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Reviewing Potential First-Round Prospects For The Cowboys

Brian Martin

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Reviewing Potential First-Round Prospects For The Cowboys 2

The long-awaited event is almost upon us. Thursday night the 2018 NFL Draft will finally get underway and we can end all of the speculation and draft talk as to who the Dallas Cowboys will select with their first-round draft pick.

I don't know about you, but Thursday night can't get here soon enough. I can't tell you how excited I am to finally learn which first-round prospect will be wearing a star on their helmet in 2018.

I know we have been discussing and analyzing which prospects the Dallas Cowboys could target with their first-round selection pretty much since the end of the 2017 season, but I thought I would provide you with a little recap in case you forgot.

Below I've reviewed several of the Cowboys potential first-round prospects who they've shown an interest in throughout the pre-draft process and also shared with you who I would personally draft at each position.

D.J. Moore

Maryland WR D.J. Moore

Wide Receiver

Calvin Ridley (Alabama), D.J. Moore (Maryland), Courtland Sutton (SMU)

With the release of Dez Bryant, the Dallas Cowboys will without a doubt draft another receiver and could do it as early as the first-round. I personally only see three wide receivers worthy of being selected that early, and the Cowboys have met with each one of them already.

Personally, I would be happy with any one of the three WRs mentioned above. They all have their own strengths and weaknesses, but each one of them would likely be an upgrade over what the Cowboys currently have on the roster.

My pick: D.J. Moore ✭

I personally have D.J. Moore ranked as the highest WR in the 2018 draft class. He may not be as polished as a route runner as Calvin Ridley, but he's no slouch either. What I think separates him from the other two is his physicality and ability to pick up yards after the catch.

Offensive Guard

Isaiah Wynn (Georgia), James Daniels (Iowa), Will Hernandez (UTEP)

Chaz Green and Jonathan Cooper played the left guard position for the Dallas Cowboys last season, but that won't be the case in 2018. It's really the only position along the entire offensive line without a starter right now, which could make it a first-round priority for the Cowboys.

If the Cowboys want to get back to their run first mentality, then taking a LG in the first-round makes sense. They have already shown an interest in all three players mentioned above and each one of them would step in and be an immediate plug-and-play starter.

✭ My pick: Isaiah Wynn ✭

Isaiah Wynn held his own against some of the best pass rushers in the SEC while playing left tackle for the Georgia Bulldogs over the past several seasons. He will be asked to kick inside to guard in the NFL because of his lack of length, but I believe he possesses Pro Bowl potential as a rookie. He would make the Cowboys offensive line dominant once again.

Offensive Tackle

Mike McGlinchey (Notre Dame), Connor Williams (Texas), Kolton Miller (UCLA)

With Tyron Smith's continued back problems and La'el Collins ability to move back inside to left guard, the Dallas Cowboys could use their first-round pick on another starting caliber tackle. Their lack of depth at the position really hurt them last season when Tyron Smith was out of the starting lineup, and that can't happen again.

The 2018 tackle draft class isn't very deep, which could mean we see quite a few of them drafted earlier than expected. If the Cowboys believe Tyron Smith's back will continue to give him problems, then we could see one of the three players mentioned above taken.

✭ My pick: Connor Williams ✭

Connor Williams is a bit of an enigma because of his conflicting game film in 2016 and 2017. In 2016, he looked like a surefire first-round draft pick, but he looked like a completely different player last season. I believe he is still capable of playing like he did in 2016 and could play either tackle position in the NFL or be kicked inside to guard.

Harold Landry

Boston College DE Harold Landry

Linebacker

Rashaan Evans (Alabama), Leighton Vander Esch (Boise State)

Ideally, either Tremaine Edmunds or Roquan Smith fall to the Dallas Cowboys and become their first-round draft pick. But, I wouldn't hold my breath on that happening. Both players should be long gone by the time the Cowboys are on the clock at 19, leaving him to choose from either of the two players mentioned above.

The Cowboys definitely need to come away with at least one, possibly two linebackers in this draft. Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith can't be completely relied on, and the depth behind them doesn't inspire much confidence either. That is why linebacker could be the top priority for the Cowboys.

✭ My pick: Rashaan Evans ✭

I know everybody will have their own preference, but I prefer Rashaan Evans over Vander Esch. I think Evans is the more physical player of the two and has shown the ability to rush the passer off the edge during his time in Alabama. I think he is capable of playing all three LB positions.

Defensive End

Harold Landry (Boston College), Marcus Davenport (UTSA)

The Dallas Cowboys have the numbers in order to get by with their current stable of defensive ends, but that shouldn't exclude them from looking for an upgrade. They could use someone who can start opposite DeMarcus Lawrence, and I'm not sure that player is on the roster.

They used their first-round draft pick on Taco Charlton last year, but they knew he was a project when they selected him. The return of Randy Gregory or Charles Tapper could be the solution, but there is no way either player can be relied upon right now. Maybe the two DEs above provides the answer.

✭ My pick: Harold Landry 

Harold Landry played through injuries last season that really limited his effectiveness as a pass rusher, but in 2016 he looked like an elite prospect. I believe he could be the right defensive end the Dallas Cowboys have been looking for and would turn their defensive line into a dominant force playing opposite DeMarcus Lawrence.

Defensive Tackle

Vita Vea (Washington), Da'Ron Payne (Alabama), Taven Bryan (Florida)

If there is one position the Dallas Cowboys have neglected for several years now, it's the nose tackle or 1-technique. That's why it's kind of hard to envision them taking one with their first-round selection, but it is definitely a position that could stand to be upgraded.

This could be a good year for the Cowboys to change their draft strategy and take a defensive tackle in first-round, especially considering their lack of depth at the position. They have shown some interest in all three DT prospects mentioned above, and each one of them could still be available when they are on the clock at 19.

✭ My pick: Vita Vea 

I don't know if there is another player the Dallas Cowboys could take with their first-round draft pick who would be an immediate upgrade and make everyone around him better than Vita Vea. He would not only upgrade the run defense due to his mere size and athletic ability, but he would help keep the linebackers clean behind him to make plays.

Who do you want the Dallas Cowboys to draft in the first-round?



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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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft: Reviewing Kansas DT Daniel Wise

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Draft: Kansas DT Daniel Wise

Throughout the post draft media process, the Cowboys' decision makers have been adamant that they found multiple draft-able players in undrafted free agency this year. Each of which, of course, will have an opportunity to compete for a roster or practice squad spot this summer.

One of those players who almost certainly had a draft-able grade despite fall through all seven rounds, is Kansas defensive tackle Daniel Wise.

At 6'3" and 290 pounds, Wise projects as a 3-technique in the NFL, and should compete for that very role on the Cowboys defense. Wise is not an overly bendy or athletic player, but he has a good initial quickness which allows him to penetrate gaps well. Wise plays with excellent effort, having the type of motor that I'm sure Rod Marinelli valued highly during the pre-draft evaluations.

A strong and powerful interior presence, Wise can offer some upside as a pass rusher as well. He has quick, active, and heavy hands. When combining his hands with his get-off, Wise is a real threat as a pass rusher. Maybe his most impressive pass rushing quality, however, is the effort which he plays with. Never giving up on a play, you'll have to block Wise until the final whistle or he will threaten for effort sacks.

In college, Wise was often asked to be a two-gap defender from the 5-technique, but that's just not where he'll be at his best. Rather, he should be used in the role the Cowboys likely envision for him, allowing him to play with power at the point of attack and disrupt the running game.

But what are Daniel Wise's chances of even making the team?

The Cowboys made a concerted effort to improve their defensive line this offseason, specifically on the interior. By adding free agents like Kerry Hyder and drafting Trysten Hill 58th overall, Dallas has improved what was considered a weakness during the postseason a year ago.

Not all of these talented defensive tackles will make the team, though, it's simply a numbers a game. And cutting an undrafted free agent will certainly be easier to do than cutting someone who will be owed real money, or was acquired through premium draft capital.

Regardless, Daniel Wise will have the chance to prove his worth during training camp and the preseason. And based on how he projects through his college tape and physical attributes, he'll likely make those final decisions very difficult on the Cowboys' staff.



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NFL Draft

Pre-Draft Visitors Highlight Dallas Cowboys 2019 Rookie Class

Brian Martin

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Pre-Draft Visitors Highlight Dallas Cowboys 2019 Rookie Class

The Dallas Cowboys are "officially" adding 21 rookies to their roster, eight of which they drafted and the remaining 13 are undrafted free agents. The number of rookies the Cowboys are bringing in isn't all that surprising, but what did surprise me was how many of them were pre-draft visitors.

You may or may not know, but the NFL allows 30 allotted pre-draft visits for each team around the league. Teams don't have to use all 30 visits of course, but the majority of them take advantage of the opportunity and generally use up all 30 visits. It's a chance to introduce these rookies into the atmosphere they could be playing in and work them out in more of a one-on-one basis.

The Dallas Cowboys of course are known as a team who take their 30 pre-draft visits very seriously. Over the past several years they've drafted several players who were brought in for pre-draft visits, and 2019 was no exception.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, paying attention to the Dallas Cowboys 30 pre-draft visits is a good idea because the odds of them drafting one or more of them is pretty high. That's why I decided to run a pre-draft tracker this year, and because of it I was able to confirm 27 of the possible 30 pre-draft visitors for the Cowboys.

Here are 2019 pre-draft visitors currently on the Cowboys roster:

  • DT, Trysten Hill
  • RB, Tony Pollard
  • RB, Mike Weber
  • WR, Jon'Vea Johnson
  • CB, Chris Westry

If you're doing the math, 5 out of 30 equates to 17% of the players the Dallas Cowboys brought in as pre-draft visitors. But, if Dallas only brought in 27 that percentage rises to 19%. To say that the Cowboys value these pre-draft visits would be an understatement, at least as far as 2019 is concerned.

The first three of Trysten Hill, Tony Pollard, and Mike Weber were of course all draft picks and have the best chance to stick around on the final 53-man roster, but I wouldn't rule out Jon'Vea Johnson and Chris Westry. Both were draftable players, but somehow fell through the cracks right into the lap of the Cowboys as UFAs.

I don't really know if it's a good idea the Dallas Cowboys are so transparent with how valuable the treat these 30 pre-draft visits. We've seen teams time and time again trade up right in front of them to draft a player the Cowboys could've possibly been eyeing, and this year was no exception.

After drafting Running Back/Wide Receiver Tony Pollard with the first of their fourth-round draft picks, it looked like the Dallas Cowboys had their sights set on small school Defensive End/Defensive Tackle John Cominsky out of Charleston with their second pick in the fourth. Unfortunately, the Atlanta Falcons traded up a spot ahead of them to draft Cominsky.

This of course isn't the first time the Falcons have done this, which begs the question as to how they knew the Cowboys could have possibly been targeting Cominsky. We can throw a conspiracy theory out there that Atlanta might have been inside source, but that's highly unlikely. More plausible theory is they were paying attention to Dallas' 30 pre-draft visitors as well.

It may be time for the Dallas Cowboys to deploy a little more smoke and mirrors when it comes to who they bring in for pre-draft visits in the future. But regardless, there's no denying the Cowboys pre-draft visitors highlight their 2019 rookie class.

Are you surprised the Dallas Cowboys added so many pre-draft visitors to the roster?



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NFL Draft

Dallas Cowboys 2019 Draft Grades

Shane Carter

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Dallas Cowboys 2019 Draft Grades 1

Another year, another draft come and gone. The difference was that this year the Dallas Cowboys were without a first-round pick thanks to their trade for Amari Cooper with Oakland. Their de facto first-round pick would obviously earn an A+ from how well he meshed with Dak Prescott and gave this Cowboys offense another dimension.

Given how well the Cowboys have done in the first round in recent history -- all but two of their first round picks since 2011 have been in the Pro Bowl, a trend that continued with last year’s pick, Leighton Vander Esch. This season, the Cowboys only had picks from round two and on. So this year was all about finding value and hoping it would fall into their laps.

Obviously time will tell if any of these players work out or not. For the time being, we can grade the picks based on what we do know. Some picks were worth it, while others raised questions, as well as eyebrows.

58 Overall: DT, Trysten Hill

Dallas Cowboys Draft Grades 1

In what has been considered the best defensive line draft in decades, the Cowboys took a bit of a risk with their first “official” pick. Trysten Hill is a first round talent out of UCF, but reports questioning his love for the game had some give him a third round grade.

Dallas has already had an off-season dealing with talented defensive linemen with questions around their passion for the game (i.e. David Irving) and so obviously people didn’t love this pick.

It’s a high risk, high reward move that we’ll have to wait and see how it turns out.

Grade: B

90 Overall: G, Connor McGovern

Dallas Cowboys Draft Grades 6

As far as value goes, McGovern was probably the team’s best pick. In my pre-draft rankings, Connor McGovern was my fourth overall interior lineman; a player who you can play anywhere in the interior and start immediately.

However, guard didn’t really seem like a need. This was obviously a “best player available” pick. What this pick has done instead is raise a bunch of questions.

Who’s job could be on the line?

Does this imply the team won’t re-sign La’el Collins?

Is Connor Williams going to play tackle like he did in college?

Is one of them going to get traded?

Is Travis Frederick really ready to go?

So many questions surround this pick, but there’s no questioning the player. Connor McGovern is likely a future starter on the line and Cowboys fans should be excited about that.

Grade: A

128 Overall: RB, Tony Pollard

If you follow me on Twitter, you know my feelings about Tony Pollard already.

Shane Carter on Twitter

Tony Pollard might be my favorite #Cowboys pick. Has experience at both the RB and WR position, plus had 7 career kick return TDs in college. He addresses all 3 needs in 1. #NFLDraft

Returner has been a need for a year now. I never liked the team trading away Ryan Switzer because it created a huge hole on special teams, as well as the receiving core.

The team also needed a backup running back to take the load off Ezekiel Elliott a bit. With Tony Pollard, they get all three positions filled in the form of a player who's 6'0" 210 pounds, ran a 4.52 40 and compiled 25 total touchdowns. Terrific value in the fourth round.

Grade: A-

158 Overall: CB, Michael Jackson

Dallas Cowboys Draft Grades 9

This is the type of corner Kris Richard loves; big and tall. At 6'1" 200 pounds, Michael Jackson fits the profile.

His 2017 tape was actually better than his 2018 tape, and all four of his career interceptions came in '17. However, the team is obviously betting on his potential, especially with corner being a serious need.

With the Cowboys' four primary corners coming into contract years the next three seasons, odds are that at least one will be gone. MJ doesn’t fill in day one as a difference maker but, given some time under Kris Richard, he could be a nice player.

Grade: C+

165 Overall: DE, Joe Jackson

Dallas Cowboys Draft Grades 11

Take Joe Jackson, new Cowboy, as well as Michael and Darius Jackson, and the team is just two short of a Jackson 5 reunion.

The team has been very busy trying to rebuild the depth at edge and Joe Jackson is icing on an already stacked cake. In an off-season that saw the retirement of David Irving and another suspension for Randy Gregory, the team was able to extend DeMarcus Lawrence and trade for Robert Quinn.

The edge room was already full but you can never have too many.

Joe Jackson is a fun, productive player from The U, who was teammates with the previous pick, Michael Jackson. In his career, he totaled 24 sacks and 37.5 tackles for loss all in three seasons. He’s not the fastest edge rusher in the world but has plenty of power to make up for it. With the team only for sure having DeMarcus Lawrence guaranteed beyond 2019, it’s good to have as much talent as possible.

Grade: B+

213 Overall: S, Donovan Wilson 

Dallas Cowboys Draft Grades 12

The team really needed a safety and it enraged most people that they didn’t pick one earlier. Especially with Taylor Rapp, Juan Thornhill and Amani Hooker all available at different times.

Donovan Wilson is an interesting pick. His career has been a rollercoaster while at Texas A&M, with a highly productive 2015 season, a dip in 2016, a fractured foot in the 2017 opener, and a rebound 2018 season.

Had his career not been derailed by his injury, he’s likely gone way before the sixth round and the Cowboys are obviously betting on his potential. Meets a need, but not a plug-in right away type of pick.

Grade: B

218 Overall: RB, Mike Weber

Dallas Cowboys Draft Grades 13

Tony Pollard is going to get first crack at the backup running back spot. However, given that he’s also the team’s likely return man as well, it makes sense that they’d want to deepen the running back room to give the team a true RB2.

Mike Weber was Ezekiel Elliott’s teammate at Ohio State, but didn’t come close to the impact Elliott had. Only topping 1,000 yards once in college, Weber is likely in competition with Darius Jackson for the backup spot.

He’s not as flashy as Zeke but can pick up the slack when asked to and is a solid receiver out of the backfield. If Weber can’t beat Jackson for the backup spot, then Weber is a likely candidate for the practice squad.

Grade: B

241 Overall: DE, Jalen Jelks

Dallas Cowboys Draft Grades 14

Jalen Jelks falls into a similar boat that both Hurricanes players are in. Like Joe Jackson, he’s a good solid edge piece (fifth round draft grade), but like Michael Jackson, his prior season's tape was better than his final season.

It's interesting that the Cowboys would pick a player who seems to be better suited to play in a 3-4 as a OLB, but has plenty of starter potential. Otherwise he’s a player that’s likely headed to the practice squad that the Cowboys wanted to make sure they get first crack at. Still, a good value in terms of where he was picked.

Grade: B-

Dallas Cowboys Overall 2019 Draft Grade: B



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