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Todd McShay two-round mock draft: Cowboys feeling defensive about their rosterby Dave Halprin on March 31, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images ESPN mock draft has the Cowboys filling some holes. Some people subscribe to the “don’t over-think it” school. You got a problem, take the direct route to solving it and be done with it. There is a certain simplicity to it that appeals. But is it a good method for drafting NFL players? Whether intentional or not, the latest mock draft from Todd McShay, as far as it concerns the Cowboys, seems to fall into the “don’t over-think it” school. This mock comes after the first wave of free agency when you can really see what the holes on a team’s roster are likely to be. The Cowboys two biggest losses in free agency were Byron Jones and Robert Quinn. Jones was undoubtedly the Cowboys best cornerback and left to sign a deal that puts him at the top of the scale for corners. The Cowboys didn’t really replace him, although they did re-sign Anthony Brown who provides some stability. Robert Quinn took his 11.5 team-leading sack total to Chicago, and while the Cowboys did improve their defensive line in free agency, they still have a hole at right end. So let’s not over-think it and go ahead and plug those holes. For the Cowboys first pick: 17. Dallas Cowboys CJ Henderson, CB, Florida Byron Jones is officially headed elsewhere, and that Dallas secondary managed just seven interceptions in 2019 (tied with Arizona and Detroit for fewest in the NFL). Enter Henderson, who is an athletic playmaker in coverage with smooth, 4.39 speed. This is not a surprise as Henderson has been connected with the Cowboys for a while now. The real issue for Dallas, should Henderson be a player they are targeting, is if he even makes it to pick #17. There have been some mocks where Henderson has squeezed into the top 10 picks. Now for the Cowboys second-round pick: 51. Dallas Cowboys Josh Uche, DE, Michigan Robert Quinn’s absence leaves a hole opposite DeMarcus Lawrence. Uche had 8.5 sacks last season at Michigan. A defensive end from Michigan? Hopefully this one would turn out better than the last Cowboys defensive end from Michigan taken high in the draft. With Quinn gone, the right end position is open for the Cowboys. Sure, they could fit Tyrone Crawford in there, or maybe Dorance Armstrong takes a hug leap forward, but those don’t feel like winning plans. The Cowboys are hoping that Randy Gregory can return in 2020, and that he still has the skills he’s shown when he has been on the roster. But the “don’t over-think” school says let’s just draft a guy to play there. How do you see this mock draft, BTB?
Cowboys could potentially get good value in LSU safety Grant Delpit in the draftby Cole Patterson on March 31, 2020 at 3:00 pm
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports Once considered a top-10 pick, it is looking like Delpit will fall in the draft. Depending on who you ask, the Cowboys have a different priority position of need. Replacing Byron Jones with a corner in the draft class needs to be on the to-do list, bringing in a reinforcement at pass rusher after Robert Quinn left town is essential, adding a safety in a talented class must be considered, and the wide receivers in this class are other-wordly. At one point in time, it seemed that safety was the consensus top need for the Cowboys among draftniks. Regardless of who did the mock draft, the pick at 17 was seemingly always Xavier McKinney or Grant Delpit. It was hard to ignore the glaring hole next to Xavier Woods. The Cowboys did go out into free agency and added veterans that should give them some flexibility heading into the draft. Adding the likes of Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix address needs on the team, but should not prevent Dallas from adding a player that they really like at the position in the draft. As mentioned above, one player that has been linked to the Dallas Cowboys for quite some time has been Grant Delpit, the 2019 Jim Thorpe Award winner out of LSU. Delpit was once considered a top-10 pick in his draft class heading into his junior season in Baton Rouge, but his stock has fallen tremendously in the past eight months. LSU's Grant Delpit was viewed as a lock-10 pick before the 2019 CFB season. Now, he is in a battle with four other players to be the first safety drafted. pic.twitter.com/CuHxSCYS6P— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) March 30, 2020 What has happened to cause Delpit’s stock to drop? Grant Delpit was a consensus top-70 prospect coming out of IMG Academy before signing with the Tigers in the 2017 signing class. During his first two seasons, Delpit blossomed into a star. The New Orleans native was considered one of the elite defensive backs across the entire nation for his playmaking skills in the secondary. If there was a play to be made, it was likely Delpit that was going to make it for Ed Orgeron’s defense. #LSU S Grant Delpit is without a doubt going to be Top 5 prospect for me going into next year.This was back-to-back plays vs. Auburn: pic.twitter.com/2s9QbCXXL7— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) April 17, 2019 Unfortunately, tons of question marks about his game popped up over the course of his final season on the collegiate level. Despite LSU raising its level on the way to becoming national champions in a historic season, Delpit struggled in numerous areas of his game. Most notably? His tackling. Delpit’s success in run support suffered greatly, as the LSU prospect struggled with physicality and with making tackles in space. That became very apparent all season long. Against Texas early on in the season, Delpit was trucked by 5-foot-10, 200-pound receiver Devin Duvernay. Duvernay is known for his electric speed and game-breaking ability from the slot, but certainly not for his power and running over defenders. Nonetheless, Delpit was blown up on the play. Devin Duvernay RAN THROUGH Grant Delpit. pic.twitter.com/gpghzQA1QN— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) September 8, 2019 One play happens over the course of the season; however, Delpit consistently missed on tackles — especially in space. Week after week, tackling became a major cause of concern for the Tigers product. Grant Delpit with a free shot at Najee Harris. Can't miss tackles like this if you want to be considered a top S. #Eagles pic.twitter.com/54jLlWLAb5— Thomas R. Petersen (@thomasrp93) January 31, 2020 LSU safety Grant Delpit has struggled all game and hasn’t looked right. Gives up a late Ole Miss score. pic.twitter.com/FNBbu3e3fR— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) November 17, 2019 Let's check in on Grant Delpit in space vs Jerry Jeudy. pic.twitter.com/QjgRjPHjUN— Connor Livesay (@ConnorNFLDraft) December 12, 2019 Missing tackles happen, especially against a talent such as Jerry Jeudy. That does not excuse Delpit’s 2019 season, though. From Dane Brugler’s pre-combine thoughts on the LSU star: He often arrives too hot as a tackler and his overaggressive angles and poor finishing skills dent his batting average (there is no question that he was banged up in 2019 and how much that affected his production and performance is open to interpretation). What does Delpit bring to the table that should interest the Cowboys? As concerning as Delpit’s 2019 season was by and large, he is a playmaker in the secondary that brings a high ceiling with him — even if he has a low floor, as well, due to his tackling whiffs. Delpit’s 2018 season is the tape that have many teams intrigued about the potential that he brings. He showcased the ability to close to the ball, blitz off of the edge, cover talented receivers well, and make plays on the ball as well as anybody at the position. Closing skills Grant Delpit's 2018 season is fun to watch. Shot out of a cannon to make the play against Auburn here. pic.twitter.com/4iEMqfHFnD— Cole Patterson (@colelpatterson) March 30, 2020 Delpit had a similar play against Texas early on in the 2019 season. He read where the ball was going and reacted very quickly, making the play before it had any chance of succeeding. Grant Delpit doing Grant Delpit things.Barely on the screen at the time the ball was snapped and closes in a split second. pic.twitter.com/thrzDgk4j9— Carter Donnick (@CDonnick3) September 7, 2019 Here, Delpit made his move quickly and again made the play before it had any chance of getting started. Delpit exploded here and made the tackle behind the line of scrimmage. pic.twitter.com/YHbsbibLR6— Cole Patterson (@colelpatterson) March 31, 2020 DisruptionLSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda knew that he had quite the talent in Delpit, and he utilized the safety in a number of ways. One of those ways was as a blitzer off of the edge. Delpit was able to effectively use his quickness to get after the quarterback and create havoc in the backfield. Again, Delpit makes the play behind the LOS. pic.twitter.com/N3QifAwhXC— Cole Patterson (@colelpatterson) March 31, 2020 Later in the same game, the LSU safety came up huge. On a fourth down play near midfield, Delpit blitzed off of the edge and prevented quarterback Nick Fitzgerald from moving the chains. It is easy to see how effective he can be in these situations. Grant Delpit quickly got into the backfield and wrecked havoc. pic.twitter.com/Kr6AbwHRaO— Cole Patterson (@colelpatterson) March 31, 2020 Ball skills and rangeSimply put: Grant Delpit made plays over and over again during his time at LSU. His career eight interceptions highlight that to a tee. Below, Delpit read the QB’s eyes perfectly, jumped the route, and came away with the second of his two interceptions of the game. This is the second of his two interceptions in the game. Reads the quarterback's eyes and prevents a potential score. pic.twitter.com/MAtxoIumhI— Cole Patterson (@colelpatterson) March 31, 2020 It is easy to see how much of a playmaker Delpit is and the range that he brings to the table. Here, he nearly comes away with an interception against Florida in one of the Tigers’ biggest games of the year. Grant Delpit flashing his range in coverage. Near INT for the All-American. pic.twitter.com/xdTH2BpoXt— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) October 13, 2019 Talk about range: LSU true sophomore safety Grant Delpit (6’3 203) - 73 tackles, 5 sacks, 5 INTs - has raaaaaange pic.twitter.com/AVyer5hG26— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) December 3, 2018 Could the Cowboys get good value in Delpit? It is possible. As mentioned earlier, Delpit’s stock has certainly dropped in many mock drafts as questions and concerns surrounding his tackling and effort have risen in many minds that cover the draft. As a result, Delpit could see a slide in the draft. How big of a slide? That remains to be seen. The Draft Network’s Joe Marino published his latest three-round mock draft. In the mock, Marino has the Cowboys going with LSU pass rusher K’Lavon Chaisson in round one. In round two? Marino sees Dallas adding a specific safety with pick 51. 51. Cowboys Grant Delpit S, LSU It still seems unlikely that Delpit will still be on the board after the draft’s first 50 selections. Surely some team will fall in love with his upside and grab him before too long, right? Nevertheless, it appears that there is a realistic chance that Delpit falls out of the first round. What does that mean for the Cowboys? Adding a safety should be on the list of needs for the Cowboys. One could argue that Delpit is not the best fit alongside Xavier Woods and that the Cowboys need a safety that can get physical and make tackles in space. On the flip side, Delpit is a unique talent that oozes potential. One option, if Dallas is indeed interested with the LSU product, is for the Cowboys to make a trade back. Reaching for Delpit at pick 17 does not seem necessary, but perhaps they can grab an extra pick and select him later in round one. Another option is for Dallas to make a trade up for Delpit should he get into the 40’s. The Cowboys have been linked to Delpit for a while and perhaps they want to add a playmaker of his caliber to the defense. Overall, Grant Delpit is a prospect that has his warts but also has many things to like. His junior season was hampered by injury and was less than ideal. Still, Delpit is a playmaking defensive back that has the talent to excel on the NFL level. Should Delpit slide in the draft, a team like the Cowboys could gain excellent value.
Cowboys seven-round mock draft featuring a first-round trade downby David Howman on March 31, 2020 at 1:00 pm
How would fans feel about this draft result? The Cowboys have been a bit busier than usual in free agency this year, and that’s somewhat affected the team’s approach to the 2020 draft. While they don’t have any one pressing need that could force their hand, Dallas has lots of options. Here is a seven-round Cowboys mock, facilitated using the mock draft machine on The Draft Network, that features the Cowboys actually trading down in the first round to acquire more picks. First round (30th overall): AJ Terrell, CB - Clemson When the Cowboys got on the clock at 17, many of the popular targets for the Cowboys were gone. None of the top three receivers were available, CJ Henderson was chosen at ninth overall, and both Javon Kinlaw and K’Lavon Chaisson had gone right before Dallas at 15 and 16 respectively. However, Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert had miraculously fallen and was still available, prompting a trade with the Patriots that netted Dallas their first-rounder, fourth-rounder, and sixth-rounder. Then, another trade down came at 23 with the Packers, who gave up their first-rounder, fifth-rounder, and seventh-rounder. Finally, at the 30th overall pick, Dallas picked AJ Terrell from Clemson. Terrell is one of the more highly-touted corners in this draft and is ready to take on starter snaps from an early point. He excels in man coverage and has a knack for tying up receivers on the outside, as demonstrated in this Twitter thread from John Owning. Good example of AJ Terrell mirroring the WR's break from trail. Does a nice job reading the hips then cutting the WR off to the sideline. pic.twitter.com/sTHjsY4jzb— John Owning (@JohnOwning) March 28, 2020 Second round (51st overall): Brandon Aiyuk, WR - Arizona State After missing out on Emmanuel Sanders in free agency, the Cowboys still have a need at their third receiver position. So when their 51st pick comes up and a player like Brandon Aiyuk is still on the board, there’s not much argument to be had here. Aiyuk is a dynamic athlete in every sense of the word, with blazing speed and quickness to go along with his ridiculous wingspan. At Arizona State, Aiyuk was effective as a deep threat, on more possession-style shorter routes, and creating havoc after the catch. Inserting Aiyuk into an offense with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup would form a monster for any secondary, and landing Aiyuk this late in the draft is a total steal. Brandon Aiyuk's calling card is his gamebreaking ability after the catch, but I think he's got crazy potential to separate before the catch too with his stopping power & speed out of his cuts. Complete deep threat too.Wouldn't hate him in the 1st, would love him in the 2nd. pic.twitter.com/J0usCkUmi5— Nick Olson (@NickOlsonNFL) March 23, 2020 Third round (82nd overall): Darrell Taylor, EDGE - Tennessee The Cowboys have yet to address their secondary edge rusher role after the loss of Robert Quinn, and although Randy Gregory seems likely to be reinstated for the 2020 season, his availability as a starter shouldn’t necessarily be counted on. Enter Darrell Taylor, a versatile edge presence who’s got a fairly high ceiling. Taylor has all the athleticism to become a great second edge rusher, and his experience in a multiple front at Tennessee gives him the ability to work out of both two-point and three-point stances. He needs to grow in his pass rush plan of attack, but does have the tools to thrive opposite DeMarcus Lawrence. (Thread) Darrell Taylor #19. Athleticism, size, and length make him a prospect worth taking a chance on. He needs to retool his arsenal of pass rush moves and use his hands more consistently in order to win at the next level. If he does that, he'll unlock a whole new level pic.twitter.com/1oOhB28Nh4— Tommy (@TmacSports24) March 27, 2020 Fourth round (123rd overall): Leki Fotu, DT - Utah The Cowboys signed massive nose tackle Dontari Poe, weighing in at 346 pounds, to a two-year deal last week as part of their mission to get bigger in the trenches. While Poe’s signing is certainly a good way to do that, he’ll turn 30 before the regular season begins and suffered a season-ending injury last year. Finding a successor to Poe is not a bad idea, and few prospects in this draft fit that bill as much as Leki Fotu. Playing at 337 pounds in college, Fotu is surprisingly agile for his size, and that’s helped him become a dominating presence in the middle during his days at Utah. While Fotu still needs to refine his more nuanced traits, like pass rush moves and leverage, he’s a surefire nose tackle type who could develop nicely beyond Poe for a year or two. Someone tell Leki Fotu that 330lbs+ men aren’t supposed to be this quick. He’s going to be a load at NT in the NFL. pic.twitter.com/ErinSi6D53— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) October 1, 2019 Fourth round (125th overall): McTelvin Agim, DT - Arkansas Just as Poe won’t be around forever, neither will Gerald McCoy. Although he has a three-year deal, it’s been structured in such a way that Dallas can cut ties after the second season if they want to, and with McCoy already at 32 years of age, that might be the case. Some have speculated that McCoy could be the perfect mentor for last year’s top pick, Trysten Hill, but in case the Cowboys aren’t sold on him anymore they could find a similar prospect in McTelvin Agim. Roughly the same size as McCoy, Agim also has some impressive explosiveness that makes him an ideal candidate for a penetrating 3-technique role. With less experience than most at playing defensive tackle, Agim needs time to develop and get more consistent, but the tools are there to blossom into an eventual successor to McCoy. Arkansas DT McTelvin Agim, a late #SeniorBowl add who helped himself last week at the Shrine Bowl, knocks Michigan's Ben Bredeson off his axis here. pic.twitter.com/RUpDIyWLBi— Chase Goodbread (@ChaseGoodbread) January 21, 2020 Fifth round (164th overall): Harrison Bryant, TE - Florida Atlantic The Cowboys are making Blake Jarwin their new top tight end, and the signing of Blake Bell is likely intended to bring in competition with Dalton Schultz for the blocking tight end role. But it’s good to have an additional receiving tight end, if only for depth. Harrison Bryant can do just that; he’s been described as a receiver in a tight end’s body, which means he won’t be asked to block too much but can pose an additional threat in the passing game as a supplement to Jarwin. Bryant offers good value at this point and gives the Cowboys just one more weapon for Dak Prescott to throw to. Check out our tight end Harrison Bryant. FAU Football !! pic.twitter.com/4N81R93RO1— Dr. Richard Staller (@Dr_Staller) November 24, 2019 Fifth round (175th overall): Tanner Muse, S - Clemson After signing HaHa Clinton-Dix, safety isn’t as big of a need for Dallas anymore, but both he and Xavier Woods will have their contracts expire after the 2020 season. The Cowboys would be smart to try and find a replacement for one or both of them sooner rather than later. Tanner Muse offers a lot of upside, especially after his impressive 40 time at the combine, and he’s got the kind of versatility that would make him a weapon Mike Nolan’s multiple defense. He’s a prototypical box safety who could even play a safety/linebacker hybrid role, and has experience playing deep at Clemson, where he picked off six passes the last two years. Those takeaway skills alone should make him enticing, but his upside makes him a good get at this point in the draft. I’m gonna miss this energy @tanner_muse pic.twitter.com/HdDQ0VzcmH— Tiger Commenter (@TigerCommenter) February 4, 2020 Fifth round (179th overall): Lamar Jackson, CB - Nebraska Clinton-Dix and Woods aren’t the only Dallas defensive backs whose deals are up next year. Jourdan Lewis and Chidobe Awuzie will also be free agents. The decision to lock up Anthony Brown to a three-year deal may have been in anticipation of letting Lewis go, as Brown excels in the slot. But the other outside corner, opposite Terrell based on this mock, would need someone manning it. Lamar Jackson could potentially fill that role, allowing Dallas to avoid handing out a contract to Awuzie if they so desire. Jackson has the size and length at 6’3” to man the outside, and his five interceptions in two years at Nebraska is equally impressive. If Jackson can spend his rookie year working on technique and learning the defense, he may be able to step into a prominent role by 2021. I see Nebraska DB Lamar Jackson as a day two or three pick in the NFL Draft. His length (6'3") will be attractive to a lot of teams, but his balls skills are what makes him next level. #WNSFilm pic.twitter.com/dEJf8Z2ASH— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) November 4, 2019 Sixth round (213th overall): Shyheim Carter, S - Alabama This kind of move would pretty much be a declaration that the Cowboys have no intention of giving a contract extension to either Clinton-Dix or Woods, which is entirely possible. And if so, then there are few moves that could be made here that would be better than nabbing Alabama’s Shyheim Carter. Xavier McKinney has rightfully gotten a lot of praise, but Carter offers a lot of versatility as well. Recruited to Alabama as a cornerback, Carter transitioned to safety to better take advantage of his football IQ. He filled a wide variety of roles in Nick Saban’s defense, which would be very in-theme with Dallas’ desire to be more multiple with their defense. CB/NCB Shyheim Carter (Alabama, 6’, 190 lbs). Stats: (34 games) 56 Solo Tackles, 44 Asst Tackles, 100 Combined Tackles, 6 TFL, 3 INT, 2 TD, 18 PD & 2 FF. #ShyheimCarter #4EDraft2020 pic.twitter.com/QH8GOIkw5Q— 49er_Edits (@49er_edits) March 10, 2020 Seventh round (231st): Braden Mann, P - Texas A&M The Cowboys are taking special teams seriously this year after re-signing Kai Forbath and adding Greg Zuerlein, but they’ve done nothing about the punter situation so far. While it seems they may give Chris Jones one more chance, adding a guy with a booming leg like Braden Mann would be smart. At Texas A&M, Mann broke the NCAA records for single game punting average, single season punting average, and number of 60-plus yard punts in a season. Plus, he’s got a little bit of the Puntisher in him, too: A&M has forced four turnovers this season. One of them was caused by the punter, Braden Mann. pic.twitter.com/N9R5wi16us— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) October 13, 2018 Punters don’t get enough love! Braden Mann with a beauty here: pic.twitter.com/fAxxl5fLEx— thatSECpodcast (@thatSECpodcast) November 23, 2019 Seventh round (242nd overall): Tae Crowder, LB - Georgia This late in the draft, teams are simply looking for players that they want but don’t want to risk a bidding war in undrafted free agency. Tae Crowder is an intriguing prospect out of Georgia who has a lot of football knowledge to help him out. Crowder’s a bit slow to react and isn’t as athletic as some other prospects in this linebacker class, but he’s got potential as a rotational linebacker and special teams contributor, something Dallas needs with Jeff Heath joining the Raiders. ILB Tae Crowder (@TaeCrowder) #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/OYcjVfU6ZW— GEORGIA HEROES (@GeorgiaHeroes) November 10, 2019
Cowboys News: The new look Dallas defense could open up the scheme optionsby Terence Watson on March 31, 2020 at 9:00 am
Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images Here is the latest news surrounding the Dallas Cowboys. With additions of Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe, Cowboys’ D gains new look - Todd Archer, ESPN The Cowboys new coaching staff is looking for football players, not specific position traits. In the first two weeks of NFL free agency, the Cowboys agreed to a deal with Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe. McCoy is 6-4, 300 pounds. Poe is 6-3, 346 pounds. They come to the Cowboys from the Carolina Panthers, who ran a 3-4 defensive scheme. Nolan has a deep background in the 3-4, including a one-year stint with the New York Jets when Parcells was their general manager. But that doesn’t mean the Cowboys are moving to a 3-4. What it does mean is there could be some 3-4 principles that come into play with defensive tackles occupying two gaps instead of one to help the linebackers make more plays. It also opens up the possibilities of not being too strict on traits for specific positions, which is one reason the Cowboys chose Taco Charlton over T.J. Watt in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft. While they knew Watt could rush the passer, they did not believe he could be an every-day defensive end. In this era of specialization, teams have to be willing to adapt. Just having to roll with the times - Mickey Spagnola, DallasCowboys.com The Cowboys draft visits and workouts are being affected by the coronavirus. But teams will have to alter their preparation routine, since no more pro days, no more 30 visits or for the Cowboys their annual Dallas Day visits. Wonder if they’ve put a max on phone calls, sort of like college recruiting limits. These interactions in the scouting process seemingly are more valuable than the workouts against air. But as coaches like to say, game tape don’t lie. Maybe a more pure evaluation. Plus, who knows how long we’re going to be sheltered in place, with the travel restrictions and facilities shut down and all. Because in 10 days, the Cowboys, with a new head coach, were scheduled to begin offseason interaction with players on April 6. That’s not going to happen. And if this persists, those May OTAs, rookie minicamps, and who knows, the full-team minicamps likely are in jeopardy, too. Think about it: What bad timing for the Cowboys and the four other teams with new head coaches and coaching staffs – Giants, Redskins, Panthers, Browns – just the inability of the new staffs to not only interact with fellow staff members in person, but also with the players on these 90-man rosters, many of these coaches might never having even met yet. Not to mention installations – offense, defense, special teams, and just getting an on-field assessment of the talent. As of now, so much for the possible worry of franchised Dak Prescott missing offseason workouts. Cowboys Mock Draft: 3 Different Prospect Rankings, 3 Different Outcomes - Brian Martin, Inside The Star Do the prospect rankings really change the outcome when the Cowboys draft needs are all the same? Even though I used different prospect rankings from three different sources, you can clearly see the positions I was targeting for the Dallas Cowboys in this mock draft. I can honestly say I would be extremely happy if any one of these three mock drafts came true. Let’s dive into this a little further so I can share with you why I chose each one of these players… 1st-round (17th overall) CJ Henderson ranked 20th overall in Draft Network’s rankings and 18th overall in CBSSports’. He should challenge for a starting job from Day 1 and quite possibly be the Dallas Cowboys best CB as a rookie. Zack Baun may be Matt Miller’s 31st overall in his rankings, but he was arguably the best player still available for the Dallas Cowboys in my opinion. He can play defensive end, linebacker, and be a core special-teams player. His value is his versatility. Are the Dallas Cowboys still in need of defensive linemen? - Lucas Mascherin, The Landry Hat There could be help on the way along the defensive line, and it comes from within. The reason I ask that is there are two returning players who did not play (or barely played) last season. Defensive end Randy Gregory will likely return after filing for reinstatement, and defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford is returning after undergoing surgery on his hip. The return of both linemen would give the Cowboys a much-needed boost. When adding their stats from the 2018 season, Dallas would “get back” 11.5 sacks and 59 tackles. That’s not all too far off from what left the team this offseason. You can even say that it breaks even since Gregory’s stats came while playing only 45 percent of Dallas’ defensive snaps. 2020 NFL Power Rankings: 1-32 poll, plus where each team stands after free agency - ESPN Where do the Cowboys rank after their moves in free agency? 11. Dallas Cowboys Way-too-early ranking: 12 Three words: Hold that line. The Cowboys’ top goal was to keep quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper, and they did that with the exclusive franchise tag and a five-year contract, respectively. They have suffered some losses, such as Byron Jones, Randall Cobb, Robert Quinn and the retired Travis Frederick, but they knew they could not pay big money to everyone. They added Gerald McCoy and kept Sean Lee, Anthony Brown and Joe Looney — which takes on added significance after Frederick’s retirement — but are they better now than last season’s 8-8 finish? It’s difficult to say yes, but there is the draft to consider. — Todd Archer What’s Up: Big Season Coming Up For Awuzie - Nick Eatman, DallasCowboys.com Chido Awuzie is going to have to step up his game with Byron Jones gone. What’s Been Good: For a player that started his career in and out of the training room for the first few months, Awuzie has been a more consistent contributor, evident by his 16 games played this past season. He played in 15 games in 2018, after only 10 games as a rookie. He’s also been a capable performer, starting 30 of 32 games the past two seasons. He also had a rather rare highlight in Week 1 last season, chasing down Giants running back Saquon Barkley. Next Gen stats charted Awuzie running 22.8 mph across the field to contain Barkley, one of the fastest recorded time in recent history. Questionable addition of Greg Zuerlein fills Cowboys’ need at kicker they didn’t actually have - Tim Cowlishaw, DMN Not everyone is a fan of the Cowboys kicking moves. Zuerlein has been injured at least three times the last five seasons, missing nine games. He missed five games with a groin injury in the club’s recent Super Bowl season but was healthy enough to make the big kicks in New Orleans to win the NFC Championship Game. A quad injury last year may have contributed to his being one of the least efficient kickers in the NFL. In 2019, Zuerlein missed nine field goals including six from 40-to-49 yards where he was just 5-for-11. His 44-yard miss with 15 seconds to go in a 30-29 loss to Seattle was a huge blow for the Rams in October. If you think six missed kicks from that distance isn’t bad, well, Forbath for his career is 43-for-49 from that range. Over the last two seasons, Zuerlein is 9-for-17 on 40-to-49 yard kicks. That’s far from dependable. That’s the kind of stuff that belatedly got Maher, who is as capable from 60 yards as Zuerlein or anyone else, run out of town. BTB Podcast How would Tony Romo do calling a golf tournament? 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It’s very interesting that the Dallas Cowboys have signed two kickers in free agencyby RJ Ochoa on March 31, 2020 at 4:00 am
Maybe two is better than one? The first two weeks of free agency brought six new players for the Dallas Cowboys, and a third of them belong to a certain position group. While there are technically two new defensive tackles in Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe, the Cowboys also signed two kickers, Kai Forbath and Greg Zuerlein. The former was obviously a re-signing as Forbath played three games for the Cowboys in 2019, and the latter is a new name with ties to new special teams coordinator John Fassel. Many people are wondering why the Cowboys would sign two kickers. Theoretically you only need one, and while there are definitely usually two around at times like training camp, they are rarely two with experience to the degree that Forbath and Zuerlein have. What’s more is that Zuerlein was signed second and to a three-year, $7.5M deal. Why would the Cowboys commit (and do so more heavily) with their second kicker? We have a theory that we explained in the latest video on the Blogging the Boys YouTube Channel. You can subscribe to the channel right here for all sorts of updates, breakdowns, film reviews, and more.