Dallas Cowboys: Three biggest draft needs of 2018

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 31: Calvin Ridley
ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 31: Calvin Ridley /

With the regular season winding down, we look forward and attempt to project the Dallas Cowboys three biggest positional needs in the 2018 NFL Draft.

When looking forward to the 2018 NFL Draft, it’s hard to predict what the Dallas Cowboys positional needs will be before the team decides on which of their free agents to re-sign. And the Cowboys have some big decisions to make in that area.

Names like defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, defensive tackle David Irving, guard Jonathan Cooper and linebacker Anthony Hitchens are all scheduled to hit the open market. Assuming all four of the above get inked to new deals this offseason, here are my top three biggest draft needs for the Cowboys in 2018.

Wide Receiver

First things first. You have to remember the NFL Draft will take place in Arlington, Texas at AT&T Stadium for the first time ever. Undoubtedly, the Cowboys (specifically owner Jerry Jones) will want to make a big splash. I believe that splash could be a receiver in the first round.

Dez Bryant is clearly not the player he once was. Even if the Cowboys opt to keep him in Dallas next season, this team is in desperate need for a speedy playmaker at the receiver position that can usurp Dez in Big “D”. Alabama’s Calvin Ridley or SMU’s Courtland Sutton seem like early possible candidates.

Defensive Tackle

The Cowboys struggled to stop the run when Pro Bowl linebacker Sean Lee was on the sidelines. But what Dallas is really missing is a true one-technique defensive tackle who can control the line of scrimmage and suck in multiple lineman, freeing up defenders around him to make more plays on the ball. The presence of a “refrigerator with arms” at defensive tackle would also help clog up the interior of the line, forcing runs to the outside.

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Offensive Tackle

The Cowboys are in desperate need of a swing tackle in Dallas. That’s a reserve who can play both sides of the offensive line. Injuries suffered by both starting left tackle Tyron Smith and right tackle La’el Collins have left Dallas vulnerable for much of the season. Especially Smith, who nursed a back injury all year and doesn’t appear to be getting any better. Dallas needs to be developing his future replacement as soon as possible since Smith’s injuries are starting to pile up and clearly taking their toll.