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Cowboys News & Notes: 2017 NFL Draft First Round Edition

It is finally here!

Super Bowl LI - New England Patriots v Atlanta Falcons
Will he be all smiles tonight?
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

NFL Draft 2017: Dates, Times, TV Schedule & Channels, Online Stream, Radio, Draft Order & More - Dave Halprin, Blogging The Boys
Just go ahead and open this up, and keep it open for the next three days to save yourself a lot of time.

It's Draft Day!

2017 Consensus Big Board: What Position is Deepest in the Draft? | Arif Hasan, Zone Coverage - Cold Omaha
We have all heard how this draft is deep at EDGE and defensive backs, This article uses an interesting bit of value analysis to show that that is indeed the case.

With two edge rushers at the top of the consensus board, and more peppered throughout the top 100 players than any other position, it’s pretty clear that edge rusher has the most talent. Even when compared to prior drafts, which typically have a good number of edge players, the 2017 class tops the list.

After that, a historically strong safety class comes along to revive what is typically a fairly mundane position in the draft — there’s often not much strength or depth. This year is far different.

Even knowing that cornerback classes as of late have been stacked, this year’s promises to be better than most. There are more cornerbacks in this year’s top 100 than have been picked in the draft’s first 100 selections in five of the last six years.

Re-grading the 2016 NFL Draft, one year later - Christian D’Andrea, SBNation.com
One of the most pointless things is to award a grade immediately after the draft - and yet those kinds of posts are some of the most widely read in the first few days after the picks are in. But consider this review of last year's draft - and how very few of the grades given out then are unchanged a year later. For example:

1(4) Dallas Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott

Original grade: B

2017 Grade: A

Elliott feasted in 2016, earning every bit of his signature celebration move. His 1,631 rushing yards were the second-most ever by a rookie tailback. His wizardry helped the Cowboys run all the way to the NFC’s top seed last fall.

Mock Draft Roundup: No Clear Consensus On Cowboys’ Pick | David Helman, Dallas Cowboys
It is clear that nothing is clear about who the Cowboys will likely take at 28, as this compilation of mock drafts makes clear. Clear enough?

In all seriousness, the variables are huge when you are sitting so late in the round, and there are nothing but questions ahead of the Cowboys’ turn, it seems. Even the first pick of the night continues to be the subject of either real doubt about what the Cleveland Browns will do, or some really dense smokescreens. It will be something of a relief to see the names finally start to come in.

Cowboys 10 draft commandments, tells and tendencies | K.D. Drummond, Cowboys Wire
Our old friend K.D. Drummond has amassed some rules for the Cowboys' draft over the years, and they are good ones. Keep a really close eye on number 1.

Commandment No. 1: Thou shall take huge risks in Round 2

Jerry Jones’ spirit as businessman and owner is channeled through the team’s second-round risk pick. While the club has hit it out the yard in the first round recently, they have repeatedly focused on trying to get inside-the-park homers in Round 2. Dallas loves to snag players who had the talent to be in the first round, but had some sort of red flag that send them tumbling. If not that, they look to make a big splash with their second rounder. When all else fails, reach for a tight end.

NFL Mock Draft: With the 28th pick, the Dallas Cowboys select.... | Charean Williams, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
This is just one mock draft that sees some very good options making it through to Dallas at 28.

The Cowboys would love Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett, whom they see as the “war daddy,” but he likely becomes a top-10 selection. That makes it likely that Missouri defensive end Charles Harris, UCLA defensive end Takkarist McKinley, Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey or Florida cornerback Quincy Wilson becomes a Cowboy by the end of Thursday.

Why I chose Taco Charlton for Dallas Cowboys in NFL Nation mock draft - Todd Archer, Dallas Cowboys Blog- ESPN
The season of mock drafts is finally coming to an end. Todd Archer (who apparently survived the mass dismissals at ESPN) gives his reasoning for his pick for Dallas in their first round mock, when he chose between Taco Charlton and T.J. Watt.

That left the decision down to Charlton or Watt.

Both succeeded in the Big 10 but were one-year starters. Charlton’s sack totals increased every year, including 9.5 in 2015. Watt had 11.5 sacks last season. Charlton is bigger at 6-foot-5, 277 pounds. Watt, at 6-foot-4, 252 pounds, is more of a tweener, perhaps a better fit as an outside linebacker in a 3-4.

Takkarist McKinley’s NFL team better have a really good plan - Stehpen White, SBNation.com
Retired NFL DE Stephen White doesn’t see a first-round pass rusher here, and the mixed views on Takkarist McKinley are just one of the many areas of confusion about the possibilities for the Cowboys this year. There are a lot of maybes, and no real certainties. And this is true of so many of the options for the Cowboys in the first round - and beyond. Will McClay and company are really going to have to earn their paychecks this year.

Drew Pearson, Bradie James to announce Cowboys’ draft picks | Drew Davison, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
A couple of former stalwarts for the Cowboys will be announcing the second and third round picks.

The NFL released a list of special guests who would announce picks for respective teams, and the Cowboys went with former wide receiver Drew Pearson to deliver their second-round pick and former linebacker Bradie James to announce the third-round selection.