Before we start this exercise, we must say, for the most part, the Cowboys have been drafting with some of the smartest teams in the league. They’ve been able to rebuild their offensive line into the envy of the league. The Cowboys have one of the best running backs to come out of the draft since Adrian Peterson. They nailed the future face of their franchise with a fourth-round compensatory pick. The Cowboys hit the bulls-eye with a sixth-round cornerback, who was good enough to let guys like Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne leave in free agency. Needless to say, the Dallas Cowboys haven’t busted in the first round in about five years.
However, they’ve also struggled mightily in the second round. The last second round pick that you could call a success is Sean Lee but again he’s never played in a full 16 game season. What most fans associate with the second round is that the Cowboys will gamble and for the most part and they will usually lose. Anthony Fasano, Martellus Bennett, Bruce Carter, Randy Gregory and even to an extent DeMarcus Lawrence. (Although it must be said Bennett wasn’t a bust because of talent, Dallas just never figured out a way to use him.) Now, Jaylon Smith has the ability to buck that trend this season if he’s able to get on the field. It’s been mostly miss for the Cowboys in the second round, though we feel as though they’ve become one of the better drafting teams in the league over the last few years.
With that said, let’s examine the possibilities that the Cowboys could end up going in a completely different direction. In some of those years, it’s worked smashingly with Travis Frederick. In others, it’s been a trainwreck like it was in the 2009 Draft. Let’s look at some potential moves in this draft that could get the blood boiling for Cowboys’ fans:
Trading Up In The First Round
If there were ever a year to not trade up, it is this year. Outside of about three players, there is no player worth trading up for. If Derek Barnett falls, let him fall, don’t be tempted to go up and give up more picks to grab him. The likelihood of a player that the Cowboys really like at a position they need is pretty high this year. The last thing fans want to see is the Cowboys trading up for the fourth-best edge rusher or third-best cornerback.
Outside of Myles Garrett, I’m not sure the Cowboys should be tempted to trade up for anyone. There will be a huge desire for teams to trade down due to the depth of this draft but it’ll be hard to do because the trade down market will be oversaturated. There is a possibility that those wanting to trade up may not have to pay as much because everyone wants to move. Still, for the Cowboys, they can’t afford to be losing capital in the sweet spot of this draft.
Picking A Tight End At 28
This is not likely to happen but it would certainly aggravate a lot of folks if it does. It’s not likely to happen because the only guys that would tempt the Cowboys are O.J. Howard and David Njoku at the tight end position. Nobody conceives of these guys falling that far into the Cowboys’ reach but we know this team is obsessed with drafting tight ends. Both of those players are likely to be future Pro Bowlers in the NFL but they can go be future Pro Bowlers for someone else.
The Cowboys have to fix their defense or they will continue to have problems in the playoffs. It doesn’t matter if these two tight ends are the second coming of Jason Witten, they’re not worth the Cowboys skipping defense to take a tight end. It’s a luxury pick and though the Cowboys will eventually need to replace Witten, that day is not today.
Taking An Injury Risk At 60
Jerry Jones has said that he doesn’t envision this team taking injury risks this draft season. However, this is a team that lives on taking risks and has had success and failure at doing so. The Cowboys need to come out of this draft with a few starters and if you take injury risks, you set your team behind the eight ball. Jaylon Smith is a huge wild card though he’s caused a ton of excitement, it’s still possible that he never plays for the Cowboys.
Sidney Jones is a guy that should make a full recovery but Achilles injuries to cornerbacks are scary because it typically leads to a tick lost in speed. Cornerbacks need their speed to be effective with today’s NFL receivers. The Cowboys must do their best in the first four rounds to add talent that can play significant snaps in 2017 because the likelihood you land another sixth-round starter is slim at best. It would be nice to finally draft a player in the second round that can make an immediate impact.
Reaching For A Falling Offensive Tackle
It’s been established that this tackle class is not very good but there are guys to be had that can be molded into something later. With the impending retirement of Doug Free, Dallas covered themselves by picking up Byron Bell to compete with Chaz Green for that spot. The Cowboys know their entire identity revolves around their dominance on the offensive line. Even so, that doesn’t mean they should jump at the opportunity to go fishing in a shallow pond.
The Cowboys would be better served taking a late flyer on a Julie’n Davenport or Justin Senior than feeling like they have to draft Ryan Ramczyk or Garrett Bolles. They have the guys to compete for the starting role right now and can show patience to let this play out. If they do decide a change must be made they can go back to that drawing board when the talent pool is stronger.
So, we leave this to the BTB community, what are some moves the Cowboys could or could not make that would drive you bananas?