Way back in time, let’s say, oh, last week, the Cowboys were feeling pretty confident about their defensive line. They had made their first offer to DeMarcus Lawrence and expressed optimism about getting a deal done. They knew David Irving wasn’t coming back but they had the much-improved Randy Gregory on the other side and the flexible veteran Tyrone Crawford available to patch holes. That was then.
Flash forward a week and they’ve had to tag Lawrence as his camp scoffed at the team’s initial offer, and they’ve gotten the news that Randy Gregory has been indefinitely suspended. Suddenly, the defensive line is a little less stable than it was previously. Of course, they could still reach a long-term deal with Lawrence (highly likely) and Gregory’s suspension may be lifted in time for the 2019 season (odds unknown at this point), but the mere threat of these potential issues has sent the mock drafts scurrying for defensive linemen in the latest round up of picks at #58.
One of our favorites here at BTB, John Owning, has the Cowboys picking up an edge rusher.
Round 2, No. 58 overall pick: Christian Miller, EDGE, Alabama
With Randy Gregory’s suspension, defensive end became a real possibility for the Cowboys in the second round, and Alabama product Christian Miller is an outstanding option at that point in the draft.
The Cowboys love length on the defensive line and Miller’s 35-inch arms certainly exceed their threshold.
On the field, there’s not a ton to dislike about Miller, who possesses a plethora of tantalizing traits as a pass rusher. He possesses a good enough get-off from a three-point stance and an upfield burst to stress offensive tackles’ pass sets off the edge. Miller displays the appropriate flexibility in his lower half to effectively corner around the edge while maintaining balance and speed.
Dallas Cowboys: Zach Allen
School: Boston College
Position: Defensive end
Sack master DeMarcus Lawrence and interior presence David Irving are entering free agency. In other words, don’t be shocked if the Cowboys use their first selection in the 2019 Draft on the defensive line unless one of the top tight end slips.
Allen is actually big enough that he could kick inside when needed, much like Tyrone Crawford has done. Our next pick, from the NFL Spin Zone, is another defensive end who could be converted to a 3-tech.
58. Dallas Cowboys: Charles Omenihu, DL, Texas
If you look at what Charles Omenihu did in his drills and consider him a defensive end, it was bad. If you consider him a defensive tackle, he did great. Listed at 6-5 and 280-pounds, he would fit as a three-technique defensive tackle for the Dallas Cowboys which is their thought process here. Omenihu would fill the vacancy left by David Irving and could push the defensive line up a notch, which would be impressive considering they were a strength in 2018.
Other mockers went with straight up defensive tackles, like Draft Wire.
58. Dallas Cowboys | Khalen Saunders | DL | Western Illinois
This may be a little early for Saunders, but you never know, his stock has been climbing. Our friend John Owning actually has the Cowboys picking him up in the third round at pick #90.
One of the biggest complaints levied at the Cowboys’ front office and coaching staff is their propensity to avoid taking defensive tackles early in the draft. The Cowboys maintain that a big, space-eating defensive tackle who thrives against the run must also display some intriguing pass-rush traits for them to feel comfortable investing a top-100 pick.
Measuring in at 6 feet, 324 pounds, Khalen Saunders has the appearance of a space-eating nose tackle but displays a lot of plus traits as an interior penetrator and pass rusher with 11 sacks in his last two seasons combined.
Another shot at adding some beef in the middle comes from Sport DFW.
Round 2 – Daylon Mack – Defensive Tackle – Texas A&M
With the impending suspension of Randy Gregory for an indefinite period of time and David Irving being David Irving, the need for defensive line help bumps up a little. There was no doubt the Cowboys already needed to look at the position and they fill it in the second round of the draft. I am assuming the Cowboys get Earl Thomas or another safety in free agency, so defensive tackle is the pick.
Or maybe you prefer an Ohio State product that is more in the mold of a 3-tech.
58. Dallas Cowboys – Dre’Mont Jones (DT – Ohio State)After overlooking the tackle position last year, the Cowboys must find one in this year’s draft now that David Irving is headed to free agency. Jones is thin for a defensive tackle, but he has a good motor because of it. He’s a much better pass-rusher than run-stuffer, as his swim move to get inside the offensive linemen is rather impressive. He will likely need to add weight for the next level, as his Combine weight was just 281 pounds.
There were a couple of mocks that went against the grain, with Walter Football sticking with their safety pick for the Cowboys.
Cowboys: Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia The Cowboys have a great defense, but their secondary is a weakness outside of Byron Jones. They’ve been trying to trade for Earl Thomas, so if they can’t get a deal done, here’s the safety upgrade they need.
Juan Thornhill is a sound tackler and covers very well.
And for something completely different, Chad Reuter at NFL.com drops this one on us.
A.J. Brown - WR
School: Mississippi | Year: Junior
Jerry Jones finds a potential value in Brown, who can join forces with Amari Cooper.
What’s your preference, BTB?