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Final Cowboys Mock Drafts Before Free Agency Address Defensive Interior, Receiver

The official start to the 2018 league year, and the NFL period, is right around the corner – with a number of upcoming signings already set to shake these rosters up. The likely won't look drastically different by the time free agency opens and closes, but this part of the roster building process is crucial to succeeding in the Draft.

With some fans distracted by the lure of lucrative contracts being handed out to attractive , the 's starting date of April 26th from Dallas is sneaking up.

That is not the case for the following sources that we'll look at to see which prospects are linked to the Cowboys this week.

CBS Sports: Calvin Ridley, WR – Alabama

This pick from Chris Trapasso remains exactly the same from last week, with the need for the Cowboys to upgrade at WR only in position to become more dire, should be released.


The Dallas Cowboys are certainly doing more than just their due diligence in preparation for Ridley being available to them in the , visiting with him at the Combine and reportedly already scheduling a pre-draft visit with the 23-year old Alabama star.

As I've written before, Ridley is exactly the type of receiver the Cowboys need to be looking at to support in year three. The best overall WR available in this draft, at pick #19 is gaining momentum – but will the Cowboys have to up to secure their next big outside target?

SB Nation: Taven Bryan, DT – Florida

Dan Kadar of SB Nation:

“There may be more high-rated defensive tackles available, but Bryan fits perfectly in the Cowboys’ scheme. They like defensive tackles who can split gaps and get into the backfield, and that is Bryan’s specialty. Michigan’s fits the mold as well, but a heart condition discovered at the combine could knock him a little.”


Florida's Taven Bryan is another prospect I've discussed as a target for the Dallas Cowboys, with a full scouting report available at Slant Sports.

A free agency decision on RFA DT is coming soon from the Cowboys, and even with Irving returning for 2018, it is hard for to have enough pass rushing depth at DT. Bryan would certainly provide that, drafted in the top twenty on pure upside should he land in Dallas.

Far from a finished product, Bryan has the traits to be molded into a disruptive 3T DT – along with enough strength and awareness to contribute right away. I personally wouldn't be a fan of the Cowboys using their first pick on , but this is a player that could easily prove a lot of people wrong through his NFL career.

Sporting News: Da'Ron Payne, DT – Alabama

Vinnie Iyer of Sporting News:

“The Cowboys keep loading up on speed and quickness for Rod Marinelli's . Although they have a dominant player in and a dangerous swing man in David Irving, they need another big body who can blow up plays in the backfield. Bringing in Payne would give Dallas quite a pile up front after taking end in the first round last year.”


For the second week in a row, Payne joins his Alabama teammate Calvin Ridley as a possible pick for the Dallas Cowboys. Fitting the profile has alluded to when it comes to evaluating DTs, Payne can provide solid depth at both the 1T and 3T position inside.

Payne tested as a well-rounded athlete at the Combine, and has a chance to come out from underneath the shadows of so many other Crimson Tide defensive prospects at the next level. He won't be a flashy pick, but is a ready-made NFL contributor that fills a need for the Cowboys in upgrading their .

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The Cowboys' free agency strategy is to once again put themselves in position to improve wherever they please using their ten 2018 draft picks. Already impressively close to doing so, the recurring availability of prospects like Calvin Ridley at 19th overall in these mocks drafts should be exciting for .

Tangible football things are on the horizon.

Sean Martin
Sean Martin
Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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Reynaldo Laporte

Any mock that has us drafting a WO in the first round immediately loses credibility to me. Fortunately for us this is a lot of talent to be had at the reciever position.

Patsy Lucente

I do believe that if we have a chance to draft a top-notch receiver to take some of the pressure off of Dez Bryant that that would be the smartest thing to do for the Cowboys because it would definitely make an instant impact which they need to do 2 be an explosive offense and I do believe Dez Bryant is worth keeping his numbers went down since Dak Prescott became the new quarterback! I also think it would not be a bad move to try and trade David Irving for Earl Thomas which would make another instant impact with our secondary and our new secondary coach who’s going to be our defensive coordinator next year I think they should look at a tight end in the second round someone that’s comparable to a Jason Witten and also trying to find a diamond in the rough running back to compliment Ezekiel Elliott….

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