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Cowboys Draft: Ranking Dallas’ Pre-Draft Visits at Cornerback

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Draft: Ranking Dallas' Pre-Draft Visits at Cornerback 2

Welcome to draft day! The excitement of adding new players to the greatest football team in the universe is filling the air with its presence, as this 2017 NFL Draft class presents plenty of options for the Dallas Cowboys at positions of need like DE, S, or CB.

Coming on the clock tonight with the 28th overall pick, the Cowboys decision for most seems to be down to a ready-to-play cornerback or premier edge rusher. I ranked Dallas’ pre-draft visits at defense end here, and now it is time to end this series by looking at the cornerbacks they’ve taken the time to know just a little bit better.

It wouldn’t be the morning of the draft unless you were reading some rankings pertaining to the Cowboys, so away we go!

Note: The Cowboys did meet with Ohio State’s Gareon Conley, but his recent sexual assault allegation will leave him off of this ranking as his stock with the Cowboys – or with any teams in this draft – remains an unknown. 

Cowboys Draft: 3 CBs To Expect In Round One

Washington CB Kevin King (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

1. Kevin King, Washington

If the Cowboys are looking for a starter that can make an impact at CB with the 28th overall pick, it will be hard to look past Washington’s Kevin King – literally. At 6’3″, King uses his massive frame incredibly well in coverage and is an absolute nightmare for opposing WRs to gain separation on.

In this deep class of cornerbacks, King has a real chance of lasting until late in the first round, where the Cowboys will also love his knack for getting his hands on the ball and creating turnovers.

Out of the 11 cornerbacks the Cowboys met with, and 10 we’ll rank here, I expect Kevin King to top the board.

2. Adoree Jackson, USC

The Cowboys interest in Adoree Jackson is reportedly high, which worries me personally due to his floor as a cornerback prospect. Still new to the CB position, Jackson uses his elite speed and acceleration to his advantage in coverage, but lacks the refined technical skills to hold up snap-to-snap in the NFL.

Should Kevin King be off the board, I can still see the Cowboys liking Jackson as their second best option at cornerback in the first round, especially once you factor in his ability to contribute on offense and special teams. With some intense coaching, Jackson can become a steal on the defensive side of the ball with a ready-made set of skills to translate into kick and punt return opportunities along with offensive touches currently being taken by Lucky Whitehead.

Adoree Jackson is most definitely a name to know for Dallas in this draft.

3. Quincy Wilson, Florida

Getting back to cornerback prospects with high floors to start on day one, which is something the Cowboys desperately need, Quincy Wilson is exactly that out of a talented Florida Gators secondary featuring multiple NFL talents.

While Wilson may not “wow” anybody with one clear-cut strength, he is an all-around solid athlete that diagnoses plays quickly and stays a step ahead in coverage thanks to his strong arms that allow Quincy to reroute his targets.

Wilson was exposed to a lot of different coverages as a Gator, reacting to all of them with the competitive spirit that could see him come off the board well before the 28th overall pick. Should he be available, the decision between him and Adoree Jackson would be simple for me but probably quite difficult at The Star.

2017 NFL Combine: 6 Cornerbacks On The Cowboys' Watch list

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

4. Fabian Moreau, UCLA

Once thought of as a perfect fit for the Cowboys in the first round, Fabian Moreau’s draft stock has become more of an unknown entering this draft. Injured at his pro day, Moreau will have a chance to fully recover and showcase his absolutely effortless coverage abilities in the NFL this season, but long-term questions about his durability remain.

A smaller, lighter frame, Moreau may be a guy the Cowboys end up in a tough spot to grab as he’ll be hard to pull the trigger on at 28th overall but may not last until the 60th overall pick in the second round.

With that said, coming in just behind Quincy Wilson is not a bad spot to be for Fabian Moreau on this list.

5. Cordrea Tankersley, Clemson

A member of the Clemson Tigers’ National Championship team, the Cowboys have also shown interest in Tankersley. From my evaluations of the cornerbacks in this draft, Tankersley marks a firm cutoff on this list to the cornerbacks the Cowboys will look for after the first round.

If scouting just a cutup of Cordrea playing in press-man coverage, you would call me crazy for labeling him as a second round talent, but a closer look at his abilities fails to hide a player that looks entirely lost when he can’t bully the WR at the line.

The Cowboys aren’t known to play a ton of press coverage, but could be shifting that way with a new-look secondary, and would love to see Tankersley remain on the board at pick #60.

Dallas Cowboys 2017 NFL Draft Target: Florida CB Teez Tabor

(Photo by Jamie Gilliam/Icon Sportswire)

6. Teez Tabor, Florida

Here is where the NFL Draft gets frustrating from an analyst/fan perspective. Florida’s Teez Tabor is one of my favorite players in this draft, and would be an easy consideration for me as high as the 28th pick for the Cowboys.

Since I don’t work at The Star and instead at a dorm room from Montclair State University, I think Tabor’s well below average speed and physical limitations will greatly affect his stock in Dallas.

Whether or not he lasts through most of the second round will depend on how many other teams share the Cowboys mindset in projecting Tabor physically at the next level, where we can find out just how interested Dallas is in his services as a terrific cover corner that isn’t afraid to throw his body around.

7. Chidobie Awuzie, Colorado

I already mentioned that Gareon Conley will not be ranked in this list, and in my final mock draft before tonight I actually substituted Awuzie in his spot for the Miami Dolphins.

For the Cowboys, I can’t see Chidobie Awuzie ranking any higher than seventh on their stack of cornerbacks due to his relatively high ceiling but low floor. A gambler on too many routes, Awuzie can play with sloppy technique at times and lacks awareness with his back turned to the ball.

He’ll likely also be in a tough spot for the Cowboys to grab, and I think they’re fine with that.

Cowboys Draft: Ranking Dallas' Pre-Draft Visits at Cornerback 1

 

8. Shaqil Griffin, UCF

Moving into later round cornerbacks for the Cowboys to target in this deep class, UCF’s Shaqil Griffin is another all-around player that contests passes at the catch point using his long arms and range with quick feet to mirror receivers.

Griffin is comfortable in nearly any coverage, but does lack the top-end speed to get back into plays once receivers gain a step against him. With plenty of upside, Griffin could be a great add to Dallas’ secondary in the third or fourth round.

9. Damontae Kazee, San Diego State

Another late-round target with upside and traits for the Cowboys to take advantage of, Kazee (like Treston Decoud who comes in next on this list) ended up with Dallas in my final seven round projection.

Not nearly as consistent as the players above him here at reading routes and reacting in time to break up passes, Kazee does show off the quick footwork to turn and run with bigger receivers along with the balance to stay on top of quicker, underneath routes against smaller targets.

10. Treston Decoud, Oregon State

There comes a point in every draft where teams begin to select players simply because  they have some of the traits needed to develop in the NFL. For Oregon State’s Treston Decoud, this trait is his speed as he’s been mocked by myself to the Cowboys twice.

Decoud looks the part of a starting NFL cornerback with 33″ inch arms and the fluent speed to go with it, but will fall for far too many fakes at the line of scrimmage with limited recovery skills.

As a boundary defender, Decoud will get pushed around for his size and struggles to generate any power in driving back to the football in off coverage.

If the Cowboys follow this ranking though, and land a CB as early as we all expect them to, Decoud would not have to start early in his NFL career – helping him develop his game into a body that is fit for a starting cornerback in this league.

✭✭✭✭✭

Cornerback is going to be one of the positions to keep the closest eye on for the Dallas Cowboys in this draft, as will defensive end and safety. Hopefully these rankings of players the Cowboys have already committed some time to helps in understanding their mindset of who can be targeted in what round.

When it comes to these cornerbacks, there is no doubt that they’ve visited with some prospects that will have their name called tonight. Will that call come from America’s Team?

Tell us what you think about “Cowboys Draft: Ranking Dallas’ Pre-Draft Visits at Cornerback” 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

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

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

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

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

…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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NFL Draft

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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NFL Draft

The Dallas Cowboys Will Have More Than Enough Trade Ammunition

Mauricio Rodriguez

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The Dallas Cowboys Will Have More Than Enough Trade Ammunition
James D. Smith / Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys football team has a lot of needs on both sides of the ball. Sure, that’s pretty sad to say as a die-hard Cowboys fan, but it should make for a very interesting offseason. This front office needs to find a way to add talent in the draft, and probably in free agency as well, all while finding ways to keep Anthony Hitchens, DeMarcus Lawrence and David Irving, and extending Zack Martin.

Maybe they’re not able to achieve everything, but as long as they don’t lose all of these guys, they should be fine. We may even see a surprising release or trade. It sure would be interesting to see this team release Dez Bryant, for example.

Last year, Dallas lost Barry Church, Morris Claiborne, Brandon Carr and Ronald Leary… among others. But what do these four guys have in common? They all resulted in compensatory picks for the Dallas Cowboys’ 2018 NFL Draft.

Cowboys Nation on Twitter

Including the expected Compensatory Picks that the Cowboys will receive for their Free Agents that signed with other teams in 2017, the Cowboys should have the following picks in the 2018 Draft:

The Cowboys got two additional fourths and two fifths. After trading up to get Xavier Woods in 2017, Dallas had no original fifth rounders for this year’s draft.

This is a front office that avoids making “big splashes” in free agency and in the draft lately, but I wonder if they’ll at least explore trading possibilities this time.

With three fourth-round picks and two fifths, they should have more than enough ammunition.

Will McClay Discusses 2016 Cowboys Draft Class, Looks Ahead to 2017

Dallas Cowboys VP Stephen Jones, Will McClay

This team has done a nice job in the last few drafts, and with Will McClay staying for at least one more year, they might as well try to get everything they can out of their draft picks. After all, Dak Prescott himself was a fourth-round compensatory pick.

Even still, I would like to see this team do something out of the ordinary.

Whether it’s trading up to get a well-fitting player who might otherwise go before their pick, or if it’s to get another team’s player, it would be interesting to see this front office pull the trigger on an interesting trade.

Sometimes it’s surprising what NFL teams can get with late round picks.

The Buffalo Bills traded away Marcell Dareus for only a sixth-round pick less than a year ago. I mean, how would you have felt if Dallas had gotten Dareus for just a sixth rounder? I would’ve been completely fine with it, to be honest.

The Cowboys have enough ammunition to consider pulling a trade-off in free agency or the NFL Draft.

We may not like the coaching, but in the past few years, this front office has done a good job when it comes to team-building.

We were all frightened when we saw the defensive players that were leaving in the secondary, and a season later, the young defensive backs are one of the reasons why we’re very optimistic about this team’s future.

So if they decide to keep their picks to themselves, I’d say it’ll be worth it, too.

After a sad season, at least we have an intriguing offseason ahead of us to keep us entertained.

Tell me what you think about “The Dallas Cowboys Will Have More Than Enough Trade Ammunition” in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

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