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NFL Draft

Is the Dallas Cowboys Best Strategy to Trade Down at 18?

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Draft Blog - 2013 Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft 2.0 6

We've seen the draft scenario's, we all have ones we like.  Some prefer to trade up, some prefer to trade down.

Which one are you?

This year's draft has depth like i've never seen before.  Despite it's lack of "elite" players, the Cowboys are going to benefit from a draft that is stocked full of starting caliber players all the way through rounds four or five.

The one issue the Cowboys will face is, do they trade the 18th pick?

Lets get one thing straight from the get-go, the Cowboys love offensive guards Jonathan Cooper and Chance Warmack.  These are franchise caliber players that fit a very specific need for this team.

However, there remains a strong likelihood that these players are gone once the Cowboys get on the clock.

So what if they were? Do you reach for a player that fits a specific need just to do it?

I think it's tempting to say, "just select D.J. Fluker or Sylvester Williams" but I don't know that it's the best move for this franchise.

The Cowboys only have six picks and are in a position to acquire more by trading down and ultimately they would be able to take advantage of the deepest draft in years.

Regardless, the Cowboys need to come out with, at a minimum, three starters.  By trading down they'll be able to move to the end of the first round and add potentially an additional second or third.

Players that I currently have available in picks 1.25 - 2.05 are: Sylvester Williams, Jonathan Cyprien, DaMontre Moore, Datone Jones and Jesse Williams.  Any one of those players would upgrade the Cowboys in some respect.

Now this is where we cash in, hypothetically, say they get an additional second round pick. Then they can end up with any combination of: Justin Pugh, Larry Warford, Kyle Long, Eric Reid, Kawann Short, DeAndre Hopkins or Barrett Jones.

This is widely speculative and I know that.  However, you can't discount how attractive it is for the Cowboys to acquire an additional high pick.  The Cowboys are in a situation where they need to upgrade a lot of positions while maintaining a "win-now" philosophy.  Too me, that means that they need to get multiple high-end prospects that can propel this team to legitimate contention. Trading out of 18 is the way to do it.

The Cowboys will need trade partners.  With Minnesota and San Francisco targeting specific players and having multiple picks, you have to believe that the Cowboys will have more than enough suitors.

Draft day is a few days away, teams are uncertain and so are fans.  One thing we can feel confident in is that Jason Garrett is going to investigate every option in a way to not only build this team, but save his job.


Former Sports Writer. Veteran. Serving veterans is my passion. Johns Hopkins Student. Enjoy Discussing Politics and sports!

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NFL Draft

Teams that Could Ruin the Cowboys’ Draft Night

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Teams that Could Ruin the Cowboys' Draft Night

The 2018 NFL Draft is about to take place next Thursday inside Jerry Jones' AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Months and months of tremendous hard work are about to culminate into new football players for every NFL team. Once Roger Goodell announces the Cleveland Browns are on the clock, the strategies front offices have been working on will be put to the test.

But part of what makes this event such an special one for die-hard NFL fans are the unexpected turns that can occur from one pick to another. These may come in different forms. Sometimes a surprising trade happens or sometimes a prospect is drafted way earlier than people expected him to.

There are, however, picks and trades that hurt fans. Take last year, for example. Many in Cowboys Nation were ready for UCLA's DE Takkarist McKinley to fall to the 28th pick until Seahawks ended up trading their 26th pick to the Atlanta Falcons, who jumped over the Cowboys to land their guy, ultimately sending Taco Charlton to Dallas.

Things like that happen year after year in the NFL Draft. This is the offseason's Super Bowl! Crazy stuff can happen. Things not always go according to plan. Today, we'll discuss the teams that could ruin the Cowboys' draft night.

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

Alabama WR Calvin Ridley (John David Mercer / USA TODAY Sports)

Arizona Cardinals and Baltimore Ravens

The Cowboys could be looking for a first-round wide receiver at 19, including Alabama's Calvin Ridley. Now, as we mentioned before, nothing is certain in the NFL Draft. Despite Ridley's talent and ability to get open, some question whether he'll fall all the way to 19.

The thing is, there are a couple of teams who could very well be targeting Ridley before the Cowboys turn.

The Arizona Cardinals, picking at 15, may be looking to find a new wide receiver to rely on now that Larry Fitzgerald's career is getting closer and closer to its end. They also could target a quarterback there, but WR is a very strong possibility. Sam Bradford will need weapons if he's to be the team's starting quarterback.

As for the Ravens, even after adding Michael Crabtree, they should be trying to get Joe Flacco all the help they can. The Ravens may be the team that will most likely end up drafting Calvin Ridley come Draft Day.

DJ Moore could also be the receiver in question and could go earlier than expected to any of these teams, ruining the Cowboys' search for a WR in the first round.

Los Angeles Chargers

Sitting at 17 is a football team with similar needs to those of America's Team. Despite counting with premium pass rushers in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, the Chargers could 100% use an upgrade in their interior defensive line.

Vita Vea is expected to go early in the Draft but he could fall just because of the fact that he's a 1-technique DT and positional value tends to make players slide in this process. Da'Ron Payne from Alabama could also be a player the Chargers target here if Vea is gone.

Report: Cowboys, Rod Marinelli View Washington's Vita Vea as "Three Down Player"

Washington DT Vita Vea

The Cowboys should be interested in upgrading their DT position as well, and could see the Chargers take their guy just two picks ahead of them.

Los Angeles will look for a top-tier safety if they find one worthy of a first-round pick. Derwin James is one hell of a football player, but some consider he doesn't have a true home in the secondary. If James slides, Dallas should consider moving up to get him and the Chargers may be the reason why.

Teams that Could Ruin the Cowboys' Draft Night 1

The Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks may be the team that hurt the Cowboys cause the most this coming week. Sitting at the 18th spot, one pick before Dallas', Seattle will most likely be entertaining trade down talks. Without a pick in the second or the third round of the Draft, they should be desperately looking for ammunition.

This offseason, the team parted ways with many key players on their roster, including veteran CB Richard Sherman. For a team that's entering some sort of rebuilding situation, draft picks will be something they crave.

Any team looking to jump over Dallas sitting at 19 will be making telephones ring in Seattle.

✭✭✭✭✭

The NFL Draft is always a fun topic for discussion and potential scenarios talk. Sadly, it's about to come to an end. Here at Inside The Star, we'll continue to get you fresh Cowboys content throughout the offseason.

For now, it's still Draft season.

Tell me what you think about "Teams that Could Ruin the Cowboys’ Draft Night" 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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NFL Draft

John’s 7 Round Cowboys Mock Draft, with Trades

John Williams

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Dimitri Flowers

With Dez Bryant's release, the need for a front-line wide receiver becomes a bit more urgent for the Dallas Cowboys. The 2018 NFL Draft sets up very well for DAL to fill several needs on the offensive and defensive sides of the football. With a lot of depth at positions that the Dallas Cowboys have been looking into, there will be options to move around in this draft that fit what the front office likes to do.

So, here is my new seven-round mock draft, only because the Bryant move made me rethink what I would do.

Using Fanspeak's On The Clock Premium, I explored what it would look like to trade back in the first round, which is becoming my preference if the first round falls right. After picking up an extra pick or two in a trade back in the first, I'd love to see them move up in the second.

I made probably more trades than they would make, but they all make sense from a trade value chart perspective. 

I used Connor Livesay's big board from Pro Football Talk Line and set the computer to use multiple big boards, trying to simulate what an NFL Draft actually looks like. Different teams place different value on the players due to their varying evaluations.

Using the running list that KD Drummond has going over at The Cowboys Wire, I made an effort to select players the Dallas Cowboys have met with in some capacity.

Round 1: James Daniels, G/C, Iowa

National 30 Visit

Five quarterbacks went in the first 18 selections, which is the best case scenario for the Dallas Cowboys at #19. I've been very vocal about the idea that Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, and Lamar Jackson will all go before the Dallas Cowboys pick at 19. There are enough quarterback needy teams in the first half of the first round, and some in the back half, that it just makes sense.

The top two guard prospects, Quenton Nelson and Isaiah Wynn, were gone by 19, and Harold Landry went at pick 14 to the Green Bay Packers.

The New England Patriots came 'a callin' with #23 and their third rounder (#95) to move up to 19. It's not as good as adding a second rounder, but I didn't want to fall back too far and miss out on who I eventually picked for the Dallas Cowboys.

Iowa guard James Daniels.

He's a player that will fit what the Cowboys want to do with their zone blocking scheme. He has the mobility to get to the outside and to the second level. He completes the Dallas offensive line and allows them to continue being the physical run-first football team that they've morphed into over the last three or four years.

 1

Maryland WR DJ Moore

Round 2: DJ Moore, WR, Maryland

National 30 Visit

Maryland Wide Receiver DJ Moore slipped to the top of the second round, so I made a move up from 50 to get him.

In order to do so, I had to give up pick 50, New England's pick at the back-end of the third round (95), and pick 192 to equal 534 points. That is about equal to the first of Indianapolis' two second round picks at pick 36 (540 points).

Moore is a good route runner with quickness and speed to make big plays happen. Was very productive at Maryland and has received comparisons to Minnesota Vikings' Wide Receiver Stefon Diggs.

We still have our third rounder to work with and now have filled the two biggest needs on the offensive side of the ball with players who could be day-one starters.

Round 3: Josey Jewell, LB, Iowa

Heading into round three, I'm feeling really good about the draft so far. Obviously there are still some needs to address, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.

Got an offer from the Carolina Panthers to move back from 81 to 85, while also adding their fifth round pick, number 161.

After making the trade, the time came to address the linebacker position and Josey Jewell is the best one available at this point. Also the best available player at a position where the Dallas Cowboys have a hole.

The Cowboys coaching staff loves linebackers from the Big 10. See Anthony Hitchens, Damien Wilson, and Sean Lee.

Josey Jewell is someone who can come in and rotate with Jaylon Smith at the MIKE linebacker spot right away. He isn't fast (4.8 40) but he has the quickness to be a pretty good linebacker at the NFL level. He will need to work on his coverage ability. He can help on special teams right away as well.

*After the trade back, we are armed with two fourths, two fifths, two sixths and a seventh. 

Round 4: Tarvarius Moore, S, Southern Mississippi

National 30 Visit

When our pick came up at up at #116 we had some trade-back offers, but Tarvarius Moore, who excited the masses with his Pro-Day 4.32 40-yard dash, was still available. That speed and his true free safety ability couldn't be passed on any longer.

He makes a great addition to the safety rotation and can potentially be "the guy" at free safety. He'll have value immediately as a special teams gunner with his speed and could compete to be the full-time free safety right away.

Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State

The other player I considered was Penn State TE Mike Gesicki. It's time for this team to begin looking at life without Jason Witten and Gesicki has some impressive athletic ability.

According to PlayerProfiler.com, he was no worse than the 95th percentile in any measurable and compares favorably to Vernon Davis -- hopefully without some of the headaches. 

To get him, I sent both of our fifth round picks to Detroit to make the pick.

I traded pick 137 to the Seattle Seahawks for picks 141 and 168, though it was awfully tempting to stay there and take Nyheim Hines.

Nyheim Hines

N.C. State RB Nyheim Hines

Round 5: Nyheim Hines, RB, North Carolina State

National 30 Visit

Was able to pick up an extra fifth, move back and get a player who can contribute offensively and on special teams right away, Nyheim Hines. A dynamic pass catcher, Hines would be an excellent change of pace back to Ezekiel Elliott and Rod Smith.

He rushed for more than 1,100 yards and scored 12 touchdowns in 2017 at NC State, so he could be more Darren Sproles-like as a runner and receiver than anything they have on the roster at the moment.

Breeland Speaks, DT, Ole Miss

National 30 Visit

Attempting to add some depth with promise along the defensive line, Breeland Speaks is a nice addition who could fill some of the Tyrone Crawford role if he sticks. He can take some running-down snaps at defensive end or move inside and play some 3T defensive tackle for you as well.

Here's what NDTScouting.com's Jonah Tuls had to say about Speaks.

"I have a feeling Breeland Speaks will get drafted higher than he should because of his athletic traits and tools as a pass rusher, but his experience is mostly as a two-gap defensive end who is relatively unproven and underdeveloped with his plan of attack. Comparison: Jonathan Babineaux."

Jonah Tuls - NDTScouting.com

Round 6: Trenton Thompson, DT, Georgia

Part of the National Championship winning Georgia Bulldogs, the Dallas Cowboys like getting players from the Power 5 conferences and players who have good motors. Thompson has that.

Here's what Connor Livesay from ProFootballTalkline.com had to say about Thompson.

"Trenton Thompson was built in a lab, and passes the eye test with ease. At 6-foot-4 297lbs, Thompson has extremely good size and matches that with a fluid lower half that allows him to move well laterally and vertically. Has very heavy hands and you can see that from the tape when he strikes offensive lineman. Unfortunately, injuries and inconsistent play plagued Thompson’s career, but he can be a quality three-technique in the NFL if he’s able to stay healthy and hungry."

Connor Livesay - ProFootballTalkLine.com

208 - Leon Jacobs, LB, Wisconsin

Another linebacker from the Big 10 who can be competition for Damien Wilson on the strongside, but also has some weakside EDGE potential for you as well.

"The thing with Leon Jacobs is that he may be scheme specific to just a 3-4 scheme as an outside linebacker who can drop if asked, but rush with a blend of speed and power as well. He is incredibly raw and will take time to develop mental processing, however. Comparison: Aaron Curry"

Jonah Tuls - NDTScouting.com

Round 7: 236 - Dimitri Flowers, FB, Oklahoma

Private Workout

Yes, they signed Jamize Olawale in free agency, but that shouldn't prevent them from drafting one of the better chess pieces in the 2018 NFL Draft. I outlined my affection for Dimitri Flowers in last week's edition of my mock draft.

Dimitri Flowers is a pet cat of mine that I think could be a dynamic weapon for the Dallas Cowboys offense. He can run, catch, and block. He can lineup in the backfield, in-line as a tight end, or in the slot as a receiver.

If you watch his tape, you see him catching passes over the middle, down the seem, and along the sideline.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

While I don't expect that this is the way the draft is going to unfold, I do think trading back in the first and then up in the second is going to be the best option for the Dallas Cowboys to get the guard, wide receiver, and/or linebacker they need in the first two rounds.

Take it easy on me in the comment section. Thanks for reading.


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NFL Draft

Top 10 Safeties Cowboys Could Target After the 1st-Round

Brian Martin

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10 Safeties Dallas Cowboys Could Target After the 1st-Round

There has been quite a bit to talk about the Dallas Cowboys safety position this offseason, especially in regards to the possibility of trading for Earl Thomas or moving up in the draft to select Derwin James. Unfortunately, I don't really think either one of these moves happen, but that shouldn't discourage you.

The Dallas Cowboys already have a few safety options on the roster, but that shouldn't keep them from looking for an upgrade. Jeff Heath could reprise his role at free safety this season, but the other safety spot opposite him is completely up for grabs with Byron Jones moving back to cornerback.

Personally, I would like to see Xavier Woods get a shot at one of the starting positions, but that's something to debate and speculate about once we get a little further along into offseason workouts. That is why today I want to share with you the top 10 safeties I think the Cowboys could target after the first-round.

Rashaan Gaulden, Tennessee

Round Grade: 2nd

Rashaan Gaulden was a two-year starter for the Volunteers and was part of the No. 3 nationally ranked pass defense in 2017. He is a bit of a Swiss Army knife defensive back and has lined up at several different positions in the secondary during his time in college.

Gaulden was primarily the starting nickel or inside corner, but I think he projects better as a free safety in the NFL. He has the speed and toughness to play the position, but needs to become a little bit more disciplined. He has all the traits scouts look for in a safety prospect and a good foundation to build upon.

Jessie Bates, Wake Forest

Round Grade: 2nd

Jessie Bates played in 20 career games and has two years of starting experience during his time at Wake Forest. His decision to enter the 2018 NFL Draft is somewhat of a head scratcher since he had two years of eligibility remaining, but he looks like a surefire second-round draft pick.

Bates was the starting strong safety for the Demon Deacons, but probably projects better as a free safety in the NFL. He has a slight frame which could lead to durability issues down the road. Despite this, he is fearless in run support and shows good range and coverage instincts. He fits the mold of the kind of free safety the Dallas Cowboys are in search of.

Justin Reid

Stanford S Justin Reid (Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)

Justin Reid, Stanford

Round Grade: 2nd

Justin Reid is the younger brother of Eric Reid, the former San Francisco 49ers safety. He was a two-year starter at Stanford and although he was listed as a free safety on the depth chart, he played several different roles in their secondary.

I believe Reid can be an interchangeable safety in the NFL who is capable of playing deep in coverage or in the box around the line of scrimmage. At Stanford he primarily played in the box or in man coverage in the slot. His smooth athleticism and versatility make him an intriguing second-round option for the Dallas Cowboys.

Jordan Whitehead, Pittsburgh

Round Grade: 3rd

Jordan Whitehead is a three-year starter at Pittsburgh and lined up primarily at strong safety. But, he also showed off his versatility by playing free safety, cornerback, and even played on offense. He is a premium athlete, but there are some concerns with him as a prospect.

He doesn't have the ideal frame NFL teams look for in a safety prospect and there is a little bit of concern with his character. He also needs to clean up his technique in coverage and play with better eye discipline. As a run defender he is an inconsistent tackler at times because of poor technique, which will need to be cleaned up in the NFL. Overall, he has starting ability, but there are a few things that need to be cleaned up before he is trustworthy.

Terrell Edmunds, Virginia Tech

Round Grade: 3rd

Terrell Edmunds is the brother of Tremaine Edmunds, a projected first-round linebacker who a lot of Dallas Cowboys fans would love to see available at 19. Terrell is a three-year starter at Virginia Tech and bounced around their secondary throughout his collegiate career.

Terrell is a sound run defender and has shown he can make plays on the ball in the passing game, but good route runners will eat him up. He is probably best suited to play in a defensive scheme that utilizes a lot of zone coverages because he really struggles when he's asked to play man to man.

Marcus Allen, Penn State

Round Grade: 3rd

Marcus Allen is a four-year starter at Penn State and helped lead them to a national championship. Despite being listed as a free safety on their depth chart, he played primarily around the line of scrimmage as a box safety.

Allen is an aggressive downhill tackler and finished his collegiate career with 321 tackles, ranking 5th overall in school history and only four behind Dallas Cowboys own, Sean Lee. He has the speed and athleticism to be a coverage safety, but he is much more comfortable making plays in front of him than he is when he has to play in reverse.

Dane Cruikshank

Arizona S Dane Cruikshank

Dane Cruikshank, Arizona

Round Grade: 3rd-4th

Dane Cruikshank was a two-year starter at Arizona. The former Wildcat first started his career at cornerback before making the transition to a hybrid safety role last season. He looks most comfortable as a overhang safety where he can blitz, defend against the run, or cover tight ends and receivers in the slot.

Cruikshank projects to be a strong safety in the NFL and has starting potential. He will struggle early on in coverage, but with time to develop could improve in this area. With the Dallas Cowboys, he would likely end up being a player similar to Barry Church, but they may already have that type of player in Kavon Frazier.

Tracy Walker, Louisiana Lafayette

Round Grade: 3rd-4th

Tracy Walker was a four-year starter at Louisiana Lafayette and was primarily used as a boundary safety. He is a former basketball player and as the frame to match. He needs to put in the work in the weight room in order to fill out his frame, but has starting potential.

I believe he could become an interchangeable safety in the NFL with little time to develop. He has the athleticism to become a rangy free safety and has the physicality to play down around the line of scrimmage in the box. He could compete for playing time as a rookie, but he might not be ready for a full-time starting gig.

Tarvarius Moore, Southern Miss

Round Grade: 3rd-4th

Tarvarius Moore is a former junior college transfer and one-your starter at Southern Miss. He put up eye-popping numbers and his pro day and has the potential to become the best free safety in the entire 2018 draft class.

Moore has yet to play his best football and will only continue to get better the more coaching and playing time he receives. His on-field athleticism and range really stand out when watching his game film and he shows really good pursuit angles when chasing down the ball carrier. He also isn't afraid to mix it up in the running game.

DeShon Elliott, Texas

Round Grade: 4th

For many Dallas Cowboys fans, DeShon Elliott's name probably stands out the most on this entire list. The Cowboys have already met with him and worked him out, so you know there is an interest in him in some capacity.

Elliott is a bit of an enigma as a safety prospect. At times he looks like a top prospect, but then in the next instant looks completely lost. He has only average athleticism and play speed, but he has a knack for finding himself in the right place at the right time. He looks more comfortable around the line of scrimmage than he does in coverage. He will likely be a special teams standout as a rookie while he develops.

Any of these 10 safety prospects make sense for the Dallas Cowboys?


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