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Dallas Cowboys draft recap

Of  all the years I’ve covered and followed the Dallas Cowboys draft, this has been one of the most satisfying reports for me to do. It’s not that I haven’t loved some of the drafts in recent years, as we certainly have hit home runs with some of our picks. But think of this draft as batting for average. We certainly hit a lot of doubles, triples, and potential home runs in this one.  Here is my recap and breakdown of each Dallas Cowboys draft pick in 2017.

 

 

1st round, 28th overall; Taco Charlton, DE (Michigan):

 

It’s debatable if this was the Cowboys first choice for an edge rusher at their pick. Obviously, the Atlanta Falcons felt worried enough to jump ahead of Dallas to grab Takkarist McKinley from UCLA. A lot of reports surfaced that “Takk,” may in fact been ahead of the Cowboys draft board. But, if you watched the war room film when Atlanta jumped up, you could noticed a concerned look on Jerry’s face. Shortly after the Cowboys found out that Takk was going to the Atlanta Falcons, defensive coordinator Rod Marineli walked in the room, shook Jerry and Stephen Jones hand, and what we could assume was a calm “don’t worry, I can live with a Taco (Charlton) for dinner tonight.”

So with that, the Cowboys turned in their draft card and got an edge rusher they desperately need. No, he doesn’t have quite as quick of a burst off the line as McKinley does. But at the very least, he’s going to be a solid defensive end for many years to come. It’s a safe pick, with potential to be a great pick. With Charlton, you most likely aren’t going to get the NFL’s next sack leader. But, you are going to get a hard worker that can fight off double teams really well, and be a steady piece on the line of scrimmage for the next ten years. At this rate, it’s better than anything the Cowboys currently have with all of the off-field issues Randy Gregory has been having.

 

 

2nd round, 60th overall; Chidobe Awuzie, CB (Colorado):

 

A lot of Cowboys fans were upset when they passed on CB Kevin King from Washington with the 28th overall pick, as a lot of boards had him rated higher than Charlton. And since the Cowboys need both a DE and a CB, why not take the best player? Well, the answer is simple. We all need to learn to trust the process. It sounds cliche, but it’s true. The Cowboys knew that there wouldn’t be a player left in the later rounds that could come close to Charlton at the edge rusher position. However, with how deep this draft was in the secondary, they’d be able to make up for it in the later rounds, and that’s exactly what they did, starting with this talented defensive back from Colorado.

Awuzie is very versatile, and can be placed in multiple positions on the field. This is going to allow Rod Marinelli to be able to mix and match a lot more on certain offensive formations they are going to face. They could rotate in Byron Jones to some cornerback and move Awuzie to free safety in certain packages, for example. Awuzie also has the ability to match up with the bigger wide receivers in the league if they want to move him outside. At Colorado, he played all over, and it’s expect he will do the same in Dallas.

 

 

3rd round, 92nd overall; Jourdan Lewis, CB (Michigan):

 

Now this is what I am talking about. The only thing better than getting more depth in the secondary, is to get even more depth in the secondary. Lewis might have gone in the 2nd round if not for a domestic violence allegation. You can bet that the Cowboys did their homework to look into his situation before making a decision on him. All signs and evidence so far in the case are pointing towards his innocence. The situation is unfortunate for the young man, as no one should have to go through being slandered if indeed he was. But let’s focus on the football player himself and what he can bring to the team.

He played more press-man in college. He has the ability to lineup in the inside though if asked. Once again, giving Dallas more versatility in different defensive packages. Not many receivers that he faced were able to create separation off the ball against him. Has long arms that helps him defend passes, but sometimes gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar by using his long arms to grab receivers down the field. If he can work on being more disciplined at the last second when the ball his thrown his way, he is going to be a corner that’s going to frustrate a lot of the stacked receiving cores that are being built right now within the NFC East.

 

 

4th round, 133rd overall; Ryan Switzer, WR/Returner (North Carolina):

 

We saw how much Cole Beasley was able to grow with Dak Prescott. Not that Beasley wasn’t a solid player before 2016, but you could classify it as a breakout year if you’d like. Prescott has always had a way to find those shifty slot receivers coming across the middle on a short slant pattern. Switzer is going to be another weapon for Prescott to throw the ball too. Some of the NFL analysts initially thought that somehow this was a threat to Cole Beasley’s job, but they are way off.

 

If anyone needs to be worried about this, it’s Lucky Whitehead. Whitehead has been an inconsistent returner for Dallas since attempting to replace the very dangerous Dwayne Harris after Harris left to the Giants in free agency. Switzer is going to be able to come in right away and not only have a chance to beat out Whitehead and Butler for the fourth spot on the depth chart at receiver, but also compete for a job returning kicks. Switzer is a player you always see go 120% on every play. Never takes a play off, and is a workout warrior. He was labeled as one of the best route runners in this entire draft class. I was very happy about this pick, but at the same time disappointed that Dallas passed on one of my pet cats in this draft, Xavier Woods, the safety from Louisiana Tech.

 

 

6th round, 191st overall; Xavier Woods, SS (Lousiana Tech):

 

Well if this isn’t the definition of wanting cake and eating it too, I don’t know what is! I was really hoping for Woods in the fourth round, as I had him graded as a third to fourth round prospect. Dallas, like me, was shocked to see him fall so far that they couldn’t help themselves. Jerry Jones moved aggressively to add this pick in exchange for giving the New York Jets a fifth rounder in 2018. Now not only did the Cowboys add a returner that they need, they got a safety that’s going to be able to have a great opportunity to fill in for Barry Church’s vacancy at strong safety.

Desmond King was already gone anyway, but the point I am going to make is King was a free safety. The Cowboys already have Byron Jones there. What Dallas really needs is a ball hawking, hard hitting, smash mouth strong safety. And that’s exactly what Woods is. He also has the ability to come up into the box and blitz from certain packages, making him even more of a weapon. For being a team that’s ranked very poorly in creating turnovers the last few years, getting the type of player who is a turnover causing machine is a breathe of fresh air.

 

 

 

6th round, 216th overall; Marques White, CB (Florida State):

In normal years, I might be frustrated at taking the same position three times in the same draft. But this year is different. We’ve learned that there never can be enough depth when it comes to defensive backs. But, the Cowboys are stacking up on these corners that can play inside, outside, and move to safety if asked.

White doesn’t have as much skill as the two corners drafted earlier do. But, he has a lot of potential. He plays very quick, and can make some eye opening plays on the ball. The key with White is more consistency. He had great games at Florida State, and then he would have games where he looked loss. There is some work to be done, but all of the potential is there. If he can get some good coaching at the next level, and he will with Joe Baker, he can really grow as a player and become a solid defensive back in this league. At this point in the draft, it’s also great value.

 

 

7th round, 228th overall; Joey Ivie, DT (Florida):

There were better plays on the board, so this one was one of the first picks where I gave a slight sigh when the pick was announced. I had Ivie going as an undrafted free agent, but the Cowboys saw something in him where they liked him enough to grab him now instead of losing him to another team after the draft.

 

He’s not the most talented defensive linemen in college football, but at the very least he is a competitor that never takes a play off. The issues he had in college though is having trouble getting off a block at times. If an offensive linemen won the initial battle within the first two seconds of the snap, he had a hard time fighting back to come off the block and shed it. The key for Ivie is going to be coaching at the next level. He has to learn to stay low off the ball. If he can work on his technique, he can be a serviceable defensive tackle for awhile. But, this is definitely a project pick.

 

 

 

7th round, 239th overall; Noah Brown, WR (Ohio State):

Of course, Ohio State fans are going to be biased towards their players. But if it’s any indication of how good this kid might be, once he got selected, I had at least four of my friends and colleagues who are Ohio State fanatics say we just got a steal with Noah Brown. I still wasn’t sure where he fit into the draft plans though, considering we took Ryan Switzer earlier in the draft and re-signed Terrance Williams to a four year deal.

I think this is a threat to Brice Butler, who currently only is on a one year deal. So, this could be a move looking toward 2018. As for Brown, he won’t drop many passes. He’s also a play maker who’s tough and physical. He has a great ability to frustrate defensive backs, but will need to watch himself at the next level. Had a tendency to push off in the red zone. You might be able to get away with that in college, but in the NFL, they are going to be looking closer at that. If he can find a way to find more separation off his defender, Brown can seriously threaten Brice Butler’s status for playing time this year, and possibly even his roster spot.

 

 

 

7th round, 246th overall; Jordan Carrell, DT (Colorado):

It doesn’t look like teammate Chidobe Awuzie has to worry about coming alone to Dallas. His teammate, Jordan Carrell is coming too. This was a nice way to end draft weekend, as the Cowboys continued to build on their defensive needs and grabbed another defensive linemen before the draft was over.

 

He has a chance to be a contributor, but Marinelli is going to have to work with his timing off the ball. He did a lot better playing on the inside than coming off the edge, so he’s most likely going to be playing defensive tackle in the Cowboys 4-3 scheme, although he played both defensive tackle and defensive end in college. He’s very strong and plays like it. Has the ability to bully his opponent, but like a lot of these late round picks, has to be more consistent.

 

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Tyler Spence
My name is Tyler Spence and I am the Lead Columnist at RSEN. I've worked at RSEN since the start of 2014 and love working with other aspiring sports writers.
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One Comment

  1. Michael Shawn Polston

    April 30, 2017 at 1:58 am

    I am glad that Dallas rebuilt their secondary. If Taco Charlton can produce even close to what Ware gave us for so many years and Jaylon Smith can be that Von Miller type player the Cowboys drafted him to be the Secondary will look even better.

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