As a Dallas Cowboys fan you may or may not have given very much thought to how their 2018 draft class has performed up to this point since entering the league. Each of these players now have three years under their belt in the NFL and are entering the ever important contract year, including Leighton Vander Esch after the Cowboys decided not to pick up his fifth-year option.
It’s important to revisit past draft classes to try to measure the success they’ve had with the organization. It’s a good way of gauging a player’s personal development and a team’s ability to build through the draft. Dane Brugler of The Athletic probably had something similar in mind when he released his power rankings for all 32 teams based on their 2018 draft class.
If you’re subscribed to The Athletic you can read Dane Brugler’s power rankings in its entirety, but since the Dallas Cowboys are our main concern that’s who we will focus on today. The first thing we need to do though is to refresh our memories as to exactly who the Cowboys drafted back in 2018.
Dallas Cowboys 2018 Draft Class
- Round 1, Pick 19 - LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State
- Round 2, Pick 50 - OG Connor Williams, Texas
- Round 3, Pick 81 - WR Michael Gallup, Colorado State
- Round 4, Pick 116 - EDGE Dorance Armstrong, Kansas
- Round 4, Pick 137 - TE Dalton Schultz, Stanford
- Round 5, Pick 171 - QB Mike White, Western Kentucky
- Round 6, Pick 193 - LB Chris Covington, Indiana
- Round 6, Pick 208 - WR Cedrick Wilson Jr., Boise State
- Round 7, Pick 236 - RB Bo Scarborough, Alabama
We discussed how many members of the 2018 Dallas Cowboys Draft Class could be on the team in 2022 on the latest episode of The 75O. Make sure to subscribe to the Blogging The Boys podcast network (Apple devices right here or Spotify right here) so you get access to all of our shows.
The Cowboys 2018 draft class was far from perfect, but it does look as if they had more hits than misses and that’s always a good thing. Regardless of what we think, we are here today to see what Dane Brugler thinks of Dallas’ 2018 draft class.
Below is where they landed in his power rankings and what he had to say…
12. Dallas Cowboys
Best player: Michael Gallup
After his Pro Bowl rookie season, Leighton Vander Esch appeared to be the easy answer to this question, but neck and collarbone injuries have put his future in limbo. Gallup had a breakout season in year two with 66 catches for 1,107 yards and six touchdowns over 14 games, when he led the team in receiving yards per game. With the addition of CeeDee Lamb, Gallup’s future in Dallas is clouded, but he should cash in next offseason.
Best value (outside the first round): Gallup
The ninth receiver drafted in 2018, Gallup has combined for 1,950 receiving yards the past two seasons. That’s 24th in the NFL and second among receivers drafted in 2018 (behind Calvin Ridley). With 80 players chosen ahead of him, Gallup has certainly outplayed his original draft spot. The Cowboys also found a steal among the undrafted free agents with cornerback Charvarius Ward, whom they traded to Kansas City, where he has 16 passes defended over the past two seasons as a starter.
Biggest miss: Dorance Armstrong
Despite the Cowboys not picking up his fifth-year option, I am not ready to label Vander Esch as a “miss” just yet because he has All-Pro potential if he stays on the field. Armstrong has had a nondescript three-year run in Dallas (2.5 career sacks), despite the team giving him every opportunity to stay on the field. With the Cowboys going front-seven heavy in this year’s draft, Armstrong will be fighting for a job.
Brugler’s assessment of the Dallas Cowboys 2018 draft class seems to be right on point. Having them landing 12th overall is fitting and he hit the nail on the head identifying Dallas’ biggest hit and miss, as well as their best value. They probably would’ve landed higher if Leighton Vander Esch wouldn’t have struggled with injuries.
Even though LVE is the only player from the Cowboys 2018 draft class to be named to the Pro Bowl so far, there’s no doubt Michael Gallup has been the best and most consistent player to date. He possesses the talent to be an All-Pro and has been on the cusp of being a Pro Bowler these past few years. Maybe 2021 is that year things finally come together.
Brugler identified Dorance Armstrong as the Cowboys biggest miss which is probably fair, but to his credit Armstrong was never expected to be much more than a backup and special teams player. He’s played that role well over the past three years and has a chance to do so once again in Year 4.
Overall, the Dallas Cowboys 2018 draft class should be viewed as a success. They drafted several starting caliber players who have been key contributors for three years now and some solid backup/utility depth pieces as well. You really can’t ask much more from a draft class. What do you think?