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Cowboys Draft: DT is Unlikely at #58

The draft needs have been discussed. You’ve read the mock drafts. The Dallas Cowboys have put their draft board together. Now all that’s left to be done is for the Cowboys to go and draft football players.

The NFL Draft will begin on Thursday night, but the Dallas Cowboys won’t go on the clock — unless a dramatic trade up occurs — until Friday night when the second round begins. There’s been a ton of speculation on who the Dallas Cowboys could select when they eventually get their turn to add to their roster.

Positions like safety, wide receiver, tight end, defensive end, defensive tackle, and cornerback have all mentioned in line with the Cowboys selection at pick 58. Though anything is possible, it’s unlikely that the interior defensive line will be the direction the Cowboys go with their second round pick.

You have no further to look than the Dallas Cowboys draft history since 2011 when Head Coach Jason Garrett entered his first draft with the club as their permanent head coach.

Drafted Players Table
Misc Misc Game Game
Rk Year Rnd Pick Player Pos DrAge From To AP1 PB St CarAV G GS Int Sk College/Univ
1 2018 4 116 Dorance Armstrong DE 21 2018 2018 0 0 0 2 15 1 0.5 Kansas
2 2017 1 28 Taco Charlton DE 22 2017 2018 0 0 0 6 27 7 4.0 Michigan
3 2017 7 228 Joey Ivie DT 22 0 0 0 Florida
4 2017 7 246 Jordan Carrell DT 23 0 0 0 Colorado
5 2016 3 67 Maliek Collins DT 21 2016 2018 0 0 3 18 45 39 10.5 Nebraska
6 2016 4 101 Charles Tapper DE 23 2017 2017 0 0 0 0 2 0 1.0 Oklahoma
7 2015 5 163 Ryan Russell DE 23 2015 2017 0 0 0 4 23 6 3.0 Purdue
8 2014 2 34 Demarcus Lawrence DE 22 2014 2018 0 2 3 33 64 47 1 34.0 Boise St.
9 2014 7 231 Ben Gardner DE 24 2014 2014 0 0 0 0 0 Stanford
10 2014 7 251 Ken Bishop DT 23 2014 2015 0 0 0 0 5 0 Northern Illinois
11 2012 3 81 Tyrone Crawford DE 22 2012 2018 0 0 5 31 92 74 22.0 Boise St.
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/24/2019.

Since Jason Garrett took over as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, they have only drafted four defensive tackles. Tyrone Crawford, who was drafted as a 3-4 defensive end in 2012, has been more of a hybrid player. But if we consider him an interior defensive lineman, then the Cowboys have only selected five interior defensive linemen in eight seasons. Only twice did they use a pick higher than the seventh round on an interior defensive lineman. 2012, when they selected Tyrone Crawford in the third round with the 81st pick in the draft. Then in 2016, they took Maliek Collins with the 67th overall pick of the third round.

Every other defensive tackle choice has been in the seventh round. Compare that to the defensive end position. On the EDGE, the Cowboys have selected six players, only one of them being a seventh round pick. Of their six defensive end selections, one was in the first round, two were in the second (Randy Gregory not listed), two were in the fourth, one was in the fifth, and one was in the seventh.

The Cowboys have used picks in just about every round to find their defensive end rotation, but have been reluctant to spend premium picks on a defensive tackle.

Generally, Rod Marinelli gets blamed for the lack of value placed on the interior defensive line, and some of that is true. Since Marinelli became the defensive coordinator in 2014, the Cowboys have only selected three interior defensive linemen. Maliek Collins was the only one of the three not selected in the seventh round.

Every other Rod Marinelli-era defensive tackle addition has been in search of a diamond in the rough. They found it, though temporarily, with David Irving and have apparently done so again with Antwaun Woods. The additions of Christian Covington and Kerry Hyder — who played on the interior for Matt Patricia’s 3-4 defense in Detroit — seem to be further attempts to find rotational players at a low cost.

This year’s NFL Draft has really good depth at defensive tackle. While a lot of the names at the top like Quinnen Williams and Ed Oliver have gotten most of the hype, there are players in the third through seventh rounds that could be week one impact players. Whether it’s a Trysten Hill, Gerald Willis, Charles Omenihu, or Renell Wren in the second or third, or a Kingsley Keke in the fourth or fifth, the Cowboys will likely have options when attacking the defensive tackle position in the draft.

With a lot of their pre-draft visitors coming at the safety and wide receiver position, it seems much more likely that the team will allocate their second round pick to upgrade one of those position groups. Considering the contracts of Byron Jones and Robert Quinn are up after the 2019 season, it’s possible that the Cowboys even look at cornerback or cornerback with the 58th overall pick.

The Cowboys are pretty deep at the defensive tackle position with Antwaun Woods and Christian Covington your primary 1-technique defensive tackles and Maliek Collins, Tyrone Crawford, and Kerry Hyder your primary 3-technique defensive tackles. Unless someone like a Jeffrey Simmons, Dexter Lawrence, or Christian Wilkins falls to them or within striking distance of a trade up, expect the Cowboys to use their first pick in the draft at a different position.

What do you think?

John Williams

Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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Cowboys Draft: Final Wishlist For 58th Overall

Cowboys Draft: Final Wishlist For 58th Overall

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