All in all, I'm pleased with the team's draft; but, of course, I would have done things differently (anybody would). Here, I will compare my draft with the actual results and comment on the respective players.
I would have also traded with San Francisco for the 31st and 74th selections. The value of a 3rd round pick in this draft makes the move valuable regardless of whichever chart one would like to use to show value. So, I'll stick with the same draft slots rather than dealing with the slot 18 what-ifs. Every pick I would change is only changed with a player who was still available in the actual draft. I made one exception in allowing Frederick to drop to pick 80, because (based on how the draft played out) it seems fair to place him there. I love the Frederick pick and the decision to take him in the first, but there will always be second-guessing about how far he could have fallen. I really think the team's loss of Max Unger a few years ago inspired this "reach."
I would have chosen Kawann Short, because I think he is comparable to the other top tier DT's. I think the team could use a young DT to help Ratliff and co. now and to blossom in the long term. Short would have been a great choice for that purpose.
I've been on record that Hunt could be a much better prospect, with less risk than most see. He compares very favorably to Dion Jordan, Ziggy Ansah, Bjoern Werner, and Tank Carradine, but he's been brushed off as too raw or too old. I think he will dominate. He would have been the perfect piece to put behind Anthony Spencer this year, because he also has the versatility to move inside and could fully replace Spencer next year. In the meantime, the blocked-kicks would be extremely valuable, especially for the Cowboys and Jason Garrett, who love close games.
I just think Allen will probably be the better player. The players are similar, though, and there must be character or injury concerns with Allen that warrant the selection. I just think Allen's upside warrants any risk (but, obviously, I don't know all of the risk factors).
Pick 80: Travis Frederick C/G vs. J.J. Wilcox S
The other C/G's were taken at pick 107 (Brian Schwenke) and pick 113 (Barrett Jones) while the last of the big-name guards was taken at pick 72 (Brian Winters). It seems possible that Frederick would have lasted until pick 80. I like Frederick a lot, and the team was probably wise to pick him early to make sure they got him, but he likely could have fallen to this spot where I would have drafted him.
I think UCLA players are often underrated. I'm thinking of MJD and Alterraun Verner specifically. Franklin looks like the best all-around Back in this draft class to me. This is mainly a personal preference, but I think the fourth round was a valuable place to pick up Franklin.
Quessenberry has good athletic measureables and has high upside. Taking him, the Cowboys could have jettisoned Free with impunity.
Pick 185: Bacarri Rambo S vs. Devonte Holloman OLB
I think Rambo is the most natural safety in this draft. Obviously, his off-field concerns caused every team to pass on him for most of the draft. So, those concerns must be fairly significant. The Cowboys probably labeled Rambo as a WKG and ignored him. The Cowboys seem to think that DUI's are ok but that weed is horrible ;-). I think weed stinks and isn't worth the risk, but I couldn't care less if a young college student is caught using it. Hopefully, the Cowboys saw more than just weed as a problem, because I would hate for Rambo to become the player I think he'll become for the Redskins.
Losses without comparables: Gavin Escobar, B.W. Webb, and Devonte Holloman.
Gains without comparables; Kawann Short, Margus Hunt, and David Quessenberry
I have wanted a smart, bearded center since the days of Andre Gurode, who was actually good. But Gurode was certainly helped by Kosier. I'm really interested in how smart Romo could look if he has a center who compares to Jeff Saturday. Maybe my intuition is wrong, but I'd love to see it played out and to be proved right.
The team has been dismal in the red-zone for years now. Gavin Escobar makes catching look easy, and it looks like he loves catching touchdown passes over short guys' heads. Escobar's presence may help the red zone run game, too, if he forces opponents into coverage rather than run-stop looks.
Terrance Williams looks pro-ready and will be a great backup with or without injury to Dez or Miles. Williams reminds me a bit of a less athletic TO, without the drama. I would take %70 of TO's production with %100 less drama any day.
J.J. Wilcox reminds me alot of Brian Dawkins. Even though I've always been a Cowboys fan, Dawkins was my favorite player. How could you not love such an emotional, intense, inspiring, productive player? Wilcox has the same build - though, he will have to buff up or wear Ultimate Warrior style arm-bands to have Dawkins's imposing arms - as Dawkins, tall but stocky, in the mold of a RB. Plus, Wilcox shows his emotions in his play (as well as during his call from Jerry Jones). This is a guy who will lead through passionate play. It's exciting. I've hankered for a Dawkins-type player for the Cowboys for years, and this guy snuck up on us to, hopefully, fill the void. Wonderful.
B.W. Webb has great quickness. I think the team needs a good backup for Scandrick who could also fill in for Carr or Claiborne, and Webb played all over the field and has ideal quickness for the slot. I think the team will try to make Webb the kick returner, but I don't see him as any better than Harris. I would love for him to prove me wrong though.
Joseph Randle will be a fine 2nd RB who could surprise if he actually is faster than his 40 time suggests. I don't have any qualms about Randle; I just think Franklin is the better Back.
Devonte Holloman will have to have a good camp to even make the team. If he can play faster than his 40 time, though, he will be a valuable project player. I think McSurdy's days are numbered because of his lack of speed. So, Holloman will likely be competing with Sims and Albright in the pecking order.
I decided to create this post, because I think it does a fine job of illustrating how well the team drafted. Each pick has a good chance of making the team better. I think the overall talent is better in the players I would have selected, but I am not privy to the knowledge that the team has. I don't know all of the problems with Keenan Allen or Bacarri Rambo; all I know is that they appear to be good football players. The team had to analyze risk in a way that forced them to look at more than on-field play though.
There's little doubt that this draft increased the chances of the Cowboys becoming a better team. While one could quibble (and I do), every player drafted fits a particular piece of the Cowboy puzzle, and there's a lot to be excited about. And that's all we can really ask for.