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WR, DT, and G: Which combination of draft picks should the Cowboys take in the first three rounds?

Can the Cowboys maximize their draft haul by targeting a specific order for these positions of need?

NCAA Football: Washington Spring Game Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

The front office of the Dallas Cowboys will be looking to the 2018 NFL Draft to help improve their football team. When you ask fans what positions they hope the Cowboys address, most of the answers involve one of these three areas - wide receiver, defensive tackle, and guard. If the team was able to acquire a starting-caliber player from each of these positions, most fans would consider that a successful draft. Well, is that possible if the Cowboys went about it in the right order?

For this exercise, let’s take a look at some players that could be available for each of these three positions at the spot in the draft where the Cowboys are picking in each of the first three rounds. Two players at each position will be provided fore each round.

For pick 19, you have:

Choices for pick 50 include:

And finally, the options for pick 81 are:

Put on your GM hat and pick one player from each group, making sure you take a different position each time. What collection of players do you think would improve the Cowboys the most?

Some of us BTB staffers pondered this scenario already and we came up with the following results:

While none of us had the exact same choices, there was a common theme in some of them. Half of us selected a defensive tackle in the first round, a wide receiver in round two, and a guard in the third round.

Tom doesn’t mess around and goes right for the mammoth guard Will Hernandez. While some might question whether that’s a bit early for Hernandez, it’s a safe pick that immediately bolsters the Cowboys offensive line. How can you not love this spread?

Several of us go with a 1-tech defensive tackle in the first round, with the favorite being Vita Vea from Washington. There is some concern about making such a large investment in a player at that position. While both Vea and Alabama’s Da’Ron Payne are the best of this year’s draft crop, both Tom and Dave were still able to get solid players at defensive tackle on Day 2.

Dave plays that to his advantage and takes the best wide receiver in the draft in Calvin Ridley. If the Cowboys could get a quality starting left guard (Billy Price) and a decent two-down DT (Deadrin Senat) on Day 2, then wouldn’t it make sense to grab the best playmaker with pick 19?

But even for those of us who went the DT at 19 route, the next two rounds provided some good options. Whether we opted to go with a wide receiver at 50 or 81, both combinations have some good players available.

Regardless of which direction we went, each of us was able to get a draft haul that we felt pretty good about. This could be an indication that the team has some leeway in how they can approach the draft. If there was one strategy that stood out as a more effective process than others, then that would make one consider placing a heavier emphasis on this player vs. that player (similar to what they did with defensive end and cornerback last season).

But there’s not. The Cowboys can just focus in on taking the best player at 19 without thinking too much about getting cute and finagling the perfect draft haul.

Speaking of getting cute, next time we will explore the idea of sacrificing some of that Day 2 draft capital to move up and grab one of the big playmakers in the draft. So if you’re feeling like a certain safety or linebacker is left out of the mix, don’t worry - we’ll get to that. But for now, what combination of players from these groups do you like the most?

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