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How Much Input Will Kris Richard Have in Cowboys Draft?

Brian Martin

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How Much Input Will Kris Richard Have in Cowboys Draft?
(Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News)

After a disappointing 2017 season, the Dallas Cowboys knew they needed to make changes. So far, the the only changes made have been to the coaching staff. They weren't necessarily big changes, and certainly not the ones a lot of Cowboys Nation wanted to see, but one new hire in particular could be a difference maker.

Yes, I'm talking about the Cowboys new defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator, Kris Richard.

On paper, it looks like a small move on the Cowboys part and definitely a demotion for Kris Richard (the Seattle Seahawks former defensive coordinator), but I think this hiring is all about the future.

It's no secret Rod Marinelli contemplated retiring after the 2017 season, but ultimately decided to return as the Cowboys defensive coordinator for at least 2018. Beyond that point though it really looks as if Kris Richard will take over as the new DC in Dallas. Why else would he accept a demotion?

I know I'm probably reading between the lines just a little bit here, but I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility. I think things were said, and maybe a few promises made behind closed doors that Richard will take over once Rod Marinelli calls it quits. But the kicker here is, he might just be Jason Garrett's replacement as well.

Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett

Dallas Cowboys HC Jason Garrett and GM Jerry Jones (Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News)

I know Jason Garrett currently has a ringing endorsement from Jerry Jones, but I think he is somewhat on the hot seat still, especially if the Cowboys have another disappointing season.

With that in mind, I started wondering how much input Kris Richard will have in the Dallas Cowboys offseason moves, especially in the draft. If Richard is indeed the future DC and possible HC in Dallas, why not start building the team with the kind of players he likes?

We already know the Dallas Cowboys aren't going to be very active in free agency. That's just not the way they have done things these past few years. They prefer to let the market settle before throwing their hat in the ring, which means they will be "bargain shopping" once again.

So, I don't really know how much input Kris Richard can have in free agency. But, the draft could be where we start to see him make an impact in Dallas.

We all know the Dallas Cowboys haven't prioritized defensive lineman early in the draft under the tutelage of Rod Marinelli. But, maybe that changes if Richard has much of a say in the draft process.

This of course is just one example. It could extend to just about any defensive position. Richard might have a different philosophy of what he looks for in certain players than Marinelli. That could possibly change the types of players the Cowboys target come draft time.

We are still a few months away from the 2018 NFL Draft, but I think Kris Richard could shake things up in the Cowboys War Room. It's just too bad that we have to wait to find out if I'm right or not.

What do you think Kris Richard's input will be in the Cowboys draft?


Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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3 Comments
  • Travis Diggs

    Hopefully he has alot of input on the draft coming from Seattle. Let him find us a Earl Thomas or Kam Chancellor. He will definitely change that secondary for the best. If we get lucky and get a Derwin James, watch Richard move Byron back to Corner to pair with Awuzie.

  • dallas1966

    I agree with Diggs. I’m going to go out on a limb, and predict that the Cowboys trade for Earl Thomas, to solidify the Cowboys secondary . I also have a gut feeling that the Cowboys , will come out of this draft, in great shape . Down the road this draft will be on the same level with the 1975 draft, that produce the dirty dozen .
    As far as Garrett is concern I think this upcoming season he will finally come through and bring home the coveted Lombardi Trophy in 2019. Just my two cents worth .

  • Michael White

    I’m hoping we show putt defensive tackles some love…we need to draft Vita Vea for the 1 put Malik Collins back at the 3 move Irving to right defensive end and let Taco back him up..Allow Demarcus Lawrence to keep his spot and have Tapper back him up..and Allow the others to interchange for depth…i know it’s a drastic change…but it could be a hell of a line…

NFL Draft

Upgrading LG Position Should be Cowboys Top Draft Priority

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Draft Priority Should be Upgrading the LG Position

The Dallas Cowboys are quite proud about the offensive line they have put together over the years. Their OL is headlined by three former first-round draft picks who have turned into All-Pro players, and one player who should've been a first-round pick if not for an unfortunate situation that had nothing to do with him that took place during the draft.

This offensive unit is the backbone of the entire Dallas Cowboys team, but some changes need to be made. No, not the personnel per se. Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, and La'el Collins will all return to their starting roles, but that only makes up 80% of the unit. Who makes up the other 20% is probably the biggest question that needs to be answered before the 2018 season kicks off.

Yes, I'm talking about the vacancy at the left guard position.

Jonathan Cooper

Dallas Cowboys LG Jonathan Cooper

Last season the Dallas Cowboys tried to plug the hole with Chaz Green and Jonathan Cooper. The Green experiment failed miserably and Cooper was serviceable at best. I don't know about you, but I think it's time to find a long-term solution and solidify the best offensive line for years to come.

The best and cheapest way to address the LG position is with one of the Cowboys draft picks.

Sure, the Dallas Cowboys could re-sign Jonathan Cooper to another affordable contract, but I have zero faith he can remain healthy. That's been the knock against him his entire professional career. I was actually surprised he lasted as long as he did in 2017.

With the 19th pick overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys are in a good position to have their choice of the best offensive guards in this draft class. Isaiah Wynn of Georgia, Will Hernandez of UTEP, James Daniels of Iowa, and Billy Price of Ohio State are all players under consideration here.

All four of these players are excellent Cowboys draft targets, and they can't really go wrong with any of them. They all bring a little something different to the table, but each would be an upgrade who would help get this team back on track.

You see, I think finding a new LG is the top Cowboys draft priority. I don't know if there is another position that can be filled by a rookie and contribute more to the team success in 2018.

This is especially true considering what the Cowboys like to do offensively. They want to establish the running game and control the clock. They weren't really able to do that in 2017 due to Tyron Smith's injuries in the revolving door at left guard.

Cowboys Draft Target: UTEP OL Will Hernandez

UTEP OL Will Hernandez

We all saw what happened when they were forced to get away from their bread and butter. This is not an offense that is currently equipped to rely on the passing game to put points on the board. It's just not who they are.

That is why finding a new LG is so important. Not only would it help upgrade the running game, but it would also help keep things going if Tyron Smith continues to struggle with injuries.

It's much easier to plug and play a backup left tackle who can block in the running game than it is to find one who can pass protect as well as Smith.

I know opinions will vary, but I truly believe that it's in everyone's best interest to draft a starting caliber left guard. And if you want to know my opinion, I would do it with their first-round draft pick by taking Will Hernandez.

Do you think LG is the Dallas Cowboys top draft priority?


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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft Target: BYU LB Fred Warner

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Draft Target: BYU LB Fred Warner

The 2018 NFL Draft class isn't exactly full of difference-making linebackers. At the top of the class sits Roquan Smith, the Georgia LB who many feel is a franchise changer. Then there is Virginia Tech's Tremaine Edmunds, the athletic freak who has risen up draft boards. After the top two, however, there is some confusion about the rest of the class.

My third linebacker would be Alabama's Rashaan Evans, but after watching more tape over the last couple of months, BYU's Fred Warner is LB4 on my board. I recently wrote up a full scouting report on Warner for Slant Sports, in which I detailed what exactly I like about Warner's game.

During his time at BYU Warner doubled as an EDGE defender and off ball linebacker. He often found himself in-line and defending the line of scrimmage, and did a good job when asked to do so. In my opinion, he projects to be a WILL in the NFL, an off-ball linebacker the Cowboys could certainly use.

At 6'3" 235 pounds Warner is a big and fluid athlete who looks extremely comfortable in space. Fred Warner possesses impressive processing ability and the closing speed to come down hill and make plays after reading and recognizing what the offense is doing.

nfldraft2018 fred warner 3 - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

"On this play we see an example of Fred Warner’s ability to read, react, and close on the ball carrier. Warner stays disciplined in his run fits at first, reading the hats of the linemen as the hole forms. As the runner bounces, Warner begins to break down hill to make the play."

Fred Warner is also rather solid in coverage. Considering his length and quickness, Warner can cover a lot of ground in zone coverage. Every now and then he made some splashy type plays in coverage as well, such as this one against UCLA.

nfldraft2018 fred warner 2 - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

"Warner gets into his drop smoothly here, reading his keys and processing the play in front of him. Then, as soon as the quarterback lets go of the ball, Warner jumps on the route and makes a great play on the ball. Considering his size, this is an outstanding rep from Fred Warner."

So where would the Cowboys have to take Warner? By my estimation, 81st overall is the sweet spot for Fred Warner. There are a lot of decent linebacker prospects bunched together late day two and early day three, but I think Warner has separated himself from the pack.

I believe Warner is a better prospect than a Josey Jewell or Leighton Vander Esch, despite the love they have been getting during this draft season. I understand those who would say someone like Jewell better fits what the Cowboys need in a MIKE linebacker, but Fred Warner's hybrid versatility and skills at WILL make him very valuable as well.

The Cowboys could use some depth at linebacker, and Fred Warner would immediately provide that for Dallas. And, depending on the health of Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith, Warner may be asked to play a lot during his rookie season.


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NFL Draft

Difference-Making Prospects Linked to Cowboys in Latest Mock Drafts

Sean Martin

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Difference-Making Prospects Linked to Cowboys in Latest Mock Drafts 1

The next time we take a look at these mock drafts to see who various members of the media have landing with the Cowboys, it will be on the week of the NFL Scouting Combine. This 2018 Draft process is charging towards Dallas, and with it we have some new prospects to add to the radar this week.

After introducing you to two secondary players last week, along with a consensus top-10 player in Georgia's Roquan Smith, here is the latest crop of college talent to be mocked to America's Team.

Difference-Making Prospects Linked to Cowboys in Latest Mock Drafts

CBS Sports: Calvin Ridley, WR - Alabama

This mock draft comes to us from Chris Trapasso, with the most complete receiver in the draft falling to the Cowboys.

"The Cowboys are thrilled with Ridley still being available. While he's not the biggest wideout and has a skinny frame, he's a dynamic route runner and has the deep speed Dallas has to inject into its offense."

Analysis:

Calvin Ridley may be the one WR in this draft too good for me to pass up on in the first round. As I've studied deeper into this class, the amount of talent available in the later rounds looks much more attractive for a Cowboys team that remains set on at least two starting receivers.

Should this WR depth deter the first 18 teams in the draft order from taking Alabama's Calvin Ridley though, this is a trigger that has to be pulled in Dallas.

Rotoworld: Maurice Hurst, DT - Michigan

Josh Norris' mock draft produces a familiar outcome for the Cowboys, but the talent he passes up on to mock Hurst to this team is certainly interesting.

"I know Vita Vea is on the board, but in Hurst the team is getting more of an upfield, disruptive lineman. He has special moments off the snap, creating instant penetration and totally destroying the offense’s plan."

Analysis:

Yawn. It feels inevitable that at least one mock draft each week will have the Cowboys doubling up on Michigan defensive linemen in the first round - upgrading the 3T position with Hurst. While I'm not dismissing Hurst's talent in any way, I don't see a consistent enough player (nor enough of a difference maker) to warrant the 19th overall pick.

Should the Cowboys lose RFA David Irving, there is no doubt they'll be in need of a disruptive defensive tackle. As the roster stands now though, the Cowboys' bigger need is at the 1T position - which Norris ignores despite the best player at that position (Vea) being available.

Bleacher Report: Tremaine Edmunds, LB - Virginia Tech

Like Chris Trapasso's mock, Mike Tanier's latest draft projection has another top player sliding the Cowboys' way.

"Tremaine Edmunds has been a tricky player to slot in this mock draft. He has limitless upside, but at a position (off-the-ball linebacker) that few teams prioritize in the first round anymore. He should be a Bobby Wagner/Luke Keuchly-caliber contributor by 2019, but whoever drafts him will experience some growing pains as the not-yet-20-year-old Edmunds learns not to get sucked into play action or get caught flat-footed in coverage."

Analysis:

An argument could be made for Tremaine Edmunds as the best LB in this draft. At the very least, he is in elite company atop the board with Roquan Smith. Both prospects play the WILL position, which Tanier correctly points out as one that is devalued currently.

This shouldn't stop Smith from having his name called early in the 2018 Draft, and I have my doubts about it doing the same for Edmunds. A freak athlete out of Virginia Tech, Edmunds will be just 19 years old at the time of April's draft.

This bodes exceptionally well for the Cowboys, who are of course preparing to start Sean Lee at WILL once again. Drafting Edmunds may go against this team's philosophy of drafting immediate starters, along with first round linebackers.

With all that said, Tremaine Edmunds is not a player I could pass up on with the 19th overall pick.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

The NFL Scouting Combine will give teams and draft analysts a much better evaluation of where all of these prospects truly belong. Through three weeks of doing this series, I can't say that any player mocked to the Cowboys has been a reach.

Instead, the likes of Smith, Edmunds, and Ridley could soon disappear entirely from the majority of Cowboys mock drafts moving forward. The bigger picture of who actually will be available to Dallas, and who they're targeting in the first round, is slowly coming into focus.

Tell us what you think about "Difference-Making Prospects Linked to Cowboys in Latest Mock Drafts" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!


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