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Cowboys News: Dallas Cowboys Among Winners Of 2017 NFL Draft

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Latest Cowboys headlines: Jerry Jones says overhauled Cowboys are ready to win in playoffs; Cowboys get five of their top 68 players; 14 undrafted free agents have signed with Cowboys so far.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

What a whirlwind of activity in Cowboys Nation yesterday! We'll recap some of yesterday's headlines below, but a single News post won't be able to do the last three days any justice - yesterday alone we published 26 posts between 12:30 AM ET and 10:39 PM ET here on Blogging The Boys, and the action will continue today.

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2017 NFL Draft, Winners and Losers: Cowboys among five winners - Will Brinson, CBSSports.com
The list of winners includes the Cowboys and Eagles, the list of losers includes the Giants. Here's Brinson's take on the Cowboys.

No surprise here, but the Cowboys draft was all about getting better on defense. And they did, without having to move around much or sacrifice any future capital. Their first three picks -- Michigan DE Taco Charlton, Colorado CB Chidobe Awuzie and Michigan CB Jourdan Lewis -- might end up all starting for them.

Ryan Switzer is going to have an impact on special teams and be a thorn in the side for offenses in a similar fashion to Cole Beasley. He's just a gamer and a perfect fit for Texas. Dallas also got more talent on the defensive backfield in the third day, getting Xavier Woods (safety, Louisiana Tech) and Marquez White (corner, Florida State).

Winners and losers from Day 3 of the 2017 NFL Draft - Cameron Da Silva, Fox Sports
Your Dallas Cowboys did well on Day 3.

Winner: Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys had one of the best drafts, locking up that on Saturday in the final rounds. The steal of the entire class could prove to be safety Xavier Woods, whom the Cowboys scooped up in the sixth round (191 overall). He was one of their 30 pre-draft visits, so to get him in the second-to-last round was remarkable. They also added Ryan Switzer, the best route-runner in the draft and a dynamic punt returner. Marquez White is a raw corner, but in Rod Marinelli’s system, he fits extremely well and could develop into a future starter. Dallas did well on Day 3.

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Cowboys 2017 draft: Some thoughts on how things transpired and what it means - David Moore, SportsDay
Moore provides some interesting nuggets on how the draft unfolded for the Cowboys.

  • The first three picks all had second-round grades, and the franchise ended up with five of the top 68 players on its board.
  • The Cowboys were discussing whether to take San Diego State running back Donnel Pumphrey or North Carolina receiver Ryan Switzer in the fourth round. Philadelphia then made a trade to jump one spot ahead of the Cowboys to take Pumphrey at No. 132.
  • Xavier Woods was under consideration in the fourth round when the team took Switzer. He was among the top 68 players on the Cowboys board and was far and away their highest-rated player remaining when he was selected at No. 191.
  • The Cowboys were poised to take Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya with their first seventh-round pick but Detroit took him late in the sixth round.
  • In Xavier Woods pick, Dallas Cowboys get five of their top 68 players -Todd Archer, ESPN
    Man, how I'd like to see that draft board...

    The Dallas Cowboys were able to select five of the top 68 players on their draft board, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones.

    That’s quite an accomplishment considering they drafted Louisiana Tech safety Xavier Woods in the sixth round with the 191st pick after making a trade with the New York Jets.

    At the time they picked them, Chidobe Awuzie (second round), Jourdan Lewis (third round) and Woods (sixth round) were the highest players left on the Cowboys’ draft board.

    Cowboys did so much more than just meet positional needs on defense - Rick Gosselin, SportsDay
    Even the usually curmudgeonly Gosselin finds reason for optimism in this Cowboys draft.

    The Cowboys remain a franchise devoted to the offensive side of the ball. And there are two more big deals coming down the pike when Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott sit down in the next year or two to negotiate their second contracts. There's also that $8.9 million salary-cap hit the Cowboys must absorb in 2018 for Romo's retirement.

    So how do you succeed with this philosophy? You draft quality young defenders and put them on the field. The sooner they contribute, the longer they can contribute. That's why I wouldn't be surprised to see Charlton, Awuzie and Lewis all in the starting lineup on opening night against the New York Giants. I also wouldn't be surprised to see Woods start some games as a rookie.

    All those draft picks playing on their rookie contracts should allow the Cowboys to better navigate the salary-cap system these next few years. And their abilities on the field should allow the Cowboys to better navigate a first-place schedule this season that includes Super Bowl quarterbacks Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan and Russell Wilson.

    I like the Cowboys' Super Bowl chances much better now than I did last week, last month or last year.

    Twitter Reacts To Day Three For Cowboys in 2017 NFL Draft - Tom Ryle, Blogging The Boys
    Ryle takes us on a fun and informative stroll through yesterday's social media highlights.

    Defensive Focus Shines Through In Cowboys' Talent-Laden 2017 Draft Class - David Helman, Dallas Cowboys
    The Cowboys got close to an extreme makeover on defense by making seven of their nine draft picks on defense.

    Jerry Jones is always sure to include Jaylon Smith and Charles Tapper, who are expected to return from injury in 2017, whenever he prognosticates about his defense. But even without that duo, it’s safe to say the Cowboys have bolstered the talent level on their defense.

    That was the goal when this process started, and the Cowboys aren’t shy about saying they’ve accomplished it.

    "The draft set up really nice for us in terms of the defensive side of the ball, in particular the defensive line and the secondary," said Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones. "We just felt there were players throughout the draft that we had an affinity for that could really help our football team and fell in line with where we were in the draft."

    "If you add Frazier and Brown and make this a time frame form this time last year, we could wake up here and have 70 to 80 percent of our whole secondary within 11 months be fresh faces," Jerry Jones said.

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    Scouting reports for every one of yesterday's picks, courtesy of Michael Siesmore and Danny Phantom:

    Broaddus Gives Scouting Report On All 6 Of Cowboys' Day 3 Selections - Bryan Broaddus, Dallas Cowboys
    Broaddus doing yeoman's work on all six picks, including this report on Noah Brown, who will likely be a training camp fan favorite:

    This guy looks like Dez Bryant running routes with his big body. Plays mean and physical. Plays inside and out. Catches the ball easily. Everything is out in front of him. Catch radius is big. Can adjust high or low -- it doesn’t matter. Can settle his weight and come back to the ball. He will snatch it out of the air. Brown knows how to get his feet in bounds, as he is very aware of the sideline. Plays with some stop-start quickness. Comes off the line strong. Can make some clutch plays when the ball comes his way, and he has made some clutch plays in his career. There’s some nice leaping ability, and he will extend for the ball. The Buckeyes used as a blocker on the edge, where he will crack down inside to seal the edge. This is more than just a "get in the way" guy. Tries to eliminate the defender as a blocker. I love the way he plays with an attitude.

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    Overhaul of team through draft is a good thing for Cowboys - Clarence Hill, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
    Three days ago, Cowboys fans were wondering who was going to play defense for the Cowboys. Today, Cowboys fans wonder which defensive players will make the team.

    Owner Jerry Jones refuses to call the Dallas Cowboys ready for the Super Bowl after a widely successful 2017 NFL Draft.

    But don’t equate Jones’ hesitancy with a lack of optimism following a defensive-heavy draft over the past three days that included three defensive linemen and four defensive backs among the team’s nine picks, including six of the first seven.

    "I don’t want to go there. I wouldn’t go there," Jones said regarding the Super Bowl. "I shouldn’t do that because we are going to have to really play to play at the level we played last year relative to the won-loss. Now we are in better shape to play in the playoffs than we did last year.

    "I feel good,. I think we are more talented. We’ve got more available talent. We are definitely better on defense than we were at the end of last year."

    Cowboys 2017 Post-Draft Roster and Depth Chart Projection - K.D. Drummond, Cowboys Wire
    The Cowboys post-draft depth chart shows an intense competition setting up for the summer in Oxnard. Drummond explains.

    The secondary is where the biggest question marks are and where the most movement can take place in training camp.

    One thing is for sure, the Cowboys carpet bombed the secondary. The battle for playing time will be intense all summer and should force the cream to rise to the top.

    Why the Cowboys didn't draft a tight end - Jonathan Auping, Dallas Cowboys
    The Cowboys have big plans for Rico Gathers.

    Immediately after the draft, Jerry Jones explained why the position wasn’t really on their radar. Last season they took a chance on Rico Gathers, a converted basketball player out of Baylor. Gathers spent last season on the practice squad, but the Cowboys saw him as a project and they aren’t disappointed with his development.

    "Rico is definitely everything the coaches thought he was," Jones said after the draft.

    He also said that the Cowboys will be witnessing the next phase of that project this coming season.

    "He will be a contributor this year," Jones said emphatically.

    2017 NFL Draft: Cowboys Undrafted Free Agent Signings Tracker With Live Updates - OCC, Blogging The Boys
    Our tracker lists 14 undrafted free agents who have signed with the Cowboys, the highest-ranked of which is 6-10 offensive tackle Dan Skipper out of Arkansas.

    OT Dan Skipper (per Optimum Scouting Draft Guide)

    A four year starter at both right and left tackle, Dan Skipper brings immediate value to his future NFL team. After playing guard in his freshman season (and on special teams, using his 6'10 length), he played right and then left tackle for the Razorbacks.

    He can be a surprisingly effective downfield and in-space run blocker, and his acceleration to the second level in the Arkansas zone blocking makes you forget that he's a 6'10 offensive tackle moving like that. His value in the NFL will be at swing tackle, and in most offensive line classes he'd be considered a worthy Day 3 player. In the 2018 class, he may crash the first four rounds.

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    Jerry Jones of Dallas Cowboys 'skeptical' of report Randy Gregory failed another drug test - Todd Archer, ESPN
    Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he was "skeptical" of a TMZ report that claimed that Randy Gregory had failed another drug test, saying the team has not been informed of a failed test.

    "We have not been informed that he has, and I don't know what another [failed test] means," Jones said. "I'm not trying to be [cute] in any way. I would be very dubious of any information. I find that ambiguous. ... If Randy said he did, I'd take this back, but I would be skeptical of the information."

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    How every team’s draft picks since 1996 lived up to expectations - Reuben Fischer-Baum, Washington Post
    Interesting analysis by the Post in which they look at teams which drafted better against expectations in each season since 1996. They use Approximate Value (AV) accumulated by a team’s drafted players in their first five seasons minus the expected value of their picks from 1996 to today. The top five:

    1. Colts (+22% overall performance vs. expectations)
    2. Packers (+18%)
    3. Ravens (+14%)
    4. Seahawks (+14%)
    5. Cowboys (+8%)