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Cowboys Draft: QB Options for Rounds 1-4

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys Draft: QB Options for Rounds 1-4

The Cowboys fan base, since the start of draft season, has split into groups that support one player or another joining the team with the upcoming fourth overall pick. These "teams" seem to all have vocal leaders on Twitter and other platforms, and perhaps no one has been steering the Jared Goff ship harder than I have.

I am all for Dallas drafting a quarterback in the first round, especially if Goff is in play, but also understand the needs at other positions. I explained why I changed my mind on Joey Bosa after the Randy Gregory suspension.

I also made another case for a group of backs they should target in the later rounds.

Whatever player you would love to see this team end up with in the first round, the truth of the matter is that the success of the team will rely just as heavily on their later round picks as well. At some point in the 2016 NFL Draft, one of these picks needs to be a quarterback.

That is something that the entire fan base should be able to agree on after watching Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel, and Kellen Moore collectively win just one game. Tony Romo won the Giants, Eagles, and Dolphins games for us - but now carries serious sustainability issues, as Staff Writer RJ Ochoa pointed out.

Let's examine four quarterbacks that could be selected by the Cowboys sometime in the first four rounds.

Draft Blog - Dallas Cowboys Draft: Jared Goff Film Review

Round 1 - Jared Goff

This pick requires little explanation. If indeed the Cowboys are serious about drafting a quarterback in the first round, I believe Goff is their guy. While Carson Wentz is a great prospect, I just do not see this team slotting him ahead of players like Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack on their board.

Goff is my top QB in this class, is a great fit for Dallas, and could benefit greatly from not having to start right away. This pick would make sense, and I would be all for it, but there are of course other very viable options in the later rounds...

Round 2 - Christian Hackenberg

Hackenberg is one of the more interesting QB prospects in recent years. A college career that started with so much promise turned into a story of disappointment and inconsistency - mired in coaching changes at Penn State along with terrible play in his offensive line.

The Cowboys could view Hackenberg as a very high value pick at #34 overall, because he would have gotten past teams near the bottom half of the first round like Houston who will seemingly have interest. They certainly have the offensive line to protect him come the day he has to step in, and in time, Christian Hackenberg could become a very talented NFL passer.

Round 3 - Dak Prescott

Prescott was impressive at the NFL Combine, and with quarterbacks like Cam Newton taking over the position, his overall stock has risen. Prescott likely best fits at the next level in a short-passing style offense, but sitting behind Tony Romo will only further develop his all around skills.

By the time he is expected to start, the Cowboys could have the offensive personnel in place to join the latest NFL trend and play the athletic Prescott at QB in a system that he can thrive in.

Round 4 - Jeff Driskel

I scouted Jeff Driskel right here on InsideTheStar.com, and was impressed with what I saw. In reading what pro scouts have to say about the former Florida Gator turned LA Tech Bulldog, the knock on Driskel has been his field processing speed along with inability to quickly get the ball out of his hands.

Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys Draft: QB Options for Rounds 1-4 2

To me, these are two of the easiest things to fix once Driskel is brought into Dallas in his first seasons to simply learn the offense. The mental speed of the game will improve with each rep he gets, while the ball will come out of his hands faster as receivers like Dez Bryant and Cole Beasley break open.

Should the Cowboys be in a position to draft Goff and not take him, they can make up for it in my books by potentially stealing Driskel in the fourth round.

Also in the mix: Connor Cook, Jacoby Brissett, Nate Sudfeld, Kevin Hogan

 

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Draft: QB Options for Rounds 1-4" 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 Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. George Johnson

    March 2, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Sean Martin: You continue to put Kellen Moore in the same category as Weeden and Cassel. l don't think this is correct and doesn't demonstrate good analysis. K Moore is very likely to earn the 2nd team QB position in 2016 over any QB in the draft but you don't acknowledge that. This is because there are no franchise/can't miss type QBs in the draft. A drafted QB will be adjusting to the NFL/new coaches/new system and learning the Dallas offense/playbook. K Moore has four years NFL experience, some starting experience, has worked with S Linehan for over two years and knows the Dallas offense/playbook well. You don't seem to realize like most people how good K Moore really is at pocket passing. His 2015 performance while pretty good overall per S Linehan, was his first time playing against first team defenses and the deficiencies K Moore had are areas he has always excelled at, so is likely to improve/correct those quickly. K Moore will be going into 2016 with renewed confidence and the confidence of S Linehan. K Moore is likely to play as well or outplay T Romo in preseason games. While I don't think K Moore will ever be as good as T Romo, because of his physical limitations, I have not written him off yet that he cannot replace T Romo at some point. To not acknowledge that K Moore may be as good or better than any QB in the draft is to not recognize how good he really is at pocket passing. Don't take my word for it as a K Moore fan but listen to what his college coach, Peterson, said, and I quote: " KELLEN MOORE IS THE BEST POCKET PASSER I HAVE EVER SEEN".

    • Grumpy

      March 3, 2016 at 5:02 pm

      Yes, I do believe he is better than any of the flunky QBs we had, but not sure he is the final answer. Some of the lower draft QBs look to be more accomplished and there needs to be some competition.

  2. George Johnson

    March 2, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Sean Martin: For some reason my response disappeared. I will respond again as I think it is important. Your analysis puts K Moore in the same category as Cassel and Weeden. This is not correct. I realize you are concerned about T Romo's replacement not about K Moore. None of the QBs in this years draft are being given a label of franchise/can't miss prospects. Therefore K Moore is likely to beat out any of these QBs for the 2nd team QB position in 2016. This is because K Moore will have lots of experience to draw on, the confidence of S Linehan and will know the Dallas offense/playbook well. A drafted QB will be in a big adjustment/learning curve. That doesn't mean one of them couldn't replace T Romo in a couple of years. K Moore played pretty well overall in 2015 per S Linehan. This is especially true when you consider it was his first time playing against first team defenses. He is likely to improve/correct his deficiencies from 2015 because these deficiencies are areas K Moore has excelled at in the past. I have not written off K Moore yet, that he can never replace T Romo. I don't think he will ever be as good as T Romo because of his physical limitations, but that doesn't mean he can't start someday if he keeps improving. Your analysis seems to ignore all of this and leaves the reader with the impression that either K Moore will be 3rd team in 2016 or not on the roster. I realize you don't say this but if Goff is drafted with the fourth pick it would be assumed he will be the 2nd team QB, which I doubt. This is very unlikely especially since S Linehan thinks highly of K Moore and K Moore is likely to be very confident going into 2016 and will also likely do very well in preseason. He may in fact do as well or better than T Romo. That would not surprise me at all. You don't realize how good K Moore really is. This is probably because he was not drafted and does not look like an NFL QB. He has already proven he should have been drafted and can play in the NFL either as a solid backup or a starter.

  3. Sean Martin

    Sean Martin

    March 2, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    As a fan, I want the depth chart behind Romo for 2016 to be a little more promising than "a solid backup OR starter", as you described Moore. Not only is that what Moore basically is, but that is likely close to his ceiling. While I believe a rookie like Goff would beat out Moore for the second spot, I'm willing to give you that Moore deserves that chance to compete. I say this because Garrett preaches competition, and I am a big fan of Coach Garrett. Even as the #2 QB, Goff in his rookie year wouldn't be much more than a solid backup and perhaps a potential starter, but at least you would have some serious room to grow.

    While Moore and Linehan can still work together to grow, I don't ever see them reaching a level at which Moore becomes the future of this franchise or any other one – considering he was passed on in waivers. I have nothing against the kid, and respect that he plays hard, but I did not live through the Aikman to Romo gap and have no intentions of experiencing something similar.

    Even if it is not Goff that the Cowboys go with, not bringing in a rookie in any round to compete with Moore would be foolish. If you would like, I have a scouting report on the site for Jeff Driskel. He's a guy I would like to have in the later rounds along with Dak Prescott.

    • Grumpy

      March 3, 2016 at 4:54 pm

      right on!!!

  4. Mr. Bamboozaul

    March 5, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    Sean you're the Man. I once again agree with your assessment of Goff. The Cowboys would be returning to elite status of the 70's /90's Cowboys teams with Goff at quarterback. Goff is that special, period. I noticed at the nfl combine, that Jerry, Stephen, Garrett , Linehan and McClay was in attendance, when Goff performed during the quarterback drills, Only Garrett stayed behind for the rest of the NFL Combine. Finally, it's lying season, so whatever is said in the media, you have to take with a grain of salt. The question is can Romo back hold up for the next 3-4 years, except the Romo Wednesday to continue, father time is undefeated.

  5. Sean Martin

    Sean Martin

    March 5, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    Thank you for reading! Certainly could be an elite offense with Goff down the line depending on who else is added by the time he (hopefully) has to start. One addition I've been advocating for comes in this upcoming draft – Utah's Devontae Booker.

  6. RJ Ochoa

    RJ Ochoa

    March 6, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    #TeamDak

    Sent from my iPhone using Pigskin Hub – Pro Football Forums mobile app

  7. Sean Martin

    Sean Martin

    March 6, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    #TeamDriskel

    Sent from my iPhone using Pigskin Hub – Pro Football Forums mobile app. Check out InsideTheStar.com!

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Cowboys Sign WR Devin Smith, Former 2nd-Round Pick

Jess Haynie

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Devin Smith

The Dallas Cowboys have reportedly signed Receiver Devin Smith, previously with the New York Jets, to a futures contract. Smith was a 2nd-round pick, 37th overall, in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Before going pro, Devin was a college teammate of current Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott, Rod Smith, and Noah Brown. They were all members of the 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes team that won the National Championship.

Smith's agent, Jason Bernstein, tweeting the following earlier today:

Jason Bernstein on Twitter

Congrats to WR Devin Smith @dsmithosu for signing with the #DallasCowboys! Welcome back. https://t.co/hCMYoE8fEh

Thus far, Smith's NFL career has been marred by injuries. He has suffered two ACL tears in the same knee and only been able to appear in 14 games. He was waived by the Jets last summer and was not with any team last season.

Overall, the 2015 class of receivers has been disappointing. Amari Cooper has been a star and other later-round picks like Tyler Lockett, Stefon Diggs, and Jamison Crowder have been good. But the other big names of the class, such as Kevin White, Breshad Perriman, and DeVante Parker, have not lived up to the hype.

The Cowboys are known for trying to reclaim players who once had high draft status and bad starts to their careers. They are clearly hoping to cash in on Smith's previously perceived potential, which had him projected as a possible first-round talent at one time.

For both Devin and Dallas' sake, we hope it's a success!



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DeMarcus Lawrence Named Top Free Agent Of The 2019 Class

Kevin Brady

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Breaking Down DeMarcus Lawrence's League High 5.5 Sacks Through Week 4

Much has been made about the Dallas Cowboys 2019 free agent class. Dallas has a ton of cap space moving forward, but they are going to "have" to pay many of the key players on their roster over the next two offseasons in order to keep their young core together.

Of course, when you're drafting, that's the goal. To draft so well that when your own players become free agents, you go ahead and pay them to keep them around, rather than overpay on the free agent market for external players.

One of the major pieces the Cowboys will have to retain this offseason is defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. And while Cowboys Nation often thinks of Lawrence as underrated around the league, the NFL has caught onto his importance as he enters free agency this Spring.

ESPN.com ranked their top 10 free agents for 2019, with DeMarcus Lawrence clocking in at number one, over elite players like Jadeveon Clowney and Le'Veon Bell.

ig: josinaanderson on Twitter

ESPN's top 10 free agents for 2019 and what Le'Veon Bell should be looking to command based on previous measures. https://t.co/aJ7H1n001t

DeMarcus Lawrence is going to command big time money, likely even Khalil Mack-type money. But the fact of the matter is that he has earned it. Lawrence has been the heart and soul of the Cowboys defensive line the last two seasons, and the most consistent edge player on the team as well.

Not only has he been an effective pass rusher, but DeMarcus Lawrence also plays with a relentless motor against the run that can sometimes be rare to find in those premier pass rushers. He really is a jack of all trades at defensive end, and should be priority number one for the Cowboys this offseason.

Thankfully, I can't imagine the Cowboys not retaining DeMarcus Lawrence and extending him in the coming months.



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When it Mattered Most, Cowboys Offensive Line Protected Dak Prescott

John Williams

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All-22 Notes: Connor Williams Stands Out in Wild Card Win

Throughout the 2018 NFL season, one of the major story lines surrounding the Dallas Cowboys was how frequently Dak Prescott was taking sacks. It's an area that the Cowboys will have to look at in the offseason to better protect their franchise quarterback moving forward. In the playoffs, however, Dak Prescott and the offensive line were much better at keeping their prized possession upright than they were in the regular season.

In the regular season, Dak Prescott was sacked 56 times for an average of 3.5 times a game. There was only one game where he wasn't sacked at all, way back in week two against the New York Giants. Four times this season, the Cowboys' quarterback was sacked five or more times. The New Orleans Saints got him for a season high seven times.

According to Pro Football Focus, Dak was "kept clean" -- not pressured -- on 63% of his drop backs during the regular season, which ranked 25th in the NFL. When kept clean, Prescott completed 74.1% of his passes, which was good for 5th in the NFL during the regular season. He was under pressure 37% of the time, which was the sixth highest rate in the NFL and his completion percentage dropped to 52.6%, still good for 10th in the NFL. It was better than Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, and Baker Mayfield.

During the playoffs, Prescott's "kept clean" percentage rose from 63% to 68% and he was only sacked once in each game. The one sack against the Los Angeles Rams probably shouldn't have been called a sack as the referee blew the whistle because Prescott was "in the grasp"...

...of his offensive lineman.

During the playoffs, the Cowboys offensive line kept the pressure off of Prescott at a better rate, allowing him to be pressured on only 31.9% of his drop backs. Meaning he was kept clean at an improved rate from the regular season at 68.1% of his drop backs. This while playing against two teams that are really good at rushing the passer. The Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks both finished in the top half of the league in sacks this season and feature players like Aaron Donald, Jarran Reed, and Frank Clark who all had double-digit sacks.

As we know, pressure rates and sacks aren't all completely on the offensive line. The quarterback, wide receivers, and the play calling all factor in, but the Cowboys are trending in the right direction with their pass protection. A full offseason for Connor Williams in the Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning program, better health for Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and -- fingers crossed -- Travis Frederick, should all help the offensive line play at a higher level heading into the 2019 season.

It can't be overstated how important it will be to get Travis Frederick back into the fold this season. Joe Looney was good, and that might be overstating it a bit. He was not noticeable on most plays during the season, but getting your All-Pro center back will tremendously help the offense in every facet of the game. Frederick's one of the smarter players in the NFL, who helps everyone on the offense to see the blitzes and calls out the protections. Both his mental and physical ability will be a welcomed site when the Cowboys begin practicing in the offseason.

With another year of growth for the quarterback and for the young pieces along the offensive line, and with a full offseason for Dak Prescott to grow with Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Blake Jarwin, the Cowboys should be better next season at keeping the quarterback clean.



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