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Cowboys Draft: Could This Rising QB Help the Cowboys Trade Out of the 1st Round?

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Draft: Could This Rising QB Help the Cowboys Trade Out of the First Round? 2

For as long as we’ve had the NFL Draft, we’ve had teams reach in the first round for the most important position in sports – the quarterback. Evaluating the quarterback position continues to plague many teams that perpetually sit at the top of the draft order in search of their franchise guy, and there are plenty of reasons to think that the same will apply – potentially in a big way – the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft.

With the exception of Mitchell Trubisky, who essentially has just one year of college starting experience, the consensus on this year’s QB class is that there are far more questions than answers about prospects like Deshaun Watson, DeShone Kizer, Pat Mahomes…and even Davis Webb.

Phil Savage on Twitter

The Davis Webb talk is legit as far as 1st round. Have had several #NFL people tell me that he is the guy they would want to coach. https://t.co/mUhgwbxydh

That’s right, despite this draft class being absolutely loaded with talent on the defensive side of the ball, yet another flawed QB prospect is entering first round discussion with California’s Davis Webb. Of course, it was a Cal signal caller that went with the first overall pick a year ago with Jared Goff, and his start in Los Angeles can hardly be described as encouraging.

Davis Webb spent just one season in the “Bear Raid” offense in the PAC-12 at California, and before that started for Texas Tech (yeah, he threw 1,367 passes in college) in 2013. Losing his starting job to injury to Pat Mahomes in 2014 led Webb to sit as his backup in 2015 before transferring.

Cowboys Draft: Could This Rising QB Help the Cowboys Trade Out of the First Round?

If you’re a Cowboys fan, I already know what your question is.

Why are we talking about a quarterback that lost his job in college and will likely be over drafted, we found our franchise quarterback in the fourth round last year? 

As mentioned, and as fellow Staff Writer Kevin Brady and I have been bringing you with scouting reports at Slant Sports, this 2017 NFL Draft is full of defensive talent that can help the Dallas Cowboys. A simple look at their pre-draft visits to date doesn’t hide the fact that the Cowboys know they need help on defense – and more accurately depth on this side of the ball.

Bryan Broaddus on Twitter

Sounds like they’re bringing ever CB in draft in for visit so I’d say none. https://t.co/Z4uQoS4cMg

Not only will every card turned in for a questionable quarterback before the 28th overall pick slide more defensive talent down the board for Dallas in the first round, but it could put them in a great position to add even more of this depth by trading down just a few spots and still choosing from waves of talented cornerbacks, safeties, or edge rushers.

If getting Will McClay and the Cowboys brain trust more draft picks this year following their 2016 draft haul is something you’re interested in, you may want 27 teams to pass on the hype for these quarterbacks – of which there is one more piece in Davis Webb to potentially help America’s Team.

Who could trade up for Webb’s services, and what would the Cowboys get in return? Let’s take a closer look.

Cleveland Browns

The sun rises once every 24 hours, and with each new day the Browns are looking for a new quarterback around this time leading up to the NFL Draft. Cleveland has four picks in the first two rounds this year, and no immediate pressure to reach with any of them for a QB with Myles Garrett making their decision at first overall the easiest it’s been since Andrew Luck to Indianapolis.

Assuming the Browns do take Garrett to kick off the draft on April 27th, things will get interesting when they come on the clock again with the 12th overall pick. As many as four teams could consider quarterbacks before this pick, but it is also just as likely they’ll have their full stack of QBs to choose from here.

Stick with me Cowboys Nation, and assume that the Browns are once again smart (I know its difficult) with this pick and wait for their quarterback even longer.

Browns Chalk Talk on Twitter

Davis Webb’s name is starting to re-surface with #Browns… https://t.co/jsavSBTwvd

By the time Dallas comes on the clock, naturally guys like Trubisky, Kizer, and Watson are gone – leaving former teammates Pat Mahomes and Davis Webb. A handy look at Jimmy Johnson’s draft trade value chart tells us that the Browns would have to offer 660 points of trade value to the Cowboys to come back into the round and take one of these QBs.

The appetizing 33rd overall pick that leads off the second round is worth just 580 points, meaning Cleveland would also have to likely part with the first pick in the fourth round at 108th overall – worth 78 points.

The Browns get a new, exciting, gun-slinging quarterback while the Cowboys make up for their lack of a 5th round pick by adding a premium 4th and only moving back five spots from 28.

San Francisco 49ers

With needs all over the roster under new leadership with John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan, the 49ers will likely pass on reaching for a quarterback with their 2nd overall pick.

It would be smart for San Francisco however to bring their first-year, QB-guru head coach a developmental QB at some point in this draft, and with their stocks always elevated the time to do so even on a guy like Davis Webb could be at the bottom of the first round.

What makes the 49ers an intriguing trade partner for the Cowboys is of course not only their 34th overall pick but their 109th – one of two selections they have in the 4th round.

These two picks would get San Francisco within 636 points of the needed 660 for the 28th overall Cowboys’ first-round pick. Making things even more juicy is that the 49ers also have two picks in the 5th round.

Again, Dallas currently has no 5th round pick, but could get the 49ers to overpay in acquiring one at 146th overall – nine points over value on the remaining 24 points required for this move. More realistically, the 49ers 161st overall pick gets this deal done with 27 value points.

San Francisco adds a spread quarterback to one of the worst rosters in the NFL. The Dallas Cowboys, with their second draft trade involving the 49ers in five years, pick at 34, 60, 92, 109, 133, and 161. Who says no?

Buffalo Bills

In this last hypothetical trade scenario we’ll break down, the Bills round out the top-ten in this 2017 Draft by passing on a quarterback. Cleveland breathes a sigh of relief.

Looking to add a developmental guy behind Tyrod Taylor though, Buffalo can offer the 44th overall pick to start for Dallas’ 28th. This puts the Bills nicely within 200 points of the needed 660 at 460 points.

Worth 215 points to get the job done, the Bills could add their 75th overall pick in the third round to get this deal done. Compared to our last scenario with the 49ers, the Cowboys technically only kept three “premium” picks – or selections in the top 100. Recent draft history in Dallas should rightfully bring excitement for the 109th and 133rd picks, but even those fail in comparison to adding the 75th overall pick.


Davis Webb, or any quarterback that remains on the board with the 28th overall pick, could be the gift that keeps on giving for the Dallas Cowboys in the 2017 NFL Draft to put them over the top.

In a vacuum where fans (of teams without Dak Prescott of course) only care about tape and not the glimmer of hope a potential franchise QB in the draft provides, this year’s class would leave plenty – perhaps too many – of these quarterback prospects on the board in the first round for Dallas on the clock.

The quarterbacks we’ve been talking about forever now, and one we haven’t in Webb, are going to hear their names called earlier than they should though.

Cowboys Draft: Could This Rising QB Help the Cowboys Trade Out of the First Round? 1

(AP Photo/James D Smith)

We go live to Jerry Jones – who already expressed his belief that he sees potential for a trade with the 28th overall pick – on draft night if the Davis Webb hype continues for three more short weeks.

To think some Cowboys fans wanted our fourth overall pick of a year ago to be used on a California quarterback.

Tell us what you think about “Cowboys Draft: Could This Rising QB Help the Cowboys Trade Out of the 1st Round?” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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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

Cowboys Draft Target: Michigan DT Maurice Hurst

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Draft Target: Michigan DT Maurice Hurst

Heading into the 2018 NFL Draft, it’s pretty clear defensive tackle is toward the top of the Dallas Cowboys’ needs. Dallas has invested multiple draft picks and resources into the secondary, linebackers, and defensive ends, but their interior defensive line still needs to add depth and talent. One potential target to fill this need is Michigan Wolverines Defensive Tackle Maurice Hurst.

Over at Slant Sports I completed a full scouting report on Hurst, giving him a first-round grade and ranking him atop this defensive tackle class.

At 6’2″ and about 280 pounds, Maurice Hurst clearly projects as a three technique at the professional level. Hurst played the under-tackle most of the time at Michigan, but he did kick down over the center or inside the guards at times. Still, I wouldn’t expect a team to draft Hurst to be their one tech of the future.

Hurst is an explosive beast at defensive tackle.

Playing with a nonstop motor, Hurst won off the ball often, but also created effort and hustle plays behind the line of scrimmage during his college career. Hurst’s first step, quick hands, ability to win with leverage, and overall explosiveness shine through on film.

nfldraft2018 maurice hurst 5 – Streamable

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“Here’s an example of that explosive first step. Hurst is lined up as the 3-technique on the far side. Winning with his first-step quickness and burst, Hurst gives the offensive linemen absolutely no chance to block him. He then powers through the recovery attempt by the lineman to make the tackle in the backfield.” ~Slant Sports

Hurst clearly doesn’t have the prototypical size of a defensive tackle in the NFL, but his play style suits his body well.

His explosiveness and burst off the ball make him incredibly dangerous, and his quick hands, low pad level, and strong lower body help him to win against any offensive lineman.

He obviously isn’t at the same level, and may not deserve eye-to-eye comparisons with this player, but Maurice Hurst’s play style and body type remind me of a young Aaron Donald. (I’m not saying he’s better than Aaron Donald, save the comments).

nfldraft2018 maurice hurst 8 – Streamable

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

In terms of his fit with the Cowboys, Hurst would compete with Maliek Collins for playing time at three technique.

Respected draft guru Dane Brugler, has mocked Hurst to Dallas in his latest mock draft, but the way they handle both Collins and impending restricted free agent David Irving will play a huge role in determining if Hurst would even fill a need.

Regardless, Maurice Hurst is a name deserving of first-round buzz, and Cowboys Nation should keep their eyes on him this offseason.

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Sean’s Scout: Memphis WR Anthony Miller a Needed Weapon for Cowboys

Sean Martin

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Sean's Scout: Memphis WR Anthony Miller A Needed Weapon For Cowboys
AP Photo / Jessica Hill

Slotted to pick 19th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys find themselves in position to add a first-round talent to a team that fell just short of the playoffs at 9-7 in 2017. Faltering entirely on offense without RB Ezekiel Elliott too many times this season, it’s hard to argue this asset is not best spent on new talent at WR.

The Cowboys haven’t drafted a wide receiver in the first round since 2010, trading up for Oklahoma State’s Dez Bryant. Frequent injuries and the inability to develop with QB Dak Prescott have diminished Bryant’s status as a star receiver in Dallas, and it may be time to overhaul the position entirely.

After scouting Memphis WR Anthony Miller, he may be just what the Dallas Cowboys need. Let’s take a closer look at his fit in the Cowboys’ offense in the first draft-season edition of Sean’s Scout.

WR Anthony Miller 2 – Streamable

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With 96 receptions for 1,462 yards and 18 touchdowns in his final season at Memphis, Senior WR Anthony Miller is one of the top players at his position in the 2018 NFL Draft. These inflated numbers in the Tigers’ pass-happy offense do little to highlight Miller as a next level prospect…

This film clip and quote from my full scouting report on Miller shows the pure play-making ability Miller has. Miller wouldn’t fill the Cowboys need for an over-the-top burner at WR, but he has no problem tracking the ball with ease and adjusting in the air to make big plays down the field.

…Miller is as tough of a cover as you’ll find thanks to his explosive and concise release off the line.

Anthony Miller is certainly a “Dak-friendly” pass catcher, as he possesses the catch radius to snag passes away from his frame using his exceptionally strong hands. Even when he is covered, Miller is open vertically.

With that said, Miller has more than enough ability to separate with good initial quickness and elite balance through his routes.

WR Anthony Miller 4 – Streamable

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

…he wastes no time accelerating through the secondary, and running with a powerful stride that makes it difficult to bring him down.

There may be better technical route runners in this draft class, but few set up defenders as consistently well as Miller — who has the production to match these NFL traits.

A willing run blocker too, Miller could walk into Dallas and immediately earn snaps as an X, Z, or Y receiver. Miller’s best fit to start his career is likely as a Z receiver, drawing less attention in coverage while being allowed to run a full route tree.

…Miller gets on cornerbacks in a hurry, setting them up with his fluidity and size to track the football through contact.

A potential replacement for Terrance Williams with the Cowboys, Miller is somewhat of a similar player in the way he wins with mostly size.

The Memphis product would still be an upgrade over Williams though, as it is much easier to get the ball in Miller’s hands. Add in the red-zone ability that Anthony Miller has to box out defenders, and the run-after-catch burst as an inside target, and Miller is a weapon the Cowboys could desperately use.

WR Anthony Miller 1 – Streamable

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…I found myself constantly impressed with the speed at which Miller gets up the field when taking the ball underneath.

Miller will have nothing but opportunities to raise his draft stock over the coming months. He will be at this month’s Senior Bowl, receiving NFL-level coaching to refine his game. The Scouting Combine will also be critical for Miller’s testing numbers to confirm the athlete seen on tape dominating at Memphis will take the next step.

Earning a second round grade on my 2018 NFL Draft Board, there is a chance the Cowboys have to use their first round pick if they truly want Anthony Miller in Silver and Blue. A very complete player that fills a need, Miller as the Cowboys first pick could make plenty of sense in April.

Tell us what you think about “Sean’s Scout: Memphis WR Anthony Miller a Needed Weapon for Cowboys” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Luxury or Need for Cowboys to Draft Another 1st-Round OL?

Brian Martin

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Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, Travis Frederick, offensive line

Due to growing concerns about Tyron Smith‘s availability and future health, due to reoccurring back injuries, there seems to be a growing consensus among Dallas Cowboys fans that there’s a need to draft an offensive lineman with the first-round pick. But, is it actually a need, or would it be more of a luxury?

There is legitimate concern about Tyron Smith and his future health.

Back injuries have a way of flaring up at the most inopportune times. It’s also not an injury that’s going away anytime soon, if ever. This is the unknown the Cowboys are faced with heading into the off-season, and it could end up having a major impact on the direction they go in the 2018 NFL Draft.

There seems to be a growing consensus around Cowboys Nation that the Dallas Cowboys should seriously consider selecting the best available offensive tackle with the 19th overall pick.

There are probably two reasons for this:

  1. Tyron Smith’s health concerns, and
  2. the need to upgrade the swing tackle position after watching Byron Bell and Chaz Green play in 2017.

But, the question remains: is drafting yet another offensive lineman in the first-round a luxury or need for the Dallas Cowboys?

Personally, I can see both sides of this argument. So, let’s break it down a little and examine each.

Luxury

Zack Martin

Dallas Cowboys RG Zack Martin

The Dallas Cowboys have already invested an enormous amount of resources to build arguably the best offensive line in the NFL.

They’ve spent three first-round draft picks to acquire Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin, two of which have already received long-term extensions with Martin waiting in the wings.

That’s a lot of money devoted to one position, which ultimately means the Cowboys have to go cheaper in other areas in order to fit under the salary cap. This is the money that would be used in free agency to acquire some of those higher-priced free agents fans are always hankering for.

It also can be used to re-sign some of the Cowboys players at other positions, such as DeMarcus Lawrence.

But, it’s not only the money that makes drafting a first-round OL a luxury.

Four out of five of the Cowboys OL are already pretty much set in stone. The left guard position is really the only unoccupied position right now, but that could be filled rather easily. This, of course, is assuming Tyron Smith stays healthy, but regardless, he is the starting left tackle when the 2018 season begins.

Need

Byron Bell

Dallas Cowboys OL Byron Bell

There’s no reason to believe Tyron Smith will be able to play an entire 16-game season going forward. The last two seasons he has had to sit out several games due to injuries, and unfortunately his back issues aren’t going away anytime soon.

To make matters worse, Dallas doesn’t have an adequate backup, which was proven on more than one occasion in 2017. Hence the need.

With the exception of the quarterback, the left tackle position is arguably the most important on offense. They protect the QB’s blindside and are largely responsible for keeping him healthy and upright.

There’s a reason they are drafted so highly and paid so handsomely: they are that important to a team’s success.

There was also a reason the Dallas Cowboys offense started to sputter once Tyron Smith started missing time. Opposing defenses no longer respected the Cowboys LT, and started putting their best pass rusher on that side to get after Dak Prescott.

Prescott ended up having happy feet and it had a ripple effect throughout the entire offense, and not in a good way.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Quite honestly, I think it would be a luxury to draft any kind of offensive lineman with the Cowboys’ first-round selection, but I wouldn’t be completely surprised if that’s the direction they went. There are positives and negatives to both sides of the argument.

But, if they stick to the draft board and an OL is their highest rated player there, I say go for it.

The only thing we can do is have faith that the Dallas Cowboys know more about Tyron Smith’s health and his availability to play then we do as fans. If they decide to draft an offensive lineman early, I think we should all take that as an indication that they are worried about Smith, at least a little bit.

Luxury or Need: Do the Cowboys draft a first-round OL?

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