NFL Mock Draft: After Tunsil, a few Round 1 surprises - Doug Farrar, SI.com
We'll take Farrar's mock as a proxy for countless other mock drafts that have the Cowboys taking Joey Bosa.
As much as the Cowboys need a quarterback to bring up at this point, and as good as a linebacker like Myles Jack would look in their defense (think Sean Lee, but even better), I have to bow to conventional wisdom here and send Bosa to Dallas. Bosa id the best combination of run stopper and edge rusher in this class—at least at this point in his development—and while I believe he comes with a ceiling down the road, he’s got a great combination of attributes for a defense in desperate need of consistent edge pressure.
Over at SB Nation, Adam Stites has compiled 99 mock drafts and has tabulated that data into pie charts that show which team is expected to pick which player. This is what the Cowboys chart currently looks like:
But while half of all mock drafts obviously have the Cowboys picking Joey Bosa at No. 4, Sam Farmer has a different idea about that:
Rams improve their draft position through a trade with Cowboys - Sam Farmer, LA Times
Farmer has the Cowboys trading down not once, but twice.
In this mock draft, the Dallas Cowboys make a deal with the Rams and trade out of the No. 4 slot, allowing L.A. to select North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz.
This mock has Dallas trading back a second time with NFC East rival Washington, an unconventional move but not unprecedented.
21. DALLAS (from Washington) — Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis: Tony Romo turns 36 this month and sat out 12 games because of injuries last season. Lynch could learn at his elbow for a couple years, then step in.
I can only guess what Farmer thought would be adequate compensation for the Cowboys, but it could have been something like this:
4 (1,800 pts) for Rams 15+43+76 (1,730 pts)
15+101 (1,146) for Redskins 21+53 (1,170 pts)
That's two extra second rounders and an extra third for moving down twice.
Paxton Lynch's draft range: Rams, Broncos, Cowboys among fits - Bucky Brooks, NFL.com
Brooks examines Paxton Lynch's draft range, identifying ideal fits like Denver, Los Angeles and Dallas.
The Cowboys and Chargers also would qualify as good landing spots for Lynch, based on the presence of a veteran quarterback and experienced quarterback teachers. Each team needs to identify a young signal caller to develop for a prominent role down the road; Lynch could be an intriguing prospect to groom.
Trading down not as easy as it sounds - Rick Gosselin, SportsDay
In a recent chat, Gosselin threw some shade at the idea of trading down.
Question: Would you agree that this draft lacks some of the big names and special performers that might entice teams to want to give up a 2nd to trade up to the Cowboys spot?
Gosselin: That's what most fans don't seem to understand. The assumption is the Cowboys can trade down at the snap of fingers and get a couple twos in the deal. But if the Cowboys don't like what they see at the top of the draft board, why would other teams view the top of the board any differently? Why come up if there's nothing worth coming up for? Bosa isn't J.J. Watt. Goff isn't Andrew Luck. And the only commodities anyone should trade up for are quarterbacks and pass rushers. And I do agree with you -- the blue chippers seem to be few and far between in this draft.
Trading down is not without risks - Tim Cowlishaw, SportsDay
In a recent chat, Cowlishaw warned about possibly moving down too far.
Question: Cowboys seem to have had quite a bit of interaction with Paxton Lynch as of late. Lynch's draft stock seems to be rising a bit, too. A trade-down-in-the-draft possibility?
Tim Cowlishaw: Maybe but I have some doubts there. Unless Jerry just wants to deal with Leigh Steinberg one more time to remind himself of the Aikman years. You certainly aren't going to take Lynch at 4 but with a trade-down, you have to be very accurate in your assessment of how far you can go and still get the player you want. That's hard to do, given the possibility of not only teams surprising you in those draft spots but teams trading up as well.
Here's why Joey Bosa is an excellent fit for the Dallas Cowboys at No. 4 - Will Brinson, CBSSports.com
Assuming the Cowboys don't trade down, Brinson explains in great detail why Joey Bosa makes sense for the Cowboys at No. 4. Here's an excerpt:
This is a team built to win now and it has been for a while. The offensive line and running game plus Dez Bryant and Romo's return will make the offense dangerous. There are pieces in place defensively to improve. Going with a quarterback-of-the-future now when we're talking about developmental prospects? It's just a weird strategy.
Going with a guy like Bosa who can help now, develop in Marinelli's system, solve a position of need, improve a major area of concern for the Cowboys and give them an opportunity to improve their win-now prospects while capitalizing on a top-five pick to acquire an upper-echelon prospect is just too easy a call not to make.
Todd McShay grades Joey Bosa as the top overall prospect - SportsDay Staff
ESPN's Todd McShay released his updated player rankings and grades, and Joey Bosa emerges as his highest-ranked player.
Bosa is McShay's highest rated player among all draft-eligible players. That's good news for Cowboys fans, as Bosa is the player that the majority of mock drafts in our mock draft tracker have going to the Cowboys.
Why Myles Jack might be an even faster version of Ray Lewis - Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com
Or the Cowboys could pick Myles Jack. He can run over ball carriers, cover receivers in the slot and even play offense. He might just be the best player in the 2016 NFL Draft, and he's drawing favorable comparisons to Ray Lewis.
When I asked one NFL general manager if he compared favorably to former Baltimore Ravens great Ray Lewis, the general manager had this to say:
"Yes, but Jack is faster."
Some might say comparing Jack to Lewis is off base anyway. They will say he's not big enough to play in the middle. But that's the perception based on his speed and ability to run. When you cover slot receivers, which Jack did at UCLA, it's hard to picture him at middle linebacker in the NFL.
He is now 243 pounds and plans to play at that weight. So he's 6-foot-1, 243 pounds. Ray Lewis was listed at 6-1, 250 pounds. Carolina's Luke Kuechly, considered the best middle linebacker in the league now, is listed at 6-3, 235 pounds. These aren't your dad's middle linebackers. The game has changed. The days of the run-plugging, thick-legged middle linebackers are over, in large part because of the way offenses play now.
Is Cowboys draft prospect Myles Jack the next Darren Woodson? - KD Drummond, CowboysWire.com
Drummond makes the case for Myles Jack as a linebacker who can also play safety, similar to Darren Woodson.
In college, Jack has played multiple linebacker spots, slot corner, safety and he even logged snaps as a running back. Woodson’s linebacker skill set revealed itself with his tremendous run-stopping ability. His coverage skills were that of a free safety, and Dallas would often allow Woodson to cover slot receivers in nickel defense. These are all things that Jack already did while in college. Other clubs have already spoken to Jack about making the transition.
With Sean Lee and Rolando McClain already in tow at linebacker, lining Jack up as a strong safety next to Byron Jones could lead to epic results for the Cowboys defense.
Cowboys won't say it publicly, but here's why Greg Hardy is still a free-agent outcast - David Moore, SportsDay
In this longform piece, Moore publicly articulates for the first time what has been freely talked about behind the scenes for a long time already.
Moore writes that things started coming apart for Hardy in Dallas after November 6, the day Deadspin released photos of a battered Nicole Holder.
Hardy was a different player from that point forward. The defensive end who collected three sacks, forced a fumble and grabbed an interception in his first three games had just three sacks and no turnovers in his final nine games with the Cowboys. A player credited with five quarterback hurries twice in his first three games failed to reach that number again in any game for the remainder of the season.
But Hardy's issues weren't just limited to his on-field production, as his behavioral issues become more pronounced off the field too.
And Moore offers another reason why things went south for Hardy:
But there was a growing concern at Valley Ranch that Hardy had become a negative influence on Gregory during the player's rookie season. It's a stretch to say that Hardy took Gregory under his wing, but he certainly didn't provide a positive example of what it takes to be a professional in the league.
The Cowboys have more faith in Gregory's future than Hardy's present. That's another reason the veteran defensive end isn't back.
Cowboys Should Take Advantage Of WR Depth In NFL Draft - Chris Murray, Today's Pigskin
Murray points out that this draft looks to be deep at Wide receiver and suggests a number of prospects the Cowboys could have their eye on: Ohio State’s Michael Thomas, Ohio State teammate Braxton Miller, TCU’s Josh Doctson, and Pittsburgh’s Tyler Boyd.