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NFL Draft

How Myles Jack Can Become a Cowboy

Jess Haynie



Cowboys Draft - How Myles Jack Can Become a Cowboy

On Thursday I posted my first 2016 mock draft, covering Dallas' first and second-round picks. I thought I would dive deeper into each of my selections for the Cowboys, beginning today with the first-round pick of linebacker Myles Jack.

Before we talk about the future let's briefly review the past. Two years ago Dallas had the 16th pick and, after taking Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick in two of their three previous drafts, were unanimously expected to got with a defensive player. When the time came, though, the Cowboys stunned everyone and selected Zack Martin at guard.

Cowboys Headlines - How Myles Jack Can Become a CowboyDallas wasn't exactly loaded on the offensive line at this point. Without Martin their starting guards would've been Ronald Leary and Mackenzy Bernadeau. Still, they'd both had solid years in 2013 and were going to be playing next to stars.

Still, Dallas stuck to their board and took the best player available once they were on the clock. Martin was an instant upgrade that helped the 2014 offense establish a dominant run game, DeMarco Murray break the team record for yards in a season, and the team go 12-4 and win the division. He is now considered one of the elite guards in the league.

The reason I mention all of this is that I think the logic that went into drafting Martin is very much the same as why I could see Dallas taking Myles Jack in a few weeks.

When I got to the Cowboys pick the three players off the board were tackle Laremy Tunsil, quarterback Carson Wentz, and defensive back Jalen Ramsey. To be clear, I would pick Ramsey to the Cowboys in an instant if he was still available. Sadly, I don't see him getting past the Chargers at #3 and he may go even higher than that.

So, with Ezekiel Elliott, Joey Bosa, DeForest Buckner, Jared Goff, and plenty of other guys on the board I went with Jack. Here are the key reasons:

1. Best Player Available

The way I see this rookie class there are four elite talents among the non-quarterbacks; Tunsil, Ramsey, Elliott, and Jack. Once you go outside of those four you are dropping to a lower tier of talent and upside.

Cowboys Headlines - How Myles Jack Can Become a Cowboy 1

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

So why Jack over Elliott? This is more of a philosophical issue than one of player evaluation. The Cowboys are going to be spending a whole lot of money on their offensive line for the next ten years. Frederick, Martin, and La'el Collins will all command league-leading salaries at their positions when rookie deals expire. It's not likely that the Cowboys can pay all of them while also giving a running back franchise money.

After seeing what Murray did in 2014 and Darren McFadden last year, I'm more convinced than ever that Dallas doesn't need to have the best running backs to have the best running attack. Solid and modestly-paid rushers should be able to produce more than enough for this team to be successful. I think spend high picks and $5 million or more a year on one ball carrier is a waste given the system they've built. The return on investment won't be as good.

2. Quarterback Question

I'm not going to be completely shocked if Dallas selects Wentz or Goff at the fourth pick. It's reasonable given Tony Romo's health concerns and the rare opportunity to acquire a quarterback of their talent and perceived upside.

That said, it's hard to see Dallas forsaking the present for the future coming off of a 4-12 season. Romo is their guy for at least this year and probably 2017, giving them a little more cushion to worry about his replacement. Unless they are truly head over heels for Goff or Wentz, which we won't know until they've already made the pick, then it's not happening.

3. Immediate and Future Need

In two years together as Cowboys, Sean Lee and Rolando McClain have only played in the same game nine times. That means there could be plenty of opportunity for Jack to contribute immediately.

Cowboys Headlines - Is Dallas Done at Linebacker? 2

(AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

In fact, even if Lee and McClain both miraculously play in all 16 games, Jack would be an upgrade in the base defense and could perhaps supplant McClain as coverage player in the nickel. His talents in pass defense make him a perfect fit for this scheme, able to play any position.

Best of all, Jack's presence would allow Dallas to have all of the power when dealing with McClain in next year's free agency. They keep giving Rolando one-year deals for a reason; a lack of faith in his long-term production, desire to play football, or ability to stay out of trouble. Remember that McClain was suspended for the first four weeks of 2015 due to a substance issue and would face a yearlong ban for another offense.

~ ~ ~

Ultimately this comes down to a few key points of logic. If Dallas was going to draft based on need then they'd be taking a defensive end. They have both stated and proven that that is not how they want to handle the draft anymore. They want to focus on adding the most talent whenever they can and not worry too much about the position they play.

If they're drafting solely on talent and Tunsil and Ramsey are gone then it comes down to Jack, Elliott, and one or both of the quarterbacks if you love them enough. I've already explained why I wouldn't take Elliott or any running back that high in the draft, especially with McFadden returning and the signing of Alfred Morris. I think this run game will be more than productive enough for the team to be a contender.

Cowboys Headlines - How Myles Jack Can Become a Cowboy 2

Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

As said already, only the Cowboys know if they really think Goff or Wentz is the right kid to tie your future to. I think it's still a year too soon to pull that trigger but I could easily be wrong about the team's mindset.

That leaves Myles Jack as not only the best talent on the board but someone who can help you both now and especially a year from now. With McClain's question marks and Sean Lee turning 30 in July, Rod Marinelli's defense may need a new captain very quickly. Jack has the skills to fill that void and is a perfect scheme fit.

Dallas reaped the benefits of the Zack Martin pick immediately.  I think picking Jack would be similarly profitable this year and for many to come.

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

  • GiOjeda

    You make valid points for Jack. I watched him play live @ the Alamo Bowl in 2015 & he was a BEAST all over the place! What concerns me & many others is will he be able to stay healthy? Especially playing a position that take quite a bit of punishment. Lee is awesome but he hasn't been able to stay healthy either. I understand that they have a very good OL but I'm hoping they still don't have the mentality that "any RB can run behind this OL". Yes, DMC rushed over 1K yds but I still can't trust him repeating it this yr. & staying healthy. With Dunbar being injury prone as well leaves them with A. Morris. I think that if they've invested in building a great OL then they should aquire/draft a great RB to take advantage of it. But I understand your point that in the near future they will have to re-sign thus OL. It's a very tough choice/situation.

    • Jess Haynie

      The health concern is valid and especially after what we've been through with Sean Lee. It all comes down to how Jack's knee checks out in pre-draft evals. Any red flags likely take him off the board, at least for teams drafting as high as Dallas.

  • Randy Martin

    I think we have to wait on the medical eval on Jack on April 14-15 before deciding. If he gets a clean bill then he is in play but you cannot run any risk of taking a questionable medical at #4. So assuming he is healthy how would things look of we took Jack. With McClain at Mike and Lee at Will that leaves Jack at Sam. I don't know if that's the best use of his skill. I would rather see him in the middle but he has the athleticism to play anywhere. I would like to see him moved around a lot. I think you could put him up on the line to rush the passer, drop him back as a safety, use him the way the Steelers used Polamalu. The problem is that I feel Marinelli's D is a little rigid. I have changed my mind multiple times on that pick but if Jack is healthy and we get him at #4 I'm not gonna be mad.

    • Jess Haynie

      Jack at the Sam is not ideal, as you said. However, he could rotate in at Mike at Will and perhaps play in the nickel over McClain. The key is that they can find plenty of ways to use him now and then really enjoy him next year as a likely McClain replacement.

NFL Draft

Can Powers of Persuasion Help Make Will Hernandez a Cowboy?

Brian Martin



Can Powers of Persuasion Make Will Hernandez a Dallas Cowboy?

There is no shortage of NFL hopefuls who would like to become a member of the Dallas Cowboys in the 2018 NFL Draft. But, not one of them have used their powers of persuasion to make their intentions known as much as former UTEP offensive guard Will Hernandez.

Throughout the entire draft process, Will Hernandez has done nothing but stand out when given the opportunity. He first started to make waves at the 2018 Senior Bowl, where he pretty much dominated his competition. Then, he improved his draft stock even more by putting on a show at the Scouting Combine.

The 6'2", 330 pound offensive guard has likely cemented himself as a surefire first-round draft pick and is arguably the second-ranked OG in the entire 2018 draft class. He is a plug-and-play prospect for any team who drafts him, but he has made his intentions well known that he would love to play for the Dallas Cowboys.

Back in February, Will Hernandez was spotted hanging out with the Cowboys bookend offensive tackles, Tyron Smith and La'el Collins, to see the premiere of the movie Death Wish, starring Bruce Willis.

Will Hernandez on Twitter

@PujolsFive Cowboys fans will appreciate this post!! ⭐️ Movie Premiere #Deathwish Great movie!

To see Will Hernandez rubbing elbows with a few of the Dallas Cowboys talented offensive lineman only strengthened the connection for Hernandez becoming a draft pick by America's Team. But, this wasn't the only time the former UTEP offensive guard was seen out with a Cowboys player.

In March, he was once again seen out on the town with the Cowboys All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith.

Will Hernandez on Twitter

Huge blessing being surrounded by players like this 👊🏽👊🏽

All of this can probably be chalked up to a current player hanging out with an NFL hopeful, but as a Cowboys fan you want to believe it's more than just a coincidence.

The Dallas Cowboys without a doubt need a new starting left guard. It can be argued it's the team's biggest need this offseason and Will Hernandez fits the bill to a T. He would immediately upgrade the entire offensive line and solidify the unit for years to come.

The only problem is, the Dallas Cowboys have already invested quite a bit in their offensive line and taking Will Hernandez in the first round would be considered by some as overkill. I for one wouldn't be opposed to taking him at 19 if he is the top rated player when the Cowboys are on the clock.

It's hard to know if seeing Will Hernandez hanging out with Tyron Smith and La'el Collins improves his chances of being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, but it definitely doesn't hurt. Offensive lines around the NFL perform at their best when they play as a cohesive unit, so developing a bond already could be viewed as a good thing.

Who knows, maybe Will Hernandez's powers of persuasion will pay off and end up being the deciding factor to help him become the next first-round offensive lineman drafted by the Dallas Cowboys.

Do you read anything into Will Hernandez hanging out with Cowboys players?

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NFL Draft

Keeping Dez Bryant Shouldn’t Stop Cowboys From Drafting Calvin Ridley

Mauricio Rodriguez



Butch Dill / Getty Images

With NFL Free Agency buzz at full speed this week, Dez Bryant is one of the most intriguing names in the Dallas Cowboys world. We all know the story. We've been talking about it since last season. Bryant, who was once among the "Top WR of the league" conversation, doesn't look like an elite player anymore.

That doesn't mean he is a bad football player, but the problem is that he's getting paid big time.

The Dallas Cowboys, who have struggled with cap space for many years now, may want to avoid paying $16.5M to a player who isn't justifying his paychecks on the field. Big name and all, it certainly doesn't feel that way.

His lack of production on the field the last three years is concerning, even though he's played with quarterbacks not named "Tony Romo." There are other receivers around the league who have played with bad quarterbacks and have still been able to produce.

Even still, it wouldn't be easy to replace Bryant on the offense just like that. Right now, top free agents are already off the market, so if Dallas wants to replace him, it'd have to be via trade or via the NFL Draft.

Jane Slater on Twitter

ICYMI: A few things to consider as we wait on news about Dez Bryant's future with the Dallas Cowboys

Right now, it seems that Dez is going to remain a Dallas Cowboy and after seeing the contracts other receivers in the league are about to get, who knows if a pay cut will even enter the equation.

Even if Dez keeps wearing the Star every week next season, wide receiver is still one of the team's top needs. Despite the fact that Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams and Jason Witten are some very well-known names, the truth is this offense needs a guy who can create separation and be harmful as a deep threat.

This is a draft class with a lot of depth at wide receiver, and the Cowboys could find contributors at the second or later rounds. Even still, if they're on the clock at 19 and Alabama's Calvin Ridley is available, the front office should pull the trigger.

Yes, even if Dez is still on the team.

Despite last year's struggles, we shouldn't lose faith on the Cowboys' offense when it has a lot of talent. We believed in this group to take us to the Super Bowl. What they are missing could just be a new, dynamic wide receiver.

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

Alabama Crimson Tide WR Calvin Ridley (John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports)

Calvin Ridley is by far the best WR in the Draft this year and will be an impact player anywhere he goes. Despite a poor showing in the Combine, Ridley proves to be worthy of a first round pick on tape. Ideal route-running, great ability to separate and more than enough speed for the NFL.

This would certainly take a lot of pressure off Cole Beasley's shoulders, who was constantly double-teamed last year. Sure, he's still good, but if he continues to run into double-coverage, Dak Prescott and company will probably continue to struggle another year.

It's tough to imagine Calvin Ridley being available at 19, especially with the Baltimore Ravens holding the 16th overall pick. However, some people believe there's a 50/50 chance he's available once Dallas is on the clock. If that's the case, the Cowboys shouldn't pass on this prospect.

Ridley could very well end up being the most productive receiver for the Cowboys in 2018 becoming an essential "best friend" for Dak Prescott.

We've seen how other front offices have made friendly offenses for their young QBs and if Calvin Ridley is what it takes, why even think about it?

Tell me what you think about "Keeping Dez Bryant Shouldn’t Stop Cowboys From Drafting Calvin Ridley" 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

2018 NFL Draft: What Cowboys Look For In LBs

Kevin Brady



Cowboys Draft Target: BYU LB Fred Warner

As we continue to move through the Cowboys' positions of need and construct their overall draft board, we now take a look at what Dallas tends to look for in linebackers.

The Cowboys have some real questions to answer within their linebacker corps this offseason. Sean Lee is an obvious stud, but his injury history makes him a bit unreliable. Jaylon Smith began to come along later in the season, but how much better will he be in 2018? And then, of course, there is the impending free agency of Anthony Hitchens the team must deal with.

The Cowboys will certainly be looking at this somewhat-deep linebacker class in the upcoming draft, and after reviewing what their "type" has been in the past, a few prospects stood above the rest.

Kevin Brady on Twitter

And here it is for LB. Better set of training data so should be more predictive of future picks. LVE is a freak athletically.

For starters, Virginia Tech's Tremaine Edmunds must have been built in a lab. At 6'4" 253 pounds he is much bigger and stronger than the typical Cowboys linebacker, but his athletic testing all exceed the normal thresholds as well. He is significantly faster and more athletic than the typical Dallas draft pick, and would be an excellent candidate with the 19th overall pick. Unfortunately, I don't anticipate him being their for the taking.

Iowa's Josey Jewell is an interesting prospect to evaluate. A rather reliable player on film, Jewell also passes each of the athletic thresholds set by Dallas in previous years. Well, besides his 40 time, which is nearly a full second slower than their average selection. Still, considering his tape, short shuttle, 3 cone, and broad jump, I expect him to be a potential target for the Cowboys on day two.

The 2 linebackers which fit the Cowboys' plan best, however, are BYU's Fred Warner and Boise State's Leighton Vander Esch.

As seen on the spreadsheet, Vander Esch is a certified freak by Cowboys' standards. He greatly exceeds each of Dallas' athletic markers, and does it all at 6'4" and over 250 pounds. Like I said, he's an athletic freak in the eyes of the Cowboys.

Warner is just below the average weight in previous years (by only 2 pounds), but he is much more athletic than players we've seen the Cowboys draft since 2011. He is converting from more of an EDGE-type role in college to being a full time off-ball linebacker, and so far he has looked comfortable doing so at the Senior Bowl and Combine.

Considering the struggles the Cowboys have had on defense as of late, finding these younger and faster players should be a priority. And, as indicated by the testing of their previous draft classes, the Cowboys should be able to upgrade on that athleticism during the 2018 NFL Draft.

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