Cowboys' Draft Playbook: 1st Round & Beyond

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Oct 19, 2013; Boise, ID, USA; Nevada Pack quarterback Cody Fajardo (17) is tackled for loss by Boise State Broncos defensive end Demarcus Lawrence (8) during the first half against the Boise State Broncos at Bronco Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 19, 2013; Boise, ID, USA; Nevada Pack quarterback Cody Fajardo (17) is tackled for loss by Boise State Broncos defensive end Demarcus Lawrence (8) during the first half against the Boise State Broncos at Bronco Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

DEFENSIVE END

(Biggest need = Weakside/rush DE)

1) JADEVEON CLOWNEY – Best player in draft.  Gone in Top 3.  Out of consideration for pick 16 and trade up.

2) ANTHONY BARR – 2nd most talented pass rusher in draft.  Will have to transition from OLB to full time WDE.  Dallas would be thrilled to take at 16 if he slides.

————————-Pick 16 cutoff point————————-

3) DEMARCUS LAWRENCE – explosive, fiery player with relentless effort.  Trade down target for late 1st round.

4) SCOTT CRICHTON – best pure strongside DE in draft.  Very solid in both run and pass.  Possible trade down target.

————————1st Round cutoff point————————

NOTES:

Weakside DE is hands-down the biggest position of need for the 2014 Cowboys. With the departure of longtime star DeMarcus Ware, the tank is running on fumes.

George Selvie plays better at WDE than SDE (where he played 2013).  His talent level is most suited as a rotational 3rd DE.  Tyrone Crawford can play any position on the line, though at 6’4, 284 he fits best at SDE or 1-DT.

Anthony Spencer and Jeremy Mincey are also big guys fit for the SDE.  Bottom line, there are no starter caliber, natural WDE’s on the roster.

Jadeveon Clowney is an absolute beast and freak of nature at DE.  Long gone!

Anthony Barr is a talented OLB/WDE that can fit both at 4-3 WDE or 3-4 rush LB. Shows abrupt pass rush ability.  How will he hold up against mammoth OT’s from a down stance?  Can he shed close quarter blocks?  Too talented to pass at 16.

Demarcus Lawrence is undervalued by most as 2nd rounder.  Dallas likes his explosion and rush ability at WDE.  Plays the run well, has a solid motor, and shows strong play recognition.  Solid trade down target.

Scott Crichton is a solid SDE in all facets of the game.  Not amazing at any, but starter material at all.  Dallas has a stable of big guys who can play SDE…Crawford, Spencer, Selvie, Mincey.  Borderline trade down target.

Options beyond Round 1:  Kony Ealy (2nd), Dee Ford (WDE-2nd), Jeremiah Attaochu (WDE – 2nd), Marcus Smith (WDE – 3rd), Kareem Martin (SDE – 4th), Jackson Jeffcoat (WDE – 4th/5th).

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