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Cowboys news: Possible picks at #19, the Cowboys schedule is here for 2018

The Cowboys have completed their pre-draft visits list and it’s painting a picture of what’s ahead in the draft.

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Possible Pick: Alabama WR Ridley Might Be Most NFL-Ready in Draft -Nick Eatman- Dallas Cowboys
Calvin Ridley has been linked to the Cowboys since the beginning of the draft process and there is no doubt he would be helpful.

How He Helps The Cowboys:

The Cowboys haven’t drafted a receiver in the first round since Dez Bryant, who was released on Friday. Not only that, but there is a need for a playmaking receiver and Ridley fits that description. In three years at Alabama, he produced 2,781 yards, with at least 769 yards each season. He always scored five touchdowns. The Cowboys need a speedy deep threat and Ridley certainly would provide that and more.

Source: Cowboys have worked out Richmond QB Kyle Lauletta; could Dallas draft Senior Bowl MVP again?-Brandon George- SportsDay
Two years ago, the Cowboys used a fourth round pick on the Senior Bowl's MVP quarterback, could they do it again?

Lauletta impressed scouts during a week of Senior Bowl practices in late January in Mobile, Ala., and was named the game’s MVP after he threw three second-half touchdowns. Lauletta was 8 for 12 passing for 198 yards, leading the South to a 45-16 victory. He out-performed Wyoming’s Josh Allen and Oklahoma Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield -- a pair of quarterbacks projected to be among the top three picks next week -- in the game.

Lauletta has been projected to be drafted as high as the second round by some but is expected to be a fourth- or fifth-round selection.

Possible Pick: Could Irish’s McGlinchey Follow In Zack Martin’s Footsteps? -Rob Phillips- Dallas Cowboys
You shouldn't rule out offensive tackle as a place the Cowboys look to in the first round if some other options are off the board, Mike McGlinchey is the odds-on favorite if so.

How He Helps The Cowboys:

Well, Notre Dame linemen have worked out pretty well in Dallas. Martin was viewed as a ‘safe’ pick in 2014 and now he’s arguably the best guard in football. It’s worth noting that the Cowboys have taken steps to shore up their offensive line depth through free agency already. Veteran signing Cameron Fleming adds Super Bowl experience at tackle and gives Dallas the option of considering a La’el Collins move back to guard. But for pure value, as Martin was at No. 16, McGlinchey in theory would be a solid choice at No. 19 if available.

Cowboys 2018 Draft: What if Dallas picks an offensive tackle in the first two rounds? -Cole Patterson- Blogging The Boys
This would be an out-of-the-box move but it's certainly a possible one.

Why it could make sense

Offensive tackle is one of the least of the Cowboys’ worries — for now. All-Pro tackle Tyron Smith anchors the line at left tackle, and Collins is growing into a formidable tackle himself on the right side. Aside from quarterback, running back, corner, and center, the offensive tackle position is probably the least likely pick in the first-round.

But, there could be a slight chance that the Cowboys decide to go this route next Thursday. Why? Well, because of two reasons. First, Tyron Smith is one of the best in the game at his position, but his back injuries are beginning to mount up. The ninth overall selection of the 2011 NFL Draft only missed one game from 2011-2015, but injuries have plagued him over the past two seasons.

In 2016, Smith missed three games of the Cowboys’ exciting and surprising 13-3 regular season led by rookie phenoms Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott due to back injuries. The former USC Trojan missed back-to-back games against the Bears and then 49ers in 2016 due to complications with his back. Then last August, Smith was shut down for an “extended period of time” for, again, his back.

Game-by-game predictions for Cowboys’ 2018 schedule: Will an even year be kind to Dallas again? - John Machota, DMN

Enjoy a game-by-game prediction for the 2018 season.

Info: Sunday, Sept. 9 at Carolina Panthers

Prediction: Loss

Notable: This is a good sign for the Cowboys. They’ve won four of their last six season openers. The two times they’ve lost were the only two years they made the playoffs (2014 and 2016). Dallas hasn’t played in Charlotte since 2012. The last time these teams met was Thanksgiving Day 2015, the last start of Tony Romo’s career.Record: 0-1, (0-0 ... division)

Dallas Cowboys’ schedule is chance for good start, fast finish - Todd Archer, ESPN

The middle portion of the schedule is a tough go.

Tough stretch: After the bye week, the Cowboys face three consecutive 2017 playoff teams to start November, beginning with the Tennessee Titans on ESPN’s Monday Night Football. That’s followed by visits to the past two NFC teams to reach the Super Bowl, the reigning champion Philadelphia Eagles and the Atlanta Falcons. In 2017, the Cowboys saw their season unravel in back-to-back games against the Falcons and Eagles, playing without Ezekiel Elliott and Tyron Smith. The loss to Atlanta was especially harsh, with Dak Prescott sacked eight times in Smith’s absence, and it sent the offense into a funk for almost the entire second half of the season.

Gut Feeling: Writers Debate The 2018 Schedule’s Key Stretches & Matchups - Staff, The Mothership

The schedule outside of the division is going to play a big role.

Bryan Broaddus: Two seasons ago, the Cowboys didn’t lose a game to a team from the NFC and AFC North on their way to a 13-win season – a feat at the time I believed was nearly impossible. Difficult matchups with NFC South teams Atlanta, Carolina and New Orleans, plus games against AFC South teams Houston, Jacksonville and Tennessee could likely make or break the season. Their units will be tested on both sides of the ball with quality quarterbacks and deep defensive rosters. If the Cowboys don’t want this season to go south, they need to handle business against the South.

Ezekiel Elliott became stressed out last season -Drew Davison- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The new "All or Nothing" documentary on the Cowboys is diving deep into how much this team was affected by the Ezekiel Elliott case with the NFL.

After Elliott leaves the room, Gary Brown tells Stephen Brown: “I know I’m mad that he’s late and he’s stressed out and I understand why he’s stressed out. I get out. People are saying you’re fat in the media, you lost a step … suspension [expletive] is still looming, you know what I’m saying? I get it. I get it. At the same time, we’ve got to demand better.”

Released by the Cowboys: Emmitt Smith can relate to Dez Bryant -Todd Archer- ESPN
Not even the most decorated players in Cowboys history are exempt from being released by the organization.

“First of all, Jerry and I had a couple different sit-downs,” Smith said. “We had a sit-down at his house to talk about stuff, and in the process of having that conversation, it was a clear understanding he and I both came to an agreement that this is what we’re going to do. And I was like, ‘OK, let’s do it. No problem.’”

Witten Closer To The End Than The Beginning, But Still Performing -David Helman- Dallas Cowboys
One day, sooner rather than later, Jason Witten will be hanging up the cleats but right now, he's busy performing the best he can.

What’s Next:

Witten is going to retire one of these days – but it isn’t going to be in 2018. The 11-time Pro Bowler is already back at work in the Cowboys’ offseason program, and he figures to once again be a staple of the offense and a security blanket for Prescott this season. If there are questions about Witten, it’s more about the big picture. How many more seasons is he going to play? How capable is the depth chart behind him, comprised of James Hanna, Geoff Swaim, Blake Jarwin and Rico Gathers? Do the Cowboys need to draft his eventual replacement this spring? All of that is up for debate. One thing that’s not in question is that Witten appears set to chug along at a high level in 2018.

Dallas Cowboys: Here's the final list of the Dallas Cowboys' pre-draft visitors -Jon Machota- SportsDay
The 30 pre-draft visits list for the Cowboys is finalized, better pay close attention to it.

This list is usually a good indicator of what Dallas may do in the draft. The Cowboys drafted three players off their pre-draft visits list last year: Taco Charlton, Chidobe Awuzie and Xavier Woods. Since 2004, DeMarcus Ware and Morris Claiborne are the only players they’ve drafted in the first round who were not on that list.

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