Can the Dallas Cowboys Hit in Rounds 1, 2, & 3?


With the draft just over a week away, every NFL team is busy putting the finishing touches on their draft board and finalizing where they feel players should be ranked. The draft is the “life blood” of NFL teams, and this is where a solid foundation can be set for the future, or where mediocrity can continue. Much analysis has been performed in looking at recent Cowboy drafts, and grades earned have been mostly sub-par. This poor drafting done by has contributed mightily to the team being a .500 team since 2000.

Feb 21, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; North Carolina offensive lineman Jonathan Cooper speaks at a press conference during the 2013 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

While drafting by need is a bad way to select players when drafting, need also cannot be ignored as well when players have very similar grades.  The team’s biggest player personnel weakness exists along the offensive line, and this draft has multiple candidates who should be available when the team is on the clock at #18.  A second area the team will need to address will be the defensive line, and third will be safety. If the Cowboys can find good value selections and fill these areas of need, the team could show improvement in the near term.

I would like to see the Cowboys go offensive line in Rounds 1 & 2, but it really will depend on how the draft plays out and who falls to them.  If the team has multiple guys it likes on the board at #18, and has the option to move back a few spots and pick up an extra 2nd or 3rd rounder, fans should be pleased as there are multiple holes to fill on this team. With the team giving away their 2nd rounder last year in the Mo Claiborne trade, it would be nice to see if the team could replace it with a move this year.

Here are some candidates the team will/ or should be most likely considering when on the clock in these three rounds:

Round 1

Chance Warmack                             OG                         Alabama

Jonathan Cooper                             OG                         UNC

Lane Johnson                                    OT                          Oklahoma

Star Lotulelei                                      DT                           Utah

Sheldon Richardson                        DT                           Missouri

Cordarrelle Patterson                    WR                         Tennessee

Sylvester Williams                            DT                           UNC

D.J. Fluker                                           OT                          Alabama

Kenny Vaccaro                                  S                              Texas

Round 2

Justin Pugh                                         OT                          Syracuse

Larry Warford                                    OG                         Kentucky

Eric Reid                                               S                              LSU

Travis Frederick                                                C                             Wisconsin

Barrett Jones                                     OC                          Alabama

Kyle Long                                             OT                          Oregon

Terron Armstead                             OT                          Arkansas-Pine Bluff

Kawann Short                                    DT                           Purdue

Jamar Taylor                                       CB                           Boise State

D.J. Hayden                                        CB                           Houston

Matt Elam                                           S                              Florida

Round 3

David Bakhtiari                                  OT                          Colorado

Darius Slay                                          CB/S                      Mississippi State

Shamarko Thomas                           S                              Syracuse

Bennie Logan                                     DT                           LSU

Dallas Thomas                                   OL                           Tennessee

Bacarri Rambo                                   S                              Georgia

Tyrann Mathieu                                                CB                           LSU

David Quessenberry                       OL                           San Jose State

Brandon Williams                             DT                           Missouri Southern

TJ McDonald                                      S                              USC

Robert Lester                                    S                              Alabama

The NFL Draft is the big unknown. It will be interesting to see how the other team’s selections or movement around the board affects the Cowboys. Like every year, players that are on high on mock drafts will fall, and some that are lower will rise. The Cowboys need to show patience, and let the draft come to them or even move back if they can attain another 2nd or 3rd rounder.  Later on if the team needs to include a late round pick to possibly move up and get a player they are targeting, fans should be ok with it. However, I really want to see the team not trade out of rounds one through four as there is a lot of talent to choose from and the team needs to hit on each selection due to their salary cap concerns. Rounds five through seven is where the team has been horrible in recent history, so if moving a selection here can help them get someone they are targeting I’m fine with that. The team already has a list of guys they feel will go undrafted, and will be in touch with them as soon as the draft concludes to bring them into minicamp.