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Cowboys News & Notes: RBs Ezekiel Elliott, Derrick Henry, Paul Perkins On Pre-Draft Visitor List

The Cowboys pre-draft visitor list is beginning to fill up as the Cowboys kick off their 30 allotted visits today.

The Ohio State Athletic Department is notoriously skimpy on jersey material.
The Ohio State Athletic Department is notoriously skimpy on jersey material.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ezekiel Elliott headed to Dallas for visit with Cowboys - Chase Goodbread,
Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott will fly to Dallas on Sunday morning to meet with Cowboys officials, according to NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport.

Beyond his rushing exploits, Elliott's ability to block and catch have scouts believing he'll be a three-down player in the NFL, a factor that has helped make him the draft's top prize at the position. Cowboys officials went to Columbus, Ohio, to work out several of the Buckeyes' top draft prospects on March 25, and Rapoport's tweet indicates Elliott was among them. Now, they're using one of 30 allotted visits on the two-time 1,800-yard rusher.

Even With Alfred Morris Signing, Cowboys To Meet with Derrick Henry - Dave Halprin, Blogging The Boys
Even after picking up Alfred Morris in free agency, the Dallas Cowboys will have running back Derrick Henry in for an official pre-draft visit this week.

Henry's style of running would fit nicely with the Cowboys preferred zone-blocking scheme. He's a one-cut, downhill runner with a punishing physical style. Plenty of pundits have compared him to an Eddie George type back. The Cowboys backfield would become awfully crowded if they did pick up Henry, but Darren McFadden is only under contract for this year and Morris only through 2017.

Cowboys should consider drafting Derrick Henry early - Will Brinson,
Brinson argues that the Cowboys should be one of five teams looking at taking Alabama running back Derrick Henry early in the draft.

The biggest issue for Dallas is getting a shot at Henry. The Cowboys hold the No. 4 overall pick and can't very well take Henry there. Ezekiel Elliott is in play but it starting to feel like they're going to go defense high. If Henry is available at No. 34 overall -- entirely possible -- it's a perfect fit for the Cowboys to secure a power back who can rip off long runs. The biggest issue for Dallas is Henry actually falling that far.

Cowboys schedule a visit with UCLA RB Paul Perkins - SportsDay
Signing Alfred Morris has not dampened the Cowboys enthusism for drafting a running back.


Updated list of Cowboys pre-draft visitors - B TB
Staring today, the Cowboys will bring in up to 30 national draft-eligible players for official pre-draft visits. Additionally, they also bring in as many draft-eligible local prospects as they like for visits and workouts during "Dallas Day", which is scheduled for Friday. So far, we know of 16 of the national invitees, which are listed below:

Cowboys Pre-draft Visitors per 4/3/2016
CBS Rank Name POS College Proj. Rd Status
2 Jalen Ramsey CB Florida State 1 Official Visit
3 Joey Bosa DE Ohio State 1 Official Visit
Jared Goff QB California 1 Official Visit
DeForest Buckner DE Oregon 1 Official Visit
7 Carson Wentz QB N.D. State 1 Official Visit
8 Ezekiel Elliott RB Ohio State 1 Official Visit
10 Vernon Hargreaves CB Florida 1 Official Visit
11 Laquon Treadwell WR Ole Miss 1 Official Visit
13 Shaq Lawson DE Clemson 1 Official Visit
14 Sheldon Rankins DT Louisville 1 Official Visit
33 Paxton Lynch QB Memphis 1-2 Official Visit
38 Derrick Henry RB Alabama 1-2 Official Visit
43 Tyler Boyd WR Pittsburgh 2 Official Visit
116 Paul Perkins RB UCLA 3-4 Official Visit
549 Ryan Brown DE Mississippi State - - Official Visit


What last 3 months have shown us about what Cowboys might do with No. 4 pick - Brandon George, SportsDay
In this longform piece, George makes like a detective and pieces together the clues the Cowboys have dropped over recent months to get a big picture view of what the Cowboys could do in the first round. His conclusions:

Joey Bosa, Deforest Buckner, or Jalen Ramsey at No. 4, and Paxton Lynch if he falls far enough.


Connor Cook rates best among NFL draft QBs in Parcells Rules - KC Joyner, ESPN
Here's an interesting approach for ranking QBs in the 2016 draft class. Joyner uses the Parcells QB Rules as a measuring stick to evaluate this year's QB crop. Here's the summary of the In$ider article in chart form. Joyner did not include Dak Prescott in his analysis for whatever reason, so I included him here, free of charge.

Parcells QB rules
QB rules Connor
3-year starter Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Senior in college Yes No No Yes No Yes
Graduated from College Yes No No Yes No Yes
Started 30 games Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Won 23 games Yes No No No No Yes
2-to-1 TD/INT Ratio Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Completion rate > 60% No Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Total 6 4 4 4 2 7

2016 NFL Draft: Could a division rival target North Dakota State QB Carson Wentz? - Alex Sinclair, Big Blue View
Sometimes you need an outside perspective on your team to better appreciate what you've got.

If Wentz goes to the Cowboys, I think it's the ideal fit for him. I see a lot of Tony Romo in his playing style, and he would benefit greatly from playing behind an elite offensive line who could actually give him time to develop skills rather than shellshock, like how many top QB prospects spend the early part of their career. It's a great setup, with Dez Bryant, a potentially revived running game and tutelage from one of the best quarterbacks of this century. The Cowboys would have to hope the Cleveland Browns fall in love with Jared Goff instead, because relative positional value for a QB is ridiculous, and Wentz -- who was originally projected as a third-round pick -- is now a sure-fire top-5 pick.


Will Alfred Morris have more or less succcess in Dallas? - Maurice Jones-Drew,
Maurice Jones-Drew weighs in on five running backs on the move, including Alfred Morris.

Morris didn't surpass 1,000 yards in 2015 -- it was the first time in his four-year stint with the Redskins that he failed to do so. While with Washington, Morris' touches gradually decreased with every season, ultimately leading to less production (335 carries for 1,613 yards in 2012; 276 for 1,275 in '13; 265 for 1,074 in '14; and 202 for 751 in '15). Morris split carries with rookie Matt Jones last season, and the emergence of quarterback Kirk Cousins (who finished the year with a 101.6 passer rating) led to Washington becoming a pass-first team.

Morris will be in a similar situation in Dallas, which is why I don't think he will get back to his days of being a 1,000-yard rusher anytime soon. He will be splitting carries with Darren McFadden, who was the league's fourth-best rusher a season ago. Plus, if the Cowboys select another running back -- as NFL Media analysts have projected in their mock drafts -- Morris could be No. 3 on the depth chart.

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