Dallas wasn’t the only team in the division adding talent over the weekend.
The Eagles were very active even before the draft started making a move with the Saints to get future draft capital. They went on to move up 2 spots in a second trade and then traded picks for star receiver AJ Brown and signed him to a four year, $100 million contract with $57 million guaranteed.
Brown is coming off a down year but is known as one of the best weapons in the NFL and should help open up coverages for former first-round picks Jalen Reagor and DeVonte Smith. With weapons like Dallas Goedert and Miles Sanders, plus one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, Jalen Hurts is set up to have a chance to show himself as a franchise QB.
The second trade the Eagles made was to get above the Baltimore Ravens to select the mammoth one technique Jordan Davis out of Georgia. In Round 2 they grabbed center Cam Jurgens from Nebraska. Philadelphia likes to build through the trenches, and they were reloading for now and the future with these picks. Jason Kelce and Fletcher Cox are likely in their last years with the Eagles and these pieces are to fill those holes for the next four years at least.
In the third the Eagles took a lottery ticket on Nakobe Dean. He started to slip in the draft due to a medical issue. If he gets his pectoral injury taken care of and comes back healthy then Philadelphia might have landed the steal of the draft in a smaller sized linebacker who can run free behind that giant defensive line and make plays all over the field.
Finally, to me, the poison-ivy menacing itch the Cowboys most needed to scratch and the pick that just must click is this one for sure:
Sam Williams, defensive end, Ole Miss, with the 24th pick in the second round, 56th overall, a noted pass rusher, but with the size at 6-4, 261 and speed to burn, with a 40 time at 4.46. Go look at some of his plays. Just what the doctor ordered.
Hey, I think No. 94 might be available, and not saying just to be cute. Seems fearless and relentless, in the mold of a Charles Haley or DeMarcus Ware or Randy Gregory, his 94 predecessors.
And look, I know the Cowboys signed veteran Dante Fowler Jr. as sav for the Gregory departure wound, but for only a one-year deal. Re-signed highly capable veteran Dorance Armstrong, but for a two-year deal.
But guarantee you when this guy is one the field, even if as a designated pass rusher for starters, the opposing QB will be looking for his number to be named soon. Every team needs one of these dynamic bad-will hunters.
Getting to know the players signed after the draft.
Markquese Bell, Safety, Florida A&M
The Dallas Cowboys have needed safety depth most of the offseason after retaining Jayron Kearse and Malik Hooker. Bell was productive in college and could offer depth at the position with some time adding some size. A ball hawk who is always looking to make a play he offer some exciting upside to his game.
Bell has shown a knack for making a play on the ball. He uses his length and speed to cover ground quickly sideline to sideline and deep to keep up with the fastest receivers. Will try to knock the ball out of running backs hands with solid technique in his tackling form. Very few tight ends will get away from him.
For all the speed Bell has, he just doesn’t have the power to really make him dangerous. This shows when he blitzes or takes on blocks coming downhill. Tightness is evident as it shows up when changing directions coming downhill causing him to take bad routes to the ball. Sometimes a little slow in locating the ball but has the athleticism to help overcome it.
The grades are in.
24th Pick: Tulsa OL Tyler Smith
At first, I completely rejected this pick. However, it’s started to grow on me a little bit. Smith is a great run blocker who is aggressive, tenacious and mean, which the Cowboys need across the roster.
I’m still not thrilled with this pick, though. Smith is a penalty machine, having committed 16 last season. That isn’t ideal for a team that committed the most penalties in the NFL last season. He’s a second-round talent and a project guy taken in the first round.
Smith is still extremely raw and will be thrown right into the starting lineup. Maybe, he will develop. Let’s hope he does.
56th Pick: Ole Miss EDGE Sam Williams
Dallas has been high on Williams for a while, and so have I. He’s a fantastic pass rusher, recording 12.5 sacks and a Pro Football Focus pass-rush grade of 90.2. Williams is quick off the line and excels at rapidly getting to the quarterback.
Say what you want about where Dallas took him; this is still an excellent selection. Yes, Dallas passed on linebacker Nakobe Dean here, but so did every team. Williams seems hand-picked by defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, having worked out with him at Ole Miss’ Pro Day. I think I’ll trust the man who completely turned around the Cowboys’ defense last season.
After a call from Dak Prescott, receiver Jalen Tolbert had a feeling he’d be a Cowboy - Todd Archer, ESPN.com
Dak getting ahead of the game.
Turns out it was Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.
“I answered and he was like, ‘Jalen,’ and I was like, ‘What’s up?’ And he’s like, ‘This is Dak Prescott. How are you doing?’” said Tolbert, the South Alabama wide receiver who was selected in the third round by the Cowboys Friday at No. 88 overall. “For a minute it was like a surreal moment because I never knew quarterbacks would call prospects, but it was an awesome, great experience.”
Prescott spoke with Tolbert for about 20 minutes, “and I think we immediately vibed on the phone, connected right there.”
The Cowboys considered Tolbert in the second round before selecting Ole Miss pass-rusher Sam Williams. They were happy to see him available in the third round. He caught 82 passes for 1,474 yards and eight touchdowns last season, including a seven-catch, 143-yard effort against Tennessee.
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