Many Cowboys fans are wanting the team to continue building a defense that played very well over the latter parts of last season, but what if the front office and coaching staff decides to focus more on the offensive side of the ball? Dane Brugler answers a question on if the Cowboys could choose three offensive players in the first three rounds.
Dane Brugler: That’s a good question. I think it’s possible. I’m not sure it would happen at 19, 50, and then their third round pick. They might have to maneuver a little bit. Maybe you trade back into the first round; you get Wynn, you trade up in the second; you get Moore, and then I think you get Ian Thomas in the third. I don’t know how ideal of a situation that is to go offense in the first three rounds, but sign me up. Like you said, three of my favorite players.
Isaiah Wynn - I’m not very keen on going offensive line in the top 20 picks. In my opinion, the strength of your team is already the offensive line. You don’t need a surgery at left guard, you just need a band aid, and I think they can find that elsewhere. Isaiah Wynn’s one of the top 20 players in this draft, and so at a certain point in the first round, the value’s absolutely there.
DJ Moore, he’s my second wider receiver behind Calvin Ridley. He came in at number 30 overall in my top 50 board, so I don’t he’d be there at number 50, but he’s not the biggest guy; he’s about 5-10. We’ll see how he does at the combine, but he’s probably going to be in that early second round range. The Cowboys might have to move up for him.
Who is a sleeper at the safety position that the Cowboys could select in April?
Jeremy Reaves, South Alabama
Reaves received attention from SEC programs as a recruit, but a back injury his senior season at Pensacola (Fla.) Catholic scared off teams, giving South Alabama an overlooked gem.
He quickly proved his value in the Jaguars’ secondary with his versatility, which allowed coaches to move him around as he logged starts at strong safety, cornerback and rover before settling in at free safety his senior season.
Reaves, who was denied an invitation to the NFL Scouting Combine, isn’t a dynamic size/speed/strength prospect, but he is a football lifer with the competitive makeup and diverse experience to provide safety depth for an NFL team.
Speaking of sleepers, Matt Miller says West Virginia Mountaineers running back Justin Crawford is his Day 3 sleeper in this draft class. He has Crawford joining Zeke in the backfield in his latest mock draft, as Dallas selects him at 210.
7. NFL Draft Sleeper: West Virginia running back Justin Crawford
Justin Crawford always impresses on film but isn’t getting a ton of national love from the media or scouts. I still think in the right situation (zone scheme, complementary back) he could be a great player. Crawford has quickness to make cuts and can run away from defenses. At 6’0” and 202 pounds, he has quality size and has also shown good hands. He’s not a power runner, which is why I like him best as a complementary piece, but I’d be all over him Day 3 as a fit in a rotation.
One of the best offensive line prospects in this year’s draft played collegiate football in the state of Texas: UTEP offensive guard Will Hernandez. The UTEP lineman was recently spotted with Tyron Smith and La’el Collins. Bryan Broaddus was asked for his thoughts on the three hanging out together.
Bryan Broaddus: I don’t know, I saw the picture too, and I was kind of glad to see it. That looks like three Winnebagos parked right next to each other. That was pretty impressive. I don’t know the whole story of what all has happened, but yeah. Hernandez, he’s is a guard from UTEP. He’s eligible in this draft. We saw him at the Senior Bowl. We kind of, everybody’s kind of got an idea.
It’s either him or [Georgia guard Isaiah Wynn]. So yeah, depending on where you pick in the draft, there are people who are thinking Wynn will be the first guard taken. Well, I take that back. [Quenton] Nelson from Notre Dame will be the first guard taken, and then the other guards behind him will be likely Wynn and Hernandez.
But yeah, it’s kind of cool to see all those guys together. Depending on where you are in the draft, and what round you’re in - the first or early in the second round - you’re probably going to hear his name coming off the board.
The Cowboys need help at LB, especially if Anthony Hitchens bolts in free agency. Who are some linebacker targets for the Cowboys? Brandon George gives a few, including a name that the Cowboys were after this past season.
NaVorro Bowman, Raiders (6-0, 242):
If Anthony Hitchens slips away in free agency, the Cowboys could pursue veteran NaVorro Bowman for their starting middle linebacker spot.
That would largely depend on what they believe the future is for Jaylon Smith in his return from a serious knee injury.
Bowman would upgrade the Cowboys’ linebacker depth and be a natural fit alongside weak-side All-Pro Sean Lee. Bowman and Lee played alongside each other in college at Penn State and stay in touch.
The Cowboys almost had a chance to sign Bowman in October.
If the Cowboys go after a tackle in free agency, who are some targets that Cowboys fans should familiarize themselves with?
LaAdrian Waddle, 26, T
The New England Patriots find themselves with three of their offensive tackles soon to be free agents. And knowing the Pats, they’ll probably let two or even all three walk. Waddle is 6’6” and 315lbs and has a good deal of experience protecting the right edge. He’s an up-and-comer that has his best football ahead of him. The only question is, will it be good enough. I seem to think so and he’d be well worth a modest multi-year deal to play swing in Dallas.
ESPN’s Dan Graziano discusses Dez Bryant and Zack Martin.
The Cowboys were able to work out extensions with Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick that were favorable (to Cowboys), but Zach Martin is looking for a deal similar to what Kevin Zeitler got from Cleveland last year ($12M/yr).
“...something needs to happen with Dez Bryant’s contract this offseason..”
What if you could have any player in the draft wear silver and blue? Who would you pick? Danny goes with Penn State superstar Saquon Barkley in a just-for-fun article.
The easy answer to this question is - the player you have #1 on your board. Maybe it’s Nelson or maybe it’s one of the franchise quarterback prospects? For me, that player is Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.
Some would consider this a wasted opportunity and a misuse of resources. With Ezekiel Elliott already in the backfield, why go after another running back? Last time we checked, there is only one football to play with at any given point in time. Sure, taking another star running back isn’t necessary the most optimal thing you could do to upgrade this team, but you can’t turn away from the elite talent of a player like Barkley, even if a different position is a more pressing need. Knowing what you know now, would you still take Chidobe Awuzie over Alvin Kamara if given the chance to have a do over?
The electric playmaking ability of Barkley is just too impressive to pass up.
That’s not good.
Charles starts kindly, noting that Taco came on at the end of the season, but he then starts to peel away layer by layer. He says that Taco, similar to all first-rounders, put too much pressure on himself.
One of the first disconcerting things that Haley notes is that in his initial impression of Taco, he didn’t know if he (Taco) enjoyed playing football or was just good at it.
What’s more is that Haley says he heads out to work with the Cowboys pass rushers about once a week, admitting this is only a small glimpse, and that when he did some film study work with Taco... he was surprised at Charlton’s lack of football knowledge.
After Josh McDaniels backed out of the Colts job following numerous reports that he was the man to lead the charge in Indy, the Colts had to shift their coaching search quickly. On Sunday, they officially hired Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich — just days after quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo was hired as the Vikings’ OC. RJ writes on the impact these coaching moves could have.
This move has an interesting set of effects on the Cowboys, which is what we’re concerned with.
First of all, Frank Reich will no longer be in Philadelphia. As he oversaw an offense that won the Super Bowl and embarrassed the Cowboys back in November with Carson Wentz at his disposal, it would certainly not hurt if he wasn’t there anymore.
Carson Wentz is going to have a hard enough road coming back from a torn ACL. With DeFilippo and hypothetically Reich both out of the building, things are all the more difficult for the Eagles, meaning they’re all the better for the Cowboys.
What’s more is that the New York Giants are currently re-building their staff under new head coach Pat Shurmur. In need of an offensive coordinator, Shurmur has looked to Eagles running backs coach Duce Staley as a potential option.
While the Eagles likely wouldn’t have let Staley interview with New York (they can block it) anyway, they’re certainly not going to let him walk if they themselves are in need of an offensive coordinator, meaning Reich leaving also weakens the Giants. Another Cowboys win.
On Friday, Jason Garrett's father, and former Cowboys scout, Jim Garrett passed away. Our own Michael Sisemore wrote on Jim. Definitely worth the read.
Perhaps my favorite Jim Garrett story wasn’t nearly as thrilling as the image painted by Broaddus about the pleading for Moss. There was a video made in the 1998 season that has since vanished from YouTube where Jason Garrett was featured due to him taking the starting job for an injured Troy Aikman. In the video, they ask for Jim’s opinion of his son and it was the perfect scouting report. Paraphrasing him from a foggy memory, Garrett said that Jason’s intelligence for the game would have him ready.
It’s hard to put over 70 years of football experience into one column but Jim Garrett just embodied the spirit of football and it started with his passion for life. He never did anything in his life without loving it, I can still see the image of a 70+ year old Jim Garrett slowly jogging every morning in the opening scene of an episode of Hard Knocks in 2008. He never wavered in that passion for life and his optimistic nature still lives through his children today. Jim Garrett was an amazing teacher, coach, scout, and father. Everyone from the Cowboys organization to its fans lost one of their brightest stars, and he’ll be sorely missed.