2018 NFL Draft Grades: Dallas Cowboys Strong and Solid Picks
Well, the Dallas Cowboys finished last season at 9-7 which was not good enough to make the playoffs. Decisions needed to be made on certain players, well one in particular. Dez Bryant the team’s star wideout was released and has become a free agent. On the heels of that, the Cowboys also lost future Hall of Fame TE Jason Witten. So now the Cowboys would have to turn their attention to replacing these players in the draft right? Well, the Cowboys seemed to stay the course and went with their original game plan. With 10 picks in the draft, the Cowboys could have gone and traded to move up in the first round but they trusted their scouts and stayed pat.
Round 1 Pick 19 – Leighton Vander Esch
A lot of teams had Vander Esch high on their boards the problem they had with him was his neck injury. He is a top 10 talent but fell to 19 and into the Cowboys lap. Additionally, he will give the Cowboys flexibility at the LB position. Vander Esch will also end up playing Middle Linebacker and allowing the Cowboys to move Jaylon Smith over to Outside Linebacker. Rod Marinelli had a MLB similar to Vander Esch in Brian Urlacher so we will see what Vander Esch can do for this Dallas Cowboys Defense.
Round 2 Pick 50 – Connor Williams
The Cowboys went and made a strength even stronger by selecting Connor Williams. He is a versatile lineman who plays until the whistle blows. The Cowboys have gone on record and said they will play the 5 best linemen for their starting 5 which gives Williams a great shot at starting at guard on opening day.
Round 3 Pick 81 – Michael Gallup
With Courtland Sutton gone, there was no one in the 2nd round the cowboys wanted at WR. Therefore they picked best available and targeted Michael Gallup in the 3rd round. Gallup had 2 consecutive 1000 yard seasons at Colorado State and 21 TD receptions. They do not need Gallup to be the next Dez Bryant. They need him to play a role in the committee as the team looks to make the offense more Dak friendly.
Round 4 Pick 116 – Dorance Armstrong Jr.
Again going with the belief you can never have too much of something the Dallas Cowboys drafted a DE who 2 years ago had 10 sacks and 20 tackles for loss. Although he fell off last season with only 1.5 sacks and 9 tackles for loss. This is probably attributed to the fact that he played for Kansas. One of the worst teams in Division 1 football. The positive about Armstrong he forced 6 fumbles and had 4 pass deflections which are crucial to forcing turnovers.
Round 4 Pick 137 – Dalton Schultz
When Jason Witten announced he would be retiring everyone thought Dallas would panic and pick a TE to replace him. Well, they did but the one they picked was a blocking TE at the end of the 4th round. Schultz’s value to the Cowboys will be his blocking ability.
Round 5 Pick 171 – Mike White
This was more of a move to get a competent backup to Dak Prescott. Also, it gets someone to compete with Cooper Rush for the 2 spot on the depth chart. They did love what Rush did to win the backup spot last season as an undrafted rookie. Nevertheless, a little competition won’t do him some good. His time at Western Kentucky he had 63 Touchdowns and 15 Interceptions over 2 seasons as the starter.
Round 6 Pick 193 – Chris Covington
With this pick, the Dallas Cowboys went with adding a number to their depth. The LBs on the roster Jaylon Smith Sean Lee and Vander Esch will probably not play on Special Teams at all which means Covington who was a 1-year starter at Indiana and managed 85 tackles and 12 for a loss will be a core special teamer and will compete with Justin March-Lillard.
Round 6 Pick 208 – Cedrick Wilson
With the selection of Wilson, the Cowboys are not expecting him to produce right now this is a future pick. Terrance Williams guaranteed money done after this season and Beasley is in the last year of his contract. In addition, the Cowboys would have to pick up Allen Hurns option if they want him to be there in 2019. This gives the Cowboys time to develop Wilson before they need him to produce.
Round 7 Pick 236 – Bo Scarbrough
Surprising stat of the day Jason Garrett had not selected any players from Alabama since he became the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. That was until the 7th round of the 2018 draft. Indeed, the Cowboys have their starting running back in Zeke Elliott. However, as we have seen he has a hard time keeping himself on the field. With Alfred Morris not resigned yet and having released Darren McFadden last year, the Cowboys got themselves a big-game experienced back in Scarbrough. He is going to run over people just like Eliott. Therefore, defenses will be not getting a change of pace.
Overall I give the Cowboys a Grade of an A on this draft and to me had the best draft among the NFC East.
I am not alone in this sentiment as NFL.com’s Gennaro Filice agrees here my grade of the Cowboys.Follow @Espowrites