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NFL Draft

Will The Dallas Cowboys Draft A Wide Receiver Early?

Brian Martin

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NFL Draft - Will the Dallas Cowboys Draft a Wide Receiver Early?

The Dallas Cowboys’ lack of play-making wide receivers was evident last season and probably had something to do with them finishing with a 4-12 record.

When Dez Bryant went down with a foot injury the receivers struggled during his absence. Despite never being quite 100%, it was more of the same even when he returned to the lineup.

Dallas even felt the need to try and add depth to the position by making a trade with the Oakland Raiders for wide receiver Brice Butler. Although Butler showed flashes of his talent, he too struggled with injuries, thus complicating things even further.

Bryant is a competitor and may have returned a little too quickly from his injury, so the blame for the lack of production from the rest of the receivers can’t really be placed on him. The remaining Cowboys receivers were unable to step up when it was their time to shine and the entire offense suffered because of this.

Many of you will say that the entire carousel of backup quarterback’s didn’t really do anything to help the receivers either, but with Bryant not at 100% there really wasn’t another receiver that struck any kind of fear in the opponent’s defense.

That is why I believe that it is a high possibility that they draft a wide receiver in one of the first two rounds of the 2016 NFL Draft.

It appears as if I’m not the only one that believes in this possibility.

“If I am looking at it positionally, the offensive line is just fine. Tight end will be solid. Would like a running back, because you can find one later in the draft. The one area that needs to be addressed is WR,” said Babe Laufenberg during a chat on The Dallas Morning News’ website earlier this week. “The position held them hostage last year. A lot of blame was laid at the feet of the backup quarterback, but the field really closed in when Dez went out. So what happens if he is out again? Have to have a viable contingency plan.”
~ Babe Laufenberg

Babe Laufenberg definitely has a better understanding of where the Cowboys brass stands on this topic, especially more than any of us will ever know. He has access to information from sources inside the organization, so his opinion could very well be based off of valuable information he’s heard from within Valley Ranch.

So, if the Cowboys are indeed leaning towards drafting a receiver in the early rounds, who would they be interested in?

Well, the Cowboys seem to be mostly interested in wide receivers that fit into a certain criteria. If you look at the receivers on the current roster you will notice a trend. With the exceptions of Cole Beasley and Lucky Whitehead, every other receiver that is currently on the roster is at least 6’2″ and approximately 220 pounds.

If the Cowboys stick to this criteria it helps considerably when determining which wide receivers they would be interested in selecting in the first couple of rounds.

Laquon Treadwell (6’2″, 221), Josh Doctson (6’2″, 202), and Michael Thomas (6’3″, 212) are really the only receivers that fit into the Cowboys criteria and the most likely to be drafted in round one or two.

In fact, the Cowboys coaching staff should already be fairly familiar with all three of these draft prospects.

Treadwell recently ran routes for the Cowboys coaching staff last Tuesday and I’m sure there will be a league of coaches/scouts attending his pro day. Just about everyone is interested in finding out what his 40-yard-dash time will be since he decided to skip the event at the NFL Scouting Combine.

The Cowboys should know just about everything they need to know about Josh Doctson since he’s played his college ball just down the road at TCU. Doctson could possibly be the prospect that they are the most familiar with and because of that familiarity he could be the player they are the most comfortable drafting.

Ohio State recently had their pro day and the Cowboys had several members of the coaching staff on hand to get a firsthand look at their prospects, including wide receiver Michael Thomas. It is rumored that the coaching staff put several of the players through individual workouts so it will be interesting to see if Thomas is indeed on their radar.

Personally, any one of these three wide receivers would be an immediate upgrade to the position and would also provide valuable insurance in case Dez Bryant has to miss any time for some reason.

Laquon Treadwell is my personal favorite, but only by a slight margin.

I really like Treadwell’s passion for the game and how he takes pride in blocking down the field. He is just a smooth receiver that is a natural hands catcher. He can go up and snatch the ball out of the air at the highest point, which allows him to win in jump ball situations. I’ve heard him compared to Dez Bryant and I think that would be a fair comparison.

Who do you think would be best suited to join the Cowboys if they decided to go that direction with one of their first two draft picks?

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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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7 Comments
  • Jess Haynie

    I wrote about the merits of consider a WR with the #4 pick in early February: https://insidethestar.com/wide-receiver-at-4-pick-making-sense-to-me/ Still think it's a perfectly valid idea. Don't think it will happen but a WR in Round 2 is very possible given the reasons you discussed.

    • Brian Martin

      Ideally, I would love to see Josh Doctson at #34, but I doubt he makes it out of the first round.

  • Jess Haynie

    I wrote about the merits of consider a WR with the #4 pick in early February: https://insidethestar.com/wide-receiver-at-4-pick-making-sense-to-me/ Still think it's a perfectly valid idea. Don't think it will happen but a WR in Round 2 is very possible given the reasons you discussed.

  • http://PigskinHub.com Zac Fields

    Back when it was looking like LaQuan Treadwell was a legitimate, bonafide top 10 pick, I was totally cool with Treadwell at #4.

    I don't think it's rational to be high on our receiving corp in general. Injury or no injury, Dez Bryant had an awful year in 2015. It was a problem both that nobody else stepped up when Dez was out, and then I maintain it's still concerning that Dez himself was struggling in ways (ie: dropping passes) that his ankle injury should not have had a major impact on.

    To me, when you put two and two together and look at things objectively, you'd think they would be happy to consider a receiver in the top 3 rounds.

    • Brian Martin

      I believe they will turn over every rock to try to upgrade the position at some point in the draft. Dez was never quite himself both mentally and physically. I think missing the off-season workouts had an effect on him and then getting injured early on in the season didn't help either. I think more than anybody Dez benefits from off-season practices, so that he can carry that into the season.

  • Kevin Black

    With Treadwell's poor Pro Day showing, does he drop from the number one receiver in this class? A 4.6+ 40 yard dash is extremely poor, so you'd expect him to win with contested balls, but a 33.5 inch vertical? Orlando Scandrick can out jump him for balls. His Pro Day was so bad, he might be available at 34 for Dallas. Josh Doctson will probably be a 1st round pick because of this and I think he was a serious target for Dallas in the 2nd round.

  • http://PigskinHub.com Zac Fields
    InsideTheStar.com User

    With Treadwell's poor Pro Day showing, does he drop from the number one receiver in this class?

    I don't know if his poor pro day will drop him all the way to the 2nd round but if it does, I wonder if we're even interested then?

    I was telling @Jess Haynie earlier that maybe this guy becomes a great possession receiver, but is that even really a thing anymore? It seems like your possession receivers are now usually your tight ends. I don't really hear that term used often anymore. It seems like you want your wide receivers to be fast with good verticals these days.

    I know people want to minimize the significance of the 40 time, but like you said, 4.65 is really slow for a receiver. Excessively slow. It makes me wonder if he's going to have much success at the next level, honestly.

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

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

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

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

…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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NFL Draft

The Dallas Cowboys Will Have More Than Enough Trade Ammunition

Mauricio Rodriguez

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The Dallas Cowboys Will Have More Than Enough Trade Ammunition
James D. Smith / Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys football team has a lot of needs on both sides of the ball. Sure, that’s pretty sad to say as a die-hard Cowboys fan, but it should make for a very interesting offseason. This front office needs to find a way to add talent in the draft, and probably in free agency as well, all while finding ways to keep Anthony Hitchens, DeMarcus Lawrence and David Irving, and extending Zack Martin.

Maybe they’re not able to achieve everything, but as long as they don’t lose all of these guys, they should be fine. We may even see a surprising release or trade. It sure would be interesting to see this team release Dez Bryant, for example.

Last year, Dallas lost Barry Church, Morris Claiborne, Brandon Carr and Ronald Leary… among others. But what do these four guys have in common? They all resulted in compensatory picks for the Dallas Cowboys’ 2018 NFL Draft.

Cowboys Nation on Twitter

Including the expected Compensatory Picks that the Cowboys will receive for their Free Agents that signed with other teams in 2017, the Cowboys should have the following picks in the 2018 Draft:

The Cowboys got two additional fourths and two fifths. After trading up to get Xavier Woods in 2017, Dallas had no original fifth rounders for this year’s draft.

This is a front office that avoids making “big splashes” in free agency and in the draft lately, but I wonder if they’ll at least explore trading possibilities this time.

With three fourth-round picks and two fifths, they should have more than enough ammunition.

Will McClay Discusses 2016 Cowboys Draft Class, Looks Ahead to 2017

Dallas Cowboys VP Stephen Jones, Will McClay

This team has done a nice job in the last few drafts, and with Will McClay staying for at least one more year, they might as well try to get everything they can out of their draft picks. After all, Dak Prescott himself was a fourth-round compensatory pick.

Even still, I would like to see this team do something out of the ordinary.

Whether it’s trading up to get a well-fitting player who might otherwise go before their pick, or if it’s to get another team’s player, it would be interesting to see this front office pull the trigger on an interesting trade.

Sometimes it’s surprising what NFL teams can get with late round picks.

The Buffalo Bills traded away Marcell Dareus for only a sixth-round pick less than a year ago. I mean, how would you have felt if Dallas had gotten Dareus for just a sixth rounder? I would’ve been completely fine with it, to be honest.

The Cowboys have enough ammunition to consider pulling a trade-off in free agency or the NFL Draft.

We may not like the coaching, but in the past few years, this front office has done a good job when it comes to team-building.

We were all frightened when we saw the defensive players that were leaving in the secondary, and a season later, the young defensive backs are one of the reasons why we’re very optimistic about this team’s future.

So if they decide to keep their picks to themselves, I’d say it’ll be worth it, too.

After a sad season, at least we have an intriguing offseason ahead of us to keep us entertained.

Tell me what you think about “The Dallas Cowboys Will Have More Than Enough Trade Ammunition” in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 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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