for Amari Cooper last year.

It will be tough for them to wait until the third round to pick a player they could actually put on the field for the 2019 season. Specially considering the fact that they're a football team with title aspirations this year. Despite their history and the fact that Simmons will be one hell of a pro, I believe the team will not want to make such a pick in the second without a first round selection.

The team has a big need at DT, although Antwaun Woods and Maliek Collins were very serviceable in 2018. We'll see how tempted they are if Jeffery Simmons is still on the board when they're on the clock.

Tell me what you think about "Could Cowboys Take Another 2nd Round Risk On DT Jeffery Simmons?" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft: Film Notes on Maryland Safety Darnell Savage Jr.

John Williams

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Cowboys Draft: Film Notes on Maryland Safety Darnell Savage Jr.

The Dallas Cowboys defense was one of the better units throughout the season, but it wasn't without its flaws. An area where they struggled was in creating turnovers and at times against the run. As good as they were in 2018, they have positions where they can use upgrades; defensive tackle and safety. Xavier Woods showed a lot of promise in his second season with the Dallas Cowboys and should continue to be a prominent player moving forward, but Jeff Heath's full-time role may have run its course. Today we're going to look at Darnell Savage Jr, safety from Maryland.

Per College Football Reference, Darnell Savage Jr. stands at 5-11 and weighs in right at 200 pounds. In his last three years at Maryland he played in 35 games. He averaged 56.67 tackles, 2.67 interceptions (3.5 per season over his last two seasons and four in his senior season), and three tackles for loss over his final three seasons. He had eight pass deflections as a junior and two more as a senior.

Savage could be a player that's in play for the Dallas Cowboys at number 58 of the second round.

I watched the Texas and Temple Games from 2018.

Darnell Savage Jr. Film Notes

  • Maryland lined him up in two-deep cover two looks a lot and dropped him into different coverages. From his two-deep alignment, he would move into cover-3, cover-4, and man coverages.
  • Temple or Texas looked to avoid him as part of their game plans. The one time the either Texas or Temple through his way, he came down from his 2-deep look into man coverage and jumped a five yard out route and intercepted the pass, taking it to the end zone for a touchdown.
  • He's excellent in diagnosing bubbles screens and swing passes. On several occasions he met the ball carrier five yards behind the line of scrimmage and dropped him for a loss.
  • Savage wraps up in the open field against. Once he diagnoses the play, he gets moving toward the ball in a flash.
  • Willing to take on bigger blockers and receivers with the ball in their hands. Stymied the 6-4 225 pound Lil' Jordan Humphrey from Texas on a bubble screen after Humphrey had broken one tackle. Savage wrapped him up and brought him to the ground.
  • Temple attempted to run a reverse after the hand off and Savage came all the way from across the field to meet the runner for a six yard loss.
  • Plays with excellent speed and aggressiveness when he sees the play. Sometimes Savage gets caught watching the action on his side of the field and doesn't recognize what is happening in the middle or opposite side of the field.
  • Several times on the read-option, it appeared that he didn't recognize that the QB had given the ball away. It could be that he was schemed to take the quarterback, but one time the runner went against the grain to Savage's side of the field and he was unable to get to him before he scored a short touchdown.
  • Maryland had Savage cover tight ends and wide receivers and again, Temple and Texas didn't throw his way much at all.
  • Again, in a two-deep safety look came up from 10 yards deep to make a play on a toss to the running back and tackled him for a four yard loss. It's dangerous to run things to the perimeter with this guy. If he gets to the line of scrimmage unblocked, he's bringing you down.
  • When blocked on runs to the perimeter, he does a good job of stringing the play to the outside. Savage works his blocker and doesn't give up on the play. He fights to get unblocked in order to make a play.
  • When a team runs play action or hands the ball off out of shotgun or pistol formations, Savage is slower to react and diagnose the play. He'll need to get quicker in processing what's happening there at the next level.
  • One of the more impressive plays I saw him make was on a trick play. Temple attempted to run a wide receiver pass to the outside. Everyone bought the wide receiver reverse and even Savage did too, but was able to use his quickness and speed to make up five yards of separation that the Temple receiver had on him to be in good coverage. The Temple receiver wasn't able to come down with the catch and Savage's coverage affected that.

Summary

Darnell Savage Jr. doesn't have a ton of height, but he's an explosive player who can play down in the box and in two deep looks for the Cowboys. He's a guy that would pair well with Xavier Woods as you could use those two interchangeably depending on the matchup you face week-to-week. He's an aggressive player who uses his speed to get into the play and cause disruption. Savage could be around for the Dallas Cowboys at 58 and if they don't sign one of the big name free agent safeties, should be the selection. If he isn't a day one starter, he'd be starting by the end of the season.



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