The NFL Draft starts next Thursday night and the Dallas Cowboys will not have a first round pick, as that pick was traded when the team acquired Amari Cooper from the Oakland Raiders. The Cowboys have been one of the best drafting teams for the better part of the last decade. That will be a little tougher this year since they don’t have their first round pick, but the Cowboys believe they have a formula that sets them up for success come draft time.
Cowboys COO Stephen Jones said at their draft press conference this week that the formula is to fill their needs in free agency and that doesn’t mean spending on the biggest names in free agency. Jones says they want to go into the draft not feeling forced to draft a certain position causing them to misevaluate a player just because they play that position.
With that being said, I believe there are still three positions on the team that could be helped through the draft starting next week.
Cornerback is an underrated need for the Cowboys entering the draft. They currently have Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown coming back from last year’s team. You look at the names and may think that it looks good. However, Jones and Brown are entering contract years and it is believed to be that Byron is the odd man out on who the Cowboys will re-sign after the 2019 season. Look for the Cowboys to address corner in the draft.
It is no secret that the Cowboys were shopping for a safety this offseason. From the Earl Thomas rumors that had been going strong all the way back to December 2017 to the multiple free agents that visited Dallas this offseason. The Cowboys ended up signing George Iloka to a minimum contract. Gil Brandt, of the Cowboys Ring of Honor said at the draft press conference that safety is one of the deepest positions in this year’s draft so expect to the Cowboys to take advantage of that.
Defensive tackle has been a sore spot on the Cowboys defensive line for years. Under Rod Marinelli, the Cowboys have not valued the position. You actually have to go back to 1991 when the team drafted Russell Maryland to find the last time the team took a tackle in the first two rounds. The Rams rushed for 273 yards to send the Cowboys home on divisional Sunday, which was deemed unacceptable by the Cowboys front office. With that sour taste in their mouth, I expect the Cowboys to address defensive tackle in the draft or in free agency, if they are unable to draft one.
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