Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: 22 First Round Grades On Cowboys Draft Board?

Ronald Martinez

Latest Cowboys headlines: The Cowboys will end up with between 19 and 22 first round grades this year; Don't laugh: the Cowboys could surprise many pundits and draft a tight end; Cowboys in play for a one-technique in the first round?

First Round Draft Grades; Trading Up & Down - Bryan Broaddus, DMN
Broaddus believes the Cowboys will end up with between 19 and 22 first round grades this year, with those numbers contingent on how they grade receivers, QBs and defensive linemen. Broaddus also runs through a couple of trade-up and trade-down scenarios.

Five Wonders: All in play for NFL draft - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer thows out more analysis in one article than you're likely to read on some sites in an entire week. Archer looks at how Melton impacts the chances of drafting Donald; whether the Cowboys could draft a QB; whether Gavin Escobar could be the third receiver the Cowboys are looking for; why the Cowboys could surprise many pundits and draft a tight end; and how Martez Wilson may be a darkhorse candidate as a situational pass-rusher.

Possible Pick: FSU DT Jernigan A Stout Inside Presence - Rowan Kavner, DallasCowboys.com
There seems to be a consensus among Cowboys fans that the Cowboys will not draft Jernigan in the first round because he projects as a one technique. As far as I can tell, the only source for this line of thought is Bryan Broaddus, who reiterates his point in this article:

After what we saw with Shariff Floyd last draft, I’m not sure that they would take a one technique in the first round, but Jernigan sure deserves that consideration at 16 if in fact they do.

Broaddus seems to imply that the Cowboys did not take Floyd because he is a one-technique. But there may easily have been other reasons for that decision which do not preclude the Cowboys taking Jernigan. Or another one-technique for that matter.

2014 NFL Draft position breakdown: Defensive line prospects limited - CBSSports.com
Pat Kirwan says teams who want impact defensive linemen in the 2014 NFL Draft better grab them quickly because the pool empties quickly after Jadeveon Clowney, Aaron Donald and Louis Nix.

Checking in on Dallas Cowboys' free agents - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer runs down a list of eight Cowboys free agents who are still available. Most of them are unlikely to return to Dallas, though Anthony Spencer could be an option depending on how his rehab progresses.

Take a peek at Cowboys' HQ plans; check out Cowboys Alley here | DMN
The DMN has a video up that provides a brief glimpse of what the new Cowboys training facility will look like. Tentatively dubbed "Cowboys Alley", the development features retail outlets, restaurants, video screens and places for pedestrians to gather. Rumor has it there's a training facility hidden away somewhere in the 91-acre site.

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Mike Mayock's updated position rankings for 2014 NFL Draft - NFL.com
Mike Mayock updated his prospect rankings for the 2014 NFL Draft, which features Johnny Manziel supplanting Teddy Bridgewater as the new top-rated quarterback, but no changes at DT, DE and LB.

Looking back at 2009, one of the NFL's most disastrous offseasons - CBSSports.com
It's hard to look back at the 2009 NFL season and find many positives. A lockout was on the horizon, numerous misses in the draft class and the majority of new coaching and general manager hires fizzled. Misery loves company, so if you're still miserable about 2009, read this article from Jason La Confora. You won't feel better about the Cowboys (who notably are only mentioned once as a side note in the article), but you'll feel a lot better about the misery 2009 brought to some other teams.

Scouting Term Quiz - NFL.com
Do you have a Scout's Eye? Take this quick scouting quiz and find out.

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Is ESPN’s QBR the best measure of quarterback play? — Chase Stuart, FootballPerspective.com
If you have nothing but scorn and derision for ESPN's QBR stat, you're in good company. Or rather, you used to be in good company. One of the key reasons many statistically inclined observers initially dismissed QBR outright was the inclusion of a "clutch factor." That factor has since been removed, and Chase Stuart takes the new QBR stat on a test drive and comes away impressed with QBR's correlation with wins. Good read.

The Contract Year Phenomenon Revisited - Football Outsiders
Oft discussed but seldom analyzed with the necessary rigor, the contract year performance boost is the stuff of urban legends, about which Ben Singer, after much analysis, concludes:

Ultimately, it still doesn’t seem like there is evidence to support the notion that the contract year phenomenon exists in the NFL. But for teams looking to sign another team’s free agents, there is some evidence to suggest that they should not expect them to match or exceed their contract-year performance in their first year with their new teams.

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Jason Pierre-Paul vows return to dominance in 2014 - Big Blue View
Three seasons removed from a 16.5 sack season in 2011, Jason Pierre-Paul says he's ready to return to his All Pro form in 2014. Isn't that a little bit like still hoping Gun N' Roses will finally release another album like Use Your Illusion I&II after you've wasted money on The Spaghetti Incident and Chinese Democracy?

Exclusive: NFL Free Agent WR DeSean Jackson Gang Video - Gang Green Nation
This is a good one, even on April 2nd: Exclusive video evidence of WR DeSean Jackson's gang activity.

DeSean Jackson Debate Rages On As Wide Receiver Considers Options - Hogs Haven
600 comments and counting. Not quite as emotionally satisfying as the DeSean Jackson threads on BGN, but still funny.

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Scheduled Visits: LB Ryan Shazier out of Ohio State is scheduled for a pre-draft visit with the Cowboys. Shazier is currently ranked 29th on the CBSSports big board, and will be a prize catch for any team drafting him. Here's how Shazier's college production over the last two years matches up with Khalil Mack's:

CBS Rank Player POS Games Tkl TFL QBH PBU Sack FF INT
6 Mack, Khalil OLB 24 194 39.0 10 9 18.5 9 3
29 Shazier, Ryan OLB 26 258 40.5 9 15 12.0 7 1
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