It seems very likely that one of the two guards could be Dallas’ pick at 24.
Kenyon Green. Green is a two-time Consensus All-American and earned First-team All-SEC honors last season. He became an immediate starter upon arrival at Texas A&M, starting at every position on the offensive line besides center. Combining excellent strength with quick feet, Green is the dream interior lineman for any coach trying to establish a run game. He’s explosive and is able to quickly get his hands on the defender to easily drive him out of the play.
The speed at which Green is able to do things is very impressive for a 325-pound lineman. He’s able to get off his stance, attack defenders and reach the second level quickly and precisely. He’s violent, physical and strong at the point of attack, making him a lethal blocker in both run and pass protection. He plays with great intelligence as well, always looking to help his teammates on blocks. His aggression can get the better of him, and his hands can be erratic when trying to block. However, that’s an easy thing to polish with development. There are very few holes in Green’s game and he’ll be an easy fit on any NFL team.
The Cowboys watched these three sign with other teams.
2. Bobby Wagner, LB, Los Angeles Rams. Was Bobby Wagner the most affordable option for linebackers? No. But when the former Seahawks linebacker openly admitted that there was mutual interest between him and Dallas and that he wanted to play for the team, it made the front office’s inability to open their wallets even more frustrating. Wagner also admitted that he loves Dan Quinn and would’ve liked to go back to playing for him. But Dallas wouldn’t pay. Why couldn’t Dallas use the money saved on Amari Cooper and Randy Gregory to work out a deal with Wagner? The now Ram would bring an immense boost to this roster. The Cowboys have many young defenders who could learn from a veteran who is a Super Bowl champion and has made the Pro Bowl for the last eight years in a row.
For those complaining about his age, the 31-year-old doesn’t seem to be struggling. He started in 16 games last season and collected 170 tackles (three for loss) and three QB hits. If you didn’t want to pay the guy big bucks, fine. But the contract details show that the Rams aren’t paying as much as you may think. Not in 2022 at least.
The Alabama wideout could be a target in round one.
How He Helps The Cowboys:vOnce Williams is fully healthy, there’s little question he’ll have an immediate impact for any team that drafts him. The biggest reason might be speed. Williams told reporters he would’ve been the fastest participantat last month’s NFL Combine, and his college tape proves that’s a realistic claim. Last year, 11 of his 15 touchdowns were 70-plus-yard gains, an Alabama record. The Cowboys have an obvious need for receiver depth after trading Cooper to the Browns and losing key reserve Cedrick Wilson to the Dolphins in free agency.
They re-signed Noah Brown and signed four-year veteran James Washington. But starter Michael Gallup could miss the start of the season after having successful ACL surgery in February. There’s already a lot of production to replace without factoring in Gallup’s uncertain timetable, though the Cowboys sound confident he won’t miss much regular-season time, if any. Either way, a healthy Williams would step in and help the passing game take the top off opposing defenses.
After next season, the Cowboys don’t have much certainty at the running back spot.
What Happened: Understandably, not a lot has happened at a running back position that features one of the best tandems in the NFL. Ezekiel Elliott still has five years remaining on the massive contract extension he signed in 2019, while Tony Pollard is already entering the final year of his rookie deal after making a name for himself as Elliott's primary backup.
From a book keeping perspective, it's worth noting that Ezekiel Elliott's 2021 salary became guaranteed on the fifth day of the league year. The team never had any intention of moving on from him, but that simple fact makes it virtually impossible.
"Obviously, his money is guaranteed. He's going to be here," said Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones at the NFL Combine in March. "There's no question. We're fortunate to have him." The front office did make one minor addition to the room last week, signing veteran full back Ryan Nall to the roster. Nall was actually a star running back during his college career at Oregon State, finishing eighth in school history in rushing yards. But given Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy's penchant for employing a fullback – not to mention Nall's 6'2, 239-pound frame – it's a good bet he'll compete for that role. Nall played 33 career games for the Chicago Bears from 2019-21, catching nine passes for 71 yards and carrying the ball six times for 12 yards. Nall was also a key special teamer in Chicago, which is a job duty he'd likely continue with the Cowboys.
Pre-draft position preview: Cowboys’ run game is still strong, but waned in season’s second half - David Moore, Dallas Morning News
Examining if the Cowboys should add a running back in this year’s draft.
Ezekiel Elliott has been the dominant back on this team since he was taken with the fourth pick of the 2016 draft. But he shared the load more in 2021 than at any other time, and it doesn’t appear that will change this season. Conversations about Elliott’s statistical decline are valid, but tend to be exaggerated. He rushed for 1,002 yards last season. Only six backs had more. And he did it on one leg, after suffering a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament in the fourth week of the season.
Elliott isn’t bad. But he’s not explosive. That’s where Tony Pollard comes in. He rushed for a career-high 719 yards and averaged 5.53 yards a carry, ranking him fifth in the NFL.
The two proved to be a solid one-two punch. But the ground game was too inconsistent as the season went along and ended with a thud. Elliott and Pollard combined for just 45 yards rushing in the playoff loss to San Francisco. Draft need: 5 out of 10.
Taking a look at four players that may surprise you this upcoming season.
DE Chauncey Golston. Currently Dorance Armstrong is the presumptive starter on the right side of the defensive line, with Micah Parsons expected to also be mixed in at times. This is also a place where they should be looking to add a player during the first two days of the draft, possibly even to contend for the starting job. Chauncey Golston may be a long shot to get into that competition, but there is definitely a need for a good depth player, including someone who can spell DeMarcus Lawrence on the other end.
Golston was taken with the extra third-round pick they got last year in the trade back with Philadelphia in the first. With DeMarcus Lawrence missing ten games during the regular season and Randy Gregory out for five, Golston wound up on the field more than he might have otherwise and appeared in 15 of the 17 games. Still, he only saw the fourth most defensive plays among ends. He did have 32 tackles on the season, but only one sack and four QB hits, low numbers for even a rotational DE. His biggest splash of the season came on special teams, when he recovered a blocked punt against the now Washington Commanders for a touchdown. Now he needs to show improvement after a second year in the offseason program and training camp. With Gregory lost, there is a clear opportunity for all the DEs, and he is young with a strong collegiate history. Let’s see what Dan Quinn can get out of this one.
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