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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?



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.

Dallas Cowboys

Have the Dallas Cowboys Overcome Their 2nd-Round Curse?

Brian Martin

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Have the Dallas Cowboys Overcome Their 2nd-Round Curse?

You may not be aware or maybe you've simply forgotten, but the Dallas Cowboys have struggled drafting players in the 2nd-round who can come in and contribute. Typically players drafted this highly are not only immediate contributors as a rookie, but are cornerstone players for years to come. That hasn't been the case for the Cowboys.

I don't know where you stand, but I was beginning to think the Dallas Cowboys were cursed with their 2nd-round draft picks. I know this was an area where they would gamble on players for some reason or another, but unfortunately it never really paid off. Hopefully, things are changing for the better.

Let's take a look back at past drafts to see what I'm talking about.

Past 2nd-Round Draft Picks Dating Back to 2006:

2018 Connor Williams
2017 Chidobe Awuzie
2016 Jaylon Smith
2015 Randy Gregory
2014 DeMarcus Lawrence
2013 Gavin Escobar
2012 (no selection) used to trade for Morris Claiborne
2011 Bruce Carter
2010 Sean Lee
2009 (no selection) traded out of 2nd-round
2008 Martellus Bennett
2007 (no selection) used to trade back into 1st for Anthony Spencer
2006 Anthony Fasano

You may be wondering why I decided to start all the way back in 2006. Well, I believe that's when the 2nd-round draft picks curse started for the Dallas Cowboys.

Anthony Fasano ended up having a solid career in the NFL, but he never lived up to his draft status as a former 2nd-round draft pick. The same can be said for Martellus Bennett, Gavin Escobar, and Bruce Carter. Shed a tear for them if you want, but I'd put them in the "bust" category.

Sean Lee

Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee

The sad truth is, Sean Lee is the only 2nd-round draft pick on this list to ever see a second contract with the Dallas Cowboys. Although, I guess you can include DeMarcus Lawrence since he will be playing under the franchise tag in 2018. But, that's still not a very good hit percentage in the 2nd-round for more than a decade. Luckily, it looks as if things are changing.

DeMarcus Lawrence might end up being another "hit" for the Cowboys. It may have taken him four years to reach his potential, but there's no denying how dominant he was last season. If he can maintain that dominance this season, he could be looking at a big payday from the Cowboys.

The Dallas Cowboys took a risk on the next two players they drafted after D-Law. They knew Randy Gregory had his off the field issues, but were willing to take a chance on his talent in the 2nd-round. That has yet to pay off, but Gregory has a chance to rebound now that it looks as if he has his life back in order.

Jaylon Smith

Dallas Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith

The Cowboys took another risk in the following draft when they drafted Jaylon Smith. No one knew if he would ever be able to play again after the devastating knee injury he sustained in his final collegiate game, but it's looking as if he could make a full recovery and return to his pre-injury form. Year 3 will be big for him, but he could end up being an absolute steal.

Fortunately, the Cowboys 2017 and 2018 2nd-round draft picks (Chidobe Awuzie and Connor Williams) look to be cornerstone players for years to come. That's what you're looking for in players drafted this highly.

I say all of this because it's really looking like the Dallas Cowboys have finally broken their 2nd-round curse. Maybe it's a change in draft philosophy or maybe it's because Will McClay's voice carries more weight in the draft room, but it's definitely good news for the future of the franchise. Hopefully it continues.

Do you think the Dallas Cowboys 2nd-round curse has ended?



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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft Class: How Many Will Be Starters In 2018?

Kevin Brady

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2018 NFL Combine: 3 LBs Who Impressed
Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys have been showered with praise by most national NFL media outlets for their 2018 NFL Draft class. NFL.com graded the Cowboys as having the 2nd best class in the league, and most other analysts have agreed that the team had a strong showing.

But now, of course, it's time to see what these new players will actually do on the field. Some are hoping the team found 3-5 new starters for the 2018 roster, but history would suggest that is pretty rare.

Dallas' 2016 draft class has been lauded as one of the best in the last decade, especially considering they look to have found their franchise quarterback in round four. That strong class only features four full-time starters heading into 2018, but we have to wonder if that's the outlier and not the norm.

Still, as we look back and examine this 2018 draft class it really appears they have found three day one starters in the first three rounds.

First round pick Leighton Vander Esch is expected to be the starting MIKE linebacker this season, with former second round selection Jaylon Smith moving to SAM. Vander Esch wasn't my favorite option at 19, but he is certainly starter-worthy in this Cowboys LB corps.

On day two the Cowboys added OL Connor Williams and WR Michael Gallup, two of my personal favorite picks of their entire class. Williams should be the starting LG week 1 of the season, and Michael Gallup may overtake Allen Hurns as the most productive WR on the roster by year's end.

Cowboys Land Small School WR In Latest PFF Mock Draft

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 1: DUPLICATE***Colorado State Rams wide receiver Michael Gallup (4) picks up a few yards after catch as Colorado Buffaloes defensive back Isaiah Oliver (26) comes in for the tackle during the first quarter on September 1, 2017 in Denver, Colorado at Sports Authority Field. (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post)

What about the rest of the class?

Dorance Armstrong will probably have too much competition to start at defensive end this season, but he should be an interesting rotational pass rusher. TE Dalton Schultz has the chance to surprise some people, but overtaking Geoff Swaim as the "starter" would be unexpected.

After that, the player with the best chance to make the team and contribute early on might be Boise State WR Cedrick Wilson. Wilson was a late day-two, early day-three pick to me so snagging him in the sixth round should provide incredible value to this roster. That wide out room is getting very crowded, though, so Wilson has his work cut out for him heading into camp.

How many of the Cowboys' 2018 draft picks will be starters in 2018? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.



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NFL Draft

Did the Dallas Cowboys Find 4 Starters in the 2018 NFL Draft?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Did the Dallas Cowboys Find 4 Starters in the 2018 NFL Draft?

One of the many winners of the 2018 NFL Draft were, without a doubt, the Dallas Cowboys. Not only did they addressed some of the team's most pressing needs, but they managed to draft very talented, capable players beyond the first round.

Cowboys Nation had to feel better about the rookie class the front office walked away with, specially after the second day of the Draft. Just like last year, they managed to find steals in the second and third rounds. In 2017, they did so with Cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis. Now, they stayed put at their original picks and walked away with OL Connor Williams and WR Michael Gallup.

But first things first. In the eyes of many, Leighton Vander Esch wasn't worth the 19th overall pick. While I do agree that Vander Esch was a questionable selection, the Cowboys fixed arguably their most concerning position of all. As much as it pains to admit it, Sean Lee has yet to play an entire NFL season and Jaylon Smith was pretty much the only other capable starter on the roster.

Cowboys en Español: Dallas Selecciona a Vander Esch, ¿Quién Sigue?

Although Vander Esch needs to develop a ton before reaching his full potential. he's a week 1 starter and an early contributor for this defense. Whether it felt like a "reach" or not, the Cowboys took a starter in the Boise State linebacker.

Later, the Cowboys managed to add an arguably first-round talent with pick #50 to plug-and-play along the offensive line. Texas OL Connor Williams was also seen as a tackle prospect, but he'll likely start at guard for Dallas as a rookie.

Since Ron Leary left for Denver, the left guard spot hasn't been as stable. Jonathan Cooper did a decent job filling that spot, but with Williams taking his place, the Cowboys dominance in the trenches will finally return. Playing next to All-Pros Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick, Connor Williams might become the best rookie in this class for the Cowboys.

One can't simply say the team found a "replacement" for Dez Bryant since he's a special player and with a very specific skill set, but Michael Gallup from Colorado State has the potential to become the team's WR1 pretty soon.

In the team's effort to build a Dak-friendly offense, Gallup is a crafty and smooth route-runner who has what it takes to play in any spot of the offense. His skill-set will allow him to play anywhere on the field and become Dak's favorite target in a year in which Jason Witten and Dez Bryant will no longer be lining up on his squad.

Taken in the first three rounds, Vander Esch, Williams and Gallup will be unquestionable starters. The question, however, is who else could become a starter for the Cowboys? Who could line up and start in week 1?

Dallas Cowboys Add Depth on Day 3, Building Future with Young Starters 1

Even though it definitely isn't as certain as the other three rookies, I'm betting on Dalton Schultz to be a more important starter than we imagine. Listen, maybe it's not an ideal scenario to have the TE from Stanford start in week 1, but it could be necessary.

The Rico Gathers Adventure might just be over before it starts and Geoff Swaim and Blake Jarwin may not be anything special. In college, Schultz was pretty good at run blocking. In the Cowboys' offense, led by one of the best running backs in the league, Ezekiel Elliott, Schultz may be able to find success earlier than expected.

Besides, he has what it takes to catch passes in the NFL and although he certainly won't be the flashiest, he could be enough to give Dak Prescott a reliable tight end.

Dalton Schultz could be the surprise of this Draft for Dallas. He'll probably become a starter at some point in the season and for a fourth-round pick, that's a very good thing to say.

For a front office that's constantly bashed by Cowboys Nation, their job at this year's NFL Draft was a pretty good one. Now it's just a matter of time to find out which picks were as good as we originally thought.

Tell me what you think about "Did the Dallas Cowboys Find 4 Starters in the 2018 NFL Draft?" 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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