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Cowboys news: The latest mock drafts; are the Cowboys a top-15 team?

The Monday morning links.

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Brugler’s mock draft: Dallas Cowboys going after a rising NFL prospect at No. 19? - Dane Brugler, SportsDay (April 1st)

Brugler’s latest first-round mock is out. He has Dallas going linebacker on day one.

19. Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State

Some might see this as a reach, but the Cowboys don’t. Vander Esch is an ascending talent with very encouraging tape, traits and production, giving Dallas immediate depth at linebacker and a potential Pro Bowler.

Two Jaylon Smith-type prospects who will fall in NFL draft that Cowboys could eye in later rounds - Dane Brugler, SportsDay

After having the Cowboys take Vander-Esch in round one, Brugler gives two more linebackers to watch.

Question: [Are] there any Jaylon Smith-type guys who are going to fall because of injury that Dallas might have an eye on in later rounds?

Brugler: Wisconsin LB Jack Cichy is the first to come to mind. Early round talent, but he can’t stay on the field. And West Georgia offensive tackle Dez Harrison is an interesting name that the Cowboys have done extra homework on. He has a laundry list of issues that will drop him in the draft, but the raw talent is special. Harrison is an interesting project in the later rounds.

Peter Schrager mock draft 2.0 - (March 29th)
Schrager claims to have spoken to several GMs and coaches prior to publishing his mock draft, and as a result has four QBs mocked in the first six picks. The Cowboys come away with a defensive tackle.

19. Da'Ron Payne - DT, Alabama

The Cowboys could use a few more young, big bodies on that defensive line, and Payne is one of the best in this year's college crop. Great against the run; will improve as a pass rusher.

Two-Round 2018 NFL Mock Draft - R.J. White, (March 29th)
A LB and a DT in the first two rounds for the Cowboys?

19. Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State.

The Cowboys addressed their receiver need by signing Allen Hurns, so even though Calvin Ridley is on the board, I have them passing on the position. Dallas has shown plenty of interest in Vander Esch in the run up to the draft, and he'd be an excellent replacement for Anthony Hitchens who could slot in as the long-term heir to Sean Lee as a three-down tackling machine.

50. Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan.

This would be great value for the Cowboys after Hurst went through a medical issue at the combine.

Mock exercise: Looking for the best “bang for the buck” for the Cowboys - Tom Ryle, BTB

Tom does a mock draft exercise where he looks at different scenarios to figure out how the Cowboys can get the best value in each round. Check it out!

In my view, the best results overall came from taking the future left guard in the first round. However, it was a strange quirk that to keep from really reaching in rounds three and four, I came up with the same exact players. I tried to vary it up a bit from mock to mock, but in those, DL Tim Settle (Virginia Tech), LB Shaquem Griffin (UCF), and RB Nyheim Hines (NC State) were just the best available players, based on what we have seen so far from the interest Dallas has shown and how the needs fell.

The worst drafts, ironically, came when the first pick was a DT. In particular, the guard position dried up fast, and that was also something of a problem in any of the drafts that did not address the position first or second. There are a handful of studs, and then it gets dicey. Unless the Cowboys have faith in Marcus Martin, or in moving La’el Collins, they have to really consider going guard early. In one case, there was not a guard prospect that even seemed realistic after round one - and that could be a very dangerous path for Dallas to go down.

Four seven-round Cowboys mock drafts: unveils mock draft bonanza - Dave Halprin, BTB

The staff over at The Mothership recently put together their own mock drafts. Check them out and decide which one you like best!

The interesting thing about these mocks is that for one thing, they are full seven-round mocks. The other thing that makes these mocks noteworthy is that they are not put together by some national writers who often show a marginal understanding of the Dallas Cowboys at best. The staff self-depreciatingly call this their two-cent drafts, but the writers are about as close to the team as it gets, and are much more in tune with the general fan consensus than any national writer can be - at least we hope so. As a result, their mocks should be much better than many of the mocks we regularly review here.

Should the Cowboys Seriously Consider Trading Up in the NFL Draft? - Mauricio Rodriguez, Inside The Star

With the Cowboys sitting with ten picks in this year’s draft at the moment, would it be best to consider moving up to get a player that could potentially take this team to another level, such as Derwin James or Roquan Smith?

I may be missing players, but the point is this: all of this players will definitely help Dallas, but if there’s one player who clearly won’t fall to 19, and the front office believes he will be a true difference maker, they should 100% consider trading up.

This team is close. It’s not a team in rebuild mode. They are trying to make a Super Bowl run and if Roquan Smith or Derwin James or any player is what they need to take the next step, then let’s do it.

Giving away draft picks is tough and likely not an approach that the Cowboys are ready to take. All it takes is one player who’s worth it.

Updated NFL Power Rankings Entering Draft Month - Brad Gagnon, Bleacher Report

Are the Cowboys a top-15 team in the NFL at this moment? Gagnon believes so.

14. Dallas Cowboys

Considering the Dallas Cowboys didn’t have their best player for six games during the second half of the 2017 regular season, their 9-7 record is pretty impressive. You’d think Dallas, which went 3-3 sans running back Ezekiel Elliott, would have been good for an extra win or two had Elliott not been suspended.

That alone is enough to keep Dallas ahead of the middle of the pack in these rankings, even though the cap-strapped front office wasn’t able to do much in March after using a $17.1 million franchise tag on breakout star defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence.

Dallas didn’t suffer any major losses either, though, and there’s no reason to think the Cowboys won’t be back in the playoff picture with Elliott, quarterback Dak Prescott, Lawrence, a still-superb offensive line and an exciting young secondary (22-year-olds Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie and Xavier Woods all flashed in 2017).

Jaguars’ Barry Church on new Cowboys WR Allen Hurns - SportsDay

Barry Church talked about new Cowboys receiver Allen Hurns, who Church played with for the Jaguars in 2017.

Church: “What [the Cowboys are] going to get in that guy - he was definitely one of the hardest workers out of our locker room last year. He had a lot of bumps and bruises throughout the season, and he didn’t complain once. He just went back out there and did his job, and did his job really well.”

“To me, he’s more of an inside slot receiver who can also play outside. It’s going to be interesting to see how they put him in there just because you guys got a great slot receiver already in [Cole] Beasley. So, it’s going to be interesting to see how they do him.”

”But, in my opinion, he’s a great slot receiver with the ability to play outside. He’s a good blocker, ultimate teammate, so there’s a great pickup for the Cowboys.”

Quavo, Julio Jones' #HunchoDay Flag Football Game Ends with Ezekiel Elliott TD - Timothy Rapp, Bleacher Report
The "Huncho Day", organized by Migos member Quavo, brought out a huge crowd at an Atlanta high school yesterday, as he invited his A-list friends to come out and attend a flag football game.

Joined by fellow rappers like 21 Savage, Rich The Kid, Lil Yachty, Trouble, and Lil Baby, as well as NFL stars like Julio Jones, Ezekiel Elliott, A.J. Green, and Von Miller, the game raised money for the local high school's football team. Check out the entire rosters here.

The game ended with none other than Ezekiel Elliott scoring an overtime TD - and then dunking the ball over the goalpost.

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