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Cowboys 2016 Draft: A Look At The Depth Chart And How The Draft Might Change It

The draft is finally here and there's no time like the present to take a moment to reset the Dallas depth chart

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

At long last the NFL Draft is finally here. Starting with the fourth-overall pick, the Dallas Cowboys front office will soon be adding more Dallas Cowboys players to the roster. So this seems like a perfect time to reset the depth chart.

The Cowboys are currently carrying 72 players on the roster, which leaves them with 18 spots to fill. For our purposes, I have listed each player only once, (with the exception of kick returner and punt returner). Each player is listed with their years of experience. I will be updating the chart throughout the weekend, but here is your pre-draft look at the depth chart for Big D.


Quarterback (3)

Tony Romo, 14th season
Kellen Moore, 5th
Jameill Showers, 2nd

The Cowboys are not ready to move on from Romo, but they are preparing for the reality of life after the retirement of the franchise quarterback. Expect Dallas to draft a young passer at some point this weekend.

Running Back (5)

Darren McFadden, 9th
Alfred Morris, 5th
Lance Dunbar, 5th
Rod Smith, 2nd
Ben Malena, 2nd

Even though McFadden is coming off a 1,000 yard season and the team added Morris in free agency, the Cowboys are expected to address the position further in the draft. It seems likely that this will happen in the early rounds.

Wide Receiver (8)

Dez Bryant, 7th
Terrence Williams, 4th
Cole Beasley, 4th
Brice Butler, 4th
Lucky Whitehead, 2nd
Devin Street. 3rd
Vince Mayle, 2nd
Rodney Smith, 4th

The receiver position is top heavy on this team. The Cowboys have a bonafide superstar at WR1 but the drop off after Dez is significant. This is another position that could be addressed this weekend.

Tight End (4)

Jason Witten, 14th
James Hannah, 5th
Gavin Escobar, 4th
Geoff Swaim, 2nd

The tight end group is one of the least likely to be drafted this year. Witten seems to have several more seasons in him and the backups are adequate for now. Of course, I have learned that Dallas will pick a tight end when you least expect it.

Offensive Tackle (4)

Tyron Smith, 6th
Doug Free, 10th
Charles Brown, 7th
Chaz Green, 2nd

Offensive Guard (4)

Zack Martin, 3rd
La'el Collins, 2nd
Ronald Leary, 5th
Jared Smith, 4th

Center (2)

Travis Frederick, 4th
Joe Looney, 5th

Although the offensive line is clearly the strongest unit on the team, the Cowboys will likely spend a later pick on a lineman. The most likely scenario would be a third day tackle or guard with position flexibility.


Defensive End (6)

DeMarcus Lawrence(SUS), 3rd
Randy Gregory(SUS), 2nd
Benson Mayowa, 4th
David Irving,2nd
Ryan Russell, 2nd
Michael McAdoo, 6th

The departure of Greg Hardy and the suspensions to Lawrence and Gregory have created a massive need at end. The front office will certainly be addressing this position early, and quite likely often.

Defensive Tackle (6)

Tyrone Crawford, 5th
Cedric Thornton, 6th
Jack Crawford, 5th
Terrell McClain, 6th
Casey Walker, 4th
Justin Renfrow, 3rd

Dallas made a huge upgrade at 1-technique tackle with the acquisition of Thornton in free agency. The team doesn't need to add here, but the depth of defensive tackle in this draft is such that they may still take one.

Middle Linebacker (3)

Rolando McClain, 7th
Andrew Gachkar, 6th
Keith Smith, 3rd

In the past the Cowboys have taken risks on talented players with injury concerns in the mid-to-late rounds. There is at least a possibility they could take flyer on Jalen Smith if he is still available on day three.

Outside Linebacker (7)

Sean Lee, 7th
Anthony Hitchens, 3rd
Kyle Wilber, 5th
Damien Wilson, 2nd
Mark Nzeocha, 2nd
Jerrell Harris, 5th
Derek Akunne, 2nd

Linebacker is one of those positions that you just can't have enough of. They are the meat of your defense and special teams units. Expect Dallas to add at least one more to this group.

Cornerback (8)

Orlando Scandrick, 9th
Morris Claiborne, 5th
Brandon Carr, 9th
Josh Thomas, 6th
Deji Olatoye, 3rd
Terrance Mithcell, 3rd
Buddy Jackson,5th
Brandon McGee, 4th

Building the back end of the defense is certainly a priority for the front office. Expect multiple picks at defensive back.

Safety (4)

Byron Jones, 2nd
Barry Church, 7th
JJ Wilcox, 4th
Jeff Heath, 4th

I believe Jalen Ramsey will be the pick at number four. The debate is whether he is a safety or a corner. Either position will get an immediate upgrade if the Cowboys are able to select him.


Kicker (2)

Dan Bailey, 6th
Matt Wile, 2nd

Punter (1)

Chris Jones, 6th

Long Snapper (2)

LP LaDouceur, 12th
Brandon Hartson, 4th

Kick Returner (2)

Lucky Whitehead, 2nd
Cole Beasley, 5th

Punt Returner (2)

Lucky Whitehead, 2nd
Cole Beasley, 5th

With the possible exception of a speedy wide receiver taking over the returner duties, I don't expect Dallas to spend any draft capital here.

This is a depth chart in flux. Over the next few months this chart will change several times. The team will add through the draft, undrafted free agents, and the remaining pool of veteran players still looking for a job. Each signing and draft selection will impact the depth chart in some fashion. Roster building is a year round process in the NFL, and the next phase begins tonight when the Cowboys go on the clock in Chicago.

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