With Jerry Jones’ history, don’t be surprised when the Cowboys go WR in NFL draft’s first round - Jean-Jacques Taylor, Dallas Morning News
Jerry Jones loves him some wide receivers.
This draft has a litany of quality receivers who should be selected in the first two rounds.. There’s no consensus No. 1, but this draft has big receivers (Drake London and Treylon Burks), speed receivers (Jameson Williams and Chris Olave), slot receivers (Jahan Dotson) and route-runners with speed (Garrett Wilson). It all depends on what the Cowboys want.
Dallas used top picks in 1991 (Alvin Harper), 2010 (Dez Bryant) and 2020 (Lamb) on receivers and each was worth the selection. Three times since 2000, the Cowboys traded a top pick for a receiver. In 2000, they sent two first-round picks to Seattle for Joey Galloway. In 2008, they sent a first-, third- and sixth-round pick to Detroit for Roy Williams. And, of course, there was the first-round pick the Cowboys sent to Oakland for Amari Cooper in 2018. The Cowboys have also signed free agents such as Owens, Raghib “Rocket” Ismail and Keyshawn Johnson.
If the Cowboys were to trade up, it could be for OT Charles Cross.
Where He's Projected: Cross is definitely a first-round prospect, and probably won't be around when the Cowboys pick at No. 24. But stranger things have happened where a player might slip in the draft and a team decides to moves up a few slots. Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones said just last week that he sees a scenario in which he would trade up in the draft and a player like Cross could be good enough to do that. He's got the size and then a rare combination of experience and youth, having played only 25 games in his career. Still, Cross was an All-Freshman SEC standout in 2020 and then All-American this past season.
How He Helps The Cowboys: If the Cowboys figured out a way to get Cross, he'd probably be an immediate Day 1 starter. Now, what that does for the rest of linemen remains to be seen. But Cross would be a cornerstone tackle and probably eventually take over for Tyron Smith at some point. Cross would likely develop into an improved run blocker but he's one of the best pass blockers in this draft. His experience in Mike Leach's Air-Raid offense helped him become a dominant blocker in passing situations
Pre-draft position preview: Cowboys can’t ignore the void left by DE Randy Gregory - Calvin Watkins, Dallas Morning News
Edge rusher might be an under-the-radar need for Dallas early in the draft.
Position strengths. DeMarcus Lawrence. DeMarcus Lawrence. DeMarcus Lawrence. He’s been the Cowboys’ best pass rusher for a while, and once the team secured him guaranteed money his future was no longer in doubt. But he needs help. Dorance Armstrong re-signed in free agency and he’s a solid player on passing downs. Dante Fowler and Tarrell Basham are vets who could make up for the loss of Gregory. But, that’s a lot of ifs.
Position weaknesses. With Gregory gone, it’s unfair to ask Parsons to take over at defensive end. He’ll see time here, but full-time work will come from a player in the draft or quite possibly in free agency. Fowler is coming in after a career-low 17 quarterback pressures.
Taking a look at some less talked about draft needs.
3. Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State. It’s no secret that Dallas needs offensive lineman. In most mocks, the Cowboys are getting Green, Johnson, or Tyler Linderbaum. Ohio State’s Nicholas Petit-Frere is also a great option. Several big boards have him going anywhere between the late first round and early second round, so he is certainly someone the Cowboys can look at if their favorites are off the board.
This 6-5, 315-pound tackle played both right and left tackle with the Buckeyes. For his size, he’s incredibly quick and athletic. He could start and certainly has the ability to progress into a star in the NFL. According to Pro Football Focus, Petit-Frere allowed pressure on just 0.5% of Ohio State’s total pass attempts. That’s a pretty impressive stat that ranked him No. 1 amongst all Power 5 schools. Although it took him a bit more time to make the starting roster than most thought for a five-star recruit, the Buckeye showed quick improvement once he earned the starting job in 2020. There are certainly more talented tackles that will go ahead of him in the draft, but any NFL team can mold this big gun into a star pro player.
Stephen Jones: Dorance Armstrong ‘right there’ in production with Randy Gregory - RJ Ochoa, Blogging The Boys
Stephen Jones’ comments were interesting, to say the least.
Many times in NFL history teams have benefited more from the moves that they didn’t make as opposed to the ones that they did. Do you think the Denver Broncos are upset that the Houston Texans outbid them for Brock Osweiler six years ago? Speaking of Denver, they have ‘saved’ the Cowboys a few times recently by ‘winning’ Paxton Lynch over the Cowboys a few months later and just last year took Patrick Surtain which set up Micah Parsons falling to Dallas. It is better to be lucky than good as it is often said.
Sticking with this logic, it is very possible that the Cowboys wind up ‘winning’ the Randy Gregory contract situation and they won’t regret the way things worked out. Maybe they will. That’s the way that life goes. To make up for the Gregory loss the Cowboys firmed up the return of defensive end Dorance Armstrong this offseason. Many have noted in arguments among fans that Armstrong had five sacks in 2021 to Gregory’s six, but everybody knows that this is a hollow argument based off of season statistics and isn’t at all representative of who the two are as players. Well, everybody except Stephen Jones.
A look at some possible Cowboys draft options in the first three rounds.
Johnson is a plug-and-play left guard at the next level with the anchor and hand usage to pass protect at a high level and the scheme versatility to excel in the run game.
One of the top guards in the draft, Johnson could be a starter on Day 1 to help reload the left side of the offensive line. His scheme versatility would help the Cowboys rejuvenate their run offense.
Olave has the catch radius, catch skills, and tracking ability to be a threat at all levels of the field, but needs to become a cleaner route runner and get quicker out of breaks to take advantage of his full potential.
Needing to help replace the gap left by Amari Cooper, Olave has the hands and vertical threat ability to be a solid receiver in the Cowboys offense if he is available here.
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