clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cowboys news: Potential targets in the draft for the Cowboys on the defense

The Monday morning links.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

2018 NFL Draft Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

NFL draft series: Cowboys have quality depth at cornerback for now, but it could soon become a position of need - Jon Machota, SportsDay

Could Kris Richard and company look at taking a cornerback in this year’s draft?

Cowboys defensive backs coach Kris Richard prefers tall corners with long arms. If the position was of bigger immediate need, Houston’s Isaiah Johnson would make a lot of sense at pick No. 58, Dallas’ first selection in this year’s draft. Johnson is 6-2 with 33-inch arms. Richard comes from a Seattle organization that has openly admitted to seeking corners with at least 32-inch arms.

The Cowboys are more likely to target some depth at the position in the final two rounds. Two players that could be available in the later rounds include Baylor’s Derrek Thomas and Kentucky’s Chris Westry. Thomas is 6-3 with 33 and ¾ arms. Westry is 6-4. He was not invited to the combine and his arm length has not been made available.

Both players have had official pre-draft visits with the Cowboys.

Cowboys Draft Digest, Volume 10: How Dallas can supplement pass rush on Day 2 - Bob Sturm, The Athletic

Elsewhere, on the defensive side of the ball, Sturm looks at who the Cowboys can target to rush the passer and get after the quarterback.

Anthony Nelson — Iowa— 6’7 — 271

Nelson’s profile has grown this spring because he has far more athleticism than first believed. He dominated the 3-cone and 20-yard shuttle while being one of the biggest defensive ends in this year’s crop. Add that to his All-Big 10 honors in 2018, his best season for the Hawkeyes, and he is firmly in the mix.

Overall: I was really impressed with Nelson. I think he has a real chance to be a very nice player and I have no problem putting him in the group with the SECOND-ROUND edge players. I see some Tyrone Crawford-type attributes and I think most teams would be pretty pleased with that sort of value near the end of the second round.

EDGE Rankings - Benjamin Solack, The Draft Network

Will Anthony Nelson be on the radar on day two?

Anthony Nelson EDGE, Iowa

Anthony Nelson isn’t quick. We gotta start there, and acknowledge that as the starting point. Off of the line, he labors to gain depth and doesn’t threaten the initial set of the tackle. At the NFL level, bigger bodies and long tackles will be able to beat him to landmarks and really challenge his hand usage and bend in a way Big 10 tackles didn’t.

But that said, Nelson is a fantastic cornering player at his size, with great hand usage, power, and navigation of tight spaces. Because of his length and strength, Nelson is a high-floor Year 1 player with the ability to compromise pocket depth regularly. How many rushes will he finish?

Round Grade: Late 2

Top 5 players Cowboys regret passing on in 2015 NFL draft, including three defensive ends - Jon Machota, SportsDay

On the topic of defensive ends, Machota gives three names that the Cowboys wish they added in the 2015 draft.

2. Trey Flowers, DE -- Arkansas

Drafted 101st overall by the New England Patriots

Flowers has steadily become one of the NFL’s top defensive linemen. After only being active for one game his rookie season, Flowers has collected 21 sacks over the last three seasons, helping the Patriots win two Super Bowls over the last three years. The Detroit Lions signed Flowers to a five-year, $90 million deal in March. Flowers was selected 10 picks after the Cowboys drafted offensive tackle Chaz Green.

How the Dallas Cowboys will obtain their next running back - Tyrone Starr, The Landry Hat

Will the Cowboys add a secondary back to its roster this April?

If you are scoring at home, that is 12 successful players out of the 53 total running backs drafted in the fourth round or later since 2015. At almost 25%, I like the chances Dallas can find a backup given that

A. The draft is a crap shoot anyways. A 25% chance to draft a good player on day three is something I’m definitely signing up to do and

B. All the Cowboys need is a guy that can get 10-12 touches a game and make a difference.

This also does not included undrafted guys such as Phillip Lindsay, Gus Edwards, Austin Ekeler, Matt Breida, Jalen Richard, Peyton Barber or Thomas Rawls

2 Contracts That Could Help Ezekiel Ellott Get Paid by the Dallas Cowboys - John Williams, Inside The Star

The Cowboys’ current back, meanwhile, will be due for a pay day sooner rather than later. Williams outlines two deals that could help Zeke get paid in Dallas.

If the Cowboys want to keep him, and that really is going to be the question, there are two contracts they should look at to structure his long-term extension: Cowboys Defensive End DeMarcus Lawrence and Los Angeles Rams Running Back Todd Gurley.

DeMarcus Lawrence got his pay-day last week in a five-year $105 million contract. His contract will pay out his guarantees over the first three years of the deal, which will get Lawrence through his age 30 season. If for some reason there’s a decline in his play or his back doesn’t hold up to the wear and tear of the NFL season, the Cowboys will have outs after the 2020 season. The only dead money they would add would be in his prorated signing bonus which is $5 million a year over the final three seasons.

The way the Los Angeles Rams paid Todd Gurley was really smart. After drafting him as a rookie in the first round, the Rams could have picked up his fifth year option for the 2019 season and then looked to negotiate a contract this offseason to extend him. The problem is they would have pushed guaranteed money closer to his age 30 season, which would leave them with problems had Gurley suffered the dreaded age-27 running back decline.

Could Cowboys RB Darius Jackson Finally Emerge in 2019? - Jess Haynie, Inside The Star

What about Darius Jackson?

Darius Jackson has displayed the ability to explode when running the ball. He has great speed when he makes his cut and can pick up a lot of yards quickly with good blocking. That’s the right kind of player for this Cowboys offense with its exceptional offensive line.

But Darius was only a sixth-round pick in 2016 because of being raw in his overall game. He’s not known for great blocking or receiving skills.

If Jackson wants to be RB2 this season, he’s going to have to developed his game over the last three years.

Even though Dallas has their franchise back in Elliott, their overall roster strength grants the luxury to spend a high draft pick on his backup if they choose to. If Dallas spend any early or mid-round pick at RB, that player will assumably trump Jackson.

Here’s what the Dallas Cowboys looked like the last time Tiger Woods won The Masters - RJ Ochoa, SportsDay

Tiger won the Masters! What did the Dallas Cowboys look like the last time Woods put on the jacket?

Tiger set a new record for distance between victories at Augusta by going 14 years since his last one there in 2005. That was a very different time for the world, but what did it look like for the Dallas Cowboys?

In the springtime of 2005, the Cowboys were coming off of a disappointing 6-10 season that was the second in which Bill Parcells led the group. They had failed to build off of a promising season in 2003 the following year. Some things feel like they never change.

While coverage of the NFL Draft was certainly nowhere to the degree that it is today, people would have probably really enjoyed all the mocks we were treated to on a daily basis 14 years ago. The Cowboys had two first-round selections in 2005 thanks to a trade with the Buffalo Bills when they tried to land a quarterback (shout out to J.P. Losman).

The Cowboys managed to pull off a strong utilization of those two first-rounders when they drafted DeMarcus Ware and Marcus Spears with them. That whole 2005 draft class actually ended up being quite nice overall.

Tweet of the Day

Tiger Woods was all anybody wanted to talk about on Sunday. That includes players from the Cowboys.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Blogging The Boys Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your Dallas Cowboys news from Blogging The Boys