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NFL Draft

Cowboys on the Clock: Tyron Smith, #9 Overall

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys on the Clock: Tyron Smith, #9 Overall

Welcome back to Cowboys on the Clock! We have had quite the run of players over the last couple of days. On Friday, we profiled our first hall of fame player to make the countdown in Bob "Mr. Cowboy" Lilly. We followed that up with Alvin Harper and DeMarcus Ware, before taking you beyond the clock yesterday with Dan Bailey.

There are now just nine days until the 2016 NFL Draft, and we pick things up with Dallas' starting left tackle Tyron Smith.

Tyron Smith

Cowboys Nation certainly understands the commitment that this team has made to the offensive line. By investing waves of first round picks in the position, they changed their offensive identity to dominate teams on the ground, leading to 12 wins in the 2014 season.

Tyron Smith was the man out of USC that started this process, as he became the first offensive linemen off the board in 2011 when Jerry Jones called his name with the 9th overall pick on draft night.

Smith, who had to compete for all of his playing time in college (eventually starting three years at right tackle), was immediately named a starter with the Cowboys on the right side of the offensive line.

Doug Free anchored the left tackle spot for the 2011 campaign, while Smith started every game at right tackle. The Cowboys finished 8-8 and played for the division title in week 17 against the New York Giants, losing on the road.

Dallas would end up in the same position for the 2012 season, again finishing 8-8 following a week 17 loss in Washington - giving the Redskins the NFC East title and keeping the Cowboys out of the playoffs. This season, Smith started every game at left tackle while Free moved over to the right side.

Tyron shined in his second full season at left tackle in 2012, allowing just one sack all season long on his way to his first Pro Bowl. Despite his efforts, the team once again finished 8-8 with a week 17 loss that barred them from the playoffs.

Finally, the Cowboys broke through in 2014, winning 12 games and the NFC East thanks to their offensive line. Smith was joined by second-year center Travis Frederick and rookie right guard Zack Martin in leading DeMarco Murray to the league's rushing title.

Smith made his second straight Pro Bowl, playing in the first year of his newly signed 8 year mega-contract. This past season would be his second year of the deal, as the Cowboys offensive line paved the way for Darren McFadden to gain 1,089 yards on the ground.

Unfortunately, the team was held back at the quarterback position, losing Tony Romo on two separate occasions and stumbling to a 4-12 season.

Still, Smith expects to be a consistent fixture of this talented Cowboys offensive line for years to come.

Tomorrow on "Cowboys on the Clock": 2002 first round pick Roy Williams

I'm sure you are just as excited about the upcoming 2016 draft as we are here at Inside The Star, so be sure to check out our current draft content to prepare for April 28th right here! Check back here tomorrow and every day until draft night for my remaining countdown posts, and follow me on Twitter @ShoreSportsNJ. You can also leave feedback below the article or email sean.martin@insidethestar.com.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys on the Clock: Tyron Smith, #9 Overall" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, 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 wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. You may @ me: @SeanMartinNFL.

NFL Draft

Difference-Making Prospects Linked to Cowboys in Latest Mock Drafts

Sean Martin

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Difference-Making Prospects Linked to Cowboys in Latest Mock Drafts 1

The next time we take a look at these mock drafts to see who various members of the media have landing with the Cowboys, it will be on the week of the NFL Scouting Combine. This 2018 Draft process is charging towards Dallas, and with it we have some new prospects to add to the radar this week.

After introducing you to two secondary players last week, along with a consensus top-10 player in Georgia's Roquan Smith, here is the latest crop of college talent to be mocked to America's Team.

Difference-Making Prospects Linked to Cowboys in Latest Mock Drafts

CBS Sports: Calvin Ridley, WR - Alabama

This mock draft comes to us from Chris Trapasso, with the most complete receiver in the draft falling to the Cowboys.

"The Cowboys are thrilled with Ridley still being available. While he's not the biggest wideout and has a skinny frame, he's a dynamic route runner and has the deep speed Dallas has to inject into its offense."

Analysis:

Calvin Ridley may be the one WR in this draft too good for me to pass up on in the first round. As I've studied deeper into this class, the amount of talent available in the later rounds looks much more attractive for a Cowboys team that remains set on at least two starting receivers.

Should this WR depth deter the first 18 teams in the draft order from taking Alabama's Calvin Ridley though, this is a trigger that has to be pulled in Dallas.

Rotoworld: Maurice Hurst, DT - Michigan

Josh Norris' mock draft produces a familiar outcome for the Cowboys, but the talent he passes up on to mock Hurst to this team is certainly interesting.

"I know Vita Vea is on the board, but in Hurst the team is getting more of an upfield, disruptive lineman. He has special moments off the snap, creating instant penetration and totally destroying the offense’s plan."

Analysis:

Yawn. It feels inevitable that at least one mock draft each week will have the Cowboys doubling up on Michigan defensive linemen in the first round - upgrading the 3T position with Hurst. While I'm not dismissing Hurst's talent in any way, I don't see a consistent enough player (nor enough of a difference maker) to warrant the 19th overall pick.

Should the Cowboys lose RFA David Irving, there is no doubt they'll be in need of a disruptive defensive tackle. As the roster stands now though, the Cowboys' bigger need is at the 1T position - which Norris ignores despite the best player at that position (Vea) being available.

Bleacher Report: Tremaine Edmunds, LB - Virginia Tech

Like Chris Trapasso's mock, Mike Tanier's latest draft projection has another top player sliding the Cowboys' way.

"Tremaine Edmunds has been a tricky player to slot in this mock draft. He has limitless upside, but at a position (off-the-ball linebacker) that few teams prioritize in the first round anymore. He should be a Bobby Wagner/Luke Keuchly-caliber contributor by 2019, but whoever drafts him will experience some growing pains as the not-yet-20-year-old Edmunds learns not to get sucked into play action or get caught flat-footed in coverage."

Analysis:

An argument could be made for Tremaine Edmunds as the best LB in this draft. At the very least, he is in elite company atop the board with Roquan Smith. Both prospects play the WILL position, which Tanier correctly points out as one that is devalued currently.

This shouldn't stop Smith from having his name called early in the 2018 Draft, and I have my doubts about it doing the same for Edmunds. A freak athlete out of Virginia Tech, Edmunds will be just 19 years old at the time of April's draft.

This bodes exceptionally well for the Cowboys, who are of course preparing to start Sean Lee at WILL once again. Drafting Edmunds may go against this team's philosophy of drafting immediate starters, along with first round linebackers.

With all that said, Tremaine Edmunds is not a player I could pass up on with the 19th overall pick.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

The NFL Scouting Combine will give teams and draft analysts a much better evaluation of where all of these prospects truly belong. Through three weeks of doing this series, I can't say that any player mocked to the Cowboys has been a reach.

Instead, the likes of Smith, Edmunds, and Ridley could soon disappear entirely from the majority of Cowboys mock drafts moving forward. The bigger picture of who actually will be available to Dallas, and who they're targeting in the first round, is slowly coming into focus.

Tell us what you think about "Difference-Making Prospects Linked to Cowboys in Latest Mock Drafts" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!


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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft: 3 LBs To Pay Attention To

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Draft: 3 LBs To Pay Attention To

The Dallas Cowboys enter the 2018 NFL offseason with clear needs to fill at linebacker. Starting MIKE backer Anthony Hitchens will enter free agency, starting WILL Sean Lee has been riddled with injuries, and the now third-year Jaylon Smith is still somewhat of a question mark.

Considering all of the doubts surrounding the Cowboys linebackers, it would be wise to target one during the 2018 NFL Draft. Of course, Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds have become fan favorites over the last few months.

Both of these guys are clearly first round players, however, and may both be gone by the time the Cowboys are on the clock. Dallas will probably need to find their linebacker starting on day two, so I have compiled a short list of some potential targets.

Josey Jewell, Iowa

2018 NFL Draft: Scouting Iowa LB Josey Jewell - Slant Sports

With each NFL Draft cycle, scouts everywhere can typically feel good about their evaluations of Iowa Hawkeyes players. The BIG 10 school is known for producing solid, pro-ready talent that NFL teams absolutely need to fill out a roster. Enter Iowa Linebacker Josey Jewell, a three-year starter and captain on this Hawkeyes defense.

Iowa Hawkeye's linebacker Josey Jewell has been gaining traction within the draft community as of late. The three-year starter and collegiate captain has been discussed as one of the more pro-ready and consistent linebackers in this draft class.

Jewell earned a third round grade on my draft board, and fellow Inside The Star writer Sean Martin saw him in a similar light. Jewell possesses impressive instincts, plays with textbook technique, and is a solid run defender/tackler in the box.

His main weakness, however, is his athletic ability. He doesn't move laterally as well as someone like current Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith did in college. Jewell is a player with a solid floor, but not a very high ceiling. Drafting him would give the Cowboys another good piece on their defense, and a starting SAM backer.

Sean Martin believes he can play at either WILL or MIKE, and we both view him as a potential target for the Cowboys 81st overall.

Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State

Jonah Tuls on Twitter

Vander Esch reads it and attacks at 100 mph. Put this guy on my football team. https://t.co/RaTvP9sO7u

Boise State's Vander Esch is a linebacker garnering a lot of hype throughout Draft Twitter. At 6'4" and 240 pounds, Vander Esch certainly looks the part of an NFL linebacker. His athleticism and ability to move laterally leaves much to be desired, however.

Vander Esch totaled 141 tackles and 3 interceptions during the 2017 season, breaking onto the scene as a Junior. Vander Esch is a three down linebacker who has been labeled a leader and hard worker by his Boise State teammates and coaches, making him an excellent "RKG" candidate for Jason Garrett. He is an instinctual player who reads, reacts, and attacks on a routine basis against the run. He is also consistently impressive in coverage, something the Cowboys could use from their linebackers.

Despite his positives, which there are many, I just can't convince myself to draft Vander Esch as early as he's being talked about. I believe he can be a solid professional linebacker, and fit in as an off ball WILL, but if I were running the Cowboys I wouldn't make that pick until the third round.

And the way things look, Vander Esch will be long gone by the 81st overall pick. Maybe Dallas will see things differently, and make the move in round two.

Rashaan Evans, Alabama

nfldraft2018 rashaan evans - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

My favorite of these three linebackers, Alabama's Rashaan Evans is an off ball/edge hybrid who was all over the field for Alabama.

At 'Bama, Evans had six sacks and 10 quarterback hits, ranking 16th in pass rushing productivity (Pro Football Focus) among all qualifying draft-eligible inside linebackers. Still, I believe his best plays came from when lined up as a traditional off ball linebacker.

In Dallas, Evans could be used as a WILL backer who also rushes as a defensive end in passing situations. The 6'3" 234 pound linebacker is exactly the type of player that NFL defenses are moving towards, and he would be a welcomed addition to this young Cowboys defense.

I believe Rashaan Evans is a top-30 type of player, making it tough to envision being able to draft him 50th overall. If completely wiped out, Evans could be a candidate at 19, though I wouldn't hold my breath. Evans is ILB3 on my draft board, and earned the highest grade of these three linebackers.


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NFL Draft

Could This Draft Sleeper be Dez Bryant’s Successor?

Brian Martin

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Could This Draft Sleeper be Cowboys Next WR1?
Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports

One of my favorite parts of the NFL offseason is jumping into the draft process and studying the next group of incoming rookies. I don't pretend to be a professional scout, but I do trust my own analysis for the most part. I find myself right about these prospects more times than not, but no one is perfect.

When scouting these prospects, I am particularly looking at players that fit in with what the Dallas Cowboys like whether it is based on scheme or preference. I try not to waste my time with the ones who I don't believe fit into those categories.

Today, I want to share with you a wide receiver I happened to stumble upon who isn't getting talked about enough, but probably should. He is still flying under the radar, but I think that could change here in a few weeks when the NFL Combine gets underway.

We all know the Dallas Cowboys would probably like to add another receiver at some point in the draft, but when and where is debatable. I think it's unlikely they take one on Day 1, and possibly not even Day 2. It will likely depend on how things fall, but Day 3 could still have quite a few good options available.

I've started to study these Day 3 prospects, and I think I've found a diamond in the rough. I'm actually surprised he hasn't been talked about, but that could be good news for the Cowboys.

Let me be the first to introduce you to former Southern Mississippi Golden Eagle, Korey Robertson.

WR Korey Robertson, Southern Miss

Korey Robertson

Southern Miss WR Korey Robertson

I don't know about you, but I don't think of ever watched Southern Mississippi play a single collegiate game. They're not a big powerhouse school and don't produce a lot of high-end draft picks, but we've seen small school players make a name for themselves in the NFL before.

As you can imagine, I wasn't expecting much when I started to watch Korey Robertson's game film, but I was pleasantly surprised. I think he has the potential to be a WR1 in the NFL and he reminds me a lot of the Dallas Cowboys own, Dez Bryant.

Robertson was a surprise early entry into the 2018 NFL draft class. He had remaining eligibility left and could have possibly improved his draft stock by returning to Southern Miss, but that's neither here nor there now.

Robertson certainly looks the part of a WR1 in the NFL. He is 6'2", 210 pounds and plays with amazing physicality. I think he could be the best WR in this draft class at attacking the ball in the air and winning those 50/50 jump balls. This is where he reminds me of Dez Bryant the most.

But don't take my word for it, take a look at his highlights and judge for yourself.

Korey Robertson || "NFL Draft Sleeper" ᴴᴰ || Official Southern Miss Highlights

Welcome to Harris Highlights! The #1 Highlight Channel on YouTube (↓↓ click show more ↓↓) Snapchat: @BlakeHHarris Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/BlakeHHarris Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/BlakeHHarris Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HarrisHighlights More Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDVRxx3GLCPpNf_geQS8cn0qPIxW9GVBo Videos of me talking football: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDVRxx3GLCPqKJ_pKvK9WBSmtr3jiA7CY Games to Remember: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDVRxx3GLCPqDlPuKw5XUCo1giKkCs024 Check out my Podcast: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDVRxx3GLCPrvMs59SM0ITkhCU0R5HmKm ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ Welcome to Harris Highlights, the #1 subscribed and most viewed College Football highlight channel on YouTube!

I really like what I seen of Korey Robertson. I think he really makes an intriguing wide receiver prospect for the Dallas Cowboys. I personally think he has WR1 potential.

He registered 76 catches for 1,106 yards and 12 touchdowns this last season, so the production is there, but he's far from a finished prospect.

Robinson still needs to fine-tune his route running, but it's not terrible. He shows good speed on film and is expected to run in the 4.4 range at the combine. That would definitely boost his draft stock.

I think he checks just about all of the boxes. He has the size, speed, catches the ball easily (with his hands), and plays with the physicality that will immediately make him a fan favorite.

I currently have a third-round grade on him, but I'm probably higher on him with others. I think he will be a Day 3 draft pick, which means the Dallas Cowboys could use one of their compensatory picks to select this talented wide receiver.

What do you think of Korey Robertson as a potential Cowboys WR?


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