We have our 2019 draft class for the Dallas Cowboys, for better or worse. There will be plenty of deep analysis of the player selected, and those not taken, in the days ahead. For now, here’s my gut reaction to what Dallas did over the weekend.
Going into the draft I felt tight end was the biggest need, followed closely by safety. The fact that TE wasn’t addressed at all, and the other not until the sixth round, shows just how differently the Cowboys feel about their current talent compared to most onlookers.
It was a ringing endorsement for guys like Blake Jarwin and Xavier Woods, whose flashed potential must mean a lot to the front office. It also says that maybe Dallas has more faith in veterans like George Iloka, Jeff Heath, and the returning Jason Witten than we do.
Going with DT Trysten Hill in the second round said a lot, too. Clearly, the Cowboys don’t want a repeat of what happened last January in Los Angeles. Maliek Collins and Antwaun Woods are solid players, but Dallas wants to get stronger in the middle of the line. Hill has the potential to do that.
Drafting Tony Pollard and Mike Weber at RB told me they’re firmly committed to Ezekiel Elliott for the future. They will likely sign a veteran free agent in the coming days to compete with the youngsters, but nobody is here yet that threatens Zeke’s long-term job security.
Drafting two defensive ends, particularly Joe Jackson in the fifth round, says that things aren’t looking good for former first-round pick Taco Charlton. Dallas had already added two free agents in Robert Quinn and Kerry Hyder and now simply have more DE options than they’ll have roster spots by final cuts. If they had any faith in Charlton, we wouldn’t be seeing this much activity at the position.
Lastly, and I’ll go deeper on this topic soon, the Conner McGovern pick felt like the kiss of death for current starting OT La’el Collins. He’ll be a free agent in 2020 and Dallas already picked up one insurance policy by giving Cameron Fleming a two-year deal. Now they have McGovern and Connor Williams as potential options for replacing Collins next season.
Again, I’ll be hitting all of these points with more in-depth analysis next week. But for now, these were the immediate aftertastes from the Cowboys’ 2019 draft class.