The 2016 NFL Draft brought plenty of talent to the Dallas Cowboys. In the draft, the Cowboys were able to add players at positions of need, the main ones coming at running back, defensive end, and cornerback. One trend we continuously see with the Cowboys is how the team takes risks on certain players. That is the exact case with Jaylon Smith in the second round. Let's not forget about how the team drafted injury-prone players such as Sean Lee and Bruce Carter in the second rounds of recent drafts.
If all goes according to plan, the Cowboys will find themselves back in the playoffs in 2016 mainly because of a dynamic offense featuring a heavy dose of the running game sprinkled in with some one-on-ones for Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, and Cole Beasley. But as time goes on in the season, we'll get an idea of the Cowboys' weaknesses and where they will need to improve over the next offseason. Let's take a look at some positions that the Cowboys could target atop the 2017 NFL Draft.
Don't get me wrong, the Cowboys are excited for the player Dak Prescott can become. Dallas has followed Prescott for quite some time now and after missing out on Paxton Lynch, the Cowboys were ecstatic to 'settle' with Prescott. Nevertheless, it wouldn't surprise me at all if the Cowboys fall in love with a quarterback in the 2017 NFL Draft if they feel that player can become the eventual starter. This may not be as plausible as some may think, but just because the Cowboys drafted Prescott doesn't eliminate them from using a high draft pick on a quarterback. Some names that come to mind are Brad Kaaya, Baker Mayfield, and Chad Kelly.
Terrance Williams and Brice Butler aren't signed past the 2016 season. It also doesn't help that Devin Street hasn't done much in his NFL career so relying on him to be the No. 2 receiver for the long-term is quite troubling to say the least. Williams may be looking for a larger contract than the Cowboys are willing to pay for his services..
Because wide receiver is a position that isn't hard for collegiate athletes to acclimate to, drafting one in the first few rounds of the draft is an idea that provides for some intrigue. Some names that come to mind are Mike Williams, Fred Ross, and Travin Dural.
I love the addition of Charles Tapper, but this defensive corps is still going to have its problems in the first four games of the season when Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence are both off the field due to suspensions. Even with Gregory and Lawrence, the Cowboys would be wise to add defensive end to help out the team's pass rush.
Dallas looks for a specific type of defensive end, one that can not only provide explosiveness off the edge, but also one that fits within the Cowboys' criteria. Finding a franchise pass rusher is hard to come by in today's NFL, but if the Cowboys continue to use high draft picks on the position, they will one day find that guy that can make offenses plan for him, similar to DeMarcus Ware when he was a Cowboy. Some names that come to mind are Myles Garrett, Derek Barnett, and Marquis Haynes.
In 2012, the Cowboys shelled out a ton of money to sign Brandon Carr in free agency and then used resources to move up in the draft to select Morris Claiborne. Carr and Claiborne were supposed to be a special duo together, but that never really happened and were not worth what the Cowboys gave up for both of them.
Carr and Claiborne will both be free agents after the 2016 season and while the Cowboys just added Anthony Brown in the sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, there is doubt if he can ever evolve into a starting cornerback in the NFL. Orlando Scandrick is an excellent cornerback, but Dallas will need more help. The Cowboys will look into drafting a cornerback at some point in the 2017 NFL Draft and it will likely be in one of the first few rounds. Some names that come to mind are Desmond King, Tre'Davious White, and Demetrious Cox.