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NFL Draft Rewind: Putting All The Cowboys-Related Draft Buzz Into Perspective

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Let’s put a bow on the story lines and philosophies of the 2017 Cowboys Draft.

NFL: 2017 NFL Draft Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

From the top to the bottom of this draft there will be nuggets to take away and store in our brains for all Drafts to come. It’s a learning process and frankly, it’s one of the most fun times of the year for fans of the NFL. Before we get started in all the hype leading to OTA’s and eventually training camp, it’s important to reflect on all the stories of the past three days.

First Round Freak Out

We know the story by now for the Dallas Cowboys, they really wanted to take Takkarist McKinley. We know that to be a fact as reported by Nick Eatman, Takk was the pick at 28. However, often times, the draft throws a few curveballs. The day of the draft, rumors were swirling that the Atlanta Falcons wanted to trade up and hop Dallas for a pass rusher. They did just that by trading with Seahawks and snatching McKinley right at 26th overall.

Once again, just like with the Paxton Lynch thing, the Seahawks thwarted the Cowboys. It’s all well and good because the Cowboys got the best end of that deal and got even in this draft as well. That’s right, the Cowboys snagged Taco Charlton three spots before Seattle, who promptly traded out of the round after he was gone. There’s the rub in all the backlash the Cowboys got for selecting Charlton, a guy who has done nothing but improve every single year.

There is no waiting for him to get healthy or add a few pounds. The long-limbed, 6’6”, 277-pound end who can set, hold, and burst around the edge is ready to play. As much vitriol and anger that was spewed before the second round on Friday, now there is somewhat of a calming among Cowboys’ fans knowing they got the guy the Seahawks’ really wanted and stole one from the NFC Heavyweight division. Additional note: There is a report that the Dolphins were going to take Charlton at pick #22 if Charles Harris wasn’t there. Seems like Taco was on the menu for a few teams.

A Renovation Renaissance

Perhaps the most piquant portion of this draft tasting came from the fact that the Cowboys’ front office told you what they were going to do and they just went right ahead a pulled it off. In the presser following the first round, Stephen Jones said we’re confident that we’re going to fix our secondary and find some quality cornerback prospects.

The Cowboys withstood the hailstorm of all these defensive players that we’re flying off the board and picked their highest-rated player, Chidobe Awuzie, from Colorado. This isn’t your average second-round cornerback, at least, in my eyes; he has some first-round capabilities. Awuzie is one of the most athletic cornerbacks in this draft and his best attribute is he makes plays on the ball.

As the third round began, more defensive players that Cowboys’ fans liked were being picked over and over. However, perhaps the best slot cornerback still remained on the board. There is no doubt that the Cowboys’ were interested in Jourdan Lewis, just as they’re likely privy to far more information on the misdemeanor domestic violence case he has pending or they wouldn’t have made this selection. In just two picks, the Cowboys grabbed two versatile defensive backs that can do a lot of things for this defense. Not just that, they grabbed two starting-caliber players in hopes of replacing the departed Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr. They may even have spooked a current veteran cornerback on the roster but that’s pure competition.

Third-Day Steals & Base Hits

As the fourth round was dragging along we had everything from orangutans pissing off Mike Mayock to Carl Lawson still being on the board. As it progressed, the War Room cam showed Scott Linehan pleading his case with Garrett and Joneses. Then Rich Bisaccia followed suit and you knew right away this was going to be some sort of offensive player with some special teams peppering in there.

For what it’s worth, the pick could have been Donnel Pumphrey out of San Diego State, the multifaceted running back who has a Darren Sproles feel to him. A bit undersized but he’s an elusive runner with great vision and superb special teams abilities. Well, Pumphrey was scooped right up when the Eagles traded up to the 132nd pick (one before Dallas) to get their Sproles-clone.

What the Cowboys ended up with though is going to be a fun addition to an offense that already is a load to deal with. Dallas got sort of another Cole Beasley-type though I prefer the comp to Julian Edelman. Ryan Switzer was a beast at North Carolina where he not only racked up yards but soon became Mitchell Trubisky’s number one target. This guy is known for his brash attitude and punts returned for touchdowns but make no mistake, he’s a darn good receiver too.

In between the 78 picks it was from 133 to 211, the Cowboys were contemplating something. Why in the world was Xavier Woods still on the board? After all, they thought about going after him in the fourth round. He was the last of the Cowboys’ 30 visits still around for the taking. The Twittersphere was growing impatient as it was so obvious who they should go after and they really liked him. Finally, the front office swung a trade with the Jets and put everyone out of their misery. Xavier Woods was the pick and that signaled the Cowboys having somehow procured five of their Top-70 players on their draft board. It’s likely that those four defenders will all be starters or get playing time at some point in this upcoming season.

Pulling The Scraps Off The Bone

Dallas wasn’t done by any means as they traded back with Patriots at 211 to 216 and gained another seventh in the process. They still had some players they liked and wanted to make sure they weren’t fighting for them on the open market.

They ended up grabbing the long cornerback with range and ball skills in Marquez White from Florida State to close out the sixth.

In the seventh, it was about fortifying both sides of the ball while keeping the competitive drive alive that Jason Garrett is constantly striving for. The front office started out the round by adding to the defensive tackle depth with the hyper-productive Joey Ivie from Florida. This kid’s story will melt your heart as football went on the backburner when he lost his little sister to a car accident in which she passed in his arms. Still, he’s a big school product that contributed to one of the better defenses in the country.

The Cowboys then used their extra seventh acquired through the Patriots to steal another player who deserved to go much earlier. Noah Brown, the big-bodied receiver from Ohio State will join his buddy, Ezekiel Elliott. Brown had some ESPN Top-10 style plays when he was with the Buckeyes and now he joins a packed depth chart.

The final pick was Jordan Carrell, the versatile defensive lineman that could serve as Rod Marinelli’s new Swiss-army knife, a title previously held by Jack Crawford. Carrell knows how to play big-time defense and hold the edge while offering some juice in the pass rush.

What’s It All About?

The Dallas Cowboys came in with a pure plan to attack the defense while taking advantage of freshening up their offense and special teams should the opportunity arise. Dallas knew well enough that the good pass rushers would be long gone by 60. They saw the opening to blow the roof off their secondary that has been underachieving for years and proved us right for suggesting four defensive backs would be theirs. They got Dak Prescott a few more offensive mismatches that should make them a bit more lethal than they already are. Lastly, they added depth at positions to keep churning the bottom of the roster.

They pretty much did what they wanted, when they wanted, and how they wanted while the entire league sat and watched. They needed starters, they snagged some and depth behind it. Y'all, the Dallas Cowboys flexed all weekend long.