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2019 Cowboys Draft: 5 takeaways from Dallas drafting Connor McGovern out of Penn State

The Cowboys reinforce their offensive line.

NCAA Football: Penn State at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

With their second pick in the 2019 NFL Draft (third round, 90th overall) the Dallas Cowboys stunned the world a bit by taking guard Connor McGovern out of Penn State.

This felt like the opposite of the night’s first pick. Trysten Hill was a name that had been connected to the Cowboys for some time. McGovern, a guard in general, was very interesting to see and something that nobody really anticipated.

We have some thoughts. Here they are.

Dallas wasn’t AT ALL connected to McGovern in the pre-draft process

When he was talking to 105.3 The Fan just after being drafted by the Cowboys, McGovern revealed something quite fascinating. His first contact with the team was Friday night. As in the night that they drafted him. He hadn’t spoken to them before. What?

This isn’t super unusual for the Cowboys to be quite honest. As Bobby Belt noted, they’ve done it in recent memory. But they weren’t even at Penn State’s pro day. That’s crazy.

It’s not like McGovern is a stranger to the Cowboys, and we’ve heard that Will McClay is great at getting his coaches what they like. Marc Colombo obviously wanted some more beef for the offensive line, McGovern at the very least looks to be that.

The state of the offensive line in general is now very interesting

Dallas is getting (that’s what we’ve been told and nothing suggests the opposite) Travis Frederick back in 2019 and that’s going to dramatically improve the overall offensive line group. Tyron Smith, Connor Williams (who beefed up), Frederick, Zack Martin, and La’el Collins figure to be the starters. With Joe Looney and Cameron Fleming serving as backups and now McGovern... the group is very strong.

But why draft McGovern now? He’s a guard and can play center, are they worried about Frederick? Reports say no, but then what’s the situation at guard?

Speculation suggests that maybe the Cowboys are planning for 2020 and not having La’el Collins around. That could allow Connor Williams to float outside which would open up a spot for the new Connor at left guard. It’s curious.

McGovern is very accomplished and has an impressive resume

McGovern hails from Penn State which is obviously a power five school. He blocked for running backs like Saquon Barkley and Miles Sanders, he’s got experience playing some big boy football.

What’s more is McGovern has seen some harsh challenges for a long time. He started as a true freshman while at Happy Valley. From our friends at Black Shoe Diaries.

As a true freshman, McGovern played in all 14 games for the Nittany Lions on their way to a Big Ten Championship and a Rose Bowl berth. This included him making nine starts with all of those appearances coming at right guard. During his freshman campaign, he became just the third offensive lineman in Big Ten history to win Big Ten Freshman of the Week, and was named to the BTN’s All-Big Ten Freshman Team.

As a sophomore, McGovern started all 13 games at center, and helped anchor the Nittany Lions offensive line on their way to a Fiesta Bowl victory. Last season, McGovern once again started all 13 games with 12 coming at right guard and one at center. He was also named third-team All-Big Ten by both the league’s coaches and media.

That’s good to know.

Perhaps the Cowboys just want to strengthen their current strength

The Trysten Hill pick was so much about making what’s weak on the team better (bold strategy), it’s not like offensive line was a weakness for Dallas.

On the other hand, the group did struggle at times last season, but they played so banged up for so many games (not to mention didn’t have Frederick at all). We know that they’re not averse to taking the best player available... it’s possible that McGovern simply was that and that he’ll come in and make the best offensive line even better. Ezekiel Elliott has to like that.

Is La’el Collins a trade piece now? Could he move back to guard?

Thinking more about the impact that McGovern could have on the offensive line this season, it’s possible that we could see some ramifications sooner rather than later.

If Connor Williams is indeed the plan at right tackle in 2020, why not start that process now? You could put him there and Collins back in a position where he’s succeeded in the NFL at left guard, but if you’re going to consider that possibility why not consider trading Collins altogether?

Don’t get me wrong, La’el Collins is a solid player and a legitimate line of depth so trading him for the sake of doing it isn’t exactly a solid idea. It is interesting to consider now though considering the Cowboys have more than a surplus of talented offensive linemen.

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