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NFL Draft

Should the Cowboys Seriously Consider Trading Up in the NFL Draft?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Should the Cowboys Seriously Consider Trading Up in the NFL Draft?

April has finally arrived, which means it's officially the month of the NFL Draft. Franchises around the league are ready to make their teams better on April 26th and fans are ready to discuss every single scenario possible.

Obviously, the first round is always the most intriguing. The Dallas Cowboys, holding the 19th overall pick, will have many positions to attend with their first round pick.

Will the Cowboys keep adding wide receivers to the team? Will they solidify their talented offensive line to make it the best in the league once again? Will they draft a linebacker to play alongside Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith? Or will they go against their philosophy and take a defensive tackle?

Of course, it all depends on how the board falls once they're on the clock, but 19th could be an awkward spot for the Cowboys. There will be talent available and the front office has done a good job at drafting lately. It's easy to see them holding on to their draft picks and not want to give any of them away.

Even still, they should seriously consider trading up.

You see, many are forgetting that this team, although they had a very disappointing season in 2017, has the talent to be a legit contender next season. They're missing some key pieces on the roster, but they're really close.

The Philadelphia Eagles will definitely be one hell of a rival in 2018, but Dallas will still be in the mix.

Cowboys Draft Target: FSU DB Derwin James

FSU S Derwin James

It's very hard to think that some prospects who would help the Cowboys immensely from Day 1 will be available at 19. I'm talking of players like Roquan Smith, Tremaine Edmunds, Derwin James, Vita Vea and maybe even Calvin Ridley.

If they stay put, realistically, this could be the players available who may interest the Cowboys:

  • G Will Hernandez
  • G Isaiah Wynn
  • DT Da'Ron Payne
  • LB Rashaan Evans
  • LB Leighton Vander Esch 
  • WR DJ Moore

I may be missing players, but the point is this: all of this players will definitely help Dallas, but if there's one player who clearly won't fall to 19, and the front office believes he will be a true difference maker, they should 100% consider trading up.

This team is close. It's not a team in rebuild mode. They are trying to make a Super Bowl run and if Roquan Smith or Derwin James or any player is what they need to take the next step, then let's do it.

Giving away draft picks is tough and likely not an approach that the Cowboys are ready to take. All it takes is one player who's worth it.

Tell me what you think about "Should the Cowboys Seriously Consider Trading Up in the NFL Draft?" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL 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!



I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @MauNFL.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Steven Summy

    April 1, 2018 at 11:29 am

    Derwin James is one of those once in a generation safeties, we’ve been needing one since Woodson left to put us over the top again, if he drops out of top 7-8 we have to consider making the move.

  2. Travis Diggs

    April 1, 2018 at 11:44 am

    With the draft being in Dallas and the cowboys having 10 picks, they need to make a splash to show us that their commited to winning now. Trading compensatory picks and whatever else it takes to get Derwin James, this will put this defense over the top and will allow the Cowboys to win the draft in Dallas

  3. Will

    April 1, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    The only 2 players I’d trade up for are Derwin and Minkah. Other than one of those, I’d actually trade back. This is a deep class

  4. winstar

    April 1, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Are you looking for others that want to discuss Cowboys football? We want to hear what you have to say. Join us at boards.insidethestar.com

  5. Bret Lewis

    April 1, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    What would it cost for the Cowboys to move up to 14-15?

    • Chuck Wright

      April 1, 2018 at 4:46 pm

      Likely a 3rd

    • Will

      April 1, 2018 at 10:46 pm

      If we were to get the 14 from GB, it would basically be our 1, 2, and 3 for their 1 and 3

  6. Chuck Wright

    April 1, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    Trading to #10 over all would likely mean giving up a 2nd round pick. . .frankly dumb, we simply have too many needs. Though I would LOVE LOVE LOVE James.

    More likely they trade back in the 1st still take someone like Will H or LVE, both excellent players though LVE/LB the bigger need. Dallas needs in no real order 1 Tech, 2 LBs, WR, S OG TE (enjoy Whitten’s last season, he’s in the booth next year and a couple of very nice TEs in the draft) and OT

  7. EverybodyTalks

    April 1, 2018 at 11:23 pm

    So how great is the fall-off in each of these comparisons?
    1) Between Wynn and Hernandez… in most drafts Wynn is ahead of Hernandez, but how large is the gap?
    2) Evans vs. LVE… Evans has been shown repeatedly at the end of the 1st/beginning of the 2nd. LVE has been on the rise with some saying he is the next Urlacher. Who do you see as the better fit?
    3) Calvin or DJ…DJ has been on the rise like LVE. Who do you see as the better fit for Dallas

  8. Alan Kelley

    April 2, 2018 at 2:06 am

    Derwin James is not gonna fall out of the top 10 and Dallas would lose way too much to move into position to draft him. Tremaine Edmunds could fall to 12 and Dallas could move up to pick him. He’s gonna be a monster linebacker!!

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NFL Draft

3 Potential Day 2 Tight End Prospects for the Dallas Cowboys

Brian Martin

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3 Potential Day 2 Tight End Prospects for the Dallas Cowboys

By now it's no secret the Dallas Cowboys don't have a first-round draft pick in the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft. The Amari Cooper trade took care of that, meaning sitting through the entire Day 1 could be a little tiresome for us fans. But, Day 2 of the draft could get really interesting for the Cowboys, especially as it pertains to the players/positions they could target.

Today, I wanted to take a look at a few of the Day 2 tight end prospects the Dallas Cowboys could be interested in. This would be the second tier of TEs behind the likes of T.J. Hockenson, Noah Fant, and Irv Smith, all of which should be gone by the time the Cowboys are on the clock at 58th overall in the second round.

I really believe that if the Dallas Cowboys plan on drafting a starting caliber tight end in this year's draft class they are going to have to do it with either their second or third round selection. The TEs available beyond that point probably aren't much of an upgrade over Blake Jarwin or Dalton Schultz, which is praise in itself about the upside of the young TEs they currently have on the roster.

With all of that in mind, I put together a list of three tight ends I would personally target on Day 2 if I were the Cowboys. I tried to identify what they typically look for in a starting TE (size, speed, athleticism), while also taking into account the ones that are are versatile enough to contribute on all three downs in both the running and passing game.

Isaac Nauta, Georgia

Isaac Nauta

Georgia TE Isaac Nauta

Isaac Nauta is a former five-star recruit who never really lived up to his billing during his time with the Georgia Bulldogs. He is a top-notch blocker both in line and when split out wide, but due to the Bulldogs run heavy offense he never really developed into the pass catcher many envisioned him becoming. He possesses good speed and terrific hands to be a threat in the passing game though, even if he doesn't show a lot of separation ability on film.

Nauta looks and plays like a prototypical Dallas Cowboys tight end. He has the desired size (6'4", 246), athleticism, and skill set to step in and be the Cowboys TE1 as a rookie. His blocking ability alone will get him on the field early, but he also shows enough pass catching ability to be a threat in the passing game as well. Overall, Nauta is a pro-ready three down TE who is a high floor prospect with very little downside.

Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M

Jace Sternberger

Texas A&M TE Jace Sternberger

Jace Sternberger is a former three-star recruit and the definition of a one-year wonder. He was basically a complete unknown before the 2018 season and had just one catch for 5 yards during his two years at Kansas before deciding to transfer to JUCO. He didn't fare much better at Northern Oklahoma A&M, but Jimbo Fisher thought enough of him to bring him aboard a Texas A&M, essentially turning him into an All-American and first team All-SEC.

Sternberger is almost the exact opposite of Isaac Nauta, but still has the desired traits the Dallas Cowboys look for in their tight ends. Unlike Nauta, Sternberger is much more accomplished as a passing threat. He runs and moves like a big wide receiver and possesses good separation ability. Due to his size (6'4", 250) and athletic ability he is difficult to bring down after the catch as well. He's not as accomplished as a blocker as Nauta, but he shows good technique and will improve in time with added strength. He has the ability to be the Cowboys TE1 as a rookie.

Dawson Knox, Ole Miss

Dawson Knox

Ole Miss TE Dawson Knox

Dawson Knox is a former walk-on quarterback at Ole Miss, but spent the last two years playing tight end for the Rebels. He is one of the more difficult tight ends to evaluate in this draft class due to the unorthodox offense he played in and his usage in the system, but may actually be more pro-ready than many of us believe. He does have the size (6'4", 250), speed, and natural hands to be a complete three-down TE in the NFL and reminds me a little bit of George Kittle when he was entering the league.

Knox is still pretty raw as a player, but moldable and he has the upside to be one of the best tight ends in this entire draft class. He could probably compete to be the Dallas Cowboys TE1 as a rookie, but it might be better for him to be in a timeshare of sorts while he develops his God-given talent. Nevertheless, I have a hard time seeing him making it out of Day 2 of the draft, especially after he puts on a show at the NFL Scouting Combine. His talent might be too much for the Cowboys to pass up.



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NFL Draft

Could Cowboys Take Another 2nd Round Risk On DT Jeffery Simmons?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Could Cowboys Take Another 2nd Round Risk On DT Jeffery Simmons?

The Dallas Cowboys have taken a few risks when on the clock in the second round of the NFL Draft in recent years. Randy Gregory and Jaylon Smith, both important starters on defense, were drafted to the Cowboys after they went down on many teams' draft boards. In 2019, they'll have the opportunity to take yet another risk. Recently, one of the best defensive tackles in this year's class, Jeffery Simmons, suffered a torn ACL while going through a drill during his workout in Florida.

Simmons took to Twitter to share the unfortunate news that will drastically affect his draft stock only a couple of months before the Draft.

Jeffery Simmons on Twitter

Jeffery Simmons on Twitter

https://t.co/0NAzPv0bvY

Before the injury, Jeffery Simmons was seen as a top draft prospect. Some even envisioned him being drafted in the top 10. As a 21-year old defensive tackle from Mississippi State, Simmons had an impressive career during his time in college football. In three seasons he managed to rack up 157 tackles and seven sacks.

If one thing is clear it's that the Mississippi State product will be an impact player when he gets on the field on Sundays. His quick reaction on the get-off will still interest a lot of teams despite his injury. A sound defender on the running and passing game, he'll pay big dividends for whichever team decides to pull the trigger on him come April.

Due to their recent second round draft history, I can't help but wonder if the Dallas Cowboys will consider him when they're on the clock in the second round. This year though, there will be a big difference. Pick #58 will be the first time the Cowboys will be on the clock in this year's draft after trading away their first rounder for Amari Cooper last year.

It will be tough for them to wait until the third round to pick a player they could actually put on the field for the 2019 season. Specially considering the fact that they're a football team with title aspirations this year. Despite their history and the fact that Simmons will be one hell of a pro, I believe the team will not want to make such a pick in the second without a first round selection.

The team has a big need at DT, although Antwaun Woods and Maliek Collins were very serviceable in 2018. We'll see how tempted they are if Jeffery Simmons is still on the board when they're on the clock.

Tell me what you think about "Could Cowboys Take Another 2nd Round Risk On DT Jeffery Simmons?" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL 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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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft: Film Notes on Maryland Safety Darnell Savage Jr.

John Williams

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Cowboys Draft: Film Notes on Maryland Safety Darnell Savage Jr.

The Dallas Cowboys defense was one of the better units throughout the season, but it wasn't without its flaws. An area where they struggled was in creating turnovers and at times against the run. As good as they were in 2018, they have positions where they can use upgrades; defensive tackle and safety. Xavier Woods showed a lot of promise in his second season with the Dallas Cowboys and should continue to be a prominent player moving forward, but Jeff Heath's full-time role may have run its course. Today we're going to look at Darnell Savage Jr, safety from Maryland.

Per College Football Reference, Darnell Savage Jr. stands at 5-11 and weighs in right at 200 pounds. In his last three years at Maryland he played in 35 games. He averaged 56.67 tackles, 2.67 interceptions (3.5 per season over his last two seasons and four in his senior season), and three tackles for loss over his final three seasons. He had eight pass deflections as a junior and two more as a senior.

Savage could be a player that's in play for the Dallas Cowboys at number 58 of the second round.

I watched the Texas and Temple Games from 2018.

Darnell Savage Jr. Film Notes

  • Maryland lined him up in two-deep cover two looks a lot and dropped him into different coverages. From his two-deep alignment, he would move into cover-3, cover-4, and man coverages.
  • Temple or Texas looked to avoid him as part of their game plans. The one time the either Texas or Temple through his way, he came down from his 2-deep look into man coverage and jumped a five yard out route and intercepted the pass, taking it to the end zone for a touchdown.
  • He's excellent in diagnosing bubbles screens and swing passes. On several occasions he met the ball carrier five yards behind the line of scrimmage and dropped him for a loss.
  • Savage wraps up in the open field against. Once he diagnoses the play, he gets moving toward the ball in a flash.
  • Willing to take on bigger blockers and receivers with the ball in their hands. Stymied the 6-4 225 pound Lil' Jordan Humphrey from Texas on a bubble screen after Humphrey had broken one tackle. Savage wrapped him up and brought him to the ground.
  • Temple attempted to run a reverse after the hand off and Savage came all the way from across the field to meet the runner for a six yard loss.
  • Plays with excellent speed and aggressiveness when he sees the play. Sometimes Savage gets caught watching the action on his side of the field and doesn't recognize what is happening in the middle or opposite side of the field.
  • Several times on the read-option, it appeared that he didn't recognize that the QB had given the ball away. It could be that he was schemed to take the quarterback, but one time the runner went against the grain to Savage's side of the field and he was unable to get to him before he scored a short touchdown.
  • Maryland had Savage cover tight ends and wide receivers and again, Temple and Texas didn't throw his way much at all.
  • Again, in a two-deep safety look came up from 10 yards deep to make a play on a toss to the running back and tackled him for a four yard loss. It's dangerous to run things to the perimeter with this guy. If he gets to the line of scrimmage unblocked, he's bringing you down.
  • When blocked on runs to the perimeter, he does a good job of stringing the play to the outside. Savage works his blocker and doesn't give up on the play. He fights to get unblocked in order to make a play.
  • When a team runs play action or hands the ball off out of shotgun or pistol formations, Savage is slower to react and diagnose the play. He'll need to get quicker in processing what's happening there at the next level.
  • One of the more impressive plays I saw him make was on a trick play. Temple attempted to run a wide receiver pass to the outside. Everyone bought the wide receiver reverse and even Savage did too, but was able to use his quickness and speed to make up five yards of separation that the Temple receiver had on him to be in good coverage. The Temple receiver wasn't able to come down with the catch and Savage's coverage affected that.

Summary

Darnell Savage Jr. doesn't have a ton of height, but he's an explosive player who can play down in the box and in two deep looks for the Cowboys. He's a guy that would pair well with Xavier Woods as you could use those two interchangeably depending on the matchup you face week-to-week. He's an aggressive player who uses his speed to get into the play and cause disruption. Savage could be around for the Dallas Cowboys at 58 and if they don't sign one of the big name free agent safeties, should be the selection. If he isn't a day one starter, he'd be starting by the end of the season.



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