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NFL Draft

Replacing Tony Romo: Cowboys Should Avoid Paxton Lynch

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - Replacing Tony Romo: Cowboys Should Avoid Paxton Lynch

We are just over a month away from the 2016 NFL Draft, which means that we will slowly start to get a better idea of who the Dallas Cowboys are targeting with the fourth overall pick.

Any rumors of the Cowboys draft plans so far have typically turned out to be just that – rumors that carried little insight into who will be wearing the silver and blue on April 28th.

However, one name has been picking up steam recently around Cowboys Nation, and it is quarterback Paxton Lynch out of Memphis.

After the likes of Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel, and Kellen Moore, led the Cowboys to a 4 win 2015 season, the immediate reaction by fans was that this team needed to walk away from the fourth overall pick with the heir to Tony Romo.

That essentially put three names into the mix. Carson Wentz and Jared Goff out of North Dakota State and California, respectively, were two popular names as the near consensus top signal callers available this year.

The last name is Paxton Lynch, who likely won’t cost Dallas that fourth overall pick. While I do not expect the team to select Wentz or Goff with this pick, the reports over the past few days have been that Will McClay and Co. are trying to get back into the first round to put themselves in a position to grab Lynch later on.

The Cowboys have glaring needs at other positions outside of the backup QB spot. If they are committed enough to spend the assets needed to get back into the first round for Lynch, trading away picks that can be used on the defensive line and secondary, I much rather see them just use their current #4 pick on Goff or Wentz.

Not only would this allow the Cowboys to hold onto their 34th pick and beyond, but they would walk away with one of two QBs in Goff or Wentz that I believe are both better prospects than Lynch.

//insidethestar.com/colin-cowherd-dallas-cowboys-can-draft-goff-win-2016-nfl-draft/

The Cowboys have selected just one quarterback in the draft during their time with Tony Romo, and it was Stephen McGee in 2009. Something just does not sit right with me when I hear about this team seriously considering the unpolished Lynch as their next best bet to add a young QB to the roster.

While drafting any player with any pick carries it’s own risk, trusted draft sources seem to be in agreement when it comes to Goff and Wentz. Both of these quarterbacks are being conceived as franchise guys, while Lynch’s analysis has been all over the place.

If the Cowboys draft Goff of Wentz and it does not work out, it will not be due to reaching with their selection for one of them. The team and it’s fans would be surprised right along with the majority of draft analysts out there should one of these two guys not pan out as a Cowboy – especially after getting valuable learning time behind Tony Romo.

Meanwhile, drafting Lynch would mean drafting an expensive project player. When I watch Paxton on tape, I see a QB that is going to have to put in serious work in order to adjust to the speed of the NFL game.

While everyone raves about his height and composure in the pocket, I see a QB that played in a system that rarely allowed him to make professional type throws. He’s drawn comparisons to Marcus Mariota, but isn’t nearly as dangerous of a runner – which leaves him in a bit of a grey area when it comes to projecting these modern spread quarterbacks at the next level.

If the Dallas Cowboys want to leave the first round of the draft with a QB, it should cost them one pick. That one pick can be spent on the upside of Jared Goff or Carson Wentz, or they can spend multiple picks on the project that is Paxton Lynch.

Tell us what you think about “Replacing Tony Romo: Cowboys Should Avoid Paxton Lynch” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Pleasant NJ, no we're not how you think we are. Host of "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. You may @ me: @SeanMartinNFL.

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10 Comments
  • http://www.pigskinhub.com/forum/index.php?forums/dallas-cowboys/ Jess Haynie

    I'm with you. Lynch and Connor Cook are both Round 1-2 guys who I have no interest in.

  • http://wmscradio.com/show/upon-further-review/ Sean Martin

    Take Goff or Wentz at 4, or walk away with your QB in the fourth round.

  • Mr. Bamboozaul

    Sean I will be Goff ing, when it's the Cowboys turn to select the heir apparent to Romo.

  • George Johnson

    The real question is are these two QBs, Goff and Wentz, high probability of being franchise type QBs? If they are questionable as franchise type QBs I would not take a chance of wasting a fourth pick on them. Dallas could be as good as the 2014 team easily with a couple of good draft picks. They especially need more pass rushing and better secondary help. If T Romo gets hurt, Goff and Wentz aren't going to help you in 2016 and may not even help that much in 2017. These rookie QBs will be going through a big learning/development curve. If a fair competition is done, neither one of them would likely be able to beat out Kellen Moore in 2016 for the 2nd team QB position.

    • Jess Haynie

      My main man, George. You were saying some really good stuff about the risks of using the 4th pick on a QB. I agree with you that you have to completely in love with the guy to make that move. Any sense of concern about his pro potential should be an immediate disqualifier. But then you said that thing at the end about Kellen Moore. Kellen Moore was an undrafted player who so far has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns and only completed 59% of his passes. I respect your loyalty to the guy and what you believe he's capable of, but asserting that he is automatically better than the two best quarterbacks in the draft is completely illogical. We have no evidence of that whatsoever.

      • George Johnson

        Jess Haynie: This is my understanding and I would be the first to admit I could be wrong. I don't think Kellen Moore is better than the two best quarterbacks in the draft. I didn't mean to imply that. What I was trying to say is that I think K Moore is likely (not for sure) to beat out either one of these guys for the 2nd team QB position in 2016 in a fair competition. This is because a rookie QB goes through some adjustments and development and Kellen Moore is a fairly experienced QB at this point who knows the Dallas offense/playbook well. If they are future stars and franchise type QBs that shows up quickly in preseason, then yes they are likely to outplay Kellen Moore in preseason. Also, if they are a fourth pick they could automatically be given the 2nd team QB position with no competition with anybody. As you know I am very optimistic on K Moore going into 2016. This is because 1) he has improved each year in the NFL and will be on his fifth year, 2) now has some starting experience, 3) has worked with S Linehan for two plus years, 4) has S Linehan's confidence, 5) knows the Dallas offense/playbook well and 5) will likely improve/correct his deficiencies from 2015 because they were areas he has excelled at in the past and he was playing against first team defenses for the first time. He will be riding high and confidently going into 2016 and has always played better than anyone thinks he can play. I wouldn't be surprised if he outplayed T Romo or at least played as well in the preseason games.

  • http://wmscradio.com/show/upon-further-review/ Sean Martin

    Well that's where the "fun" comes in when evaluating QBs. The last QB that virtually had no dispute in potential was Luck. Ever since, the Mariota's and Winston's of the world have been titled as everything from the next John Elway to Ryan Leaf. I would say that Goff and Wentz are certainly questionable, but the talent and upside is very good with them.

    Add in the ability to groom one of these two for a few years, and you should expect to have something special. While that expectation could still fall short, it should not shy Dallas away from using the fourth overall pick on a QB because it will cost even more to get Lynch. You would be giving up later picks that could be used on that pass rusher or defensive back, as mentioned in the article.

    While Goff and Wentz may not help a ton in their playing time for 2016 should Romo go down, they would at least be getting valuable experience. That should be worth something to fans, even if the team is losing, compared to the 2015 alternative of losing with QBs that had no hope of factoring into our future plans.

    The second we started losing games with Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel, the season felt pointless.

  • RJ Ochoa

    George,

    I'm with you that QB is the unwise pick at #4. I'm down with that.

    I will say that I'd rather have a QB than Bosa, FWIW. I know Sean is in agreement with me there.

    I want to give you the chance to sell me on Moore. Show me something. Film. Data. Indisputable evidence from their 2015 seasons (Moore's, Goff's, & Wentz's) that suggests Kellen is easily going to beat them out for the backup job.

    Sent from my iPhone using Pigskin Hub – Pro Football Forums mobile app

    • George Johnson

      RJ Ochoa: I don't have indisputable evidence. My understanding is that Goff and Wentz are not likely to be franchise type QBs. I don't really know a lot about them other than a few things I have read. I also don't necessarily think K Moore would easily beat them out for the 2nd team QB position in 2016. I said he is likely to beat them out. My logic is that Goff and Wentz will be rookies. Rookies usually go through a big learning curve and development process, which takes time. There have been exceptions such as A Luck. Some great current franchise type QBs had to learn and develop into great NFL QBs such as T Brady, T Romo, P Manning, and D Brees. K Moore on the other hand is now in his fifth year in the NFL, has some starting experience, has improved each year in the NFL, has worked with S Linehan for two plus years, has S Linehan's confidence and knows the Dallas offense/playbook well. K Moore's stats in 2015 weren't very good but he only played ten and one half quarters with limited first team reps. The best data point about K Moore's 2015 performance is what S Linehan has said who is an expert on evaluating QBs. He thought K Moore played fairly well and did some really good things such as moving the ball down the field, but made some mistakes. S Linehan also said after the Buffalo game that K Moore followed the game plan to a tee. If you factor in that it was his first time playing against first team defenses, yes he did pretty well overall. He probably did as well as some of those famous QBs I mentioned above in their first few times playing. Also, I watched every game and his physical limitations did not seem to show up much in his play. Also, his deficiencies (i.e. too many interceptions, too few touchdown throws and not as much accuracy as he has had in the past) are areas K Moore has always excelled at, so there is a good chance he will improve/correct these deficiencies. K Moore has done some really good things in his 2013 and 2014 preseason play. In 2013 he got to play for Hill at 2nd team against New England and essentially won the game, had a high QB rating and threw for two touchdowns and no interceptions. In 2014 he played 3rd team QB as Caldwell brought in a veteran, Orlovsky, to be the 2nd team QB. At 3rd team he had a 108 QB rating, three touchdowns and no interceptions for his preseason games. He way outplayed Orlovsky but did not get any 2nd team reps so there was no way Caldwell could make K Moore the 2nd team QB. Caldwell was impressed and said K Moore is very consistent and plays with confidence and moxie. This set up K Moore to compete with Orlovsky for the 2nd team QB position in 2015. For some reason K Moore did not play that well in the one preseason game he was given a chance at 2nd team and Orlovsky played real well in his two games playing at 2nd team. Detroit only kept two QBs and Dallas picked up K Moore. K Moore was not drafted because of his physical limitations. However, he has already proven he should have been drafted. He may have physical limitations but he was one of the best all time pocket passers in college. He came close to setting several new NCAA records and did in fact set two. The best information I have from his college performance is that his college coach, Peterson, who is not known to be outspoken, said and I quote " K Moore is the best pocket passer I have ever seen". The real question for K Moore is his pocket passing skills so outstanding that he can overcome or compensate for his physical limitations to play in the NFL? I am more confident now than at any time in his NFL career that he probably can.

  • http://wmscradio.com/show/upon-further-review/ Sean Martin

    Sell me this pen…

NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft Target: Michigan DT Maurice Hurst

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Draft Target: Michigan DT Maurice Hurst

Heading into the 2018 NFL Draft, it’s pretty clear defensive tackle is toward the top of the Dallas Cowboys’ needs. Dallas has invested multiple draft picks and resources into the secondary, linebackers, and defensive ends, but their interior defensive line still needs to add depth and talent. One potential target to fill this need is Michigan Wolverines Defensive Tackle Maurice Hurst.

Over at Slant Sports I completed a full scouting report on Hurst, giving him a first-round grade and ranking him atop this defensive tackle class.

At 6’2″ and about 280 pounds, Maurice Hurst clearly projects as a three technique at the professional level. Hurst played the under-tackle most of the time at Michigan, but he did kick down over the center or inside the guards at times. Still, I wouldn’t expect a team to draft Hurst to be their one tech of the future.

Hurst is an explosive beast at defensive tackle.

Playing with a nonstop motor, Hurst won off the ball often, but also created effort and hustle plays behind the line of scrimmage during his college career. Hurst’s first step, quick hands, ability to win with leverage, and overall explosiveness shine through on film.

nfldraft2018 maurice hurst 5 – Streamable

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“Here’s an example of that explosive first step. Hurst is lined up as the 3-technique on the far side. Winning with his first-step quickness and burst, Hurst gives the offensive linemen absolutely no chance to block him. He then powers through the recovery attempt by the lineman to make the tackle in the backfield.” ~Slant Sports

Hurst clearly doesn’t have the prototypical size of a defensive tackle in the NFL, but his play style suits his body well.

His explosiveness and burst off the ball make him incredibly dangerous, and his quick hands, low pad level, and strong lower body help him to win against any offensive lineman.

He obviously isn’t at the same level, and may not deserve eye-to-eye comparisons with this player, but Maurice Hurst’s play style and body type remind me of a young Aaron Donald. (I’m not saying he’s better than Aaron Donald, save the comments).

nfldraft2018 maurice hurst 8 – Streamable

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In terms of his fit with the Cowboys, Hurst would compete with Maliek Collins for playing time at three technique.

Respected draft guru Dane Brugler, has mocked Hurst to Dallas in his latest mock draft, but the way they handle both Collins and impending restricted free agent David Irving will play a huge role in determining if Hurst would even fill a need.

Regardless, Maurice Hurst is a name deserving of first-round buzz, and Cowboys Nation should keep their eyes on him this offseason.

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NFL Draft

Sean’s Scout: Memphis WR Anthony Miller a Needed Weapon for Cowboys

Sean Martin

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Sean's Scout: Memphis WR Anthony Miller A Needed Weapon For Cowboys
AP Photo / Jessica Hill

Slotted to pick 19th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys find themselves in position to add a first-round talent to a team that fell just short of the playoffs at 9-7 in 2017. Faltering entirely on offense without RB Ezekiel Elliott too many times this season, it’s hard to argue this asset is not best spent on new talent at WR.

The Cowboys haven’t drafted a wide receiver in the first round since 2010, trading up for Oklahoma State’s Dez Bryant. Frequent injuries and the inability to develop with QB Dak Prescott have diminished Bryant’s status as a star receiver in Dallas, and it may be time to overhaul the position entirely.

After scouting Memphis WR Anthony Miller, he may be just what the Dallas Cowboys need. Let’s take a closer look at his fit in the Cowboys’ offense in the first draft-season edition of Sean’s Scout.

WR Anthony Miller 2 – Streamable

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With 96 receptions for 1,462 yards and 18 touchdowns in his final season at Memphis, Senior WR Anthony Miller is one of the top players at his position in the 2018 NFL Draft. These inflated numbers in the Tigers’ pass-happy offense do little to highlight Miller as a next level prospect…

This film clip and quote from my full scouting report on Miller shows the pure play-making ability Miller has. Miller wouldn’t fill the Cowboys need for an over-the-top burner at WR, but he has no problem tracking the ball with ease and adjusting in the air to make big plays down the field.

…Miller is as tough of a cover as you’ll find thanks to his explosive and concise release off the line.

Anthony Miller is certainly a “Dak-friendly” pass catcher, as he possesses the catch radius to snag passes away from his frame using his exceptionally strong hands. Even when he is covered, Miller is open vertically.

With that said, Miller has more than enough ability to separate with good initial quickness and elite balance through his routes.

WR Anthony Miller 4 – Streamable

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

…he wastes no time accelerating through the secondary, and running with a powerful stride that makes it difficult to bring him down.

There may be better technical route runners in this draft class, but few set up defenders as consistently well as Miller — who has the production to match these NFL traits.

A willing run blocker too, Miller could walk into Dallas and immediately earn snaps as an X, Z, or Y receiver. Miller’s best fit to start his career is likely as a Z receiver, drawing less attention in coverage while being allowed to run a full route tree.

…Miller gets on cornerbacks in a hurry, setting them up with his fluidity and size to track the football through contact.

A potential replacement for Terrance Williams with the Cowboys, Miller is somewhat of a similar player in the way he wins with mostly size.

The Memphis product would still be an upgrade over Williams though, as it is much easier to get the ball in Miller’s hands. Add in the red-zone ability that Anthony Miller has to box out defenders, and the run-after-catch burst as an inside target, and Miller is a weapon the Cowboys could desperately use.

WR Anthony Miller 1 – Streamable

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…I found myself constantly impressed with the speed at which Miller gets up the field when taking the ball underneath.

Miller will have nothing but opportunities to raise his draft stock over the coming months. He will be at this month’s Senior Bowl, receiving NFL-level coaching to refine his game. The Scouting Combine will also be critical for Miller’s testing numbers to confirm the athlete seen on tape dominating at Memphis will take the next step.

Earning a second round grade on my 2018 NFL Draft Board, there is a chance the Cowboys have to use their first round pick if they truly want Anthony Miller in Silver and Blue. A very complete player that fills a need, Miller as the Cowboys first pick could make plenty of sense in April.

Tell us what you think about “Sean’s Scout: Memphis WR Anthony Miller a Needed Weapon for Cowboys” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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NFL Draft

Luxury or Need for Cowboys to Draft Another 1st-Round OL?

Brian Martin

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Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, Travis Frederick, offensive line

Due to growing concerns about Tyron Smith‘s availability and future health, due to reoccurring back injuries, there seems to be a growing consensus among Dallas Cowboys fans that there’s a need to draft an offensive lineman with the first-round pick. But, is it actually a need, or would it be more of a luxury?

There is legitimate concern about Tyron Smith and his future health.

Back injuries have a way of flaring up at the most inopportune times. It’s also not an injury that’s going away anytime soon, if ever. This is the unknown the Cowboys are faced with heading into the off-season, and it could end up having a major impact on the direction they go in the 2018 NFL Draft.

There seems to be a growing consensus around Cowboys Nation that the Dallas Cowboys should seriously consider selecting the best available offensive tackle with the 19th overall pick.

There are probably two reasons for this:

  1. Tyron Smith’s health concerns, and
  2. the need to upgrade the swing tackle position after watching Byron Bell and Chaz Green play in 2017.

But, the question remains: is drafting yet another offensive lineman in the first-round a luxury or need for the Dallas Cowboys?

Personally, I can see both sides of this argument. So, let’s break it down a little and examine each.

Luxury

Zack Martin

Dallas Cowboys RG Zack Martin

The Dallas Cowboys have already invested an enormous amount of resources to build arguably the best offensive line in the NFL.

They’ve spent three first-round draft picks to acquire Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin, two of which have already received long-term extensions with Martin waiting in the wings.

That’s a lot of money devoted to one position, which ultimately means the Cowboys have to go cheaper in other areas in order to fit under the salary cap. This is the money that would be used in free agency to acquire some of those higher-priced free agents fans are always hankering for.

It also can be used to re-sign some of the Cowboys players at other positions, such as DeMarcus Lawrence.

But, it’s not only the money that makes drafting a first-round OL a luxury.

Four out of five of the Cowboys OL are already pretty much set in stone. The left guard position is really the only unoccupied position right now, but that could be filled rather easily. This, of course, is assuming Tyron Smith stays healthy, but regardless, he is the starting left tackle when the 2018 season begins.

Need

Byron Bell

Dallas Cowboys OL Byron Bell

There’s no reason to believe Tyron Smith will be able to play an entire 16-game season going forward. The last two seasons he has had to sit out several games due to injuries, and unfortunately his back issues aren’t going away anytime soon.

To make matters worse, Dallas doesn’t have an adequate backup, which was proven on more than one occasion in 2017. Hence the need.

With the exception of the quarterback, the left tackle position is arguably the most important on offense. They protect the QB’s blindside and are largely responsible for keeping him healthy and upright.

There’s a reason they are drafted so highly and paid so handsomely: they are that important to a team’s success.

There was also a reason the Dallas Cowboys offense started to sputter once Tyron Smith started missing time. Opposing defenses no longer respected the Cowboys LT, and started putting their best pass rusher on that side to get after Dak Prescott.

Prescott ended up having happy feet and it had a ripple effect throughout the entire offense, and not in a good way.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Quite honestly, I think it would be a luxury to draft any kind of offensive lineman with the Cowboys’ first-round selection, but I wouldn’t be completely surprised if that’s the direction they went. There are positives and negatives to both sides of the argument.

But, if they stick to the draft board and an OL is their highest rated player there, I say go for it.

The only thing we can do is have faith that the Dallas Cowboys know more about Tyron Smith’s health and his availability to play then we do as fans. If they decide to draft an offensive lineman early, I think we should all take that as an indication that they are worried about Smith, at least a little bit.

Luxury or Need: Do the Cowboys draft a first-round OL?

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