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Cowboys news: Offensive line combine winners; wide receivers meeting with the Cowboys

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The combine has begun so what stories are developing from potential prospects for the Cowboys?

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NCAA Football: Louisiana Tech at Texas El Paso Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports

NFL combine winners/losers: Saquon Barkley puts on a show - Bucky Brooks, NFL.com

Offensive line combine winners include a name that has been bandied about as a possible target for the Cowboys.

Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP: The Senior Bowl standout will continue to climb up the charts following a spectacular series of workouts that left scouts impressed with his explosiveness, power and movement skills. Checking in at 6-foot-2 and 327 pounds, Hernandez clocked a solid 5.15 40 after pushing up 225 pounds 37 times on the bench press. He followed his fine performance in athletic testing with a flawless positional workout that showcased his quick feet and body control. Considering his sterling game tape and solid performance in Mobile, Hernandez has cemented his place as a Day 1 pick with an A+ workout at the combine.

Will Hernandez: The Cowboys perfect OL prospect at NFL Combine - Patrik Walker, 247 Sports
Another review of UTEP’s Will Hernandez.

The 6-foot-3, 330 lb. Hernandez plays with a mean streak at the point of attack, routinely imposing his will on would-be defenders. He made a name for himself in a big way at the Senior Bowl, continuing to build upon what he’s put on film in his time with the Miners. With teams like the Denver Broncos also eyeing him in a big way, the Cowboys have some competition on their hands if they’re hoping to land him this spring.

Hernandez is the ranked by CBS Sports as the second-best guard in this year’s draft class, behind only Quenton Nelson of Notre Dame -- the alma mater of current All-Pro guard Zack Martin. Landing Nelson would be a long shot but if Hernandez is available when the team goes on the clock with their first pick in Day Two, it’d be difficult to see them passing up on him.

Here's a scenario where the Cowboys take an offensive lineman with their first-round pick in the 2018 NFL draft - Newy Scruggs, SportsDay
But will the Cowboys secure another first-round pick on an offensive lineman?

Could you justify drafting another offensive lineman in the first round if you’re the Cowboys?

Newy Scruggs: If the Cowboys see a high-rated offensive lineman in the first round that fits, then they should pull the trigger. The job is to find a first-round draft pick who can become a Pro Bowler. If that is a guard or a tackle, then I’m all for it. The Cowboys did not have football’s best offensive line in 2017. Tyron Smith has back issues right now. Backs are tricky.

Possible Pick: Why Georgia’s Isaiah Wynn Is A Top O-Line Prospect - Rob Phillips, Dallas Cowboys
Rob Phillips discusses how Wynn could help the Cowboys.

How He Helps The Cowboys:

Team executive vice president Stephen Jones told reporters at the Combine that the Cowboys are looking for a fifth starter on the offensive line, and left guard appears to be the only real spot in question. Pro Bowlers Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick and Zack Martin return in 2018, and La’el Collins made a successful transition to right tackle last year. Jonathan Cooper, the primary left guard starter last year, had knee surgery after the season and is set to be a free agent.

Several Names Worth Knowing On Day 1 Of Combine Workouts - Bryan Broaddus, Dallas Cowboys
The Mothership's crack team of Bryan Broaddus, David Helman, and Dane Brugler are all over the draft coverage from the combine. Broaddus offers up a few names that have already caught his eye, including a interesting OL prospect the Cowboys could target on Day 2.

Keep an eye on Oregon offensive tackle Tyrell Crosby during these workouts. Crosby measured in at 6-4, 309 with 10 ¾ hands and 35 ¼ arms. Crosby is one of those prospects that played tackle in college but could project inside to guard. He’s a light-footed player that shows some body control and balance for the position. There is also some nice pop in his hands.

Cowboys Draft: mid-to-late sleepers at swing tackle - Reid Hanson, Sport DFW
Offensive linemen have been making some noise during the combine and it could result in the Cowboys missing out in the early rounds. They will need to have a backup plan and that means looking for Day 3 gems. Reid Hanson identifies four sleeper prospects, including this versatile linemen from Nevada.

Austin Corbett / 6’4” 310lbs / Nevada

Corbett is a player with loads of experience at both right and left tackle, yet some project him as a center in the NFL due to his size concerns. While his size and length aren’t optimal, they aren’t terrible either.

In fact, a certain Cowboy has the exact same measurables: La’el Collins is 6’4” 305lbs and has 33” reach.

Projected round: 4th

3 early targets for Cowboys in Round 3 of NFL Draft – Joey Ickes, FanRag Sports
Former BTB writer Joey Ickes takes a look at some third-round targets for the Cowboys, including another offensive line prospect.

Wyatt Teller, Guard – Virginia Tech

The biggest need on the Cowboys’ roster is probably the left guard spot, where they don’t have a capable starter under contract for 2018. That said, it’s extremely likely that they’ll look to the first two rounds of the draft to fill that spot. But if they go another route, signing a band-aid in free agency, they could look to the third round as a spot to add Teller — who was extremely physical in the run game in college and showed ability in pass protection as well — to be their future at the left guard spot.

If they can get Teller for offensive line coach Paul Alexander to develop over the next year, they could have a longtime starter at left guard.


While the combine is making the love grow stronger for some of the offensive linemen prospects, they’re not the only players catching fans eye. Everyone’s favorite WR prospect is grabbing attention as well.

How a Cowboys target won the combine just by standing still – Jeff Cavanaugh, The Athletic
There will be a lot of running and jumping around during this weekend's combine activities, but for one fan-favorite prospect, he bolstered his draft stock by just being himself.

Fortunately, sometimes you win at being measured. Maryland Wide Receiver DJ Moore just won the grand championship of measuring. He's six feet tall. And he most likely made money because of it.

His tape shows a guy that had multiple people, myself included using the name Steve Smith to describe the way he plays. That short guy plays so much bigger than he, he's so tough and resilient, so hard to tackle after the catch. He's Mighty Mouse! But now he's six feet tall. He just shed his biggest negative on the scouting report. DJ Moore gets to just be a full-sized football player without the word 'undersized' on his scouting report.

Cowboys to meet with draft prospect, WR DJ Moore at combine - K.D. Drummond, Cowboys Wire
His draft stock continues to rise and fans are going to love hearing anything that connects him to the Cowboys.

Moore was expected to be a Top 50 pick despite what was thought to be his smaller stature, but at the combine weigh-in he measured an even 6-feet, two inches taller than he had been reported as.

The Terrapins suffered through cataclysmic injuries to the quarterback position the last two years, leading Moore to catch passes from six different throwers, all with different styles. As such, he flew under the radar all year, but he’s growing in stature as analysts start to break down his film.

He’s as tough and determined with the ball in his hands as any prospect in this draft, and he can go up and get the ball at the catch point with the best of them. He can not only break through tackles, but can also make moves on defenders. He can take the top off a defense and can also work the underneath.

He’s too early to take at 19, but if the Eagles take him at the end of the first round, I know a lot of Cowboys fans who are going to have a conniption.

Report: Cowboys to meet with top Alabama WR Calvin Ridley - Patrik Walker, 247 Sports
While D.J. Moore has become a fan favorite, the Cowboys best shot at getting an elite WR in the draft could be if the top guy slides.

In his three years with the Tide, Ridley broke the 1,000-yard mark once and nearly twice, finishing with 967 yards and five touchdowns in 2017 -- bringing his career collegiate total to 2,781 yards with 19 receiving touchdowns. He'd land First-team All-ACC (2017) and Second-team All-ACC (2016) for his troubles, while also entering the collegiate ranks as the nation's top recruit en route to becoming a USA Today Freshman All-American in 2015. You'll certainly find bigger prospects who can do a better job of manhandling defensive backs, but few are as smooth as Ridley while carrying his deep-threat prowess.

Report: Cowboys met with Notre Dame WR Equanimeous St. Brown - Patrik Walker, 247 Sports
And if the Cowboys aren't able to grab a wide receiver early, there are still plenty to choose from later in the draft.

Given their needs elsewhere, the wideout position may have to wait until Day Two (or maybe early Day Three) before it gets addressed, which is why they're also showing interest in Equanimeous St. Brown of Notre Dame. According to Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News, the two sides have already met at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, IN.

St. Brown towers about at 6-foot-4+, one of only seven draft prospects who top that mark. His physical measurables are eye-popping, making him a very attractive replacement for the departing Butler -- who stood 6-foot-3, by comparison.


Anthony Hitchens' cost could force Cowboys' hand on Jaylon Smith - Todd Archer, ESPN
The Cowboys have a feel for what Jaylon can give the team as well as how high they're willing to spend on Hitchens in free agency. Both these factors will play a big role in the team's personnel decisions this offseason.

Smith continues to make progress from his injury, with the strength and movement in his left foot improving. It is possible he might not need the brace that helped keep his foot flexed as the nerve continues to regenerate.

The Cowboys believe Smith can play all three linebacker spots and could see some time on the strong-side this season.

“He does have versatility. He can play any of the spots,” Garrett said. “... You want to make sure you give him a chance to succeed. The (strong-side linebacker) in our defense is an important spot, but there is so much nickel defense being played in the NFL. Oftentimes you only have two linebackers out on the field, so you want to give him more than just that role. He might be a (strong-side linebacker) in base, but you want to make sure he has a role when we’re playing our two-linebacker defense as well.”

Dallas Cowboys won't tender Keith Smith but want FB to return in 2018 - Todd Archer, ESPN
While the bigger name free agents grab all the headlines, some lesser known players are still an important piece to this team. The Cowboys value the role that their fullback has to the team and will be looking to retain him.

The Cowboys would like to sign Smith to a multiyear extension, which would carry a lower salary-cap figure in 2017 but give him some security. The Cowboys have made similar moves with safety Jeff Heath and punter Chris Jones in recent years.

Smith, who converted from linebacker to fullback in 2016, has been a valuable part of the running game and a core special-teamer. He caught five passes for 26 yards, and he was tied for second on the team in special-teams stops with 10 and also forced two fumbles.

The Cowboys front office will have some tough decisions this offseason, but it’s good to know that one of their great minds will be sticking around a little bit longer.

Sources: Dallas Cowboys sign Will McClay to extension - Todd Archer, ESPN
The Cowboys vice president of player personnel signed a two-year extension with the team on Friday.

McClay has been one of the more sought-after general manager candidates across the league the past few years, but he has declined the chance to move on. He has been in the organization since 2002 but has been in his role as the chief of the college and pro personnel departments since 2014.

Last season, the Cowboys gave him the vice president of player personnel title. Though it does not carry the powers of a traditional general manager -- that remains Jerry Jones' domain -- he is their leading voice when it comes to personnel.