This list isn’t as short as I was hoping and it contains many of the names we would suspect. Is your guy one of the eight names below?
Over the last nine years, the Cowboys have made 72 draft picks, and 28 (38.9 percent) of those have made pre-draft visits.
They've had at least 14 defensive backs -- including 10 cornerbacks -- already in for visits. The Cowboys are also in hot pursuit of a pass rusher, having had seven of the top draft-eligible defensive ends in for visits.
Four of those pass rushers are projected as possible late first-round picks: Tennessee's Derek Barnett (6-3, 259), Michigan's Taco Charlton (6-6, 277), Missouri's Charles Harris (6-3, 253) and UCLA's Takkarist McKinley (6-2, 250).
Four of the cornerbacks who have visited are projected as possible late first-round options: LSU's Tre'Davious White (5-11, 192), Washington's Kevin King (6-3, 200), Ohio State's Gareon Conley (6-0, 195) and Colorado's Chidobe Awuzie (6-0, 202).
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Newcomer writer over at the Wire puts together a great evaluation of combine results for several pass rushing prospects. How did your guy measure up?
Taking the emotion out of prospect evaluation serves a specific purpose. Chiseling out an athletic profile base on cold, hard facts is paramount in deciding whether the talents a prospect puts on film can translate to the professional ranks – call it glacial profiling.
Glacial profiling. That’s my new favorite term to use now. Of course, I am a sucker for letting emotion back in, however - it’s good to see how things look without it.
Machota gives us his first round mock and sets his sight on a pass rusher from UCLA.
[Takkarist] McKinley is recovering from shoulder surgery and isn't expected to be fully recovered until around the end of training camp. Even if he misses some time, he's too good to pass up.
Cleveland Browns former general manager, Phil Savage weighed in on the idea of a tight end prospect for the Cowboys.
What about Adam Shaheen, the tight end from Ashland, and what's the transition from a small school to the NFL like?
Savage: You're talking about the Division II prospect - he's a giant. He's almost 280 pounds. He actually tested pretty well at the combine. I think because of the presence of Jason Witten in Dallas this could be a good direction for the Cowboys to go because he's not going to be expected to be out there 80-90 percent of the time.
The staff over at NFL.com take a look at how some key rookies will perform in year two, including Bucky Brooks giving his thoughts on Zeke.
How does Ezekiel Elliott match what he did last year?
Ezekiel Elliott set the bar so incredibly high as a rookie that it'll be hard for him to match it this season. A year later, teams can dissect what Dallas' favorite schemes are and figure out how to play against quarterback Dak Prescott, which in turn will affect how Elliott is used. Zeke will still be a good player and get 1,000 rushing yards, but I don't think he'll lead the league in rushing or have the kind of impact he did in Year 1.
There is no doubt that all eyes will be on Prescott as he begins his first season as the #1 QB in Dallas. It might seem like a pressure-filled situation to be in, but it’s nothing this kid hasn’t endured before.
"Me and Tony, we've always been great throughout this whole situation, before the situation when I came in (as the starter)," Prescott said, per the team's official website. "So nothing's ever changed. That's something I'm very thankful were able to manage of keeping our relationship the same throughout everything that was going on. I hope he's happy. He made the decision to retire; he's had a great career. He's got some big shoes for me to fill to try to come in and do a good job for the Cowboys."
A lot of people are making it seem like there is more to this than there is, but Babe thinks that whatever rockiness exists, will eventually work itself out.
Do you think Jason Garrett and Tony Romo can repair their strained relationship?
Laufenberg: Absolutely. They call time the universal healer, and it won't take much time. Tony was not happy about losing his job. That is understandable. Garrett was not happy about Tony making his concession speech without his knowledge, in the middle of a season. That, too, is understandable. But mark this down, and then underline it twice- Jason Garrett made Tony Romo a better quarterback. If you didn't see that, you weren't paying attention.
It’s like Ross and Rachael. They’ll eventually get back together. They are just on a break.
Former coach Eric Mangini expresses the sentiment that we haven’t seen the last of Tony Romo on the football field.
How many games is he going to broadcast and see average quarterbacks and be frustrated with the fact that he's not playing? And you look at a situation like Oakland last year, that for me would've been a perfect scenario for a guy like Tony Romo. I could see if Dak Prescott gets hurt in Dallas, him coming back and playing in Dallas. I think he's got a lot of good football left in him, and as long as this isn't an injury situation where his doctors said don't play, I think it's going to be too hard for him to say no when an opportunity comes up, with whoever that is, if he has a chance to win."
In case you missed it...
Yours truly flips the script to open up the mind a bit in order to examine the other side of the coin on certain draft prospects, including the some favorable words for T.J. Watt
Menace: You mix his last name and a great combine and suddenly you got yourself this buzz that many fans don’t know what to make of. Either they love him or they are skeptical that they are being tricked. But if you dig a little deeper you’ll find three things that make him very intriguing. First, his great scores at the combine come in categories that are important for an edge rusher. Conversely to McKinley, Watt’s three-cone drill is superb (6.79). Second, he’s just getting started. Some will pause because he’s only had one great year on defense, but he’s only just begun to play defense. Rather than a knock, fans should be intrigued by just how good he can be once he gets more reps under his belt. Finally, he’s one of those players that is going to max out his ability. This kid is going to work his tail off as he fights to get himself out of the shadow of his older brother. And that’s a good deal for whichever team drafts him.
I’m still not a fan, but I’m also not oblivious to his upside and understand why some are enthusiastic about him.
Manik takes a look at the best picks in certain rounds of the draft for the Cowboys. In part two of his four part series, he looks at second round selections, including the last good offensive lineman the team had before the rebuild.
Flozell Adams was coached under Nick Saban at Michigan State and performed relatively well for the Cowboys, then elevated his game when Bill Parcells came in 2003. Between 2003 and his release in 2010, Adams was a five time Pro Bowl player while also earning All Pro honors in 2007. His consistent play at left tackle (only missing 14 games in 12 years with Dallas) proved to be important for a young Tony Romo.
Based on the pre-draft invites, the Cowboys could surprise people with an unexpected wide receiver selection and JuJu could be one of those players. Our own Joseph Hatz provides some highlights of the Trojan WR.
Generally speaking I’d say Smith-Schuster looks like a poor man’s Dez Bryant, and I think overall he’s a late 2nd/early 3rd-round type of prospect. However, taking the Cowboys’ needs into consideration and the talent that is expected to be available at those positions at the end of the 2nd, I would probably hold off on him until the 3rd. He looks like an excellent number 2, possession type of WR who can carve out space over the middle, win on jump balls and keep the chains moving but his lack of speed/explosiveness is a cause for concern, especially when you consider that one of the primary complaints of the Cowboys passing game in recent years has been that there is a lack of explosiveness and speed. Long story short, his strengths are redundant with what is already on the roster in many ways.
The jury is still out on which of these two players were the better choice for the Cowboys at pick four last year, but for now - Zeke’s out in front.
It’s certain that there will continue to be debate about the Cowboys’ first selection of the 2016 draft, but the issue from a an AV point of view is decidedly in Elliott’s favor. Ezekiel Elliott is already an historic running back. Jalen Ramsey is a nice defensive back, who at best may grow into being one of the better defensive backs in the NFL.