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Cowboys Draft: Western Michigan’s WR Corey Davis Is A Perfect Fit In Dallas

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Draft: Analyzing Western Michigan's WR Corey Davis' Fit In Dallas

The Dallas Cowboys have done an excellent job the past few years in the draft by following their philosophy of drafting the best player available. While nearly everyone wants to see them improve their pass rush with their first-round draft pick, I think they would be hard-pressed to pass up on player as talented as Western Michigan's wide receiver Corey Davis if he is still on the board at 28.

Quite honestly, Davis would be my dream pick for the Cowboys with their first-round selection in the 2017 NFL Draft. I currently have him ranked as a top 10 player, which means he's a longshot to still be available at the end of the first round. But, I recently wrote about how he could possibly fall right in the lap of the Cowboys.

If he is still available at 28 for the Dallas Cowboys, I wouldn't hesitate putting his name on the draft card because I think he is a perfect fit in Dallas.

Let's first take a look at Corey Davis' impressive route running for a big WR.

Corey Davis route running & hands - Streamable

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Honestly, this particular clip isn't the best example of his route running, but this is the type of route we usually see smaller/slot receivers run, not 6'3", 213 WRs. In fact, this is the type of route that we have seen Cole Beasley execute perfectly time and time again.

At the snap of the ball, Davis sales his route hard to the inside with his eyes on the defensive back. When he sees the DB has outside coverage on the other WR, he sinks his hips and chops his feet, redirecting his route straight to the sideline. This isn't always the easiest thing to do for bigger wide receivers such as Davis.

When redirecting his route towards the sidelines, he works his way back towards the QB in case the CB had tight coverage. Unfortunately, it looks like the QB was expecting him to break straight towards the sideline, thus creating a high throw.

Davis is able to make a fantastic catch by fully extending with his right arm and tipping the ball back to himself. He then plants his foot in the ground and explodes up the sideline to pick up a first down, finishing the play in a physical manner.

Corey Davis' route running and hands were on full display on this one play. We all know that he can play on the outside, but these types of routes will also make him effective out of the slot as well.

Now let's take a look at one of the underrated aspects of Davis' game, his blocking.

Corey Davis blocking - Streamable

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In this particular play Corey Davis proves that he is willing to do the dirty work by blocking down field, something that the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff often complemented Terrance Williams of doing.

This play was just a simple swing pass to the outside. Davis is responsible for blocking the closest DB and not only does he accomplish what he supposed to, but he does it in an impressive manner.

This is no easy block to make. The DB is at an advantage being able to see where the WR is going, while Davis is pretty much blind to what's going on behind him.

With the DB on the move to try and make the play, Davis is able to patiently wait and square up to the defensive back. He get his hands inside his numbers and drives him backwards several yards down the field, ultimately manhandling him out of bounds.

To me, this single play is just as impressive as any of his highlight catches. It shows me that he is not a "diva" WR and takes pride in doing the little things to help his team.

What about how Corey Davis helps Ezekiel Elliott and the running game with his downfield blocking?

Corey Davis blocking in the running game - Streamable

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In the clip above, it looks as if it is a run/pass option for the quarterback. So, Corey Davis isn't aware that the running back has the ball until he cuts his route back to the inside and sees the RB coming right at him.

Davis is able to turn around and make the block on the cornerback that was covering him, giving the RB a little bit more room to slip a tackle and pick up an extra 40 yards.

This is a type of block that turns a good play into a possible game changer. You make that kind of block for Ezekiel Elliott and he is probably taking it to the house for a touchdown.

Of course, there's more to Corey Davis' game then his reliable hands, blocking, and his route running. Davis and Dez Bryant would give quarterback Dak Prescott two really good red zone targets at his disposal.

Davis has really good spatial awareness anywhere on the field of play, but especially in the end zone.

Corey Davis TD - Streamable

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The back shoulder throw is one of the hardest to defend for defensive backs in the NFL. In the clip above you see Corey Davis make it look easy, even with the DB all over him trying to make the play.

The cornerback is playing tight coverage on the goal line, but Davis is still able to get a clean release to the outside. The quarterback makes a good throw to Davis' back shoulder, which is a catch he is able to make by fully extending his arms to get it his hands on the ball. He is able to get both feet down for what is not only a touchdown in college, but the NFL as well.

He knows he is close to the sideline, which is why he dragged his feet. This is an instinctive play on his part because he knows exactly where he is at in the end zone and how much margin of error he has.

This is an NFL type touchdown catch, from a wide receiver that is more than ready to make an impact in the league. But, just in case you're not convinced, here's another example.

Corey Davis spatial awareness - Streamable

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

This just might be my favorite play made by Corey Davis in all of my film study of him. It's that impressive!

First off, Davis is able to beat the CB at the line of scrimmage with a little stutter step/head fake before breaking to the corner of the end zone. The QB throws the ball were only Davis can get it, but it was no easy catch by any means.

Davis had to jump and fully extend his 6'3" frame to catch the ball. He was then able to get both feet in bounds with the final little toe tap at the end. But, what is most impressive about this play is the fact that as soon as Davis has his hands on the ball, you see his head instantly tilt down so he can get his eyes on the sideline.

This is something that can be coached up in a player, but it's usually something that is more instinctive than anything.

Overall, Corey Davis is exactly the type of wide receiver the Dallas Cowboys want playing opposite Dez Bryant. He can line up anywhere on the field and play the X, Y, and Z positions if needed. He is arguably the most well-rounded WR in the 2017 draft class and he hasn't even started to reach his full potential.

What would you think if Corey Davis is the Dallas Cowboys first-round draft pick?



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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6 Comments
  • TreFKennedy88

    I dare say he’s worth trading up Brian, if he’s there at say 23,24 or 25, and there’s no good defensive players worth a 1st round pick, I say we trade up and pick Corey Davis

    • Brian Martin

      I think I would be on board with that.

    • Tommy Taylor

      I would be as well, he’s the best WR in the draft hidden behind overrated mike williams. Davis is going to be a pro bowler, lets get him then load up on defense rest of draft.

      • Brian Martin

        I would love for this to happen, but if he is there for the Cowboys I think they could use him as trade bait to move down and acquire more draft picks.

  • John Williams

    Yeah, I’m in on Corey Davis if he falls. I’m not a “defense first” when it comes to the draft guy. If he is available this takes the offense to another level.

    You about have me sold to take him above Mike Williams in my Dynasty rookie draft. That will be an interesting question.

    • Brian Martin

      Thanks John. I agree that Corey Davis will take this offense to another level. His off-season injuries could see his draft stock took a hit, so I’m hoping he still there when the Cowboys are on the clock.

      I think Mike Williams will be a really good pro, but it ultimately depends on which teams these two WRs end up on. I personally like Corey Davis better because his skill set is more versatile.

Dallas Cowboys

Have the Dallas Cowboys Overcome Their 2nd-Round Curse?

Brian Martin

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Have the Dallas Cowboys Overcome Their 2nd-Round Curse?

You may not be aware or maybe you've simply forgotten, but the Dallas Cowboys have struggled drafting players in the 2nd-round who can come in and contribute. Typically players drafted this highly are not only immediate contributors as a rookie, but are cornerstone players for years to come. That hasn't been the case for the Cowboys.

I don't know where you stand, but I was beginning to think the Dallas Cowboys were cursed with their 2nd-round draft picks. I know this was an area where they would gamble on players for some reason or another, but unfortunately it never really paid off. Hopefully, things are changing for the better.

Let's take a look back at past drafts to see what I'm talking about.

Past 2nd-Round Draft Picks Dating Back to 2006:

2018 Connor Williams
2017 Chidobe Awuzie
2016 Jaylon Smith
2015 Randy Gregory
2014 DeMarcus Lawrence
2013 Gavin Escobar
2012 (no selection) used to trade for Morris Claiborne
2011 Bruce Carter
2010 Sean Lee
2009 (no selection) traded out of 2nd-round
2008 Martellus Bennett
2007 (no selection) used to trade back into 1st for Anthony Spencer
2006 Anthony Fasano

You may be wondering why I decided to start all the way back in 2006. Well, I believe that's when the 2nd-round draft picks curse started for the Dallas Cowboys.

Anthony Fasano ended up having a solid career in the NFL, but he never lived up to his draft status as a former 2nd-round draft pick. The same can be said for Martellus Bennett, Gavin Escobar, and Bruce Carter. Shed a tear for them if you want, but I'd put them in the "bust" category.

Sean Lee

Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee

The sad truth is, Sean Lee is the only 2nd-round draft pick on this list to ever see a second contract with the Dallas Cowboys. Although, I guess you can include DeMarcus Lawrence since he will be playing under the franchise tag in 2018. But, that's still not a very good hit percentage in the 2nd-round for more than a decade. Luckily, it looks as if things are changing.

DeMarcus Lawrence might end up being another "hit" for the Cowboys. It may have taken him four years to reach his potential, but there's no denying how dominant he was last season. If he can maintain that dominance this season, he could be looking at a big payday from the Cowboys.

The Dallas Cowboys took a risk on the next two players they drafted after D-Law. They knew Randy Gregory had his off the field issues, but were willing to take a chance on his talent in the 2nd-round. That has yet to pay off, but Gregory has a chance to rebound now that it looks as if he has his life back in order.

Jaylon Smith

Dallas Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith

The Cowboys took another risk in the following draft when they drafted Jaylon Smith. No one knew if he would ever be able to play again after the devastating knee injury he sustained in his final collegiate game, but it's looking as if he could make a full recovery and return to his pre-injury form. Year 3 will be big for him, but he could end up being an absolute steal.

Fortunately, the Cowboys 2017 and 2018 2nd-round draft picks (Chidobe Awuzie and Connor Williams) look to be cornerstone players for years to come. That's what you're looking for in players drafted this highly.

I say all of this because it's really looking like the Dallas Cowboys have finally broken their 2nd-round curse. Maybe it's a change in draft philosophy or maybe it's because Will McClay's voice carries more weight in the draft room, but it's definitely good news for the future of the franchise. Hopefully it continues.

Do you think the Dallas Cowboys 2nd-round curse has ended?



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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft Class: How Many Will Be Starters In 2018?

Kevin Brady

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2018 NFL Combine: 3 LBs Who Impressed
Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys have been showered with praise by most national NFL media outlets for their 2018 NFL Draft class. NFL.com graded the Cowboys as having the 2nd best class in the league, and most other analysts have agreed that the team had a strong showing.

But now, of course, it's time to see what these new players will actually do on the field. Some are hoping the team found 3-5 new starters for the 2018 roster, but history would suggest that is pretty rare.

Dallas' 2016 draft class has been lauded as one of the best in the last decade, especially considering they look to have found their franchise quarterback in round four. That strong class only features four full-time starters heading into 2018, but we have to wonder if that's the outlier and not the norm.

Still, as we look back and examine this 2018 draft class it really appears they have found three day one starters in the first three rounds.

First round pick Leighton Vander Esch is expected to be the starting MIKE linebacker this season, with former second round selection Jaylon Smith moving to SAM. Vander Esch wasn't my favorite option at 19, but he is certainly starter-worthy in this Cowboys LB corps.

On day two the Cowboys added OL Connor Williams and WR Michael Gallup, two of my personal favorite picks of their entire class. Williams should be the starting LG week 1 of the season, and Michael Gallup may overtake Allen Hurns as the most productive WR on the roster by year's end.

Cowboys Land Small School WR In Latest PFF Mock Draft

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 1: DUPLICATE***Colorado State Rams wide receiver Michael Gallup (4) picks up a few yards after catch as Colorado Buffaloes defensive back Isaiah Oliver (26) comes in for the tackle during the first quarter on September 1, 2017 in Denver, Colorado at Sports Authority Field. (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post)

What about the rest of the class?

Dorance Armstrong will probably have too much competition to start at defensive end this season, but he should be an interesting rotational pass rusher. TE Dalton Schultz has the chance to surprise some people, but overtaking Geoff Swaim as the "starter" would be unexpected.

After that, the player with the best chance to make the team and contribute early on might be Boise State WR Cedrick Wilson. Wilson was a late day-two, early day-three pick to me so snagging him in the sixth round should provide incredible value to this roster. That wide out room is getting very crowded, though, so Wilson has his work cut out for him heading into camp.

How many of the Cowboys' 2018 draft picks will be starters in 2018? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.



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NFL Draft

Did the Dallas Cowboys Find 4 Starters in the 2018 NFL Draft?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Did the Dallas Cowboys Find 4 Starters in the 2018 NFL Draft?

One of the many winners of the 2018 NFL Draft were, without a doubt, the Dallas Cowboys. Not only did they addressed some of the team's most pressing needs, but they managed to draft very talented, capable players beyond the first round.

Cowboys Nation had to feel better about the rookie class the front office walked away with, specially after the second day of the Draft. Just like last year, they managed to find steals in the second and third rounds. In 2017, they did so with Cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis. Now, they stayed put at their original picks and walked away with OL Connor Williams and WR Michael Gallup.

But first things first. In the eyes of many, Leighton Vander Esch wasn't worth the 19th overall pick. While I do agree that Vander Esch was a questionable selection, the Cowboys fixed arguably their most concerning position of all. As much as it pains to admit it, Sean Lee has yet to play an entire NFL season and Jaylon Smith was pretty much the only other capable starter on the roster.

Cowboys en Español: Dallas Selecciona a Vander Esch, ¿Quién Sigue?

Although Vander Esch needs to develop a ton before reaching his full potential. he's a week 1 starter and an early contributor for this defense. Whether it felt like a "reach" or not, the Cowboys took a starter in the Boise State linebacker.

Later, the Cowboys managed to add an arguably first-round talent with pick #50 to plug-and-play along the offensive line. Texas OL Connor Williams was also seen as a tackle prospect, but he'll likely start at guard for Dallas as a rookie.

Since Ron Leary left for Denver, the left guard spot hasn't been as stable. Jonathan Cooper did a decent job filling that spot, but with Williams taking his place, the Cowboys dominance in the trenches will finally return. Playing next to All-Pros Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick, Connor Williams might become the best rookie in this class for the Cowboys.

One can't simply say the team found a "replacement" for Dez Bryant since he's a special player and with a very specific skill set, but Michael Gallup from Colorado State has the potential to become the team's WR1 pretty soon.

In the team's effort to build a Dak-friendly offense, Gallup is a crafty and smooth route-runner who has what it takes to play in any spot of the offense. His skill-set will allow him to play anywhere on the field and become Dak's favorite target in a year in which Jason Witten and Dez Bryant will no longer be lining up on his squad.

Taken in the first three rounds, Vander Esch, Williams and Gallup will be unquestionable starters. The question, however, is who else could become a starter for the Cowboys? Who could line up and start in week 1?

Dallas Cowboys Add Depth on Day 3, Building Future with Young Starters 1

Even though it definitely isn't as certain as the other three rookies, I'm betting on Dalton Schultz to be a more important starter than we imagine. Listen, maybe it's not an ideal scenario to have the TE from Stanford start in week 1, but it could be necessary.

The Rico Gathers Adventure might just be over before it starts and Geoff Swaim and Blake Jarwin may not be anything special. In college, Schultz was pretty good at run blocking. In the Cowboys' offense, led by one of the best running backs in the league, Ezekiel Elliott, Schultz may be able to find success earlier than expected.

Besides, he has what it takes to catch passes in the NFL and although he certainly won't be the flashiest, he could be enough to give Dak Prescott a reliable tight end.

Dalton Schultz could be the surprise of this Draft for Dallas. He'll probably become a starter at some point in the season and for a fourth-round pick, that's a very good thing to say.

For a front office that's constantly bashed by Cowboys Nation, their job at this year's NFL Draft was a pretty good one. Now it's just a matter of time to find out which picks were as good as we originally thought.

Tell me what you think about "Did the Dallas Cowboys Find 4 Starters in the 2018 NFL Draft?" 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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