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Draft Analysis

NFL Draft Needs: Cowboys

by Evan Silva
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is the Senior Football Editor for Rotoworld's NFL Page, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) leads Rotoworld's college football and NFL draft coverage. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential draft-day solutions.

For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.


No. 1 Team Need: Defensive Line



Silva's Analysis


After tying for 27th in the NFL in sacks (31), the Cowboys got bad news in February when 2015 second-round pick Randy Gregory was slapped with a four-game suspension. There is concern at Valley Ranch that Gregory could eventually face further league-imposed discipline. RE Greg Hardy flopped as a free-agent addition and won't be brought back. As Demarcus Lawrence is most comfortable at left end, DC Rod Marinelli's defense needs a weak-side edge rusher to soften the blow during Gregory's absence, and quite possibly beyond that. The Cowboys could also use another interior penetrator to substitute for one-technique tackle Cedric Thornton on passing downs.


No. 2 Team Need: Cornerback

Silva's Analysis

The Cowboys have strongly considered cutting overpaid LCB Brandon Carr, while slot man Orlando Scandrick is coming off ACL and MCL tears. Although RCB Morris Claiborne will return for a fifth season in Dallas, he has been a colossal bust. Adding a quality perimeter corner would give the Cowboys the option of moving on from Carr or demoting Claiborne into a bit role where he belongs. 2015 first-rounder Byron Jones will be a full-time safety this season.


No. 3 Team Need: Wide Receiver

Silva's Analysis

Other arguable Dallas needs include running back and quarterback; Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris are short-term stopgaps and 36-year-old Tony Romo's recurring collarbone injuries are a long-term concern. Wideout, however, is Dallas' third-most pressing need. The Cowboys seem confident Dez Bryant (foot) will make a full recovery, but Terrance Williams is a below-average starter and probably better suited for a sub-package third-receiver role.


Norris' Mock Draft

Round 1 (4): EDGE Joey Bosa, Ohio State - I know reports stated the Cowboys do not have Bosa ranked as highly as other prospects. I could talk myself into Jalen Ramsey, DeForest Buckner or Carson Wentz here. One of the three will be on the board if Laremy Tunsil is a top-three selection. Myles Jack is also a strong option, but the team could be wary of his 2015 knee injury. Basically what I’m saying is the reports can be true, and the team could still end up with Bosa as the pick here. Moving up for Jalen Ramsey or back for extra picks is obviously possible.


Round 2 (34): CB Eli Apple, Ohio State - Many project Apple as a first-round selection, but he is likely one of the 10 to 15 fringe prospects in that area. Apple has the size that other Dallas outside corners possess, standing 6-foot-1 and 199 pounds. He might be at his best matching up with physical receivers.


Round 3 (67): WR Charone Peake, Clemson - Speaking of physical receivers, Peake might be the most powerful receiver after the catch in this draft. There are multiple occasions where Peake actually carries corners who are attempting to tackle him. He doesn’t play as big in contested situations, but that might just not be his game.


Round 4 (101): DL Sheldon Day, Notre Dame - Rod Marinelli coached Day during Senior Bowl week, and he best projects as an upfield gap shooter in obvious passing situations. The question is whether he can play in base situations.


Round 4 (135): RB Devontae Booker, Utah - After signing Alfred Morris, the Cowboys likely will skip drafting a ball carrier in the top three rounds. Booker is coming off a meniscus injury and was 23 years old during his final collegiate season. Could that have factored into his great production?


Round 6 (189): QB Jacoby Brissett, NC State - Brissett could be selected a few rounds earlier than this. Paxton Lynch in round two, Kevin Hogan in the fourth round or Brandon Allen on day three. I want my backup quarterback to win inside of structure, and Brissett does that.


Round 6 (212): LB De'Vondre Campbell, Minnesota - Linebacker depth for a team that has dealt with linebacker injuries in the past.


Round 6 (216): TE David Morgan, UTSA - Mainly a blocking tight end, but he offers some short to intermediate receiving skills.


Round 6 (217): EDGE Branden Jackson, Texas Tech - Jackson has upside compared to other late-round edge rushers, and is at his best using his length to press tackles back.



Cowboys Current Offensive Depth Chart


QB: Tony Romo


RB: Darren McFadden


WR: Dez Bryant


WR: Terrance Williams


WR: Cole Beasley


TE: Jason Witten


LT: Tyron Smith


LG: La'El Collins


C: Travis Frederick


RG: Zack Martin


RT: Doug Free


Cowboys Current Defensive Depth Chart


LE: Demarcus Lawrence


RE: Benson Mayowa


DT: Tyrone Crawford


DT: Cedric Thornton


MLB: Rolando McClain


WLB: Sean Lee


SLB: Anthony Hitchens


LCB: Brandon Carr


RCB: Orlando Scandrick


FS: Byron Jones


SS: Barry Church

Evan Silva
Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .