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Cowboys 2016 Draft: The Cowboys Add Two To The Defensive Side Of The Depth Chart

The Cowboys shook up the draft by taking Jaylon Smith in the second, then added defensive line depth with Maleik Collins in the third.

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Another day, another shocking turn of events in the NFL Draft. This time it was our very own Dallas Cowboys providing the fireworks with their selection of Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith with the 34th overall pick. Then at 67 Dallas added another player for Rod Marinelli's defensive line rotation with Nebraska defensive tackle Maliek Collins.

Both of these players come with questions. How long wil it be before Smith is ready to play? Can Marinelli turn Collins into a solid 3-technique tackle? And perhaps most importantly, where do these two young defenders fit in the Cowboys depth chart?


Quarterback (3)

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

The Cowboys still haven't taken a quarterback, but don't rule it out. The team has been tied closely to Dak Prescott, and the Mississippi State signal caller is still on the board heading into day three.

Running Back (6)

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

A day removed from the first-round selection of Elliott and the warm glow still exists. You can never say never with the Cowboys front office, but I doubt they add another running back. One exception could be fullback Glenn Gronkowski I suppose.

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

As we move into the later rounds, the likelihood of Dallas taking a receiver increases. Some names to keep an eye on are Pharoh Cooper and Rishard Higgins.

Tight End (4)

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

As we go deeper in the draft, the chances of the front office selecting a tight end grow smaller and smaller.

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

Day three has arrived and the Cowboys may look to add some line depth here. LSU guard Vadal Alexander is still available, as is TCU tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai.


Defensive End (6)

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

The Cowboys tried to move up in the second round to take Emmanuel Ogbah but the Cleveland Browns stood pat and took them for themselves. Dallas is now left to find a hidden gem on day three. Ronald Bair or Matt Judon would make Cowboys fans happy.

Defensive Tackle (7)

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

Dallas added a starting 1-tech in free agency with Thornton. Now they've found some depth at the 3-tech with Collins. I would be surprised if they took another tackle now.

Middle Linebacker (4)

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

Smith is not expected to play in 2016 at this point, but if he were healthy he would be challenging McClain for snaps. Then again, if e were healthy he wouldn't have been a second round pick.

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 could still some more activity from the Cowboys. A name to watch as we head toward the end of round four might be Scooby Wright.

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 experts all agree that Dallas must take a corner. If they do go corner at 101 it could be either D.J. White from Georgia Tech or Harlan Miller of Southern Utah.

Safety (4)

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

This draft still has some interesting choices available at the safety spot. If the front office wants to pull the trigger they could grab Duke's Jeremy Cash. Cash had some buzz heading into the draft and could be a serious value pick in round six.


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

Almost a zero percent chance the Cowboys use a draft pick on a specialist. Really Tampa?

Alright folks, one more day to go and the draft will be over for another year. The Cowboys hold six total picks on day three. With their two fourth-rounders and four-sixth rounders, Dallas will put the final touches on the 2016 draft class. The depth chart, of course is always in flux, but we will at least have an idea as to where the team stands after Sunday's final selection. Oh wait, undrafted free agents!

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