The Dallas Cowboys are off to a pretty good start in free agency as they have now signed three players who should be key contributors this upcoming season. They took care of business by extending Amari Cooper to a five-year deal. This puts to rest any notion that the team wasted a first-round draft resource when they swung a deal with Oakland to bring him to the Cowboys. The team also signed a couple outside free agents that help fill important needs on defense. Veteran defensive tackle Gerald McCoy signed a three-year deal, and they grabbed safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix for the 2020 season. No disrespect to Maliek Collins or Jeff Heath, but you could make a case that both McCoy and Clinton-Dix are upgrades at their respective positions. Both these guys were revered as strong players a few years back.
2016 was a big year as Dallas drafted 3 players: Dak, Zeke, and Jaylon - all of who have all earned Pro Bowl honors and signed (or soon-to-be signed) 2nd contracts.— Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) March 20, 2020
What else was going on in 2016?
Amari Cooper - Pro Bowl
Gerald McCoy - Pro Bowl
Ha Ha Clinton Dix - Pro Bowl
With these players signed, it gets you thinking about how the Cowboys should now use that 17th overall pick. It shouldn’t deter them from taking a player like WR CeeDee Lamb, DT Javon Kinlaw, or S Xavier McKinney should that be the top player on their draft board. If you are a firm believer that the team shouldn’t draft based on need, then you probably also believe they shouldn’t rule out certain talent based on a lack of need.
While those top collegiate players should still be in play, it would be ideal if the top players on the Cowboys board were an edge rusher or a cornerback. The team just lost two of their best defensive players in Byron Jones and Robert Quinn. Those are big shoes to fill, but there are a couple intriguing names who could be perfect targets for the Cowboys in the first round.
K’Lavon Chassion, EDGE (LSU)
It’s so fun to watch Chassion’s tape as he just explodes off the snap and bends his way around the edge. He’s only 250 lbs, and when you distribute that within a 6’4’ frame, that type of lankiness may worry you, but he’s got great agility to change direction and attack the opposition.
His athleticism is great, but the type of player he is also has make you feel good about using a Day 1 draft resource on him. Chassion was selected to wear the sacred no. 18, that is awarded to high character players at LSU. He’s got a good head on his shoulders, and possesses the football intelligence to play with good gap discipline. He demonstrates great awareness of what’s going on and plays with fiery competitive spirit. He’s everything you’d want in an edge rusher, and he has the upside to be an NFL star.
The Cowboys have some backup options at defensive end. Tyrone Crawford’s flexibility allows him to work in some snaps on the edge if need. And with McCoy now on the squad, that’s where we’re likely to see him at times. Randy Gregory may return as well. And then there are some young guys like Dorance Armstrong and Joe Jackson trying to work themselves into the rotation. While these are nice pieces to have, landing a player like Chassion would be huge for the Cowboys.
CB C.J. Henderson (FLORIDA)
One of the drafts most athletic coverage corners, Henderson has the ability to step in and be a day one starter in this league. The footwork is there, the suddenness to change direction is impressive, and remarkable speed makes his recovery time very appealing. Henderson has prototypical NFL size and all the athletic traits you’d want from a corner.
There is some room to get better but that makes him an even more alluring candidate. He’ll lose sight of his man at times, and his tackling ability needs to be improved, but there are a lot of good things to work with here. If teams can harness that athleticism and improve his fundamentals, he’ll end up being a very nice investment for someone.
The Cowboys just lost their best corner in Jones, and next season both Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis will be free agents. With no big money spent in free agency on a replacement, the team needs to start hitting the draft hard to get some new recruits on the roster. Adding a player like Henderson would be a fantastic start.
Which of these players would you like to see the Cowboys draft?
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