There are a lot of big-name receivers on this list of 30.
Dallas doing homework on first-round pass catchers
Following the trade of Amari Cooper to Cleveland, it was no secret Dallas would be a potential landing spot for one of the top wideouts in the draft class as they try to replenish their stable of weapons.
Each receiver in the aforementioned trio has extremely different skillsets, but what they have in common is the fact they are consensus first-round selections. These three are the only wide receivers listed on the Cowboys 30 visit schedule.
The fact that that Dallas has only set meetings with the top wideouts in the draft have led many to believe the club is seriously considering selecting their second first-round receiver in the last three drafts, as CeeDee lamb fell into Dallas’ lap in 2020.
Considering the market price for high-end pass catchers, and the impact recent first-round receivers are having early in their careers, there are very few positions that add more value to a club in Round 1. Taking that into account, along with Dallas’ current lack of depth at wide receiver room, it’s easy to see why the Cowboys are getting to know these talented wideouts better.
The Cowboys have until July 15th to hammer out a long-term deal with Schultz before the franchise tag is official for 2022.
The Cowboys released veteran Blake Jarwin last month after his struggles with injuries and the threat that he might not play at all in 2022 after hip surgery. They still have Sean McKeon under contract and recently re-signed veteran Jeremy Sprinkle for depth, but that doesn’t leave much behind Schultz for security.
Dallas could reasonably draft a TE to be Dalton’s backup now and for the next few years on a rookie contract. Even if they do reach a long-term agreement with Schultz, the torch may be passed in 3-4 seasons.
But if the Cowboys draft one of these prospects in the 3rd Round, burying them in a 2nd-team role for several years isn’t really the best use of assets. Relative to other positions backup tight ends aren’t that hard to find.
It could be that Dallas is visiting with these players in the hopes that one of them could fall to the 4th Round or beyond. But if they do take a TE on Friday night, one has to wonder if that means they’re no longer seeing Dalton Schultz as a long-term asset on offense.
We probably won’t know until much later in the offseason if the Cowboys and Schultz wind up in a multi-year contract. Those moves tend to come well after the draft.
However, while it seemed an eventuality about a month ago, some of these recent signs have now opened up more room for speculation. Dalton Schultz will be back in 2022, but anything beyond that is now more in question.
3 offseason moves by Cowboys’ NFC East rivals that make us worry a bit- Lauren Barash, The Landry Hat
The NFC East has been quiet, but what moves should Cowboys fans actually worry about?
1. J.D. McKissic Reverses Course and Goes Back to Washington
The Washington Commanders were on the brink of losing their RB2 for a solid two days. J.D. McKissic certainly isn’t the world’s best running back. However, the Commanders would have been in deep trouble if this guy was gone.
Two days ahead of the official start of free agency, the soon-to-be seventh-year running back agreed to sign a two-year deal with the Buffalo Bills. According to ESPN, the Commanders had not made McKissic an offer before that time. But two days later, Washington told the RB that they would offer him the same contract, and McKissic reversed his choice. Brandon Beane, the Bills GM, was incredibly frustrated by the reversal. The running back said his choice was because he had “unfinished business” to take care of in Washington.
— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) March 24, 2022
In 2021, second-year running back Antonio Gibson has over 1,000 rushing yards. He and McKissic helped Washington improve to 12th in average rushing, up 12 spots from 26th in 2020.
Again, McKissic is far from a huge threat to Dallas. But it could have been worse? In two seasons with Washington, the RB2 averaged 8.0 yards per reception, was a strong blocker in protection, was also a versatile pass-catcher. Given the fact that he was a receiver in college, McKissic is able to run routes well and adds versatility to his offense.
It is never a bad idea to have a backup plan.
After throwing for 6,000-yards and 62 touchdowns, you would think Zappe would be skyrocketing up draft boards. But because of the system he played in, some analysts don’t believe his numbers could translate to the NFL.
Despite breaking records, Zappe is being viewed as a QB that you can grab in later rounds if you need a backup or developmental project. But there is a belief that he can be an eventual starter down the road.
If Zappe were to be drafted by the Cowboys, he would be someone who can be counted on to make plays with his arm or his feet. After seeing the play from the backup QBs two seasons ago, please sign me up.
Despite being known as a gunslinger, Zappe has also been labeled as someone who has an “above-average arm.” But if you don’t remember Cincinnati Bengals Quarterback Joe Burrow was given the same label heading into the NFL Draft, and he turned out fine.
Now I’m not saying that Bailey Zappe’s going to be the next Burrow. But I feel like if there’s any reasonable comparison between them, that could be a successful use of a late-round pick.
Could McBride be a possibility for Dallas?
Who is Trey McBride?
Weight: 246 lbs.
40-Yard Dash: 4.53-4.56
2021 Stats: 90 receptions, 1,121 yards, 1 TD (six 100+ yard receiving games in 2021)
NCAA Career Stats: 164 receptions, 2,100 yards, 10 TDs
Trey McBride accounted for 37% of Colorado State’s receiving production last year. He had as many yards as the second, third, and fourth leading receivers combined. In an offense that finished the year completing less than 60% of their passing attempts, McBride continued to find a way to produce even when everyone and their mother knew he was where they wanted to go.
The game that stands out to me is his performance against the Iowa Hawkeyes. On the road in a hostile Kinnick Stadium, McBride went up against the 17th best overall defense and No. 1 defense in the country in total interceptions.
McBride was shadowed by Iowa’s secondary, which features four individuals who are projected to be on NFL rosters next season, and put up 6 receptions for 59 yards. It wasn’t his season-high in either, but it was his best output in my opinion in terms of who he did it against.
Colorado State TE Trey McBride (6034v, 245v), who didn’t run at Combine, ran 4.53-4.56 range on multiple NFL scouts at today’s pro-day. This checks final box of pre-draft process for McBride and will solidify him as top TE on many boards around the league. pic.twitter.com/QakTSdl8y0
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) March 30, 2022
Considering six of the 30 visiting players were defensive lineman, maybe it shouldn't be surprising if Dallas goes with an EDGE.
24. Dallas Cowboys: Boye Mafe, EDGE, Minnesota
The Dallas Cowboys are another team that could be looking at Tyler Linderbaum, but with him going off the board one pick before they’re up, they change course and bring in Boye Mafe out of Minnesota.
It might feel like a stretch for Mafe to go into Round 1, but it probably shouldn’t be. While he might not be ready to start from day one, he is a guy who plays with a non-stop motor and showed an increase in performance every season with the Gophers, as pointed out by Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network.
” I do believe Mafe is more of a developmental player than a plug-and-play starter, but the trajectory of Mafe’s play with the Gophers has been on a steady increase for the entirety of his career with the program, culminating with a career year in 2021 with six sacks, nine tackles for loss, and 30 tackles (all career highs). Mafe has bright flashes of nuance at times but the consistency is where his NFL team is going to require patience from him as he continues to grow a better feel for the game, particularly in deconstructing blocks and being a persistent threat as an outside pass rusher.”
Dallas can actually take their time with Mafe since they have DeMarcus Lawrence, Dante Fowler, and Dorance Armstrong and in the end, Mafe could become a fixture in their defense.
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