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Draft review: Dallas Cowboys

Travis Frederick

Wisconsin linebacker Travis Frederick holds up a rubber bracelet that says “I’m In & I’m On” to show he’s ready for the game, during a news conference in Los Angeles on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012. Wisconsin is scheduled to play Stanford in the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game in Pasadena, Calif., on New Year’s Day. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)


After analyzing the draft needs of all 32 teams, PFT will review how well each team addressed those needs. Up next: The Dallas Cowboys.

What they needed: Defensive line, offensive line, safety, running back, wide receiver.

Who they got:
Round 1: Travis Frederick, C, Wisconsin.
Round 2: Gavin Escobar, TE, San Diego State.
Round 3: Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor.
Round 3: J.J. Wilcox, S, Georgia Southern.
Round 4: B.W. Webb, CB, William & Mary.
Round 5: Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State.
Round 6: DeVonte Holloman, LB, South Carolina.

Where they hit: Frederick will be an immediate starter along the interior of the offensive line, likely at center. Given the Cowboys’ line issues, he was a need pick. Wilcox also has a chance to play early, given the Cowboys’ muddled picture at safety. Moreover, Randle could see some snaps in Year One; he has a real chance to be DeMarco Murray’s backup.

Down the road, Williams could eventually replace Miles Austin or Dez Bryant in the Cowboys’ lineup. Austin is $5.5 million in 2014 and about $6.9 million in 2015, per Rotoworld figures. Also. Bryant will be a free agent after the 2014 campaign.

Overall, this could be a fairly useful draft class for Dallas.

Where they missed: The Cowboys didn’t add a single defensive lineman -- a real surprise. In trading down from No. 18 to No. 31 in Round One, they passed on tackles Sharrif Floyd (No. 23, Minnesota) and Sylvester Williams (No. 28, Denver) as well as end Bjoern Werner (No. 24, Indianapolis). Also, Datone Jones (No. 26, Green Bay) may have been able to play end and tackle in Dallas’ 4-3 front. Then, in Round Two, the Cowboys took Escobar instead of tackle Johnathan Hankins (No. 49, N.Y. Giants) or end Margus Hunt (No. 53, Cincinnati).

The Cowboys have a solid front four with DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer at end and Jay Ratliff and Jason Hatcher at tackle. However, will the Cowboys’ D-line depth be good enough?

Impact rookies: Frederick will learn on the job, with Wilcox having the second-best shot at being in the Week One lineup. Williams, Escobar and Randle could also see the field as rookies, and both may be just an injury away from being thrust into the starting lineup.

Long-term prospects: This is a pivotal season for head coach Jason Garrett. The Cowboys have made a long-term commitment to Tony Romo, reaffirming their belief in their starting quarterback. That said, Romo is 33. Ware will be 31 in July. The time is now for Dallas. Viewed through that lens, the selection of Frederick seems reasonable, if unpopular. Looking ahead, it’s quite clear the Cowboys will have to continue adding to the lines on both sides of the ball in the drafts to come.