Grading the Dallas Cowboys 2019 NFL Draft haul

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: A Dallas Cowboys fan cheers during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: A Dallas Cowboys fan cheers during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys entered the draft with very clear goals to accomplish and needs to fill. Without a first round pick to work with though, how did they do?

The Dallas Cowboys were a team with several critical holes to fill entering the offseason. Although they were able to somewhat fill the need at safety during free agency, that still left them in need of more depth in that defensive backfield, as well as bodies to play along the front line of the defense.

They finally got the War Daddy of this bunch signed to a long-term deal, in DeMarcus Lawrence, while they also tried to give him some help on the other side. They did so by book ending former Miami Dolphin Robert Quinn to the opposite side of Lawrence, hoping that this will give them the pass rushing force they need. With those major needs somewhat addressed, it left the Cowboys with pretty clear goals heading into the draft.

These included finding more depth along the defensive front and in the defensive back field, while shoring up a few offensive positions such as running back, receiver, or offensive line. The Cowboys move with focused intention and deliberateness, as they did just that. Here were there picks from the weekend.

Round 2, No. 58 overall: Trysten Hill, DT, UCF

Round 3, No. 90 overall: Connor McGovern, G, Penn State

Round 4, No. 128 overall: Tony Pollard, RB, Memphis

Round 5, No. 158 overall: Michael Jackson, CB, Miami

Round 5, No. 165 overall: Joe Jackson, DE, Miami

Round 6, No. 213 overall: Donovan Wilson, S, Texas A&M

Round 7, No. 218 overall: Mike Weber, RB, Ohio State

Round 7, No. 241 overall: Jalen Jelks, DE, Oregon

At first glance, the one thing you notice over all others is the concentration of draft capital spent along the defensive line. On a team with so much turnover and so many possible questions at that particular position, that was probably the best way to go about things. Lawrence is recovering from shoulder surgery, and there are several Cowboys defensive lineman from last season who are either not going to be with the team for a good part of the season, or entirely.

As there was only one defensive back field player picked up by the Cowboys in free agency, that was definitely seen as a need heading into the draft. Dallas did themselves a solid in the draft by adding both a safety and a cornerback from this year’s draft. Although safety was a more pressing need, the drafting of the cornerback isn’t necessarily a bad move for depth and with a few of their current defensive backs entering contract years.

When looking at the offensive players taken by the Cowboys, they actually did really well here. Following a newer strategy over the past few drafts, they continued to add to the offensive line depth by adding another high pick to that room. With La’el Collins entering a make or break year ,and with the jury still being out on Connor Williams who was drafted before last season, drafting another Connor and offensive lineman in Connor McGovern was actually a pretty safe and smart move.

If you take a look at the two skill positions drafted, they were very solid pickups. Mike Weber of Ohio State was not only a teammate of Ezekiel Elliott but he should be able to carry the ball in a similar fashion as the current Cowboys starting back does. He is not a true burner, but is very powerful with the ball in his hands.

Tony Pollard is the true wild card. Drafted out of Memphis as a running back, Pollard lined up all over the field for his Tigers in college. He should be used as a back-up tailback, but also in a myriad of other ways, perhaps in the ways that they had originally envisioned using Tavon Austin. Pollard should fit a bit better as he has more overall size than Austin, which allows him to keep moving through initial contact.

When thinking about an overall grade for this Dallas Cowboys draft class, it can be no lower than a B-. You go with the B- for a few reasons.

They drafted for needs, creating depth and filling holes wherever they needed to on the team. Currently there aren’t any true holes  or needs in any area of the team, as they now have someone that they could at least get effective play from in every position. Although they grabbed two potential starters for sure in McGovern and Hill out of UCF, the jury is still out on all of the players.

When it comes to value, they grabbed guys who all have very high upsides. Hill is self-explanatory, just do the research, and when you do you’ll see that his measurables say probable first round talent. The corner back from Miami not only has decent size, but he also was a second team All-ACC performer. The defensive lineman taken in the seventh round from Oregon, he was also an all conference performer

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The Dallas Cowboys got players that could help now, that also have great potential, while filling almost every need they had. That is why they received a B- for this draft.