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Dallas Cowboys Draft 2017: The Do’s & Don’ts For A Successful First Round

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Here’s what the Cowboys should and shouldn’t do during the first round Thursday Night.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams Draft Party Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The draft is finally here and it’s an exciting time for all of us but before it actually pops off we need to get some last minute nuggets of advice in. When you’re team is picking at 28, you have a lot of draft to watch before that pick. Right now, the social media world is turning on its axis as rumors swirl and fly around, some will stick and some won’t. This is a billion-dollar business and the more exciting the draft the more revenue that pours into the NFL.

We can all remember a time not too distant from today where the draft was held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City every single year. Now the NFL has turned it into an on-location NFL event that attracts thousands of fans each year. The NFL draft is must-see television and you can bet that excitement is running rampant right now. Before the draft kicks off, here’s what the Cowboys should keep in mind as this process goes on.

Do- Draft The Pass Rusher Early

If one of these edge rushers that the Cowboys have shown interest in is there at 28, and they like him as a target; take him. The likelihood of you finding one you like at 60 is slimmer. It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that second-round targets like Tarell Basham and Jordan Willis are long gone by pick 60. You don’t want the edge rusher to elude you as I wrote a few days ago. If there is a Takkarist McKinley, Charles Harris, T.J. Watt, Tyus Bowser there at 28, and they like him, they should pull the trigger.

Don’t let Rod Marinelli talk you into Tanoh Kpassagnon in the fourth round when he’s a big gamble. Folks have fallen in love with a cornerback at 28 but favorites like Fabian Moreau and Sidney Jones got hurt. Gareon Conley is toxic right now and they’re not getting Marshon Lattimore. If created equal, take the edge rusher over the cornerback, every time.

Don’t- Draft A Kick Returner With Upside At Cornerback

There has been a lot of “adoration” thrown the way of Adoree’ Jackson and the Cowboys are rumored to love the guy. I just don’t see it with this guy. Why would you waste a first-round pick on a kick returner? What does he do for you as a starting cornerback? That’s where this conversation begins and ends with me. Sure, he has tremendous athleticism, he’s done great things with the ball in his hands but what does he offer as a starting cornerback?

Here you have a guy that will likely find a role as the starting slot cornerback for a team that will spend the majority of his time on special teams. There is a value for that but it’s certainly not first-round worthy. Even guys that mock him to the Cowboys, like Dane Brugler, have stated they would go another way. The Cowboys need starters with their premium picks and even if Jackson is athletic, he has almost zero potential to be an outside cornerback. He’ll get bullied by the NFL’s big-bodied receivers and he’s being way overvalued. Dallas needs their cornerbacks to shut down opposing wide receivers not wow you on special teams.

Do- Explore The Option Of A Trade Out Of The First Round

Every team is going to look for trade downs considering the depth at certain positions. However, the Cowboys can only hope that a quarterback will still be around at the end of the first round. If that’s the case they could possibly parlay that into extra picks in the middle rounds. Dallas has seven picks, but picks are gold and they could be looking to gain some more picks to fill out their roster. If somehow the Cowboys can find a way to pry a third-round pick away and they only have to trade into the Top-10 picks in the second round, make it happen.

What if the Cowboys were able to pull off a trade where they procured another third-round pick? What if they can get a guy like Tyus Bowser in the late 30’s early 40’s and then turn their next three picks towards the secondary? That would be a winning scenario for the Dallas Cowboys. All those coming forth with the 2009 argument, realize that was a failed draft in itself. It doesn’t mean the Cowboys will be unsuccessful drafting this year if they lose the 28th pick. Move back a few spots, gain more value, and hit on picks in the sweet spot of the draft.

Don’t- Trade Up For Any Player In The First Round

There is not a single player that is worth trading up for in this draft outside of Myles Garrett. If Derek Barnett falls to 19-20 range, just let him fall. The Cowboys don’t have much capital to trade up with anyway but they need more help than just one player can provide. This draft is peculiar because everyone agrees that it offers up depth but nobody can agree on where players rank outside of the top edge rusher, cornerback, and safety.

If the depth is so good and there is no consensus in ranks after the top five or so talents, why be so eager to move up? Jerry Jones stated that this is a good year to “stand pat” and there’s likely to be a player the Cowboys really like right in their laps at 28. The value in trading up may not cost as much this year but if players are so closely rated, there is no reason to lose multiple picks for one player. All of the players that far down will have some warts but this team needs their day two picks and perhaps need to find a way to gaining more.