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Dallas Cowboys 2016 Mock Draft V. 5.0: Minimizing Risk And Maximizing Impact

This week's mock draft is about a team looking for impact while minimizing the risks. That certainly doesn't mean they can't be rewarded for their efforts.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys have a long list of roster needs, but drafting purely for need can often get teams in big trouble. Additionally, at this point in the process, a lot of holes are being poked in draft prospects and by late April, it's conceivable that teams could get cold feet about some prospects.

For the Cowboys, picking as high as they are, you would think that there aren't many can't miss prospects in this class, but my colleague Danny Phantom will assure you there certainly are. It's a good possibility that the Cowboys could draft with the intent of minimizing risks with their picks.

This week, we heard clearly from Jerry Jones that he envisions Tony Romo being the quarterback in Dallas for the next four or five years (it seems like he's been saying that for four or five years now). For Mockery V, we will operate under the assumption that Jerry stays true to his word and doesn't draft a quarterback at four. With the forgone conclusion that most of these quarterbacks will need more development anyhow, it's not a bad mindset.

Without further ado, let's make a mockery of the draft...


With Jalen Ramsey and Joey Bosa gone, the Cowboys decide to shop the 4th overall pick (1,800 points). They complete a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccanneers who trade picks 9 and 39 totaling 1,860 points. This now gives the Cowboys an extra second-round pick and four picks within the Top-100 selections.

Pick 9: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
(Big Board Ranking - CBS: 9th, Drafttek: 18th, Draftcountdown: 10th)

Elliot is currently Dane Brugler's 5th-overall prospect and has stated several times that finding holes in Elliot's game is like grasping at straws. He could be plugged in from day one and be a true asset to a team maximizing talent around Tony Romo. Sure, the Cowboys have Darren McFadden, but Elliott is twice the back that McFadden is right now. Just because the offensive line is a juggernaut doesn't mean that a special back couldn't do some really special things. Elliott is so well-polished and has earned the right to be considered.


Pick 34: William Jackson III, CB, Houston
(CBS: 30th, Drafttek: 32nd, Draftcountdown: 53rd)

By the time this process is through, Jackson may well be in the first round. He had an outstanding Combine and looks to be one of the top corners in the draft. Jackson has a great combination of size and speed which is something scouts desire in the NFL. He's got good hands and vision with the ability to attack and wrap up the receiver or ball carrier. Jackson is a perfect fit in press coverage and uses his keen sense for the game to make interceptions at the highest point. He's very physical as well and plays with some attitude.

Pick 39: Austin Johnson, DT, Penn State
(CBS: 44th, Drafttek: 77th, Draftcountdown: 33rd)

Dallas really enjoyed what they saw in these defensive tackles at the Senior Bowl. Johnson is one of those guys that has done nothing but help himself though the process. He's so disruptive at the point of attack and has the range to play both the one and three technique. Johnson is entering the draft as one of three Penn State guys hoping to get drafted. He's the best prospect they have, and in a crowded and talented defensive tackle class, Johnson stands out among the best.


Pick 67: Ronald Blair, DE, Appalachian State
(CBS: 145th, Drafttek: 170th, Draftcountdown: - -)

Blair is a super productive prospect with some polished pass rushing skill whose stock has continuously risen over the last weeks and months. Blair was outstanding against real competition in Clemson and was practically unblockable. The Cowboys go for back-to-back additions to their very pass rush needy defense. It's all about getting to the quarterback and Blair certainly can.


Pick 102: Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State
(CBS: 106th, Drafttek: 124th, Draftcountdown: 150th)

Talk about a true leader on the field, Prescott is certainly a player worth developing into a potential starter. He has received comparisons to both Tim Tebow and Russell Wilson. Don't worry, he projects way better as an NFL quarterback than Tebow did. Prescott has a great arm and size but it's his smarts between the ears that will sell him most. He's a very intriguing prospect that will take the right system and run with it. He's got good vision, accuracy, and mobility for the position. A little developing will go a long way with him.

Pick 137: Eric Murray, CB, Minnesota
(CBS: 122nd, Drafttek: 162nd, Draftcountdown: 92nd)

This Golden Gopher is admittedly my pet cat. His intelligence and energy make him a very good prospect at the NFL level. Murray was part of one of the best secondaries in college football last season. He's a very consistent player and is equally skilled in man and press coverage. He's a fighter and uses his vision and awareness as a weapon. He can add help in run support and is an effective blitzer. The Cowboys need to come away with quite a bit of help for their secondary and Murray could one day become a starter.


Pick 192: Kevin Byard, SS, Middle Tennessee
(CBS: 191st, Drafttek: 136th, Draftcountdown: 149th)

For a small-school athlete, he certainly looks the part, built in an Earl Thomas-like image. He's a really smart player and surprisingly well versed in the art of tackling. He showed at the Senior Bowl that he belonged with the top competition and never looked out of place. He's got really good speed and has a knack for making plays. The Cowboys need a ton of help defensively, why not start in a draft loaded with defensive prospects?

Pick 212: Darion Griswold, TE, Arkansas State
(CBS: 220th, Drafttek: 279th, Draftcountdown: - -)

The Cowboys will draft a tight end, it's what they do. Griswold has a lot of upside but certainly isn't the sum of all his parts yet. He does have good size and some tremendous ball skills as a converted quarterback. He understands that his frame is his weapon though he needs to work on route running and staying on his feet.

Pick 216: Matt Judon, DE, Grand Valley State
(CBS: 122rd, Drafttek: 323th, Draftcountdown: 150th)

He absolutely dominated DII Football but teams certainly need to see what he can do against better competition. He's got the burst, speed, build, and bend of an NFL-caliber defensive end. He's got great flexibility and a history of production leading the nation (at any level) with 20 sacks in 2015. He is a well-coordinated athlete with the ability to excel with more development.

Pick 217: Antwione Williams, OLB, Georgia Southern
(CBS: 227th, Drafttek: - -, Draftcountdown: - -)

He was jack-of-all-trades linebacker where he led in tackles (107), tackles for loss (10.5), sacks (4.0) and forced fumbles (4). He's built right and loves to tackle but still needs work in some key areas. He'll be a great help on special teams for his never-say-die attitude.

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