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Cowboys draft: 10 players to know at the East-West Shrine Bowl

With the Shrine scheduled for this week, who are some of the players the Cowboys could be paying attention to?

NCAA Football: East West Shrine Bowl Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It’s that legendary time of year on the offseason schedule, the All-Star period. To kick things off we all get treated to the oldest All-Star game which started in 1925, the East-West Shrine Bowl.

If you think the game holds little relevance then think again. The Dallas Cowboys have been in attendance watching practice this week, and they will be paying a lot of attention when the game kicks off at the Ford Center in Frisco.

Last year the Cowboys had eight draft picks, three of those selected players impressed in different ways right here at the Shrine Bowl and found their way onto the Cowboys roster (Luke Schoonmaker, Eric Scott Jr. and Viiiami Fehoko). So it’s smart to keep an eye on the players this week as some of those prospects could be finding their way back to Frisco in three months time.

Here are ten players to keep an eye on during the game and possibly on the Cowboys radar.

DT Myles Murphy, North Carolina

With defensive line being a sneaky need for Dallas, now is a good time to stock up on those players. Murphy has impressed this week in practice and has risen above other defensive linemen who have all had a good week. He has the ability to play 3-tech or push out to play defensive end and has the ideal frame for it. Watch his snap anticipation and burst off the line combined with efficient and deadly hand swipes to beat blockers. As an efficient pass rushing defender, expect to see him getting into the backfield plenty this week.

LB Edgerrin Cooper, Texas A&M

We’ve seen the league devalue the linebacker position in recent time, and that idea has left the Cowboys roster little depth at the position. Fear not, the linebacker position in this year’s draft is sneaky good and look no further than College Station to find a player to fill the hole.

Cooper is easily the best linebacker at the Shrine Bowl and he’s very athletic. Watch for his impressive closing speed and ability to consistently be a playmaker on defense. He’s that very typical Will-type linebacker with a lot of pass rush upside.

OG Mason McCormick, South Dakota State

The first thing people will point out is he’s from a small school, but he spent six years playing for South Dakota State and clearly stood out. On a total of 1,605 pass blocking snaps while at South Dakota State, McCormick allowed only three sacks. This last season he played 376 pass blocking snaps and allowed zero sacks and only two pressures. He could be a guy Dallas look to go pick up after the draft and he would be totally worth the time to develop.

OG Christian Mahogany, Boston College

Sticking with the inside offensive linemen, there are few players at the Shrine game that have a higher consensus ranking than Christian Mahogany. Boston College has a good history of producing offensive linemen and Mahogany looks to carry that tradition on. He allowed no sacks and only seven pressures this season, but watch for his solid and powerful run blocking skills that the Cowboys could really enjoy having in the building next season.

LB Curtis Jacobs, Penn State

Can lightning strike twice for Dallas with the Nittany Lions linebackers? Jacobs is far different in terms of skill set and athletic profile to Micah Parsons, but he’s a guy the Cowboys could use to help cover and run with receivers/tight ends across the middle and down the seam. He’s the perfect replacement for Jayron Kearse who had his moments of struggle last season, and they could snag Jacobs on Day 3.

OT Matt Goncalves, Pittsburgh

Goncalves is getting completely overlooked, mostly due to the fact he only played three games this year after suffering a leg injury. But the Shrine Bowl sees his return and an opportunity to expose his skills to the world. He’s a big guy at 6-foot-6 and 330 pounds, but he has surprising movement skills to go with it. There are plenty of tackle options this year in the draft that teams will look to develop, but Goncalves could actually be useful in his first year. His position versatility and experience playing both at right and left tackle will be something Cowboys coaches will consider when they see his name in the later rounds.

WR Malik Washington, Virginia

The Cowboys need receivers and Washington has impressed all week in practice. He’s a feisty slot receiver and ended last season leading the nation in receptions. He also ended the year with 1,426 receiving yards, which was fourth-most in the nation, more than Marvin Harrison Jr. and Xavier Legette who are deemed premier receivers in this year’s draft. He’s quick and agile with huge deep threat potential, but he also has great after catch skills which is something this Cowboys staff will love. His biggest setback is size. He’s only 5’8” and barely 190 pound meaning his role would be limited.

DT Leonard Taylor III, Miami

For most scouts Leonard Taylor is the main man to watch. Not just because he’s the highest consensus ranked prospect, but to also find out what his issues are. There’s no doubting Taylor is a good player, the issue is with consistency. You get one play looking like a slam dunk first- rounder, then he performs a disappearing act. A team is going to draft him before the third round based on his playmaking abilities, and if that team can crack the code of keeping Taylor’s motor running hot all game, then he becomes one of the biggest steals of the draft.

DE Mohamed Kamara, Colorado State

Compact and relentless are the first two words when you watch Kamara on tape. He bends and uses leverage extremely well against offensive linemen that have been getting taller over the years. He weaves and ducks underneath taller blockers with ease and last season ended with 13 sacks which ranked third-most in the nation. He also added 17 tackles for loss which was ninth-most in the FBS. Basically this guy just lived in the opposition’s backfield.

QB Jordan Travis, Florida State

Travis is a fun watch and helped the Seminoles to 13 wins last season and reach the edge of getting into the College Football Playoffs. His injury was unfortunate and don’t expect to see him playing in the Shrine game. But do expect plenty of talk on him during the game.

He’s not threatening Dak Prescott for his job if he ever got to Dallas, but he adds some dual-threat ability which he has proven after scoring seven rushing touchdowns each season for the last four years. On top of that he has a great ability to extend plays and deliver with his arm, just at times that delivery may falter. If the Cowboys are serious about making Trey Lance backup then more power to them. But if the Cowboys see Jordan Travis drop out of the fourth round and towards their fifth-round compensatory pick, he would be a steal at that price.

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