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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Cowboys Draft: Reviewing Kansas DT Daniel Wise
Throughout the post draft media process, the Cowboys' decision makers have been adamant that they found multiple draft-able players in undrafted free agency this year. Each of which, of course, will have an opportunity to compete for a roster or practice squad spot this summer.
One of those players who almost certainly had a draft-able grade despite fall through all seven rounds, is Kansas defensive tackle Daniel Wise.
At 6'3" and 290 pounds, Wise projects as a 3-technique in the NFL, and should compete for that very role on the Cowboys defense. Wise is not an overly bendy or athletic player, but he has a good initial quickness which allows him to penetrate gaps well. Wise plays with excellent effort, having the type of motor that I'm sure Rod Marinelli valued highly during the pre-draft evaluations.
A strong and powerful interior presence, Wise can offer some upside as a pass rusher as well. He has quick, active, and heavy hands. When combining his hands with his get-off, Wise is a real threat as a pass rusher. Maybe his most impressive pass rushing quality, however, is the effort which he plays with. Never giving up on a play, you'll have to block Wise until the final whistle or he will threaten for effort sacks.
In college, Wise was often asked to be a two-gap defender from the 5-technique, but that's just not where he'll be at his best. Rather, he should be used in the role the Cowboys likely envision for him, allowing him to play with power at the point of attack and disrupt the running game.
But what are Daniel Wise's chances of even making the team?
The Cowboys made a concerted effort to improve their defensive line this offseason, specifically on the interior. By adding free agents like Kerry Hyder and drafting Trysten Hill 58th overall, Dallas has improved what was considered a weakness during the postseason a year ago.
Not all of these talented defensive tackles will make the team, though, it's simply a numbers a game. And cutting an undrafted free agent will certainly be easier to do than cutting someone who will be owed real money, or was acquired through premium draft capital.
Regardless, Daniel Wise will have the chance to prove his worth during training camp and the preseason. And based on how he projects through his college tape and physical attributes, he'll likely make those final decisions very difficult on the Cowboys' staff.
Pre-Draft Visitors Highlight Dallas Cowboys 2019 Rookie Class
The Dallas Cowboys are "officially" adding 21 rookies to their roster, eight of which they drafted and the remaining 13 are undrafted free agents. The number of rookies the Cowboys are bringing in isn't all that surprising, but what did surprise me was how many of them were pre-draft visitors.
You may or may not know, but the NFL allows 30 allotted pre-draft visits for each team around the league. Teams don't have to use all 30 visits of course, but the majority of them take advantage of the opportunity and generally use up all 30 visits. It's a chance to introduce these rookies into the atmosphere they could be playing in and work them out in more of a one-on-one basis.
The Dallas Cowboys of course are known as a team who take their 30 pre-draft visits very seriously. Over the past several years they've drafted several players who were brought in for pre-draft visits, and 2019 was no exception.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, paying attention to the Dallas Cowboys 30 pre-draft visits is a good idea because the odds of them drafting one or more of them is pretty high. That's why I decided to run a pre-draft tracker this year, and because of it I was able to confirm 27 of the possible 30 pre-draft visitors for the Cowboys.
Here are 2019 pre-draft visitors currently on the Cowboys roster:
- DT, Trysten Hill
- RB, Tony Pollard
- RB, Mike Weber
- WR, Jon'Vea Johnson
- CB, Chris Westry
If you're doing the math, 5 out of 30 equates to 17% of the players the Dallas Cowboys brought in as pre-draft visitors. But, if Dallas only brought in 27 that percentage rises to 19%. To say that the Cowboys value these pre-draft visits would be an understatement, at least as far as 2019 is concerned.
The first three of Trysten Hill, Tony Pollard, and Mike Weber were of course all draft picks and have the best chance to stick around on the final 53-man roster, but I wouldn't rule out Jon'Vea Johnson and Chris Westry. Both were draftable players, but somehow fell through the cracks right into the lap of the Cowboys as UFAs.
I don't really know if it's a good idea the Dallas Cowboys are so transparent with how valuable the treat these 30 pre-draft visits. We've seen teams time and time again trade up right in front of them to draft a player the Cowboys could've possibly been eyeing, and this year was no exception.
After drafting Running Back/Wide Receiver Tony Pollard with the first of their fourth-round draft picks, it looked like the Dallas Cowboys had their sights set on small school Defensive End/Defensive Tackle John Cominsky out of Charleston with their second pick in the fourth. Unfortunately, the Atlanta Falcons traded up a spot ahead of them to draft Cominsky.
This of course isn't the first time the Falcons have done this, which begs the question as to how they knew the Cowboys could have possibly been targeting Cominsky. We can throw a conspiracy theory out there that Atlanta might have been inside source, but that's highly unlikely. More plausible theory is they were paying attention to Dallas' 30 pre-draft visitors as well.
It may be time for the Dallas Cowboys to deploy a little more smoke and mirrors when it comes to who they bring in for pre-draft visits in the future. But regardless, there's no denying the Cowboys pre-draft visitors highlight their 2019 rookie class.
Are you surprised the Dallas Cowboys added so many pre-draft visitors to the roster?
Dallas Cowboys 2019 Draft Grades
Another year, another draft come and gone. The difference was that this year the Dallas Cowboys were without a first-round pick thanks to their trade for Amari Cooper with Oakland. Their de facto first-round pick would obviously earn an A+ from how well he meshed with Dak Prescott and gave this Cowboys offense another dimension.
Given how well the Cowboys have done in the first round in recent history -- all but two of their first round picks since 2011 have been in the Pro Bowl, a trend that continued with last year’s pick, Leighton Vander Esch. This season, the Cowboys only had picks from round two and on. So this year was all about finding value and hoping it would fall into their laps.
Obviously time will tell if any of these players work out or not. For the time being, we can grade the picks based on what we do know. Some picks were worth it, while others raised questions, as well as eyebrows.
58 Overall: DT, Trysten Hill
In what has been considered the best defensive line draft in decades, the Cowboys took a bit of a risk with their first “official” pick. Trysten Hill is a first round talent out of UCF, but reports questioning his love for the game had some give him a third round grade.
Dallas has already had an off-season dealing with talented defensive linemen with questions around their passion for the game (i.e. David Irving) and so obviously people didn’t love this pick.
It’s a high risk, high reward move that we’ll have to wait and see how it turns out.
90 Overall: G, Connor McGovern
As far as value goes, McGovern was probably the team’s best pick. In my pre-draft rankings, Connor McGovern was my fourth overall interior lineman; a player who you can play anywhere in the interior and start immediately.
However, guard didn’t really seem like a need. This was obviously a “best player available” pick. What this pick has done instead is raise a bunch of questions.
Who’s job could be on the line?
Does this imply the team won’t re-sign La’el Collins?
Is Connor Williams going to play tackle like he did in college?
Is one of them going to get traded?
Is Travis Frederick really ready to go?
So many questions surround this pick, but there’s no questioning the player. Connor McGovern is likely a future starter on the line and Cowboys fans should be excited about that.
128 Overall: RB, Tony Pollard
If you follow me on Twitter, you know my feelings about Tony Pollard already.
Tony Pollard might be my favorite #Cowboys pick. Has experience at both the RB and WR position, plus had 7 career kick return TDs in college. He addresses all 3 needs in 1. #NFLDraft
Returner has been a need for a year now. I never liked the team trading away Ryan Switzer because it created a huge hole on special teams, as well as the receiving core.
The team also needed a backup running back to take the load off Ezekiel Elliott a bit. With Tony Pollard, they get all three positions filled in the form of a player who's 6'0" 210 pounds, ran a 4.52 40 and compiled 25 total touchdowns. Terrific value in the fourth round.
158 Overall: CB, Michael Jackson
This is the type of corner Kris Richard loves; big and tall. At 6'1" 200 pounds, Michael Jackson fits the profile.
His 2017 tape was actually better than his 2018 tape, and all four of his career interceptions came in '17. However, the team is obviously betting on his potential, especially with corner being a serious need.
With the Cowboys' four primary corners coming into contract years the next three seasons, odds are that at least one will be gone. MJ doesn’t fill in day one as a difference maker but, given some time under Kris Richard, he could be a nice player.
165 Overall: DE, Joe Jackson
Take Joe Jackson, new Cowboy, as well as Michael and Darius Jackson, and the team is just two short of a Jackson 5 reunion.
The team has been very busy trying to rebuild the depth at edge and Joe Jackson is icing on an already stacked cake. In an off-season that saw the retirement of David Irving and another suspension for Randy Gregory, the team was able to extend DeMarcus Lawrence and trade for Robert Quinn.
The edge room was already full but you can never have too many.
Joe Jackson is a fun, productive player from The U, who was teammates with the previous pick, Michael Jackson. In his career, he totaled 24 sacks and 37.5 tackles for loss all in three seasons. He’s not the fastest edge rusher in the world but has plenty of power to make up for it. With the team only for sure having DeMarcus Lawrence guaranteed beyond 2019, it’s good to have as much talent as possible.
213 Overall: S, Donovan Wilson
The team really needed a safety and it enraged most people that they didn’t pick one earlier. Especially with Taylor Rapp, Juan Thornhill and Amani Hooker all available at different times.
Donovan Wilson is an interesting pick. His career has been a rollercoaster while at Texas A&M, with a highly productive 2015 season, a dip in 2016, a fractured foot in the 2017 opener, and a rebound 2018 season.
Had his career not been derailed by his injury, he’s likely gone way before the sixth round and the Cowboys are obviously betting on his potential. Meets a need, but not a plug-in right away type of pick.
218 Overall: RB, Mike Weber
Tony Pollard is going to get first crack at the backup running back spot. However, given that he’s also the team’s likely return man as well, it makes sense that they’d want to deepen the running back room to give the team a true RB2.
Mike Weber was Ezekiel Elliott’s teammate at Ohio State, but didn’t come close to the impact Elliott had. Only topping 1,000 yards once in college, Weber is likely in competition with Darius Jackson for the backup spot.
He’s not as flashy as Zeke but can pick up the slack when asked to and is a solid receiver out of the backfield. If Weber can’t beat Jackson for the backup spot, then Weber is a likely candidate for the practice squad.
241 Overall: DE, Jalen Jelks
Jalen Jelks falls into a similar boat that both Hurricanes players are in. Like Joe Jackson, he’s a good solid edge piece (fifth round draft grade), but like Michael Jackson, his prior season's tape was better than his final season.
It's interesting that the Cowboys would pick a player who seems to be better suited to play in a 3-4 as a OLB, but has plenty of starter potential. Otherwise he’s a player that’s likely headed to the practice squad that the Cowboys wanted to make sure they get first crack at. Still, a good value in terms of where he was picked.
Dallas Cowboys Overall 2019 Draft Grade: B
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
5 Dallas Cowboys Players Who Could Become Trade Assets
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
3 Free Agent Targets for the Cowboys with Compensatory Pick Period Closing
NFL Draft2 weeks ago
Cowboys Draft: Reviewing Kansas DT Daniel Wise
Dallas Cowboys1 week ago
3 Reasons Why LB Leighton Vander Esch Will be Even Better in 2019
Player News5 days ago
Leighton Vander Esch Graded Best Rookie Linebacker Since 2014
Player News1 week ago
RB Rod Smith Signs with Giants; Brother Jaylon Sends Farewell Message
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Can Donovan Wilson Continue the Cowboys 6th Round Safety Success?
Star Blog5 days ago
QB Dak Prescott Already Impressing New Offensive Coaches