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NFL Draft

NFL Draft: Round 2 Presents Options for the Dallas Cowboys

John Williams

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5 Hidden Gems for Cowboys Who Will Shine at the Combine 4

The Dallas Cowboys made a pick that shouldn't be a surprise, according to the latest mock drafts, though selecting Boise State middle linebacker Leighton Vander Esch was met with mixed reviewsBy going with a linebacker in the first round, they put several other positions on hold, including guard, wide receiver, defensive line, and safety.

As we get ready for the second round of the NFL Draft, I went through FanSpeak.com's On the Clock Premium Simulator to see what options would be there for the Dallas Cowboys and here's what I discovered.

Using the Consensus Big Board, brought to you by Arif Hasan from ZoneCoverage.com I ran the simulation 10 times to get a feel for how round two could play out.

The fun thing about Fanspeak's simulator once the draft has started is they input what actually happens each round, so you can then simulate the rest of the draft.

Here is what I learned.

Sean's Scout: Cowboys Can Fix RDE Problems with BC's Harold Landry

Boston College EDGE Harold Landry

Harold Landry's Fall Halted

Harold Landry, who has some medical questions, was one of the surprise fallers on day one of the NFL Draft.

Many in Cowboys Nation were hoping he would be the pick instead of Leighton Vander Esch at 19, but with back and knee issues, it's possible Dallas was a bit worried about him.

Every time I ran the simulation, Landry went off the board immediately to the Cleveland Browns.

Staying at 50

Every time I ran the simulation and didn't trade the pick, none of the targeted offensive lineman (Will Hernandez, James Daniels or Connor Williams) were available. Usually by pick 45 or 46 that group of lineman was wiped out. The best you can hope for is Nevada Guard Austin Corbett and he wasn't even there each time the simulation got to pick 50.

If you have your heart set on an interior offensive lineman at 50, you better hold out hope for Corbett making it or the Dallas Cowboys trading up. Otherwise, it's La'el Collins moving back to left guard.

Wide receivers were an option though, as Anthony Miller was available every time the sim got to the Cowboys' pick. On occasion Courtland Sutton was there too, which would be a pretty big win for the Cowboys if either of those guys were there.

All the second round safeties (Jessie Bates III, Ronnie Harrison, and Justin Reid) were available pretty regularly at 50. Typically there were some interior defensive lineman there as well.

Colorado cornerback Isaiah Oliver was available at #50, though with a pretty solid-looking top four at the moment, I don't imagine they're going to go cornerback with a top-100 pick.

Mike Gesicki, Dallas Goedert, and Mark Andrews were available almost every time the simulation got to 50.

Cowboys Draft Target: Michigan DT Maurice Hurst

The University of Michigan football team hosts Rutgers at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, MI. on October 28, 2017.

Trading Up

To get to the Cleveland Browns' pick at #33, as verified by the Trade Value Chart produced by Draftek.com, it'll take pick 50 and the Dallas Cowboys' pick in the third round, #81. In the simulation I tried trading a fourth, but it didn't work. If you have your heart set on Landry, going up to 33 is going to cost you.

The other big name defensive player to fall due to medicals was Michigan Defensive Tackle Maurice Hurst. He's a name teams may feel they can take a risk on in the early part of the second if they feel comfortable with his heart issue. You would probably have to get into the top 10 picks of the second round to get him. They'll have to be convinced that Hurst's heart condition is minor.

Getting a guard may still cost you, but not nearly as much if you trade up to New England's spot at 43, since it should only cost you your second and a fourth.

If they were going to trade up, I'd prefer going for one of the guards who probably wouldn't get to 50; Hernandez or Daniels. Problem is you must have a trade partner willing to come down and the price has to be right.

Trading back

When running the simulation and searching for trade back scenarios, the only one that consistently came to me that made sense was trading back to Baltimore's pick, 65, which was the first pick in the third round. You'd get an extra third (83) from Baltimore in the deal and wouldn't have to move back as far as some other offers I received.

Once I made that move, I then traded back up by using the Baltimore Ravens' pick (83) and the first of our fourth rounders (116) to move up to pick #67, owned by the Indianapolis Colts.

The players I netted in that mock were:

65 - Austin Corbett, G, Nevada
67 - Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State
81 - Kemoko Turay, EDGE, Rutgers. Tight end Mark Andrews of Oklahoma was available here. 

Earl Thomas News

Earl Thomas continues to be an option for the Dallas Cowboys to acquire via trade by sending pick #50, according to reports. As Mike Fisher of 105.3 The Fan and 247Sports.com continues to report, Earl Thomas for Dallas' second round pick remains a possibility.

mike fisher ✭ on Twitter

ALERT: Source tells me #Cowboys that while they still need TWO parties to agree, making it a longshot, DAL feels Pick 50 trade idea to #Seahawks for Earl Thomas is ... ALIVE. https://t.co/QZIgRY0qqH

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Though the third round is also running tonight, it's difficult to get a real glimpse at what could be available for the Dallas Cowboys at pick 81 until we see the completion of round two. My hope is to bring you a similar post after round two is finished.

If round one was any indication, the rest of the NFL Draft will have its fair share of twists and turns. Here's hoping the Dallas Cowboys front office can make some Friday magic happen.



I didn't start out as a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quickly as I could. I grew up a Joe Montana fan when he was with the 49ers and followed him to the Chiefs, until we moved to Texas. I've now been a Fan of the Boys since the Dark Days of the Post-Aikman, Pre-Romo era of abysmal quarterback play, now relishing in more than a decade of franchise quarterbacking for America's Team.

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5 Comments
  • Chuck Wright

    I can live with your trade back but no love for Branden Smith at OG?

  • Hector Espindola

    Seems complex to think in @50 while ET trade is alive, the oportunity cost is to high and I don´t think a reliable G would be there for @81, so I would better take Hernandez or Branden Smith at @50 and then take Justin Reid at @81 (or trade up for him in the third round). We have many positions to fill NOT with backups (G and WR) to give a selection for ET.

    • Chuck Wright

      Doubt Reid is there at 81 but Tavarious Moore should be . . . .

      • Hector Espindola

        Yes, you are right and Tavarious will make a great pick at third round.

        • John Williams

          I’d be all about Moore in the third for Dallas.

Dallas Cowboys

Have the Dallas Cowboys Overcome Their 2nd-Round Curse?

Brian Martin

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Have the Dallas Cowboys Overcome Their 2nd-Round Curse?

You may not be aware or maybe you've simply forgotten, but the Dallas Cowboys have struggled drafting players in the 2nd-round who can come in and contribute. Typically players drafted this highly are not only immediate contributors as a rookie, but are cornerstone players for years to come. That hasn't been the case for the Cowboys.

I don't know where you stand, but I was beginning to think the Dallas Cowboys were cursed with their 2nd-round draft picks. I know this was an area where they would gamble on players for some reason or another, but unfortunately it never really paid off. Hopefully, things are changing for the better.

Let's take a look back at past drafts to see what I'm talking about.

Past 2nd-Round Draft Picks Dating Back to 2006:

2018 Connor Williams
2017 Chidobe Awuzie
2016 Jaylon Smith
2015 Randy Gregory
2014 DeMarcus Lawrence
2013 Gavin Escobar
2012 (no selection) used to trade for Morris Claiborne
2011 Bruce Carter
2010 Sean Lee
2009 (no selection) traded out of 2nd-round
2008 Martellus Bennett
2007 (no selection) used to trade back into 1st for Anthony Spencer
2006 Anthony Fasano

You may be wondering why I decided to start all the way back in 2006. Well, I believe that's when the 2nd-round draft picks curse started for the Dallas Cowboys.

Anthony Fasano ended up having a solid career in the NFL, but he never lived up to his draft status as a former 2nd-round draft pick. The same can be said for Martellus Bennett, Gavin Escobar, and Bruce Carter. Shed a tear for them if you want, but I'd put them in the "bust" category.

Sean Lee

Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee

The sad truth is, Sean Lee is the only 2nd-round draft pick on this list to ever see a second contract with the Dallas Cowboys. Although, I guess you can include DeMarcus Lawrence since he will be playing under the franchise tag in 2018. But, that's still not a very good hit percentage in the 2nd-round for more than a decade. Luckily, it looks as if things are changing.

DeMarcus Lawrence might end up being another "hit" for the Cowboys. It may have taken him four years to reach his potential, but there's no denying how dominant he was last season. If he can maintain that dominance this season, he could be looking at a big payday from the Cowboys.

The Dallas Cowboys took a risk on the next two players they drafted after D-Law. They knew Randy Gregory had his off the field issues, but were willing to take a chance on his talent in the 2nd-round. That has yet to pay off, but Gregory has a chance to rebound now that it looks as if he has his life back in order.

Jaylon Smith

Dallas Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith

The Cowboys took another risk in the following draft when they drafted Jaylon Smith. No one knew if he would ever be able to play again after the devastating knee injury he sustained in his final collegiate game, but it's looking as if he could make a full recovery and return to his pre-injury form. Year 3 will be big for him, but he could end up being an absolute steal.

Fortunately, the Cowboys 2017 and 2018 2nd-round draft picks (Chidobe Awuzie and Connor Williams) look to be cornerstone players for years to come. That's what you're looking for in players drafted this highly.

I say all of this because it's really looking like the Dallas Cowboys have finally broken their 2nd-round curse. Maybe it's a change in draft philosophy or maybe it's because Will McClay's voice carries more weight in the draft room, but it's definitely good news for the future of the franchise. Hopefully it continues.

Do you think the Dallas Cowboys 2nd-round curse has ended?



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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft Class: How Many Will Be Starters In 2018?

Kevin Brady

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2018 NFL Combine: 3 LBs Who Impressed
Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys have been showered with praise by most national NFL media outlets for their 2018 NFL Draft class. NFL.com graded the Cowboys as having the 2nd best class in the league, and most other analysts have agreed that the team had a strong showing.

But now, of course, it's time to see what these new players will actually do on the field. Some are hoping the team found 3-5 new starters for the 2018 roster, but history would suggest that is pretty rare.

Dallas' 2016 draft class has been lauded as one of the best in the last decade, especially considering they look to have found their franchise quarterback in round four. That strong class only features four full-time starters heading into 2018, but we have to wonder if that's the outlier and not the norm.

Still, as we look back and examine this 2018 draft class it really appears they have found three day one starters in the first three rounds.

First round pick Leighton Vander Esch is expected to be the starting MIKE linebacker this season, with former second round selection Jaylon Smith moving to SAM. Vander Esch wasn't my favorite option at 19, but he is certainly starter-worthy in this Cowboys LB corps.

On day two the Cowboys added OL Connor Williams and WR Michael Gallup, two of my personal favorite picks of their entire class. Williams should be the starting LG week 1 of the season, and Michael Gallup may overtake Allen Hurns as the most productive WR on the roster by year's end.

Cowboys Land Small School WR In Latest PFF Mock Draft

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 1: DUPLICATE***Colorado State Rams wide receiver Michael Gallup (4) picks up a few yards after catch as Colorado Buffaloes defensive back Isaiah Oliver (26) comes in for the tackle during the first quarter on September 1, 2017 in Denver, Colorado at Sports Authority Field. (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post)

What about the rest of the class?

Dorance Armstrong will probably have too much competition to start at defensive end this season, but he should be an interesting rotational pass rusher. TE Dalton Schultz has the chance to surprise some people, but overtaking Geoff Swaim as the "starter" would be unexpected.

After that, the player with the best chance to make the team and contribute early on might be Boise State WR Cedrick Wilson. Wilson was a late day-two, early day-three pick to me so snagging him in the sixth round should provide incredible value to this roster. That wide out room is getting very crowded, though, so Wilson has his work cut out for him heading into camp.

How many of the Cowboys' 2018 draft picks will be starters in 2018? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.



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NFL Draft

Did the Dallas Cowboys Find 4 Starters in the 2018 NFL Draft?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Did the Dallas Cowboys Find 4 Starters in the 2018 NFL Draft?

One of the many winners of the 2018 NFL Draft were, without a doubt, the Dallas Cowboys. Not only did they addressed some of the team's most pressing needs, but they managed to draft very talented, capable players beyond the first round.

Cowboys Nation had to feel better about the rookie class the front office walked away with, specially after the second day of the Draft. Just like last year, they managed to find steals in the second and third rounds. In 2017, they did so with Cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis. Now, they stayed put at their original picks and walked away with OL Connor Williams and WR Michael Gallup.

But first things first. In the eyes of many, Leighton Vander Esch wasn't worth the 19th overall pick. While I do agree that Vander Esch was a questionable selection, the Cowboys fixed arguably their most concerning position of all. As much as it pains to admit it, Sean Lee has yet to play an entire NFL season and Jaylon Smith was pretty much the only other capable starter on the roster.

Cowboys en Español: Dallas Selecciona a Vander Esch, ¿Quién Sigue?

Although Vander Esch needs to develop a ton before reaching his full potential. he's a week 1 starter and an early contributor for this defense. Whether it felt like a "reach" or not, the Cowboys took a starter in the Boise State linebacker.

Later, the Cowboys managed to add an arguably first-round talent with pick #50 to plug-and-play along the offensive line. Texas OL Connor Williams was also seen as a tackle prospect, but he'll likely start at guard for Dallas as a rookie.

Since Ron Leary left for Denver, the left guard spot hasn't been as stable. Jonathan Cooper did a decent job filling that spot, but with Williams taking his place, the Cowboys dominance in the trenches will finally return. Playing next to All-Pros Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick, Connor Williams might become the best rookie in this class for the Cowboys.

One can't simply say the team found a "replacement" for Dez Bryant since he's a special player and with a very specific skill set, but Michael Gallup from Colorado State has the potential to become the team's WR1 pretty soon.

In the team's effort to build a Dak-friendly offense, Gallup is a crafty and smooth route-runner who has what it takes to play in any spot of the offense. His skill-set will allow him to play anywhere on the field and become Dak's favorite target in a year in which Jason Witten and Dez Bryant will no longer be lining up on his squad.

Taken in the first three rounds, Vander Esch, Williams and Gallup will be unquestionable starters. The question, however, is who else could become a starter for the Cowboys? Who could line up and start in week 1?

Dallas Cowboys Add Depth on Day 3, Building Future with Young Starters 1

Even though it definitely isn't as certain as the other three rookies, I'm betting on Dalton Schultz to be a more important starter than we imagine. Listen, maybe it's not an ideal scenario to have the TE from Stanford start in week 1, but it could be necessary.

The Rico Gathers Adventure might just be over before it starts and Geoff Swaim and Blake Jarwin may not be anything special. In college, Schultz was pretty good at run blocking. In the Cowboys' offense, led by one of the best running backs in the league, Ezekiel Elliott, Schultz may be able to find success earlier than expected.

Besides, he has what it takes to catch passes in the NFL and although he certainly won't be the flashiest, he could be enough to give Dak Prescott a reliable tight end.

Dalton Schultz could be the surprise of this Draft for Dallas. He'll probably become a starter at some point in the season and for a fourth-round pick, that's a very good thing to say.

For a front office that's constantly bashed by Cowboys Nation, their job at this year's NFL Draft was a pretty good one. Now it's just a matter of time to find out which picks were as good as we originally thought.

Tell me what you think about "Did the Dallas Cowboys Find 4 Starters in the 2018 NFL Draft?" 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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