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NFL Draft

Sean’s Scout: Maryland WR D.J. Moore A Big-Play Target for Cowboys

Sean Martin

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Sean's Scout: Maryland WR D.J. Moore A Big-Play Target for Cowboys

Typically starting my draft evaluations at positions of need for the Cowboys, I have studied the top WRs available in the 2018 NFL Draft. Following last weekend's Senior Bowl, the apparent depth available at the position would deter me from drafting a receiver in the first round if I was the Cowboys.

Rising up draft boards into late-first round conversations is Maryland WR D.J. Moore, a smaller target with explosive ability and soft hands. Moore has not played in any offseason exhibition games, so it will remain unclear where his draft value truly lies until after the Scouting Combine.

For now, let's take a look at his fit with the Dallas Cowboys.

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"Moore is an explosive player with potential to do something special every time he touches the ball."

This film clip and quote comes from my full scouting report on WR D.J. Moore at Slant Sports. Projecting best as a #2 receiver, Moore could play in a rotation with Terrance Williams and bring a quick-strike element to the Cowboys' passing game.

"D.J. Moore plays with exceptional awareness. For a smaller receiver, he shows no signs of discomfort catching the ball through traffic."

Moore's most outstanding trait is easily his balance. A physical player for his size, Moore accelerates effortlessly in the open field with the elite balance that makes him difficult to bring down. This after-the-catch ability would not be as exciting if Moore was not sure-handed of course, which he was at Maryland.

Moore3 - Streamable

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"D.J. Moore is simply a player that will warrant touches in the NFL, both scripted and not. "

Not the type of receiver that wins easily off of the snap, Moore does well to cover up this concern with his willingness to catch the ball in traffic. D.J. Moore will flash as both as speed receiver burning defenses over the top and a physical one beating defensive backs at the catch point with soft hands.

"Moore takes some time to get going in his release, and lacks the physical attributes to attack defenders with overwhelming length, power, or strength."

Turning over the WR position is going to take some time in Dallas, as their full cast of starters from a poor 2017 season remain under contract. This is another reason a WR with the 19th overall pick may not be as realistic as Cowboys Nation wants to believe.

D.J. Moore is far from a finished product, but does have enough traits to make an immediate impact on any team. The 50th overall pick that the Cowboys currently hold is the perfect spot for Dallas to get maximum value out of Moore - who very well may find himself at the end of the first round.

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Earning a firm second round grade on my 2018 NFL Draft Board, D.J. Moore is a Dak-friendly WR that would fit wonderfully into Scott Linehan's offense.

"If D.J. Moore’s next team taps into his full potential, we will likely be talking about that team landing one of the biggest steals in the 2018 NFL Draft."

Tell us what you think about "Sean’s Scout: Maryland WR D.J. Moore A Big-Play Target for Cowboys" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!


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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6 Comments
  • Ervinlang318

    All of these Articles are pointless. We will continue to…

    1. Draft someone that NO ONE has on their Board.
    2. We will draft the LB of our dreams (Disclaimer: He will have blown an ACL or Achilles his Junior Year of course )
    3.
    Our Defense will consist of Ex Home Depot employees and Former Bengals,
    Browns players who last appeared in the League in 2015 and started 4
    games that year

  • dallas1966

    Sean, hopefully, the 2018 season, will be known in Cowboys folklore, as the season, the Cowboys, finally put seasons of Mediocrity in the NFL Purgatory for the past 22 seasons to rest, and the start of the Cowboys being the standard of excellence, that built the legacy in the late 60’s and throughout the 70’s, and a brief period in the 90’s, as THE America Team, and not an illusion built on marketing strategy along, but on the football field, as the team the NFL and world wide envies, like it did during the Cowboys era of dominance on the football field. I truly believe that it’s time for Coach Clapper and his motley coaching staff, to bring back those era’s back for the Millieums, to have the opportunity to be proud of what the Cowboys organization standard is nothing but winning Super Bowls, with success and excellence. Not this living off a legacy of long ago, and wallowing in mediocrity and stuck in NFL Purgatory. The time for changing the perception into reality is now, starting with the 2018 season. Tired of witnessing other NFL Teams and fans, enjoying the euphoria of winning the coveted Lombardi Trophy each season, while the Cowboys nation continue to watch other fans enjoying bragging rights that once belong to America’s Team.

    • https://InsideTheStar.com Sean Martin

      Hope you’re right sooner rather than later, thank you for reading and commenting!

  • Travis Diggs

    I live in Maryland so i know a lot about this kid D.J. Moore. He’s very talented and probably better than all the receivers on our roster but I don’t ever remember too many players from Maryland getting drafted by the Cowboys. I don’t see it happening but I’ve been wrong

    • https://InsideTheStar.com Sean Martin

      Good eye Travis, Moore has a ton of upside and a lot of traits to like. Also, the Cowboys have not drafted a player out of Maryland since 1987. They took RB Alvin Blount in the 9th round.

NFL Draft

Sean’s Scout: Florida DT Taven Bryan A Disruptive Target for Cowboys

Sean Martin

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Sean's Scout: Florida DT Taven Bryan A Disruptive Target for Cowboys

By now you know that the Dallas Cowboys have not prioritized the defensive tackle position at the Draft in some time, a point made prominent with the amount of talent available at DT in this 2018 class.

Despite not being as high on him as most, Florida's Taven Bryan would fit what the Cowboys are doing defensively under Rod Marinelli very well. Bryan is a disruptive player at the 3T position, where the Cowboys currently have a decision to make on RFA David Irving.

Even if Irving and Maliek Collins are back in the fold for 2018, Taven Bryan would be a great addition to this front seven - thanks to his raw athleticism and motor.

Let's take a closer look at how Bryan fits the Cowboys' defense.

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"Bryan excels at not giving his man much of a blocking surface area – playing with good pad level and impressive bend for a DT."

This film clip and quote comes from my full scouting report on Florida's Taven Bryan at Slant Sports. Far from a finished product, Bryan shoots gaps and beats guards off of the line with ease. This is a player with rare traits at the 3T position, bending well while playing with enough strength throughout his entire frame.

"Using a smooth upper body paired with quick footwork and burst, Bryan is frequently shooting gaps to finish in the backfield."

When I watched Taven Bryan, I was reminded of current Cowboys DT Maliek Collins in 2016. As a rookie, Collins played the penetrating 3T spot with similar burst and power.

With the Cowboys now preferring Collins at the 1T position, Bryan could fill in on day one as an interior force with the upside to become one of the league's best match up weapons up front.

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Unless a blocker across from Bryan works quickly into his frame, this is a player that is going to generate push and flow to the football with elite speed and balance.

"Taven Bryan allows his frame to be controlled too often, effectively getting washed out of any play where his blocker can squat against the speed rush and shoot their hands inside on Bryan."

Cowboys Defensive End DeMarcus Lawrence proved that he is the "alpha" of this defensive line in 2017. Building this unit around Lawrence will yield positive results for the Cowboys, especially if they can find a long-term 3T to play alongside him.

One with as high of a ceiling as Taven Bryan becomes an intriguing option, especially considering the Cowboys' ability to play him in a rotation early in his career.

"Unleashing Taven Bryan as a gap-shooting 3T DT is the best way to see this prospect reach his ceiling..."

The Cowboys' 19th overall pick may be a bit rich for Taven Bryan, but this is a prospect to look for in the second round, where Dallas holds the 50th overall pick. A second round DT on my 2018 NFL Draft Board, Bryan should outplay his draft status regardless of the pick if put in the right situation to use traits that would greatly help the Dallas Cowboys.

Tell us what you think about "Sean’s Scout: Florida DT Taven Bryan A Disruptive Target 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

2018 NFL Draft: How Early Should Cowboys Consider Tight End?

Sean Martin

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Looking on the Bright Side of an Ugly Dallas Cowboys Loss
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

With Tight End Jason Witten set to enter his 16th season for the Dallas Cowboys, it has become an annual offseason tradition to discuss the team's need for young talent at TE. In a down year for the entire Cowboys offense, Witten caught the fewest passes (63) he has since 2003 - his rookie year.

Since 2003, the Cowboys have drafted seven tight ends, most of which suffering the same fate in Dallas. Playing behind the future first-ballot Hall of Fame TE in Witten, the only players that have sustained any success behind him remain current tight ends James Hanna and Geoff Swaim.

Geoff Swaim

Dallas Cowboys TE Geoff Swaim

A sixth and seventh round pick respectively, Hanna and Swaim don't exactly excite anyone expecting the Cowboys to upgrade their passing game in 2018 and beyond for Quarterback Dak Prescott.

For all of the buzz about the Cowboys using their current 19th overall pick on a WR (a decision I would be against), where is the ideal spot in this draft to target a TE?

This year's draft class at TE is a top-heavy one, with some big time pass catchers available at the top of it. If the Cowboys are serious about adding a legitimate middle-of-the-field threat on offense, they could consider the likes of Dallas Goedert, Mike Gesicki, or Ian Thomas with the 50th overall pick in the second round.

Of course, Cowboys Nation continues to hold out hope for Rico Gathers to revolutionize the TE position in Dallas as their last pick in the 2016 draft, but the Baylor basketball convert has done little to prove he's motivated to rise up the depth chart anytime soon.

Doug Nussmeier is the Cowboys' third TE coach in as many seasons, joining the staff for 2018 with no previous experience in this coaching role specifically. Nussmeier does bring extensive experience alongside Cowboys OC Scott Linehan, as well as nine years as an OC himself with Fresno State, Washington, Alabama, Michigan, and Florida.

It is safe to say that Nussmeier understands the importance of the TE position for a QB, especially a young one like Prescott - who has inconsistently used Jason Witten as the "security blanket" he became known as under Tony Romo.

If recent draft history holds up, the Cowboys will wait until the later rounds to possibly address tight end. The impact a top player from this class could immediately have in Dallas needs to be considered though, making TE an intriguing draft need as early as the second or third rounds.

Tell us what you think about "2018 NFL Draft: How Early Should Cowboys Consider Tight End?" 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

The 1 Player Cowboys Should Consider Trading Up For

Kevin Brady

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1

The Dallas Cowboys enter the 2018 NFL Draft needing help in multiple areas. Of course, they could use new blood on the interior of their defensive line, in their linebacker corps, and in their receiver room. Their most important need to fill in the first round, however, seems to be left guard.

If the Cowboys could find an immediate starter at left guard, a dominant player who can function as an effective run blocker and allow Dak Prescott to trust his left side once again, their offense would be back in business. We typically think of the Cowboys offense, and their line in particular, as a strength. But down the stretch in 2017 that simply wasn't the case.

As I've discussed before, there should be realistic options available with the 19th overall selection, particularly Georgia guard Isiah Wynn. There is one player in this NFL Draft class they should consider moving up for if the price is right, though.

That player is Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson.

Make no mistake, Quenton Nelson is the best prospect in the 2018 NFL Draft class. He is a massive, yet athletic interior offensive lineman who cemented himself as the best guard in college football during his senior season with the Fighting Irish.

Nelson plays with an edge that you love from offensive linemen, especially from those you will be asking to run block often. He doesn't just open holes, he embarrasses defensive tackles. He doesn't just smartly use body positioning and footwork, he finishes his blocks and snatches souls. Plus, he shows the athleticism and agility to get to the second level to seal off linebackers.

Quenton Nelson works well in pass protection as well. Often labeled a weakness in his game coming out of high school, Nelson has shown vast improvements in his footwork, awareness, and balance in his pass set while at Notre Dame. He would be a day one starter in Dallas, and would take the Cowboys' offensive line back to their 2014-2016 form.

But how realistic is it that the Cowboys would move up for Nelson?

Well, not very realistic at all. In fact, I'd say it's more likely the Cowboys move back to take Will Hernandez or Isaiah Wynn than it is they give away future assets in such a Day Two-rich draft. If, for some reason, Quenton Nelson falls to around the 12th overall pick however, there could be an opening for the Cowboys to come up and snag him.

I don't condone trading up often whatsoever, but Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson leads a very short list of players I'd move up for if I were the Cowboys. Trading up for a guard seems like flawed logic, but considering the importance and impact he would have for this team, Quenton Nelson is well worth it.


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