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Cowboys News: Dissecting The Draft, And A Draftee Or Two

The post-mortem on the Dallas draft continues, with a lot of emphasis on Randy Gregory

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Jean-Jacques Taylor: Jerry Jones knows defense is the right call for the Dallas Cowboy - ESPN Dallas

Dallas still has some questions about who is going to carry the ball, but otherwise the offense is set. But the defense has many questions that must be answered. And the playoff run ended because the D could not get pressure on a gimpy Aaron Rodgers. The draft was a simple but inarguable testament to the dedication the team has to making sure that bit of history does not repeat itself.

It's clear Jerry and the Cowboys took measures to ensure that scenario never happens again. Really, all you need to know is for the first time in franchise history the Cowboys did not select a wide receiver, running back or quarterback in the draft.

Giddy Jerry Jones says draft was a continuation of a major overhaul on defense | Clarence Hill, The Star Telegram

Yep. Jerry was all about the D.

"Gosh when you look down through there, potential and everything is potential," Jones said. "But when you look at the positions and everything on the defense I couldn't have asked for more in this draft. We addressed some key positions. Weak side linebacker is a key position for us. Pressure player is a key position for us. And certainly in this particular place, corner was key. Put it all together this thing has been a major overhaul on defense."

Bob Sturm’s Cowboys draft review: Did Dallas replace the 4,500 snaps it lost? | Dallas Morning News

Sometimes you look at something that you have never seen before, and wonder why more people don't see it.. Sturm puts a different twist on things, looking at things through a completely different prism.

So, despite are attention at the very top of this list with Murray, the Cowboys took a wiser, global view of all 4500 of those snaps and asked when they came on the clock "how can we best chip into that?"  They also did not spend much time chipping into that number in free agency, with McFadden and Corey White as the only two to have significant work loads with Jasper Brinkley and Andrew Gachkar also part-timers.  They wanted to preserve their cap room for big moves (Greg Hardy, Dez Bryant, RB?) and also not mess up the chance at grabbing a handful of compensatory picks for the 2016 draft.

Identifying Specific Roles & Finding The Fit For Cowboys’ First Four Picks | Dallas Cowboys

The top four picks are the ones that teams need to get something out of - anything they find after those is pretty much gravy. As someone said during the draft, the Cowboys were taking all the linebackers.

Damien Wilson
4th round, LB, Minnesota

All of a sudden, the Cowboys are starting to have some depth at linebacker, and that's despite losing a pair of veterans in free agency. But Wilson has some ability to play the middle and weak-side, as well as the strong. The hard-hitting tackler should also fit right in on special teams, with his ability to run. The Cowboys have found themselves rather thin at the position in recent years, but that likely won't be the case now.

Charles Haley: Cowboys got a steal with Randy Gregory - NFL.com

The Hall of Famer who had a few issues of his own in the day brings up a good point about why the Cowboys may be such a good team for Randy Gregory.

"He's got an owner that's not only going to stand with him, but stand in front of him and take some of the blows," Haley said. "And Jerry (Jones) is not alone. He has a family of ex-players that love the Dallas Cowboys and are willing to come back and help."

Dallas Cowboys second-round pick Randy Gregory plans to add bulk - Todd Archer, ESPN

As far as on field things, one of the few knocks on Gregory is that he is a bit light for a defensive end, but he is working on that.

When Gregory arrives this week for the Cowboys' rookie minicamp, he will be put on a weight program that will be designed to add bulk.

"Me, I burn a lot of energy quick," Gregory said. "... One of the big things is learning more about my body. I learned how many calories I probably need to take to maintain and how many I need to gain weight."

Randy Gregory: Weed is not my problem, I’m immature and stubborn | Jon Machota, Dallas Morning News

Here is his own perception of his issues.

"That's something I've definitely been working on and something I can definitely fix," Gregory said. "I'm 22 years old but I think I carry myself real well and I think I need to carry myself a little bit better as far as decision making goes. I think a lot of people are getting tied up in the weed and think it's just a weed problem. I don't think it's a weed problem. I think it's decision making. I think I'm immature. I'm definitely working on that. I want to prove everyone wrong and I want to do it with this team. I think this is the best team I can do that with."

Sherrington: Ease up on accusing Randy Gregory of having poor character | Dallas Morning News

This is a bit overwrought, but it is somewhat refreshing to see a member of the media protest at the quickness with which Gregory is being written off by many.

Until Gregory is accused of choking a woman or running drugs or leaving 10 percent tips, let's ease up on the "character" accusations, for starters, especially from certain members of the media.

For the record: Probably just my Baptist upbringing, but I've never so much as passed a joint, much less taken a hit from one. Never been drunk, for that matter. Still, I have a hard time distinguishing someone toking a little weed from a guy getting lit up in a bar. One is illegal, at least in Texas, and the other isn't. In my house we preach that, until you're 21 or the law changes, both will get you in serious trouble with local authorities.

No matter what your beliefs, it's all self-medication at some level, so let's not be too quick to pass judgment on the character issue. Especially when I couldn't count the times I've seen a media member get up from a bar stool, fumble for keys and, in the words of the great Don Williams, "stagger a little as he went out the door."

Dallas Cowboys' Byron Jones already knows Jason Garrett's message - Todd Archer, ESPN

Byron Jones is something of a contrast to Gregory in that he is an almost perfect citizen and student, one of those kids you would never complain about if your daughter started dating him. And he may be just about the perfect fit for the Way of the Rooster.

"He (his first college coach Randy Edsall) was always talking about winning the day, stacking good days on top of good days," Jones said. "I actually heard coach Garrett talk about it in my meeting, so that's prefect because I have lived by that quote ever since I was a freshman in college. So those guys in combination, that quote is going to stay with me for the rest of my life."

2015 NFL Draft sliders teams will one day regret passing on - NFL.com

This lists ten players that may cause some serious second-guessing for NFL front offices. It is no surprise that Gregory leads the list. But you may not have expected the Cowboys to have a second name on the list. Will McClay may have struck again.

Antwan Goodley, WR, Baylor

Drafted: Undrafted (signed with Dallas Cowboys)
Analysis: Goodley relied so much on his natural ability that with a little refinement, he could be dynamite out of the slot. He gets up field quickly and is able to turn a short catch into a long gain from just about any alignment. His versatility also allows for him to wind up as a Pro Bowl return man, too.

No Running Back in the Draft? O-Line Just Fine with Current Group | Rob Phillips, Dallas Cowboys

The offensive line not only plays together very effectively, but also do almost everything else as a group. And that may include developing an attitude that they want to prove something this season. Here's the take Travis Frederick has on not seeing a running back drafted.

"I think it's probably a little bit of faith in us, but it's also faith in the guys we have in our running back stable now," Frederick said. "It's a really good group of guys. I'm really excited to watch them run, especially run together."

Star_medium

There were a few non-draft items of interest.

Garrett Addresses Hardy Tweet, Wants Better Judgment on Social Media | Rob Phillips, Dallas Cowboys

There was a lot of self-righteous umbrage about an ill-advised reference to 9/11 by Greg Hardy, who is going to be a lightning rod for controversy. The head coach was his usual calm and collected self - at least in public.

Garrett said he doesn't have a policy that prohibits players from using social media. He just asks them to use "good restraint" and "think about the implication of your words."

Brandon Carr says Greg Hardy’s intensity at Cowboys practice is contagious | David Moore, Dallas Morning News

There haven't been any "practices" of course, but word continues to get out that Hardy has been nothing but a positive so far in the offseason program.

But ask Brandon Carr how the defensive end has looked in the early stages of the team's offseason program and he can't stop smiling.

"You need guys that come and bring that added fire and passion," Carr said. "It's always contagious. It really gets guys going out there.

Cowboys RB Joseph Randle on domestic-violence investigation: I was 'with the wrong people' | Dallas Morning News

Here's hoping Joseph Randle has learned something.

"I was there with my best friend, but the girls who were there should've never been there," Randle said in the interview. "But honestly, we're just going to move forward from it. It's all over and done with, and now I'm back to focusing on what I'm truly supposed to be focusing on, and that's football."

Jameis Winston is Tampa Bay Buccaneers' No. 1 hope; NFL draft notes | SI.com

Hat tip to Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News for pointing this out on Twitter.

The MMQB: Rod Marinelli seems like a my-way-or-the-highway kind of guy. Was he on board with Gregory?

Stephen Jones: Absolutely. He is my way or the highway. He has said to us before about certain players, ‘I don't think I can work with this guy.' But if they love football, and if they fight their ass off in practice and in games, he can work with them. And he wants them.

Follow me @TomRyleBTB

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