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Cowboys 2016 Draft: How The Ezekiel Elliott Pick Affects The Depth Chart

A look at how Zeke fits in with the current Cowboys roster, and how picking a running back in the first rounds will effect the rest of the depth chart.

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

That was certainly an interesting first round in the 2016 NFL draft. There were plenty of trades, some surprising picks, and even a leaked weed video. The first night of the NFL Draft definitely didn't fail to entertain. Commissioner Roger Goodell introduced football fans to 31 new NFL players on Thursday evening, but only one got to become a member of the Dallas Cowboys.

Ezekiel Elliott was taken by the Cowboys at number four. It is the highest a running back has been selected since the Cleveland Browns took Trent Richardson with their third overall pick in 2012. It has been reported that Dallas was trying to trade back into the first round to take Paxton Lynch before the Denver Broncos beat them to it. And with teams going in unexpected direction in round one, it leaves some players that the Cowboys likely didn't think would be available on the board for round two.

So without further ado, Let's take a look at how all of the action from Chicago has affected the depth chart so far, and how the unpredictable nature of the draft will change the face of the Cowboys over the next two days.


Quarterback (3)

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

If you were uncertain whether the Cowboys were serious about drafting a quarterback, you found out Thursday that they are. The hot rumor late in the evening had Dallas trying to trade for the Seattle Seahawks pick at 26. The team was unable to get the trade done, but expect the Cowboys to draft a quarterback sooner rather than later.

Running Back (6)

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

Elliott was a mild surprise as many believed, (myself included), that the front office would decide on Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey. Now that Elliott is in the fold however he moves near the top of the depth chart at running back. One of the big questions in training camp this summer will be how many backs will Dallas keep.

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

There are still some very good receivers available all over the draft board. That being said, I don't think you'll see the Cowboys use their second-rounder on a wide out. With the team taking Elliot I think the second pick will almost certainly be defense.

Tight End (4)

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

No change in the thinking here. A tight end would have to fall to day three before Dallas would seriously consider drafting one in my opinion.

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

I still expect this to be a day three pick as well. Although, I'm sure Laremy Tunsil's bong hit video had more than a few of us picturing another La'el Collins-like situation for Dallas to take advantage of.


Defensive End (6)

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

The most likely place for the second-round pick to come is defensive line, and the defensive end group might have the best shot at pick 34. The free-fall of linemen includes some players who were thought of as possible first-rounders like Kevin Dodd, Emmanuel Ogbah, and Noah Spence.

Defensive Tackle (6)

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

Similarly, defensive tackle has some serious value available at the top of round two. A'shawn Robinson, Jarran Reed, and Jonathan Bullard are all still waiting to hear their names called.

Middle Linebacker (3)

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

Once thought of as perhaps the most talented player in the draft, Myles Jack's knee has thrown up major red flags for clubs. I don't know if it's probable, but the Cowboys have taken flyers on injured players in the second round before.

Outside Linebacker (7)

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

There are good linebackers still on the board for day two but not really probable for Dallas to take one. If they do Reggie Ragland would be the guy.

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

The Cowboys passed up the opportunity to take the best defensive back in the draft to select Elliot. They could rectify that by taking a player like Mackensie Alexander at number 34.

Safety (4)

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

Another route that Dallas might take to bolster their defensive backfield could be either Vonn Bell or T.J. Green. These two could be a bit of a reach however, and with so much value hanging around I doubt that Dallas goes this way.


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

The second round of the draft starts today at 7:00 pm eastern. The Cowboys will be on the clock quickly as they hold the third pick in the second round. So who's it going to be and how will this selection affect the depth chart in Big D?

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