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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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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft: Reviewing Kansas DT Daniel Wise

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Draft: 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.



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NFL Draft

Pre-Draft Visitors Highlight Dallas Cowboys 2019 Rookie Class

Brian Martin

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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?



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NFL Draft

Dallas Cowboys 2019 Draft Grades

Shane Carter

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Dallas Cowboys 2019 Draft Grades 1

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

Dallas Cowboys Draft Grades 1

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.

Grade: B

90 Overall: G, Connor McGovern

Dallas Cowboys Draft Grades 6

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.

Grade: A

128 Overall: RB, Tony Pollard

If you follow me on Twitter, you know my feelings about Tony Pollard already.

Shane Carter on Twitter

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.

Grade: A-

158 Overall: CB, Michael Jackson

Dallas Cowboys Draft Grades 9

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.

Grade: C+

165 Overall: DE, Joe Jackson

Dallas Cowboys Draft Grades 11

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.

Grade: B+

213 Overall: S, Donovan Wilson 

Dallas Cowboys Draft Grades 12

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.

Grade: B

218 Overall: RB, Mike Weber

Dallas Cowboys Draft Grades 13

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.

Grade: B

241 Overall: DE, Jalen Jelks

Dallas Cowboys Draft Grades 14

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.

Grade: B-

Dallas Cowboys Overall 2019 Draft Grade: B



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