Ranking the Dallas Cowboys best players in 2018: 10-1
By Tyrone Starr
After watching the NFL Network conclude their top 100 players list from the 2017 season, I decided to rank the 53 best Dallas Cowboys from bottom to top.
Welcome to the final installment of a series ranking the best players, from bottom to top, of the Dallas Cowboys.
With players 53-11 already off the board, it’s time to take a look at the ten best players on this team. Most of the names will come as no shock although the order might. The top ten will be made up of mostly highly chosen draft selections.
This is a testament to the scouting department and how well the Cowboys have utilized the draft in recent years. To double down on that sentiment, two of the top ten players went completely undrafted. Clearly, Dallas is doing something right when evaluating talent.
Let’s get things going with the first of five guys chosen in the first round of their respective drafts.
10. Byron Jones
Jones may be the single hardest player to truly evaluate. On one hand, the production has not really been what you would hope from a first round pick. On the other, Jones does a lot of things that may not be overtly obvious.
At safety, he has taken on the task of covering the opposing team’s best tight end as well as patrolling the back end. In 2018, he will have an entirely new role.
The Cowboys are moving Jones to cornerback which will either make or break his career in Dallas. The good news for Jones is that Dallas also brought on former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard to coach the team’s secondary.
Richard should be able to extract the most from Jones’ talent, much like he did for Richard Sherman in Seattle. If Jones’ play does not substantially improve over the next two seasons, however, he may not be asked back in 2020.
9. La’el Collins
Collins sort of fell into the Cowboys lap during the same draft as they obtained Jones. Due to an erroneous report implicating Collins in a murder, no team wanted to take the risk of selecting him in round one. After Collins made it clear he did not want to be chosen at all if no one would believe him, he became a highly sought out undrafted free agent.
Dallas owner Jerry Jones, never one to make bold moves, swooped in and offered the largest possible contract he could for such a player. After 30 NFL starts, that move looks to have been quite wise.
Collins has played both guard and tackle but seems to have become the long-term future at right tackle. Giving the Cowboys peace of mind on the perimeter of the line, the 25-year old should make a couple of Pro-Bowl’s anchoring one side of the best offensive line’s in all of football.
8. Dak Prescott
As shrewd as the move to acquire Collins was, Dallas truly lucked out when it came to drafting Prescott. They tried everything possible to put themselves into a position to choose the heir apparent to Tony Romo in 2016 but fell into Prescott after other plans continually failed.
Even though the jury is still out on Dak, it looks to be some serious good fortune things worked out as they did. Prescott has 22 wins in 32 games as the starting quarterback in Dallas. He has a better than 3:1 touchdown to interception ratio and adds a running dimension to his improving passing skills.
The Cowboys have this year and the next before having to back up the Brinks truck for Prescott. Ultimately, you hope they have to pay him the absurd going rate for a star quarterback. If not, that position will be priority number one in the 2020 NFL Draft.