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NFL Draft

Draft Philosophy: Cowboys Wide Receivers

Jess Haynie



Cowboys Headlines - Draft Philosophy: Cowboys Wide Receivers

Yesterday I discussed my philosophy for the running back position and how it relates to the current roster and draft. Today I'm going do the same with wide receivers.

Since 2010 there have been 23 receivers drafted in the first round and 25 in the second. This list is stunning:

First Round WRs Second Round WRs
  • DeMaryius Thomas
  • Dez Bryant
  • A.J. Green
  • Julio Jones
  • Jonathan Baldwin
  • Justin Blackmon
  • Michael Floyd
  • Kendall Wright
  • A.J. Jenkins
  • Tavon Austin
  • DeAndre Hopkins
  • Cordarrelle Patterson
  • Sammy Watkins
  • Mike Evans
  • Odell Beckham Jr.
  • Brandon Cooks
  • Kelvin Benjamin
  • Amari Cooper
  • Kevin White
  • DeVante Parker
  • Nelson Agholor
  • Breshard Perriman
  • Phillip Dorsett
  • Dexter McCluster
  • Arrellious Benn
  • Golden Tate
  • Titus Young
  • Torrey Smith
  • Greg Little
  • Randall Cobb
  • Brian Quick
  • Stephen Hill
  • Alshon Jeffrey
  • Ryan Broyles
  • Rueben Randle
  • Justin Hunter
  • Robert Woods
  • Aaron Dobson
  • Marqise Lee
  • Jordan Matthews
  • Paul Richardson
  • Davante Adams
  • Cody Latimer
  • Allen Robinson
  • Jarvis Landry
  • Devin Smith
  • Dorial Green-Beckham
  • Devin Funchess


Cowboys Blog - Dallas Vs Seattle Injury Report: Will The Cowboys Throw Up The X

(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Out of 48 total receivers drafted in the last six years I've highlighted 19 who have already emerged as top players on their teams. I would also include Justin Blackmon, whose talent was clear but personal issues have gotten in the way. That's a little over 40% success in finding league-leading talent at receiver in the first two rounds.

That success rate soars when you consider the following:

  • Two of last year's rookies, Kevin White and Breshard Perriman, didn't play at all due to injury. Many felt White was the top prospect in the class, even over breakout star Amari Cooper, and Perriman was not far behind them.
  • Six of the listed players were rookies last year. Some of them were buried on depth charts and others were in poor offensive systems. They haven't had a chance to really prove themselves.
  • Though not offensive leaders, guys like Michael Floyd, Dexter McCluster, Rueben Randle, Greg Little, Robert Woods, and Tavon Austin have made big impacts in supportive roles.

The facts are clear; you stand a good chance of getting either top-notch receiver or at least very strong contributor if you draft a receiver in the first two rounds. What's especially encouraging is that out of those 23 first-round receiver only three have been total busts: A.J. Jenkins, Jonathan Baldwin, and Cordarrelle Patterson (on offense, not special teams). That's only a 13% instance of a busted pick; about as much draft confidence as you could ever hope for.

So, this was a very elaborate way of saying that you can feel good about any pick your team makes at receiver. The return on investment has been excellent for years now. College is producing NFL-ready talent at the position like no time in history.

Cowboys Headlines - Draft Philosophy: Cowboys Wide Receivers 1The old rule was that you had to wait about three years for a receiver to be able to contribute in the NFL. We've clearly seen how outdated that logic is. Receivers are having monster rookie seasons and often building on that success the following years. They are often now instant contributors with the potential to be offensive leaders right away.

This is all great news for the 2016 Dallas Cowboys. They are in great position with the 34th pick to land a first-round talent who slides or perhaps even move up into the late first-round to grab someone they like. Fortunately, they also have enough talent already on the roster that they don't have to force their hand.

The big name of this year's WR class is Laquon Treadwell from Ole Miss. Some Dallas fans would like them to draft Treadwell with the fourth overall pick but I can't get on board with that. You already have your franchise receiver in Dez Bryant and two go-to targets in tight end Jason Witten and slot receiver Cole Beasley. There just isn't enough need for me to justify using such a high pick at the position.

Cowboys Headlines - Draft Philosophy: Cowboys Wide Receivers 2

DM Photo | Cady Herring

I'm not all that high on Treadwell after his poor combine and pro day results, either. He certainly has great ball skills but you still have to be athletic enough to get away form the top cornerbacks in the league. He may be a guy who can abuse second-tier corners but what if Dez gets injured? Spending a first-round pick on a guy means he should be able to fill those shoes and keep the offense going. If Treadwell can get taken out of games by elite corners then you just wasted a pick.

If Dallas takes a WR then it should be in the second round or later. They have potential to be in range of any of the receiver prospects after Treadwell; Will Fuller, Corey Coleman, Michael Thomas, Braxton Miller, and others. Both Thomas and Miller are large, impressive athletes who could be breakout stars despite their second-round projection. As our list above showed, plenty of league leaders have come out of that round.

With Terrance Williams and Brice Butler both on expiring contracts the Cowboys have plenty of reason to add a solid rookie talent. That player can not only compete with the veterans now but will give them leverage when deciding on new contracts for Williams and Butler, perhaps even allowing Dallas to let both walk away.

~ ~ ~

Clearly, the Cowboys have all the power here. They don't have to take any receiver this year but can certainly justify it if talent is available when they're on the clock. Thankfully, the last several years have proven that it probably won't be a wasted pick.


Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

NFL Draft

2018 NFL Draft: Cowboys to Hold Visit with UCLA Tackle Kolton Miller

Sean Martin



2018 NFL Draft: Cowboys to Hold Visit with UCLA Tackle Kolton Miller
(Jacob Snow/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Dallas Cowboys have been frustratingly unsurprisingly quiet through the start of free agency, as their opportunity to improve at the AT&T Stadium hosted 2018 NFL Draft is rapidly approaching. Offensive line depth remains a team need for the Cowboys, one they're actively looking to address by visiting free agent Guard Marcus Martin while planning a pre-draft visit with UCLA Tackle Kolton Miller.

Bobby Belt on Twitter

I'm told UTEP Guard Will Hernandez is another of Dallas' 30 pre-draft visitors. Hernandez joins Alabama WR Calvin Ridley and UCLA G/T Kolton Miller on the list of reported visitors for the #Cowboys. Since 2014, 14 of Dallas' 35 picks (40%) have been pre-draft visitors.

Protecting one of the top quarterbacks available in the draft in Josh Rosen through college, Kolton Miller absolutely blew up the Combine in Indianapolis - entering the draft as one of the most athletic available linemen.

It is this athleticism and versatility that the Dallas Cowboys should absolutely be looking for, if trying to add another "blue chip" player to an offensive line already featuring LT Tyron Smith, C Travis Frederick, RG Zack Martin, and RT La'el Collins.

Kolton Miller Longest Offensive Lineman Broad Jump 2018 NFL Combine

Kolton Miller with the broad jump world record for an offensive lineman at 10 1 wow

Tyron Smith's health (along with the level of play the Cowboys received at his spot in his absence) and the FA status of Jonathan Cooper are both reasons the Cowboys should consider adding a new, controllable option to their dominant offensive line. Whether this is with the 19th overall pick, or later on with a prospect like Miller, will depend on how the board falls through the first 18 picks of the draft.

With ten total picks coming in, the Cowboys could be positioning themselves for a move up the board to land an impact defender, or an additional piece for Kris Richard to work with in the defensive backfield. Staying home at 19th overall and selecting a player capable of playing swing tackle would not only be a safe option for the Cowboys, but a smart one with Ezekiel Elliott returning full-time to the lineup in 2018.

Without Elliott for six games in 2017, the Cowboys still managed nine wins. This is a point lost to most of Cowboys Nation, especially those watching the entire playoffs without their team in it, only to watch the Eagles hoist the Lombardi. Elliott's impact on each's week game plan for Dallas is hard to understate, and the Cowboys' trust in him begins up front.

Testing as an elite athlete with the film to match at tackle in the Pac 12, Kolton Miller should be a welcome addition to America's Team - getting the opportunity to learn the Cowboys' way with a trip to The Star in his future.

Tell us what you think about "2018 NFL Draft: Cowboys to Hold Visit with UCLA Tackle Kolton Miller" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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NFL Draft

Can Powers of Persuasion Help Make Will Hernandez a Cowboy?

Brian Martin



Can Powers of Persuasion Make Will Hernandez a Dallas Cowboy?

There is no shortage of NFL hopefuls who would like to become a member of the Dallas Cowboys in the 2018 NFL Draft. But, not one of them have used their powers of persuasion to make their intentions known as much as former UTEP offensive guard Will Hernandez.

Throughout the entire draft process, Will Hernandez has done nothing but stand out when given the opportunity. He first started to make waves at the 2018 Senior Bowl, where he pretty much dominated his competition. Then, he improved his draft stock even more by putting on a show at the Scouting Combine.

The 6'2", 330 pound offensive guard has likely cemented himself as a surefire first-round draft pick and is arguably the second-ranked OG in the entire 2018 draft class. He is a plug-and-play prospect for any team who drafts him, but he has made his intentions well known that he would love to play for the Dallas Cowboys.

Back in February, Will Hernandez was spotted hanging out with the Cowboys bookend offensive tackles, Tyron Smith and La'el Collins, to see the premiere of the movie Death Wish, starring Bruce Willis.

Will Hernandez on Twitter

@PujolsFive Cowboys fans will appreciate this post!! ⭐️ Movie Premiere #Deathwish Great movie!

To see Will Hernandez rubbing elbows with a few of the Dallas Cowboys talented offensive lineman only strengthened the connection for Hernandez becoming a draft pick by America's Team. But, this wasn't the only time the former UTEP offensive guard was seen out with a Cowboys player.

In March, he was once again seen out on the town with the Cowboys All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith.

All of this can probably be chalked up to a current player hanging out with an NFL hopeful, but as a Cowboys fan you want to believe it's more than just a coincidence.

The Dallas Cowboys without a doubt need a new starting left guard. It can be argued it's the team's biggest need this offseason and Will Hernandez fits the bill to a T. He would immediately upgrade the entire offensive line and solidify the unit for years to come.

The only problem is, the Dallas Cowboys have already invested quite a bit in their offensive line and taking Will Hernandez in the first round would be considered by some as overkill. I for one wouldn't be opposed to taking him at 19 if he is the top rated player when the Cowboys are on the clock.

It's hard to know if seeing Will Hernandez hanging out with Tyron Smith and La'el Collins improves his chances of being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, but it definitely doesn't hurt. Offensive lines around the NFL perform at their best when they play as a cohesive unit, so developing a bond already could be viewed as a good thing.

Who knows, maybe Will Hernandez's powers of persuasion will pay off and end up being the deciding factor to help him become the next first-round offensive lineman drafted by the Dallas Cowboys.

Do you read anything into Will Hernandez hanging out with Cowboys players?

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NFL Draft

Keeping Dez Bryant Shouldn’t Stop Cowboys From Drafting Calvin Ridley

Mauricio Rodriguez



Butch Dill / Getty Images

With NFL Free Agency buzz at full speed this week, Dez Bryant is one of the most intriguing names in the Dallas Cowboys world. We all know the story. We've been talking about it since last season. Bryant, who was once among the "Top WR of the league" conversation, doesn't look like an elite player anymore.

That doesn't mean he is a bad football player, but the problem is that he's getting paid big time.

The Dallas Cowboys, who have struggled with cap space for many years now, may want to avoid paying $16.5M to a player who isn't justifying his paychecks on the field. Big name and all, it certainly doesn't feel that way.

His lack of production on the field the last three years is concerning, even though he's played with quarterbacks not named "Tony Romo." There are other receivers around the league who have played with bad quarterbacks and have still been able to produce.

Even still, it wouldn't be easy to replace Bryant on the offense just like that. Right now, top free agents are already off the market, so if Dallas wants to replace him, it'd have to be via trade or via the NFL Draft.

Jane Slater on Twitter

ICYMI: A few things to consider as we wait on news about Dez Bryant's future with the Dallas Cowboys

Right now, it seems that Dez is going to remain a Dallas Cowboy and after seeing the contracts other receivers in the league are about to get, who knows if a pay cut will even enter the equation.

Even if Dez keeps wearing the Star every week next season, wide receiver is still one of the team's top needs. Despite the fact that Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams and Jason Witten are some very well-known names, the truth is this offense needs a guy who can create separation and be harmful as a deep threat.

This is a draft class with a lot of depth at wide receiver, and the Cowboys could find contributors at the second or later rounds. Even still, if they're on the clock at 19 and Alabama's Calvin Ridley is available, the front office should pull the trigger.

Yes, even if Dez is still on the team.

Despite last year's struggles, we shouldn't lose faith on the Cowboys' offense when it has a lot of talent. We believed in this group to take us to the Super Bowl. What they are missing could just be a new, dynamic wide receiver.

Dallas Cowboys Reportedly Set to Meet with Alabama WR Calvin Ridley 1

Alabama Crimson Tide WR Calvin Ridley (John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports)

Calvin Ridley is by far the best WR in the Draft this year and will be an impact player anywhere he goes. Despite a poor showing in the Combine, Ridley proves to be worthy of a first round pick on tape. Ideal route-running, great ability to separate and more than enough speed for the NFL.

This would certainly take a lot of pressure off Cole Beasley's shoulders, who was constantly double-teamed last year. Sure, he's still good, but if he continues to run into double-coverage, Dak Prescott and company will probably continue to struggle another year.

It's tough to imagine Calvin Ridley being available at 19, especially with the Baltimore Ravens holding the 16th overall pick. However, some people believe there's a 50/50 chance he's available once Dallas is on the clock. If that's the case, the Cowboys shouldn't pass on this prospect.

Ridley could very well end up being the most productive receiver for the Cowboys in 2018 becoming an essential "best friend" for Dak Prescott.

We've seen how other front offices have made friendly offenses for their young QBs and if Calvin Ridley is what it takes, why even think about it?

Tell me what you think about "Keeping Dez Bryant Shouldn’t Stop Cowboys From Drafting Calvin Ridley" 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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