CHICAGO, IL - Is my name Vince McMahon? It just feels like Stone Cold Steve Austin just gave me a stunner. Except it wasn't Steve Austin performing this finisher, it was the Cowboys' front office. The Cowboys took an injured linebacker, Jaylon Smith, with the 34th overall pick. Though he may not play in 2016, the Cowboys believe they just may have got the steal of the whole thing. Despite what some may feel about the pick, he's clearly one of the best talents in this year's class and could be the best in his position.
The third round saw the Cowboys add yet another defensive tackle. This time, it was the "Baron of the Backfield", Maliek Collins, a very underrated talent by many accounts. His nickname that I just coined comes from the fact that he's generated more pressures (88) than all but two other interior defensive linemen in the college football over the last two seasons. Though Dallas has a lot of needs, they made some really intriguing picks for their defense, two that could pay dividends in their futures.
With that said, the Cowboys have six picks to get to today and plenty of holes to fill. Let's take a look at what's the best of the rest that they'll be picking from.
1. Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
Sure, he rubs people the wrong way and may have a little attitude. Don't you want some attitude from your quarterbacks? Maybe not the "you like that"attitude as Kirk Cousins so creepily gave us all. Cook does have the tangibles and ability, plus he's clearly the best passer left with some upside to boot.
2. Zack Sanchez, CB, Oklahoma
Tough competitor that has seen a lot of bigger wide receivers and talented offenses in his time at Oklahoma. The way the NFL loves playmaking defensive backs, it's silly how he hasn't risen up yet. With the run on defensive backs at the end of the first, that could change and Sanchez could be something special. Dallas is running out of decent cornerbacks, Sanchez is the best on the list.
3. Ronald Blair, DE, Appalachian State
Blair is getting drafted off that Clemson tape but there aren't too many more pass rushers that are as impressively menacing as Blair. He's a tough player that can play both inside and out with an extremely high motor. These pass rushers are flying and the Cowboys could show the willingness to double-dip. It's time to take a defensive end, someone tell the Cowboys that they are facing suspensions, thanks.
4. Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State
We touched on Cook but look who made it to the fourth round. Dallas needs a backup passer, Dak can do that. Prescott may have been one their targets all along (multiple pre-draft visits) he'll compete right away with Kellen Moore, something they desperately need to address.
5. Matt Judon, DE, Grand Valley State
Anyone that knows how to sack quarterbacks can find a spot on the roster that is void of that ability right now. Judon has become a fan favorite and dominated his competition albeit at the DII level.
6. Connor McGovern, OG, Missouri
A little surprised he is still around as there have been multiple runs on offensive linemen. McGovern fits the Cowboys' want for a guy that can start at multiple positions with some real talent.
7. Jalen Mills, S, LSU
The Cowboys need secondary help and could use some more athleticism at the safety position with Byron Jones. Mills is a high-end talent that plays with physicality and intelligence. Some injury concerns here but Mills was gaining some momentum before the draft, who knows where it went awry.
8. Miles Killebrew, S, Southern Utah
Here is the pick for the secondary, he roams the middle of the field and covers a ton of ground. Dallas needs someone to be an upgrade potentially over Barry Church or J.J. Wilcox. Killebrew is someone they liked at the Senior Bowl and fills another need of a thumper with coverage abilities.
9. Josh Perry, OLB, Ohio State
Talk about a versatile linebacker with coverage abilities and great vision. He has a gamer's mind in order to see and react without a lost step. Perry can even be effective lining up at the Sam and blitzing. Ohio State knows their defensive players, Perry deserves consideration.
10. Hassan Ridgeway, DT, Texas
My favorite Cowboys-centric defensive tackle in the draft is now there in the late rounds. He plays with great disruption and has versatility to play both spots in the middle. Ridgeway is a hard-nosed competitor that flashes at you in major ways. He's a load to deal with, a load that nobody will see coming.
11. Eric Murray, CB, Minnesota
The feistiest cornerback in the draft and a favorite from day one of mock drafts. Murray is like Orlando Scandrick but just further along than he was coming out. Murray is well-versed in zone and press coverages and gives the Cowboys a denier of footballs with lots of PBU's.
12. Cardale Jones, QB, Ohio State
An interesting player here that many teams are keeping an eye on. He's got a cannon for an arm but the placement is spotty. What we do know is that he's a great athletic specimen that has been working with QB gurus to better his game. He's just a bit unpolished but his upside could have him seeing the field a lot sooner as a backup option.
Dallas gave the ultimate help to Tony Romo with the first round, drafted for the future in the second, and added an underrated talent in the third. Now, it's time to put solid players around them and build the depth of this roster. Give me at least two ends, a quarterback, and a cornerback. I'll be happier afterward, I swear.