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NFL Draft

Who Could the Dallas Cowboys Find if They Trade Down?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Who Could the Dallas Cowboys Find if They Trade Down?

As the NFL Draft gets closer and closer, fans around the world start thinking long and hard about the prospects who could potentially interest their favorite team and whether or not they'll be available when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell states they're on the clock.

When teams have one of the top selections, the anticipation is very fun. The Dallas Cowboys held the fourth overall pick in 2016 and everyone was super excited to see who Dallas ended up with. Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott, Jalen Ramsey and even Jared Goff were in the Cowboys Nation discussion.

Holding the 19th overall pick, though... is different.

At times it's stressing to think how likely it is to see a wiped-out board with players who'd qualify as a reach on that spot. It's an awkward place to draft, especially in a Draft class that's very thin at different positions.

So naturally, it's time to talk about the possibility of seeing a trade. Last week I wrote about whether or not the Cowboys should seriously considering trading up. My fellow writer Kevin Brady wrote about a very interesting trade scenario just a few days ago.

Today, let's dive in to which players could the Dallas Cowboys target if they decide to trade down from 19.

Dallas Cowboys Know G Will Hernandez Well, Even Without Formal Pre-Draft Visit 1

In the Trenches: Isaiah Wynn and Will Hernandez

The Cowboys need help at their offensive line. Despite counting with three All-Pros in Zack Martin, Travis Frederick and Tyron Smith plus a talented La'el Collins, help is needed in the interior. Personally, I was pretty disappointed by the front office letting Jonathan Cooper walk, for I'd dare say he did a decent job when he took over Chaz Green's spot as the starting left guard.

In February, I wrote about why the Cowboys shouldn't draft a guard at 19. However, now that the first waves of free agents have come and gone, it feels more like a need now than it did a couple of months ago.

Both of these guards could be long gone before the Joneses are on the clock, but they also could be available past their pick. Listen, as much as we hate to admit it, the truth is there actually exists a positional value in this league. Guard is a position that's rarely taken in the first round of the Draft.

If the Cowboys look to trade down, their priority should be landing either Georgia's Isaiah Wynn or UTEP's Will Hernandez to have the most dominant line in the NFL by far.

Linebacker Help: Leighton Vander Esch and Rashaan Evans

Many people are convinced when they say linebacker isn't a first round need for this football team. I beg to differ. I won't deny that Sean Lee is very talented and easily one of the best (if not the best) player on the roster. Neither do I forget the existence of Jaylon Smith, who's health is reportedly improving even more and should be ready to breakout in 2018.

Even though, the Cowboys lost Anthony Hitchens in free agency and we shouldn't overlook what he meant to this defense in 2017.

Although Lee and Smith could make for one of the best LB duos in the NFL, Dallas could find a little more certainty in the position by taking either of these linebackers.

Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds will be long gone, but Alabama's Evans and Boise State's Vander Esch could still be found if the Cowboys trade down a few spots.

 1

Another One: Wide Receivers...

The wide receiver room will be undoubtedly one of the most intriguing to watch once the season arrives. The Cowboys have many well-known names with a lot of talent there, yet a lot of uncertainty after a very disappointing season.

The Allen Hurns signing does calm down the team's need for a receiver, but after hearing about all the WR prospects the Cowboys are looking at, it may be too early to rule the position out of the first round.

Many could be available when the Cowboys are set to pick. Calvin Ridley should be gone by then, but fortunately, it's a deep WR class.

Maryland's D.J. Moore (who has become one of Cowboys Nation's favorites), SMU's Courtland Sutton, Texas A&M's Christian Kirk and even Oklahoma State's James Washington could all be in the Cowboys' sights.

Safety: Jessie Bates, Ronnie Harrison and Justin Reid

Safety is one of those team needs that seem to have been overlooked by many fans. Especially with talk of Byron Jones moving to CB, Dallas might be in a tough spot in their defensive backfield, and there's definitely reason for concern.

There were rumors surrounding a trade for Earl Thomas, mentions of Kenny Vaccaro as a potential signing, but nothing happened.

Now, the Cowboys could look for a safety in the first round of the Draft. The question is, which safety is worth the 19th overall pick? After Derwin James and Minkah Fitzpatrick, there doesn't seem to be a lot of value.

Ronnie Harrison, Jessie Bates and Justin Reid could be guys who interest Dallas, but it does seem like drafting any of them at their original spot will be a reach. If the front office is able to get some later picks by trading down a few spots, call it a win for the Cowboys.

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The funny thing, is that a lot of these players are guys who have been linked to the Cowboys at the 19th spot. A trade down might just be the way to go come Draft Day. Unless the draft pick compensation is strong though, they'll have to be very careful not to climb down a bit too much, because they could end up with no one worth drafting.

Tell me what you think about "Who Could the Dallas Cowboys Find if They Trade Down?" 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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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. EverybodyTalks

    April 7, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    I think the strength of this draft for the Cowboys is in rounds 2 through 4. I would like to see them move down in the first, maybe into the top of the 2nd, to acquire additional picks. On the back end, use the compensatory and late round picks to move up. Imagine 7 or 8 picks, spread between the 2nd and 4th round, verses 10 picks, spread over the seven rounds.

  2. Chuck Wright

    April 7, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    Could not agree more with trading down. . . add another 2nd round pick. . . .frankly I use a 2019 2nd or 3rd + something to trade into 2018 for another Top 100 player.

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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft Target: South Carolina WR Deebo Samuel

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Draft Target: South Carolina WR Deebo Samuel

Our search for a new pass catcher for the Cowboys in this years' draft class continues, this time with a wide receiver.

South Carolina's Deebo Samuel put himself on the map with a strong Sophomore season, but fell off a bit due to a severe leg injury early in 2017. After a strong 2018 campaign, and an impressive performance at the Senior Bowl, Samuel has played himself back into early Day Two draft discussions.

The Player

I don't know that anyone "won" Senior Bowl week more than Deebo Samuel did this January. Samuel, who had to deal with some poor quarterback play throughout his college career, didn't get much of a break in that department either at the Senior Bowl. But, he did show out every day at practice, and seemed to go viral on Twitter at least once a day.

During his actual collegiate season, Samuel finished with 882 yards and 11 touchdowns on 62 catches, solid production especially coming off an injury and playing in a limited offense. Initially in the NFL, Samuel is going to make his money in the slot. He's a shifty yet explosive receiver type than can quickly beat defenders with his speed. He's not the speedster than someone like Marquise Brown is, but he is explosive enough in his own right, especially in terms of short-area quickness.

Samuel isn't someone who will go up and grab the ball consistently, or even make up for inaccurate throws as often as some others might be able to. But he does have reliable hands, and his ability to get open quickly and create separation should give someone like Dak Prescott easy windows to find him in for completions.

What makes Deebo Samuel so fun for me to watch, though, is his ability after the catch. Despite his lack of size, Samuel is tough as nails, and rarely defers out of bounds or avoids contact. He's built well enough to withstand that contact as well, and when he gets free, he's hard to catch and bring down.

The Fit

Drafting Deebo Samuel 58th overall would be a heck of a haul for the Dallas Cowboys. In need of another playmaker in the passing game, the Cowboys could make immediate use of Samuel's talents in 2019, specifically as a slot receiver.

As has been mentioned ad nauseam, it seems unlikely that Cole Beasley will be returning to the team this season, which makes the need for a slot wide-out that much greater. Samuel has big play ability from the slot already, and has traits which project him to potentially work outside as well. If he tests well enough at the combine, reps on the outside could very well be in his future.

Samuel should be on every Cowboys fans' shortlist of draft targets in the second round this year.



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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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