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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft: WR Chris Godwin Would Complement Dez Bryant Perfectly

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Draft: WR Chris Godwin Would Compliment Dez Bryant Perfectly

You may or may not have known, but this past Saturday some of the top 2017 wide receiver prospects were in Indianapolis, Indiana taking part in the 2017 NFL Scouting combine. The coaches and scouts for the Dallas Cowboys were on hand and with the need to upgrade the wide receiver position, you can bet they were paying close attention. Penn State’s WR, Chris Godwin, put on quite a show and could possibly be the Cowboys draft target on Day Two of the 2017 NFL Draft. I think he would be the perfect complement playing opposite Dez Bryant.

Chris Godwin may have been the receiver that helped himself the most this weekend, because he ended up being one of the top performers in several of the combine events. He ran one of the fastest 40 yard dashes (4.42 seconds) and also finished as one of the top performers on the bench press with 19 repetitions. I personally thought his strength and speed showed up on his game tape, but it caught some people by surprise.

Godwin is one of the more complete wide receivers in this draft class and as such would be the perfect complement to play opposite Dez Bryant. He is more than willing to do the dirty work as a blocker, is a strong natural hands catcher, has the speed to gain separation at the next level, and excels at coming down with contested catches.

Let’s take a closer look at why I believe Chris Godwin would be the perfect complement to play opposite Dez Bryant and improve the Cowboys passing game. I used his bowl game against USC to reference for this article, because his skill set was on full display.

Willingness to Block

Blocking – Streamable

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

In the clip above, you see Chris Godwin not only make his assigned block in the running game, but he did so with authority. I could’ve gone with a number of different plays where Godwin stocks the defensive back and secures his block, but this one play shows his willingness to do the dirty work.

This was no easy block to make. The safety was crashing down to make a play in the running game, so Godwin had to take the proper angle to make sure that he made his assigned block. Not only does he take out the safety, but it also takes out a defensive lineman who was working his way down the line of scrimmage to make the play.

The Dallas Cowboys place high value on their #2 wide receivers being able to block in the running game and down the field. Chris Godwin has that ability in spades, which means there wouldn’t be much of a downgrade from Terrance Williams‘ departure, who by the way was undervalued in this area.

Let’s take a look at his wide catching radius and his ability to catch the ball with his hands.

Wide Catching Radius and Strong Hands

Hands – Streamable

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This was a spectacular play made by Godwin. At the start of the play, you see him give a little stutter step to keep a little bit of separation between himself and the cornerback. You then see him carry his route up the field before giving a head fake to the outside and planting off his outside foot to break to the inside.

There are three defenders in the area, so the quarterback throws the ball behind Godwin, where only he can make the catch. Godwin is able to stop his route and contort his body the opposite direction, all the while reaching out with his left hand and securing the catch.

This was a 3rd and 9 play. Godwin’s impressive catch not only picked up the first down, but put Penn State in field goal range.

Now, let’s take a look at how he uses that 4.42 speed and one of my favorite attributes of Chris Godwin’s, his concentration.

Separation and Concentration

Separation and concentration – Streamable

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The first thing that Chris Godwin and his QB should have noticed on this play is that he is in single coverage. At the snap of the ball, Godwin is able to give a little stutter step to get a clean release to the outside. He uses his speed to gain separation down the sideline and all the QB had to do was drop it over the top for an easy TD.

Unfortunately, the QB wasn’t able to get enough on his throw, which led the CB to close the gap and make it a much more difficult catch for Godwin. The CB was able to tip the ball, but Godwin never loses focus and continues to track the ball to complete the reception for the touchdown.

Chris Godwin wasn’t used much as a deep threat at Penn State, but this is an area of his game that the Dallas Cowboys could utilize. His speed and concentration to make contested catches is something that opposing defenses will have to account for, which would open things up for Dez Bryant on the opposite side.

Strength and Balance

Strength and balance – Streamable

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Chris Godwin has exceptional strength and balance for a wide receiver, as evidenced by his 19 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press at the combine. You can really tell that he has put in the work in the weight room and it shows in the play he was able to make in the clip above.

On this play, Godwin shows his ability to go up and catch the ball at the highest point. The cornerback is right there to make the tackle, but only manages to spin Godwin around. Godwin is able to regain his balance by using the “limp leg” and pick up another five or 6 yards.

The “limp leg” drill is something we used to practice on a regular basis when I was playing. I don’t know if that is officially what it’s called, but it’s purpose is to use your free hand to regain your balance and that is exactly what Chris Godwin does.

Overall, Chris Godwin has all the physical traits that the Dallas Cowboys look for in their #2 or “Y” wide receivers. Before the 2017 NFL combine, I had a third round grade on him, but now I could see him slipping into the second round.

If the Dallas Cowboys want to secure his services, they will likely have to use their second round draft pick (60th overall) on him. Drafting a wide receiver this early certainly is not out of the question, but with such a deep draft class, they could decide to address a position a little later.

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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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7 Comments
  • David G Siter

    He will be an Eagle!!!!

    • Brian Martin

      The
      Eagles could use all the help they can get

  • James Alipo

    I really like this kid as well. Amazing blocker with good size/speed combination which is exactly what Dallas wants on the outside. I think Dallas Will almost have too go DE/CB in rounds 1&2, But if this kid is able to slip into round 3 Dallas will be hard pressed to find a better selection. I know the Cowboys value there board more then any other team but i cant see a way they don’t go DE/CB in Round 1, CB/DE round 2, WR/TE round 3

    • Brian Martin

      I
      don’t think the Cowboys necessarily have to go DE and CB in rounds one and two.
      This is a deep draft for both positions and the Cowboys still have quite a few
      other needs that they need to fill. They will stick to the board because when
      you start reaching for certain positions, that’s when you get in trouble.

      • James Alipo

        This draft is sooo Deep in high end talent at DE and CB that it almost protects teams from reaching since even the 10th best Edge rusher will be a tier 1 prospect

  • Lisa Sweeden

    Well good all we need now in the team …is some awesome defense players cause I’m sorry but my sweet guy Sean lee …my man just can’t do it all y’all….then we will have an awesome Dallas cowboy team and be super bowl champs next one …

    • Brian Martin

      Lisa, you can bet that the Cowboys are going to everything in their power to improve their defense.

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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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft Target: Louisiana State WR D.J. Chark

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Draft Target: LSU WR D.J. Chark
AP Photo/John Raoux

It’s a little bit hard to believe, but draft season is already upon us. The Dallas Cowboys seem to have several needs to fill through the draft, and right now there is no clear-cut answer as to which position they should target in the first round. But, one of their top needs could be an upgrade at wide receiver.

There’s no way of knowing when the Cowboys will draft a receiver, or if they view it as a position of need. But regardless, so far my film study shows this 2018 WR draft class shapes up to be a pretty solid one.

The majority of Cowboys Nation is already familiar with the WRs the Cowboys could possibly draft in the first round, such as Calvin Ridley or Courtland Sutton. So, I’ve been looking at some of the more under the radar WRs and one of them particularly caught my eye for Dallas .

Louisiana State WR D.J. Chark

I’m honestly a little surprised D.J. Chark isn’t talked about more when referring to some of the top wide receivers in the 2018 draft class, but I think that will change once we get further into the process.

D.J. Chark

LSU WR D.J. Chark

I’m pretty sure he’s still under the radar because the 21-year-old senior only caught 40 passes for 874 receiving yards and three touchdowns with the LSU Tigers in 2017.

Those aren’t exactly eye-popping numbers, but he did finish as one of the top receivers in the nation at yards per reception, averaging 21.9 yards.

D.J. Chark (6’3″, 200) possesses an impressive skill set that would really fit in with what the Dallas Cowboys like to do offensively. In fact, some of his strengths as a prospect are currently missing from the offense, which is why I think he makes an intriguing target.

Chark has strong, reliable hands and a large catch radius. He’s a solid route runner, but could stand to improve in this area once he’s in the NFL. He has the speed to take the top off of defenses and also used that speed on jet sweeps and reverses. He also wasn’t afraid to do the dirty work in the blocking game, showing pretty good technique.

Let’s take a look at how and why I believe he would make a good addition to the Cowboys offense.

DJ Chark toetapping TD catch – Streamable

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This particular play was from his junior season, but it was one of his more impressive plays during his career at LSU.

What you probably first noticed is his speed to get past the defender. It’s an aspect of the Cowboys’ offense that’s currently missing.

Chark is excellent at tracking the ball through the air, but it was his spatial awareness that made this particular catch so impressive.

LSU’s QB threw the ball where only Chark could catch it, but unfortunately didn’t leave him much room to get his feet down and secure the catch. Chark knew exactly where he was at on the field and was able to do a little toe tapping to get not one, but two feet down for the TD.

Here’s another example from his senior season.

DJ Chark deep threat – Streamable

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Again, D.J. Chark’s best quality right now is his speed, which is proven once again on this play.

From the snap of the ball, Chark puts the BYU defensive back in a tough position because of his speed. Even with the cushion the DB gave him, Chark is on top of him before he can react, creating separation on his way to the end zone.

Unfortunately, the QB under throws the ball on this play, or it would have been an easy six points. But, Chark does an excellent job of tracking the ball and securing the catch for a big gain.

So, you can see for yourself how D.J. Chark can stretch the field vertically, but he can also help the Cowboys offense by stretching the field horizontally.

DJ Chark jet sweep – Streamable

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Remember the jet sweep? It was an underrated play for the Dallas Cowboys in 2016. It wasn’t that successful, but it prevented the opposing defense from crushing the defensive ends down in the running game, and kept them from pinning their ears back in the passing game.

This is another area where D.J. Chark’s speed comes in handy, and something he did quite well during his time at LSU.

Like Dallas, LSU also has a run-first mentality, which is why they incorporated the jet sweep and the reverse into their offense. These kind of plays may not be very successful, and it wasn’t in this particular clip, but they help set up things in the running game to keep opposing defenses on their heels, instead of in attack mode.

Lastly, I want to show you what Chark can do on special teams as a returner.

DJ Chark punt return – Streamable

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The Dallas Cowboys don’t necessarily need a punt returner after adding Ryan Switzer last year, but it never hurts to have another option just in case. D.J. Chark is dangerous with the ball in his hands because of his speed. If he can get into the open field, there’s not much chance of anyone catching him from behind.

It doesn’t really matter if it’s in the passing game or as a punt returner.

Overall, D.J. Chark has all the intangibles to find success with the Dallas Cowboys, and already knows what it feels like to play in a run-first offense.

His straight-line speed is really intriguing, but he has some quick-twitch ability to his game as well.

He has immense upside, but he’s nowhere near a polished prospect. Chark was somewhat inconsistent at LSU, but that has a lot to do with the quarterback play during his career. He also needs to become a better route runner at the next level, but that should come with better coaching.

What do you think of D.J. Chark’s as a Dallas Cowboys draft prospect?

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