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NFL Draft

Cowboys on the Clock: Marcus Spears, #20 Overall

Sean Martin



Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys on the Clock: Marcus Spears, #20 Overall 1

Welcome back to Cowboys on the Clock! This ongoing series has been getting Cowboys Nation ready for April 28th, and the first round of the NFL Draft, by taking a look at the most recent players the team has selected in the first round with the corresponding pick to the amount of days until the draft.

Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys on the Clock: Marcus Spears, #20 Overall

The 2005 draft was a good one for Dallas, as they selected twice in the first round, and ultimately walked away with a number of long-term starters over the full seven rounds. Their first selection of the draft came with the 11th overall pick, when they scooped up some guy out of Troy named DeMarcus Ware.

They also used the 20th overall pick on a defensive linemen, this one out of LSU. Here is his story…

Marcus Spears

Spears would play in the SEC for his college career at LSU with Head Coach Nick Saban from 2001-2004. In just his second full season as a defensive player in 2003, the Tigers would go on to win the national championship over Oklahoma. Spears recorded a pick six in the Sugar Bowl win.

He would follow up this storybook season with another dominant year in 2004, entering the NFL Draft after a 49 tackle season with 17 of those coming for a loss. Adding 9 sacks, he also was a first-team All Sec player.

The Dallas Cowboys, at the time being coached by Bill Parcells, entered the 2005 draft with the 11th and 20th overall picks. Parcells wanted to take Spears with the first of these selections, but Jerry Jones and the rest of the front office agreed that Ware was a player that could not be passed up at #11.

The team would add Ware, who was named the greatest Cowboys player to ever wear #94 this summer by our Staff Writer RJ Ochoa.

The Chargers, Saints, Panthers, Chiefs, Texans, Bengals, Vikings, and Rams would all pass on Spears with picks #11 through #19, allowing Dallas to add both of their first round targets.

Despite battling through injuries in his first training camp, Spears would see time as a rotational defensive end through the early portions of the 2005 season. He would earn a job as a starter in the final 10 games, recording six QB pressures and finishing off 1 and a half sacks.

The team would switch from a 4-3 defense to the 3-4 going into the following 2006 season, where Spears again came out of training camp banged up. Still, he would start all 16 games, but fail to record more than 1 sack. His production in total tackles and tackles for loss went up, but through two seasons the LSU product had just 2.5 sacks.

The Cowboys were bounced from the playoffs in the Wild Card Round to end the 2006 season in heartbreaking fashion in Seattle against the Seahawks. The same would hold true in 2007, when a team that was expected to make a run fell to the rival Giants at home in the Divisional Playoffs.

It was a similar season for Spears as well, who totaled just 2 sacks in 15 starts. He did set career highs in pressures, tackles, and tackles for loss, which would set him up for another milestone in the 2009 season.

For the third time in Marcus’ career, the Cowboys were in the playoffs. With losses in the first round in his past two appearances, the Cowboys rallied past the Philadelphia Eagles in the Divisional Round for a monumental playoff win. The fiery Spears helped lead a defense that did not surrender a rushing touchdown in that game, a first for this franchise in playoff competition.

Unfortunately for Spears, with a loss the following week at Minnesota, he would never see the playoffs again during his time in Dallas. The typically durable player would appear in just 8 games in 2010, snapping a streak of 88 consecutive games that he had set.

His limited role in 2010 would become even more limited upon the hiring of Rob Ryan prior to the 2011 season. Playing in the first year of a brand new 5 year deal, he was slated as a backup for the first time in his career. Kenyon Coleman and Jason Hatcher started at the defensive end positions.

The team would then look to transition back to a 4-3 defense after 2012, where Spears was once again playing in a reduced role. Dallas released Spears due to a knee injury, ending his Cowboys career and essentially his time as a pro.

Marcus appeared in 5 games for the Baltimore Ravens in 2013 before being waived by the team. His time in Dallas was marked by not only unmet expectations from him, but from the entire team – which won just 1 playoff game during his career despite 3 appearances.

Spears was never a superstar, but he did provide a durable and consistent presence to the Cowboys defense, while being a pivotal locker room component. In RJ’s same series that named his team mate DeMarcus Ware the greatest #94 in team history, Spears was named the greatest Cowboy to ever wear #96 right here on Inside The Star.

The following players have also been selected with the 20th overall pick by the Dallas Cowboys:

Dennis Homan, WR, 1968

Homan played just two seasons in Dallas before requesting a trade. He was a member of the Super Bowl V team that lost to the Baltimore Colts.

Billy Joe DuPree, TE, 1973

DuPree led the team in receiving yards in just his rookie season. A dynamic tight end for his time, he played in Super Bowls XII, X, and XIII. Although he was a major contributor in all three games, the only one the team won was Super Bowl XII when he had a game high 66 receiving yards.

Billy DuPree never missed a game during his run in Dallas from 1973-1983.

Kelvin Pritchett, DT, 1991

Pritchett was immediately traded to the Detroit Lions on draft day following his selection by the Cowboys. In return, the team received picks that were used on Dixon Edwards, James Richards, and Tony Hill

Ebenezer Ekuban, DE, 1999

Ekuban was a disappointment in Dallas through his 5 seasons with the team, as he never developed into the bookend pass rusher across from former college team mate Greg Ellis that the Cowboys expected him to be when they traded up for him in the 1999 draft.

Cowboys on the Clock will return on Sunday with the team’s most recent 18th overall pick, meaning that Inside The Star will once again go Beyond the Clock tomorrow to continue this series!

Enjoy the countdown to draft day, and share your thoughts on this piece (or any of the past editions) right here with a reply below or an email to You can also find me on Twitter @ShoreSportsNJ! 

Tell us what you think about “Cowboys on the Clock: Marcus Spears, #20 Overall” 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.

1 Comment
  • Jess Haynie

    I've discussed this before on my old site but the Ware-Spears thing is so interesting to me. Everyone says the Cowboys screwed up in 2004 by passing on Stephen Jackson and trading down to pick up Julius Jones. Obviously, you can't argue that based on the careers of the two running backs. However, if Dallas hadn't got that extra pick, they would've had just the one first-rounder in 2005. If Parcells wanted Spears bad enough and only had the one pick, would he have put his foot down and taken him? It's highly possible, and thus DeMarcus Ware would've never been a Cowboy. It's one of my favorite "What If" scenarios from the recent past.

NFL Draft

Sean’s Scout: UTSA’s Marcus Davenport Fills Pass Rush Need for Cowboys

Sean Martin



Sean's Scout: UTSA's Marcus Davenport Fills Pass Rush Need for Cowboys
Daniel Dunn / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It is not often at all that a team picking 19th overall may be out of range to draft a small school prospect, but this is rightfully the case for the Dallas Cowboys and UTSA’s Marcus Davenport. For scouts who only care about how these prospects can help their NFL teams, Davenport has all of the traits to be an impact defensive end the second he enters the league.

Should the Cowboys find themselves in position to draft Marcus Davenport in the first round, he would fill an immediate need as another pure pass rusher to pair with DeMarcus Lawrence.

Firmly a first round player on my 2018 NFL Draft Board, let’s take a closer look at Davenport’s potential fit in Dallas.

Davenport5 – Streamable

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What is most exciting about Davenport’s projection to the NFL is that he’s an ideal right defensive end prospect that played mostly on the left side in college. That means Davenport is stout against the run as a powerful player who also displays freakish speed, dip, and balance as a quarterback hunter.

“Simply forcing offensive tackles to respect his rare combination of speed and dip allows Marcus Davenport to knock them backwards with hands-above-eyes technique.”

Davenport1 – Streamable

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This quote and accompanying film clip comes from my full scouting report on Marcus Davenport on Slant Sports. There simply aren’t many EDGE prospects at the top of any given draft as complete as Davenport, while still showing elite upside to get even better.

Davenport does not exactly have a plan for each of his rushes, but pointing him at the quarterback on every play from the RDE spot in Dallas could do him nothing but good from day one. This is a player who captures the corner with ease, thanks to his burst and length, doing so with the balance to absolutely punish blockers.

When Marcus Davenport hits someone, they go backwards. This is a great thing to say about any defensive prospect, particularly a pass rusher who can also bend the corner.

Davenport4 – Streamable

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“There simply aren’t many snaps on which he allows a blocker to work inside of his frame.”

The only slight projection that has to be made on Davenport playing defensive end with the Cowboys is his transition from playing mostly in a two-point stance to putting his hand on the ground. This technical change does little to affect a defensive end’s pass rush approach.

The strength Marcus Davenport shows in his hands is absolutely stunning, and equally as impressive is his controlled acceleration ability. These two traits alone are more than enough to expect Davenport to be able to beat left tackles at the next level with consistency, attacking them before they can reach this lengthy prospect.

“Tapping into Davenport’s full potential could be as simple as getting him in the habit of rushing the half man on every rep, but expecting him to do so right away is a projection.”

With Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli notorious for getting the most out of his defensive linemen, there is no question that Dallas is an ideal landing spot for Marcus Davenport to instantly reach his full potential.

The key to unleashing Davenport on the NFL will be teaching the mental aspects of the position to a player who dominated with raw traits in college.

Davenport3 – Streamable

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The Cowboys have some numbers to sort out at defensive end before the draft, as the likes of Charles Tapper and Randy Gregory could potentially give them enough of a presence across from Lawrence to warrant looking elsewhere with the 19th overall pick.

Of course, Dallas also used last year’s first selection on DE Taco Charlton — who took major strides in his game towards the end of 2017.

None of this should deter them from reinforcing their defensive front with another versatile pass rusher.

Marcus Davenport has a legitimate case to come off the board within the first 15 picks of the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft, making him a great value for the Cowboys, slated to pick 19th.

Sean Martin ✭ on Twitter

My latest scouting report is UTSA’s Marcus Davenport. Get to know this tenacious EDGE prospect —

Tell us what you think about “Sean’s Scout: UTSA’s Marcus Davenport Fills Pass Rush Need for Cowboys” in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!


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NFL Draft

Cowboys Land Small School WR in Latest PFF Mock Draft

Kevin Brady



Cowboys Land Small School WR In Latest PFF Mock Draft
Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post

It’s officially draft season around the NFL, meaning — whether you like it or not — it’s now mock draft season. Pro Football Focus is the latest of the national football media outlets to release a mock draft. Their version of the draft was controversial towards the top, but their pick for the Cowboys was equally intriguing.

PFF has the Cowboys taking Colorado State Wide Receiver Michael Gallup, with the 19th overall pick, a player they graded with a 92.1 in 2017.

“Dallas could go a number of ways here, but they add another receiving threat in Gallup, who can win with speed down the field and toughness at the catch point. He was the nation’s top-graded receiver in 2017 at 92.1 overall, and he adds another weapon for QB Dak Prescott.”

Personally, I’m a huge fan of Michael Gallup. As I stated in my scouting report of Michael Gallup for Slant Sports, I believe he is one of the top-five receivers in the 2018 draft class. Gallup caught 100 passes last season for Colorado State, finishing with 1,413 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns.

At 6’1″ and about 200 pounds, Michael Gallup is the perfect productive Z receiver that any NFL offense would want.

nfldraft2018 michael gallup 2 – Streamable

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Gallup is a smart, athletic, and tough wide out, with consistent hands and excellent ball tracking skills. He was incredibly productive in college, and should be able to contribute to an NFL offense right away as a rookie.

Drafting Gallup in the first round, however, may not be the best move.

I think he’s a fantastic day-two option for the Cowboys. But if they were to pass on Vita Vea and Roquan Smith for Michael Gallup, as they did in this PFF mock draft, I don’t think Cowboys Nation would be too happy.

Of course, this is just one of many mock drafts circling around the inter-webs, but Michael Gallup would be a great fit for the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas desperately needs this type of wide out in their offense, but I hope they can get him 50th overall, rather than 19th.


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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft Target: Virginia Tech LB Tremaine Edmunds

Brian Martin



Cowboys Draft Target: Virginia Tech LB Tremaine Edmonds 1

Draft season! Draft season! Draft season! Pardon my excitement, but it’s one of my favorite times of the year. We all get the chance to study and speculate about the new crop of rookies coming in and determine their potential fit with NFL teams, and in this case, the Dallas Cowboys.

This draft season, especially, is shaping up to be an exciting one because the Cowboys have clear needs pretty much across the board. That means there is no clear answer as to which direction they will go with any of their draft picks, especially when they’re on the clock at 19 in the first round.

There is of course one draft need that has to be near the top of the list, if not #1 overall.

There can be no arguing the Dallas Cowboys absolutely need to address the linebacker position, especially with Sean Lee’s continued health concerns and Anthony Hitchens‘ potential departure via free agency.

Finding linebacker depth through the draft is a must!

A lot of Cowboys fans have already become enamored with former Georgia Bulldogs LB Roquan Smith, and rightfully so.

Smith will likely be the first linebacker off the board when the 2018 NFL Draft gets underway, which means he won’t be available for the Cowboys at 19.

But don’t be disheartened Cowboys fans, I think there is a linebacker in this draft class who possesses the God-given talent to be even better. Let me introduce you to a linebacker who I believe has Superstar potential.

Virginia Tech LB Tremaine Edmunds

Tremaine Edmunds checks all the boxes for an NFL linebacker. He is one of the more intriguing prospects in this entire draft class because of his versatility to play in any scheme. But, most intriguing is he is slated to be the second youngest (19) prospect ever drafted, only Amobi Okoye was younger.

But don’t let his youth fool you; he’s a monster on the field.

Tremaine Edmunds is a natural in so many phases of the game, and it has everything to do with his rare athleticism.

Edmunds has the size of an edge player (6’5″, 250), but the movement/athleticism of the smaller and quicker linebackers we’ve seen become popular around the NFL. To put it simply, he looks like a lion, but moves like a gazelle in the open field with his long strides and flexible hips.

Here’s an example of his loose/flexible hips in coverage.

Tremaine Edmunds loose hips in coverage – Streamable

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This isn’t a play you would typically ask a 6’5″, 250-pound man to make, but Tremaine Edmunds makes it look easy.

On this particular play, Edmunds drops into his hook/curl zone coverage. He then realizes the quarterback has decided to pull the ball down and scramble. He shows excellent field awareness and breaks from his coverage responsibility to make the open field tackle on the QB, despite the referee getting in the way.

This play probably wouldn’t have been possible if Edmunds was unable to flip his hips to change direction in order to make the tackle after covering the tight end. He does this with ease.

What I really like about Tremaine Edmunds is his versatility to play in any kind of defensive front/scheme. But, I personally believe he fits best in a 4-3 scheme, which is why I think he makes an excellent Cowboys draft prospect.

I think he fits best in the 4-3 scheme because of all of the different positions he can play. In the 4-3 scheme, Edmunds could play:

MIKE (middle): He has tremendous gap-shooting ability and play anticipation.
SAM (strong-side): He has the ability to stop the run and still drop into coverage.
EDGE: He has the size, athleticism, flexibility, and explosion.

Tremaine Edmunds played all of these positions while at Virginia Tech, and I think he could even play WILL (weak-side) as well, but that’s something he wasn’t asked to do in college.

But, you don’t have to take my word for it.

Edmunds at MIKE:

Tremaine Edmunds read/react – Streamable

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Here you see Tremaine Edmunds playing the MIKE LB position. He quickly reads and diagnoses the play, shooting the gap to make the tackle for a loss on third down.

It’s an excellent play and shows the God-given talent he was born with. You can’t teach those kind of instincts.

Edmunds at SAM:

Tremaine Edmunds covering RB – Streamable

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On this particular play, Edmunds is lined up at the SAM LB position and has responsibility of covering the running back out of the backfield. Not only does he once again show his loose hips in coverage, but he makes an excellent open-field tackle on third down for a minimal gain to get the defense off the field.

Edmunds at EDGE:

Tremaine Edmunds off the edge – Streamable

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Tremaine Edmunds was also utilized as an edge rusher, at times, while at Virginia Tech. Here you see him lined up in a two-point stance on the defense’s left side.

At the snap of the ball, you can really see his first-step explosion, natural bend and athleticism.

The TE trying to block him had no chance, and Edmunds probably would have gotten the sack if not for the slight hold and the QB’s ability to get rid of the ball quickly.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

As you can see, Tremaine Edmunds is an intriguing prospect for the Dallas Cowboys, and could probably start right away at the SAM LB position while also providing much-needed depth in other areas.

He’s not a polished prospect by any means, he’s still raw, but I believe he has the upside to be one of the great ones.

If I were to compare him to a current NFL player, I would compare him to either Anthony Barr (Vikings) or Jamie Collins (Browns). Both players have been successful as inside linebackers as well as edge players in the NFL, and that’s what I envision Edmunds will do in his career.

I think Edmunds is going to open a lot of eyes once we get further into the draft process, especially after he puts on a show at the combine. He will likely shoot up draft boards, which means he should be in play for the Dallas Cowboys with the 19th overall selection. I have absolutely zero concerns about taking him there.

What do you think about Tremaine Edmunds as a Cowboys draft prospect?


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