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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

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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?

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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.

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

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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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