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NFL Draft

Potential Safety Prospects Cowboys Could Target in Each Round

Brian Martin



Cowboys Draft Target: Mississippi State S Johnathan Abram

The Dallas Cowboys still have their 2018 starting safeties on the roster in Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods, but they haven't been shy about letting it known they plan on upgrading the position further this offseason. They added George Iloka through free agency, but they will likely further address the position at some point in the 2019 NFL Draft.

It wouldn't be all that surprising if the Dallas Cowboys used their first selection in the second-round at 58 overall to find their future starting safety, but nothing set in stone right now. No one really knows how things will fall when the draft gets underway, which is why I decided to share with you some potential safety prospects the Cowboys could target in each round.

Let's take a look…

Second Round

Juan Thornhill

Virginia S Juan Thornhill

Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State

Taylor Rapp and Johnathan Abram were both Dallas Cowboys 30 pre-draft visitors and both would be great additions if still on the board at 58. But of the two, Abram has most likely shot to still be available for the Cowboys. Abram would be an upgrade at strong safety and bring a little bit more athleticism to the position. He would likely play the Kam Chancellor "enforcer" role in Kris Richard's scheme and do most of his work around the line of scrimmage.

Juan Thornhill, Virginia

If Rapp and Abram are off the board at 58 for the Cowboys, Juan Thornhill could be a versatile chess piece in the secondary that could be just too good to pass up. His versatility to play cornerback or safety could allow Kris Richard to get really creative with his coverage concepts. This would likely move Xavier Woods to strong safety, but it would improve the athleticism on the backend of defense and give them a ball hawk to hopefully create some more turnovers.

Third Round

Amani Hooker

Iowa S Amani Hooker

Amani Hooker, Iowa

Amani Hooker was a versatile chess piece in Iowa's defense in his two years as a starter and could do the same with the Dallas Cowboys. He doesn't play like an athletically quick twitched athlete on film, but his instincts to read and react in both the passing and running game are among the best in the safety draft class. His lack of ideal range will likely mean he would play strong safety for the Cowboys, but he has ability to be an upgrade over Jeff Heath as a rookie.

Mike Edwards, Kentucky

Mike Edwards was a four-year starter at Kentucky and covered a lot of ground as a safety and nickel defender during his time with the Wildcats. He doesn't really have any elite traits and will struggle against speedy receivers, but his intellect and movement skills could allow him to earn a starting job in the NFL. He's a good tackler around the line of scrimmage and would be a core special-teams player, but might not be an upgrade as a rookie over Jeff Heath.

Fourth Round

Marquise Blair

Utah S Marquise Blair

Marquise Blair, Utah

Marquise Blair was kind of a hybrid defender during his time at Utah. He played free safety, boundary linebacker, and was a thumper of a box safety. He has a tenacious mentality and reminds me a little bit of Kam Chancellor, although a 195 pound version. He needs to do a better job of playing under control, because his heatseeking missile mentality can get him in trouble at times. He is kind of a "tweener" safety prospect, but would be a nice addition if paired with Xavier Woods.

Will Harris, Boston College

Will Harris was a three-year starter at strong safety during his time at Boston College. He showcases good speed and movement skills on film, but had unimpressive ball production as a starter. He has the ability to carry receivers vertically or matchup with tight ends in the passing game, but he needs to further develop his vision and anticipation at the next level. He could compete for a starting job as a rookie, but probably needs more time to develop his craft before he can be relied upon as an every down player.

Fifth Round

Khari Willis

Michigan State S Khari Willis (Nic Antaya |

Khari Willis, Michigan State

Khari Willis was another one of the Dallas Cowboys 30 pre-draft visitors and could be an intriguing Day 3 option if they don't add a safety earlier in the draft. I think Willis might play kind of a hybrid safety/linebacker role in the NFL. He was a three-star LB recruit coming out of high school, but played as a boundary safety in Michigan State's 4-3 defensive scheme. He is an excellent tackler and shows a really good understanding with his run fits, but his average athletic ability limits him in the passing game.

Sheldrick Redwine, Miami

Sheldrick Redwine is a three-year starter at Miami and started out as a cornerback before making the switch to safety his last two seasons with the Hurricanes. He is one of the more athletically gifted safety prospects in this year's draft class, but needs more development before he can be relied upon. He tracks the football well in the passing game, but is unreliable as a tackler and often takes poor angles. He has the speed and skill set to start in the NFL, but projects as a special teamer and rotational player as a rookie.

Seventh Round

JoJo McIntosh

Washington S JoJo McIntosh

JoJo McIntosh, Washington

JoJo McIntosh could be someone the Dallas Cowboys take a chance on in the seventh-round, but they could possibly pick him up as an undrafted free agent. He was part of a formidable tandem with Taylor Rapp in Washington, but his lack of speed and athleticism will hurt him at the next level. He probably can't be trusted in pass coverage, but could carve out a role as an "enforcer" type player in the NFL.

John Battle, LSU

John Battle, like JoJo McIntosh is also someone the Cowboys could probably pick up as an undrafted free agent, but they could take a chance on him in the seventh-round. He is at his best working around the line of scrimmage in run support, but really needs to do a better job of playing under control and with better technique. I wouldn't trust him in coverage, but he has traits worth developing and would be a core special-teams player as a rookie.

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.


NFL Draft

Midseason Grades: Dallas Cowboys Need More From Their 2019 Rookies

Brian Martin



Dallas Cowboys Getting Little out of Their 2019 Draft Class

The Dallas Cowboys are officially halfway through their 2019 season after the win over the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. With that in mind, I thought I'd take the opportunity to take a closer look at the Cowboys rookie class and hand out some midseason grades.

After each and every NFL draft teams are hopeful their rookie class can come in and contribute on a regular basis, but that's not always the case. For the Dallas Cowboys this year's rookies are a mixed bag of results through the first eight games of their season.

Let's take a look at the Dallas Cowboys 2019 rookie class and how they've performed up until this point…

Cowboys Midseason Rookie Report

Tony Pollard

Dallas Cowboys RB Tony Pollard

Round 2 - Pick 26 (58) DT Trysten Hill

Despite having several quality safety prospects still available at 58th overall, the Dallas Cowboys drafted Trysten Hill instead. He's been inactive for several games this year and has only played 18.25% of the defensive snaps so far. Immaturity and work ethic seemed to be the main culprits in his lack of production, but he does have the talent to turn things around.


Round 3 - Pick 27 (90) G Connor McGovern

The Connor McGovern pick in the third round was an odd one for the Dallas Cowboys. Despite investing quite a bbit in the OL already, the Cowboys believed McGovern was far superior to any of the other players left on the board. Only time will tell, but landing on injured reserve doesn't help the team in 2019.


Round 4 - Pick 26 (128) RB Tony Pollard

Tony Pollard has been one of the lone bright spots from the Cowboys 2019 draft class. He's averaging 4.6 yards per carry and has a 100 yard game under his belt this season, but his underutilization is concerning. To date, he's only played 19.22% of the offensive snaps. Hopefully that changes in the second half of the season because he's proven to be a dynamic weapon.


Round 5 - Pick 20 (158) CB Mike Jackson

Mike Jackson spent the first half of the 2019 season on the Cowboys practice squad before being poached/signed to the Detroit Lions active roster in Week 8. There was hope he could compete for a starting job next season after a year of development, but that's no longer the case.


Round 5 - Pick 27 (165) DE Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson started the season on the 46-man roster, but has failed to make much of an impact halfway through the season. He has the versatility to play DE or DT, but may need more time to develop his craft before he can be relied upon. He has shown enough promise though and could develop into a solid rotational player in time.


Round 6 - Pick 41 (213) S Donovan Wilson

Despite showing promise in preseason, Donovan Wilson has yet to play a single defensive snap or record a single statistic for the Cowboys this season. It's hard to judge him based on his lack of playing time, but the promise he showed in preseason is enough to make you believe he's capable of doing more if given the opportunity.


Round 7 - Pick 4 (218) RB Mike Weber

Mike Weber is currently on the Cowboys practice squad. Maturity and work ethic needs to improve if he wants to become anything more than a PS player.


Round 7 - Pick 27 (241) DE Jalen Jelks

Jalen Jelks has spent the entire season on injured reserve. He gave himself a chance to make the Cowboys 53-man roster out of training camp and it's those flashes that could earn him a defensive role in time.


Undrafted Free Agent G/T Brandon Knight

Brandon Knight has started at right tackle for an injured La'el Collins and recently served has the swing tackle in place of Cameron Fleming when he was out with a calf injury. Excluding special teams, the UFA has received the most playing time out of any of the Dallas Cowboys rookies.


Biggest Rookie Letdown

Trysten Hill

Dallas Cowboys DT Trysten Hill

I don't think anyone would argue, but the biggest letdown from the Dallas Cowboys 2019 rookie class has to be the play of Defensive Tackle Trysten Hill. He will forever be compared to the safety prospects (Taylor Rapp, Juan Thornhill, Nasir Adderley), whether fair or not. Despite the need to upgrade the safety position, the Cowboys drafted Hill as a hopeful upgrade at DT. So far, he's been far from an upgrade.

I'm not ashamed to admit, but I liked the selection of Trysten Hill at the time. Now though I'm not so sure. I really liked Hill's talent/upside and believed he'd be contributing more than he has at this point in the season. That simply hasn't been the case and his lack of production more than likely resulted in the Cowboys trading for Michael Bennett. I'm still hopeful he can turn things around in the second half of the season, but for right now I think he's the biggest letdown from this year's rookie class.

Biggest Rookie Surprise

Alvin Kamara, Tony Pollard

Dallas Cowboys RB Tony Pollard

I couldn't make up my mind whether or not Tony Pollard or Brandon Knight has been the biggest rookie surprise halfway through the season, so I'm going to call it a tie. I think each deserve to land in this category, but for different reasons than you may think.

Take Brandon Knight for instance. To go from undrafted free agent (UFA) to emergency fill-in for La'el Collins at right tackle and swing tackle in place for an injured Cameron Fleming is a huge accomplishment. UFA's have a hard enough time just making a team out of training camp, but to be valued enough to not only make the game the roster but also earn a backup role is huge.

Now let's get to why I added Tony Pollard as one of the biggest rookie surprises. Yes, he's shown flashes of being a dynamic weapon, but I think we can all agree he's been underutilized through the first eight weeks of the season. As someone who is touted as being an Alvin Kamara like weapon it's somewhat surprising he hasn't been more involved in the game plan. Hopefully that changes from here on out.

What do you think of the Dallas Cowboys 2019 rookie class?

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NFL Draft

Red River Rivalry Brings WR Devin Duvernay to Dallas, Hopefully to Stay

Brian Martin



Red River Rivalry Brings WR Devin Duvernay to Dallas, Hopefully to Stay 1

If you happen to be a fan of college football and the Dallas Cowboys, then the 2019 Red River Rivalry between the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns might just be a game you want to tune in for this weekend. Both teams will showcase quite a few players who could enter the 2020 NFL Draft and one of the more talented, although still underrated, players could be of interest to the Cowboys.

Enter Texas Longhorns Wide Receiver Devin Duvernay.

When it comes to positions the Dallas Cowboy would be most interested in next year's NFL Draft, wide receiver might not be at the top the list… or so it would seem from the outside looking in. But if you look a little deeper only Amari Cooper, who the Cowboys will extend eventually, and Michael Gallup are locks to stick around beyond this season. That's where Devin Duvernay comes in.

With Randall Cobb and Tavon Austin under one-year contracts, the Dallas Cowboys could be looking for their next slot receiver. Devin Duvernay may be new to the position with the Longhorns this year, but he's already proving to be a dynamic weapon out of the slot and could be exactly what the Cowboys are looking for.

The slot WR position is an important one for the Dallas Cowboys, especially for Quarterback Dak Prescott. It has become a security blanket of sorts over the years for Prescott and finding a sure-handed receiver he's comfortable with is easier said than done. Luckily though, they don't come much more reliable than Devin Duvernay.

Devin Duvernay

Texas Longhorns WR Devin Duvernay (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

According to the folks over at Pro Football Focus, Duvernay was one of the rare collegiate WRs who didn't drop a pass in 2018. That's pretty impressive considering he played the Z-receiver role with the Longhorns last year before moving into the slot in 2019. I'd say that's pretty sure-handed. Down the field targets are much more difficult to haul in than the ones thrown near or around the line of scrimmage.

Sure handedness isn't Devin Duvernay's only impressive trait though. His physicality and infectious attitude on the field is something that would pair nicely with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup, both of whom are a little low-key/reserved as far as their on-field persona is concerned. Duvernay is a WR who likes to punish would be tackler and he has the build to do just that.

At 5'11", 210 pounds, Duvernay's thick, well muscled frame is much more RB-esque than that of a traditional receiver. His build is comparable to Carolina's D.J. Moore and San Francisco's Deebo Samuel, both of whom were taken relatively high in their respective drafts the past couple of years. His play to both of these WRs is similar as well.

The soon to be former Longhorns WR has all the intangibles to take it to the house anytime he touches the ball. His physicality alone makes him difficult for any defensive back to tackle, but he also possesses elite speed as well. He claims he can run a 4.3 40-yard dash and his film certainly suggests he's capable of doing just that.

Overall, Devin Duvernay is absolutely someone the Dallas Cowboys should keep an eye on when the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns meet up this weekend in Dallas for the Red River Rivalry. I'd be more than happy if he ended up being one of their Day 2 selections, which is where I have him being drafted right now.

Do you like the idea of WR Devin Duvernay in a Dallas Cowboys uniform?

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NFL Draft

Cowboys Land CB in Matt Miller’s way-too-early 2020 NFL Mock Draft

Brian Martin



Matt Miller's 2020 Mock Draft Predicts Cowboys Strengthen Their Secondary

What better way to kick off the 2019 NFL regular-season and the start of college football then a way-too-early 2020 mock draft? Well, you're in luck. Matt Miller, one of my favorite draft analysts, just released his latest 2020 NFL Mock Draft for and you may be surprised as to who he selected for the Dallas Cowboys.

One of the reasons I enjoy Matt Miller's work above many other so-called "draft analysts" is because he has his ear to the ground and has a pretty good connection with scouts around the league. That kind of information is pretty invaluable, but he also has a solid understanding of team "needs". Add all of that up and you get a really solid guesstimate of who could be on a certain teams radar, in this case the Dallas Cowboys.

Let's take a look at who Matt Miller predicted the Dallas Cowboys could draft in the 2020 NFL Draft with their first-round selection. Miller set this particular mock draft according to current Super Bowl odds from Caesar's Palace.

25. Dallas Cowboys

Bryce Hall

Virginia Cavaliers CB Bryce Hall

The Pick: CB Bryce Hall, Virginia

Matt Miller predicting the Dallas Cowboys select Cornerback Bryce Hall with there first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft definitely seems like a plausible possibility. He knows the Cowboys can't afford to pay everyone and he even said as much. With Byron Jones and Anthony Brown entering a contract year in 2019 and with Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis having expiring contracts after 2020, Dallas' secondary could definitely need addressing.

The Cowboys know this as well which is why they probably attempted to add some developmental depth to the CB position through the 2019 NFL Draft when they took Mike Jackson in the fifth-round. Jackson has the attributes they look for in their corners, but in no way has he looked like he'd be ready for a starting role next season. That makes Miller's Bryce Hall selection a definite possibility.

According to Miller's 2020 mock draft Bryce Hall is the fourth secondary player to come off the board. There were three cornerbacks selected ahead of him and one safety. He does fit the mold Kris Richard prefers in his CBs (6'1", 200) and also has the physical playing style in press coverage Richard likes as well. All in all, this is a very solid prediction for the Dallas Cowboys.

Whether or not the Dallas Cowboys would choose to select a CB this early is unknown at this point. But, it certainly seems like a high possibility considering all the corners with expiring contracts in a year or two. I think the Cowboys could look into taking a tight end or a safety with their first-round pick as well, but again it's way too early to have any kind of clue as to how their draft board will look like when the 2020 NFL Draft rolls around.

I don't know about you, but I'll be keeping a closer eye on Bryce Hall this season just in case Matt Miller is correct. I'd like to get a head start to see just how well he would fit, or not, with the Dallas Cowboys.

Do you like the Bryce Hall selection for the Dallas Cowboys?

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