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Dallas Cowboys first round plans unclear with NFL draft nearing

Dallas Cowboys first round plans unclear with NFL draft nearing

The Dallas Cowboys had several team needs to address going into the month of April. With depth at linebacker, safety, and a starting left guard among the teams’ needs, they added wide receiver to the list. After the release of Dez Bryant, the team could go several directions with their first-round draft pick, which is currently slotted at 19 overall. Here are a couple of options for the team to consider as the draft begins next Thursday at AT&T Stadium:

Wide Receiver:

(Photo Credit: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

This position was already in need of improvement going into 2018. After releasing Dez Bryant, many have argued that the Cowboys must select a wide receiver with their first draft pick. The team may draft a wide receiver, but only if that player is the best player available. Players to keep an eye on in the first round are D.J. Moore, Calvin Ridley, and Courtland Sutton.

Linebacker:

(Photo Credit: Joe Jaszewski/Idaho Statesman/TNS)

Fans and media alike have seen what happens to the Dallas defense when Sean Lee isn’t playing. While Lee is a game-changing player, the defense shouldn’t completely collapse in his absence. If the Cowboys decide to address linebacker with their first pick, guys like Leighton Vander Esch (LVE), Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds could be potential selections. I’m not sure if Smith or Edmunds will be there at 19, so the timing to draft a linebacker may not be right on day one.

Safety:

(Photo Credit: Melina Vastola/USA Today Sports)

Byron Jones confirmed the news himself last week when he was introduced as a cornerback for the Dallas Cowboys. With the former first-round draft pick shifting to corner in 2018, safety becomes a team need. Kris Richard may look to bring in his former player Earl Thomas in a trade with Seattle. However, the team may look for a younger impact player on the backend. Guys like Derwin James and Minkah Fitzpatrick could be options for the team. While James would be a big get, he may not make it to the Cowboys selection at 19. Barring a trade up, the timing may not work at safety, either.

Offensive Line:

(Photo Credit: Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire)

Arguably the team’s biggest strength going into 2017, the unit underperformed due to ailing injuries to Tyron Smith and a middling performance by Jonathan Cooper at left guard. With Cooper gone, the team went out and signed veteran Marcus Martin to a free agent deal.

However, left guard should still be in play for the team on draft night. This position is where the team could find more value, as well. The pool of impact players who can help is long, with James Daniels, Billy Price, Isaiah Wynn and Will Hernandez among the several players who could be there for the taking at pick 19. Dallas could even look to trade down, select one of these players, and collect an extra draft pick to further boost the overall depth of the team.

Dallas has several different directions they could go when they go on the clock Thursday night. Their task is to find the best value for their pick, to fill as many needs as possible. For more on some of this year’s top prospects, check out the rest of our content on Dallas Sports Fanatic!

Staff writer covering the Dallas Cowboys | Broadcast journalism major who is crazy about sports. Dallas native who loves to talk sports and follow the action with fellow fans. Follow me on Twitter @wingate_jared

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