clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Cowboys News: ESPN Picks Dream Draft Scenario For Cowboys

New, comments

Latest Cowboys headlines: No such thing as too much Cowboys coverage; why Cowboys must draft to upgrade defense; DE Charles Harris to Cowboys?

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Almost every Dallas Cowboys game will be on national television this season - Matt Yoder, Awful Announcing
America's team, ladies and gentlemen.

It’s no secret that in spite of how much you may hate them (or love them, but likely hate them) they are still indeed America’s Team. And the ratings prove it. The networks are always in a Royal Rumble behind the scenes to try to procure as many Cowboys games as possible because of their being ratings gold. When Dallas is good and relevant, the numbers skyrocket even more.

Last season the Cowboys saved the NFL from an even bigger ratings freefall. The Cowboys had all but one of the top rated games in 2016 and that included a Thansgiving Day ratings record against the Redskins. At the time we joked that Roger Goodell would put every Cowboys game on national television to help NFL ratings in 2017. And, well, that’s basically what’s going to happen.

The Cowboys are scheduled to have 13 of 16 games slated for national television and probably to be 14 by the end of the season. Is it too much? If you’re the NFL, Fox, CBS, ESPN, or NBC then the answer is definitely no because the Cowboys are a guaranteed ratings juggernaut. If you’re a fan of any of the other 31 teams in the NFL then the answer is definitely yes because you’re sick and tired of hearing about and seeing the Cowboys every single week.

Star_medium

Dream 2017 NFL draft scenarios for all 32 NFL teams - best-case scenarios in first round - Dan Graziano, ESPN
Graziano picks the best-case draft scenarios for each team, and has this to say about the Cowboys.

This year, the Cowboys still need a pass-rusher and a bunch of help in the secondary, so their dream is that someone like Derek Barnett or Charles Harris falls all the way down here and the cornerback of their dreams (Adoree' Jackson?) is one they can get in the second round. And if it doesn't go well, they can shout, "Remember last year's draft?!" and everybody will smile and nod.

Mike Mayock connects 10 NFL clubs with draft prospects - Chase Goodbread, NFL.com
Mayock connected prospects with 10 NFL clubs during a media teleconference on Friday, and has Charles Harris as a good match for the Cowboys.

Three names to watch for with Dallas at the No. 28 pick, although both could be gone by then, per Mayock, are pass rushers Charles Harris of Missouri, Takkarist McKinley of UCLA and T.J. Watt of Wisconsin. Harris is "picking up steam," per Mayock, and there's a good chance he won't be available to the Cowboys so late in the first round.

2017 NFL mock draft: Jordan Willis to the Dallas Cowboys - SBNation.com
In the first round of the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft, the Dallas Cowboys and Blogging the Boys dropped a bombshell by picking Michigan safety Jabrill Peppers. In the second round, Dallas finds the edge rusher it needs.

60. Dallas Cowboys: Jordan Willis, DE, Kansas State

Halprin: The Cowboys are still searching for a defensive end that can be a force in the pass rush, something they really haven't had since DeMarcus Ware left. Willis can possibly be the guy and is a real bargain at pick No. 60. Blessed with extreme athleticism, he blew the competition away at the NFL Scouting Combine. He’s a high-motor guy who has been durable, and on the college level he has produced — 8.5 sacks in 2015 and 11.5 sacks in 2016. Pro Football Focus had him with the second-most quarterback pressures in 2016, with 80. There are some questions about lack of pass rush creativity and stiff hips on making the bed around the edge, but overall Willis has a lot to like, and with some coaching by Rod Marinellli, has the tools to be special.

Analysis: There are some who think that Willis is a player who could be in play for Dallas in the first round of the draft. To get him at No. 60 is a steal. He’s far and away the top pure 4-3 end available. Like Seattle earlier in the day, this is a team that needs to get a cornerback or two this draft, but the value just isn’t there at this stage.

2017 NFL Draft Slaytics Report - Ethan Young, Fanragsports
You're probably familiar with SPARQ by now, but you may not be fully familiar with its limitations. What Sparq doesn't do, for example, is take into account any size or length measurables other than weight. Size and length can be important for football players, yet they are missing in SPARQ. Which is why Ethan Young, an enterprising blogger, developed a metric called Slaytics, a metric that expands Sparq to include size and length. The resulting SLA measure ("Size, Length and Athleticism") can also be shown as a percentile, and Young published the data for the 2017 draft class yesterday.

Make it a point to check out his excellent data - you might have to make some last-minute changes to your draft board. And because the previous three links were about pass rushers, here are the top five pass rushers as via SLA:

Name Pos School SPARQ% SLA%
Jordan Willis EDGE Kansas State 98.5% 97.4%
Tyus Bowser OLB Houston 91.5% 96.5%
T.J. Watt EDGE Wisconsin 90.1% 91.2%
Daeshon Hall EDGE Texas A&M 76.2% 89.1%
Samson Ebukam EDGE Eastern Washington 96.9% 85.8%
Deatrich Wise EDGE Arkansas 50.3% 82.5%

NFL Draft Board 2017 - CBS Dallas / Fort Worth
Bryan Broaddus teamed up with Jeff Cavanaugh and Kevin ‘KT’ Turner for a full Draft Board. At cornerback for example, they only have three players with a first-round grade: Marshon Lattimore, Teez Tabor, and Fabian Moreau. Definitely worth checking out.

Star_medium

In Rod they trust: Marinelli works wonders, but Cowboys must draft to upgrade defense - David Moore, Sportsday
Moore explains that Marinelli ability to coax the maximum out of his defensive players has allowed the Cowboys to shortchange the defensive side of the ball in the draft. And that's got to stop.

But pushing the proper motivational buttons and coming up with clever nicknames won't continue to raise the ceiling for this defense. These Mighty Orphans need an infusion of talent. If three of the top four picks in this draft aren't spent on defense, you will know the Cowboys are once again expecting Marinelli to bail them out.

The faith this organization has in Rod Marinelli is justified. But it's no longer enough. The team can't adopt the stance that it's added two picks to this class before the draft begins -- linebacker Jaylon Smith and defensive end Charles Tapper, who didn't play last season -- and be seduced by offensive talent early.

The Cowboys must be forceful in their pursuit of defense in this draft.

National writer: Dak Prescott's success changing way Cowboys look at NFL draft prospects - Sportsday Staff
MMQB's Albert Breer recently joined KESN-FM 103.3 and discussed a conversation he'd had with Stephen Jones about why Dak Prescott fell all the way to the fourth and what that means for the Cowboys' scouting approach this year.

What he said to me was the thing that we really missed was we just didn't put enough stock into what a good leader he was, how good he was from an intangible standpoint, and how important it is to have guys like that - who have that sort of makeup - as a foundation of who you are. And the foundation of how you build your team ... We didn't do a good enough job of separating good from great and great from rare, and Dak, in those categories, is rare. And that became a big part of why he was so ready to come in and have the year that he had as a rookie.

So, I asked Stephen does that apply to other positions now for you, too? And he said absolutely. And so I thought that was a really interesting answer for a team that's taken a lot of risks to have this example there of Dak Prescott being the type of guy who really just has it all together, has his whole situation together - and he had the DUI before the draft last year - but his history told you he was a great leader. He had great intangibles.

Star_medium

For Dallas Cowboys to thrive, Dak Prescott must again outplay top QBs - J.J. Taylor, ESPN
Taylor's headline makes it sound like the Cowboys will face murderer's row of elite QBs this season. But most of these names don't scare me at all.

Good quarterback play determines so much of a team's success that you can tell a lot about a team's playoff hopes just by looking at how many good quarterbacks it'll face in a season. Prescott opens up against Eli Manning of the New York Giants, but doesn't get another upper-echelon quarterback until Week 5 when Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers travel to Dallas.

So no good QBs until Week 5. Got it. Anything else?

In the last eight games, though, Prescott will face Washington's Kirk Cousins twice, Kansas City's Alex Smith, reigning league MVP Matt Ryan of Atlanta, the Los Angeles Chargers' Philip Rivers, Manning, Oakland's Derek Carr and Seattle's Russell Wilson.

I'll give him Ryan, and maybe Wilson. But that's it.

Nothing to see here, folks.

Parcells, who made Romo's career, happy ex-Cowboys QB retired - Gary Myers, NY Daily News
Bill Parcells brought Tony Romo into the NFL and thinks Romo made the right decision to retire.

"I was glad he retired," Parcells told the Daily News. "Enough is enough. You got to know, this is hazardous to your health."

Then he added, "I wish Jason Witten had retired."

The Giants feel the same way about Witten. He has been a Big Blue killer, but they will see him in the season opener in Dallas on Sept. 10.