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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

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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.



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.

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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