Prior to running my complete 2016 Dallas Cowboys Draft Analysis, I not only needed a couple days to cool off so I could approach it objectively, but I needed to review the tape of the players I hadn’t studied yet.
I ain’t gonna lie: I wasn’t looking forward to running this complete 2016 Dallas Cowboys draft analysis because there are some fans out there that will buy in to whatever the Cowboys brain trust is selling.
In other words, any type of criticism is misconstrued as hate. If you don’t drink the Jerry Juice, you’re not a real fan. Obviously those folks are in denial, have blinders on, or never experienced life under Tex Schramm and Tom Landry. Maybe some of those folks jumped on the bandwagon when Jimmy Johnson was calling the shots. Maybe those folks are content watching old Youtubes and living in the past. Maybe those folks are content with mediocrity. Maybe they are content with one winning season every 5 years and a meager two playoff wins in the last 20. I am not. I grew up with a tradition of winning.
The term “Americas Team” represents the longest running dynasty in the history of football. The Dallas Cowboys have gone from being the most feared team in the NFL to being caught in a cauldron of mediocrity. There was a time when the saying was: “The Road To The Super Bowl Goes Through Dallas.” Call me a hater if you will, but some folks have allowed Jerry Jones and his minions to convince them /to settle for less, while they continue to rake in their hard earned cash. We deserve better. After all, we are the ones flipping the bill for those hefty contracts Jerry Jones hands out. No fans equals no revenue folks. Now that I have completed my annual post-draft rant, I am moving on to my complete 2016 Dallas Cowboys Draft Analysis. (The Table below is courtesy of NFL.com, however I added my grades and analysis.)
|Round 1, Pick 4 (4)||Ezekiel Elliott||RB||6’0″||225||Ohio St.||92.5: B+|
|Pick Analysis: Elliott is no doubt an outstanding football player, but do I think he was worth the 4th pick in the draft? Absolutely not. We had a higher grade on Keith Marshall and believe the Redskins got much better value drafting him in the 7th round. If the Cowboys passed him over because of his knee (that is healed) shame on them for taking a chance on Smith at 34 who is still a 50-50 gamble. Marshall brings everything to the table Elliott does, but with much better speed. The Cowboys had two starting quality RBs on the roster which makes this pick a reach at best when the defense is starving for impact players at several positions. At the end of the day, on average, RBs have the shortest life expectancy of any position. At 4 a team should draft a 10-12 year cornerstone player. Especially when it’s a team that abandons the run every time they get behind in a game and goes in to pass, pass, pass mode. A porous defense guarantees that will happen a lot. Especially when you are counting on Morris Claiborne to remain a healthy starter. Remember the Redskins scoring 3 TDs in the 1st quarter week 17 and the coaches making Kellen Moore throw 48 passes in only his 2nd NFL start? How much impact will Elliott make in those types of situations? A solid defense doesn’t force the Cowboys to play from behind all the time and feel pressured to pass so much.|
|Round 2, Pick 3 (34)||Jaylon Smith||OLB||6’2″||223||Notre Dame||87.5: F|
|Pick Analysis: This pick literally enraged me. Jerry Jones has no concept of the fact that his defense was ranked at the bottom of the league in sacks or that his franchise QB is 36 years old. The window for Tony Romo to lead this team to a championship is closing fast. All he is missing is a formidable defense. The Cowboys offense has been top 5 in scoring for most of Romo’s career, yet they are boasting a .500 record. It’s not rocket science, yet Jerry Jones drafts yet another offensive player in the first round and then pisses away the 34th overall pick on a player who “MIGHT” make a difference next year. Sorry folks, but Romo doesn’t have a lot of next years left. You don’t pass on a Noah Spence, A’Shawn Robinson, Jarran Reed, Xavien Howard or Chris Jones in hopes of a seriously injured player returning to form. The Seahawks and Panthers are loaded up front and still built up their DL in the 1st round. Teams that win actually get it. “Defense Wins Championships”. I like Jaylon Smith, but the fact remains: the NFL is a what can you do for me now league, not a what did you do before injury league? Risks are meant to be taken in the later rounds.|
|Round 3, Pick 4 (67)||Maliek Collins||DT||6’2″||311||Nebraska||79.5: B|
|Pick Analysis: The Cowboys have put all of their eggs in the Cedric Thornton basket and once again neglected drafting a true 1-tech defensive tackle. Collins is a 3-tech and his numbers don’t jump out at you. The Cowboys biggest weakness has been an inability to get to the QB, DeMarcus Ware averaged more sacks per season than all of the free agents they signed and this draft pick have combined for their careers. This team is loaded with potential 3-techs and starving for a true pocket collapsing, run stuffing 1-tech. Apparently Rod Marinelli saw something he likes in this player, but all I saw was flashes. The kid is a project and I feel he was a reach in the 3rd round. I truly hope he proves me wrong, but considering they gave Tyrone Crawford a pile of money to play this position, I question the value of the pick.|
|Round 4, Pick 3 (101)||Charles Tapper||DE||6’3″||271||Oklahoma||83.5: A|
|Pick Analysis: Tapper brings a rare combination of size length and speed. I believe the Cowboys were extremely lucky getting this player in the 4th round. He is a bit raw in his technique, but has all of the traits Rod Marinelli looks for in a DE. The Cowboys biggest need entering this draft was a RDE. We projected Tapper as a LDE with the potential to develop in to a top tier RDE. In my opinion, he not only brought the best value to this draft, but will end up the best mid round pick the Cowboys made in years.|
|Round 4, Pick 37 (135) (Compensatory Selection)||Dak Prescott||QB||6’2″||226||Mississippi St.||69.5: D|
|Pick Analysis: Prescott is the definition of a project. If the Cowboys were looking to bring in some legitimate competition for Kellen Moore, he ain’t it. He is pretty much exactly what they already had in Jameil Showers with less experience. Showers already has a season in the offense under his belt and showed flashes in the preseason. I will post a scouting report on Dak in the near future, but you probably wont like what I have to say. This kid is nowhere near mentally, or from a scheme standpoint, prepared for the NFL. He is a run first QB who has never taken a snap under center or called a play at the line. A very very poor mans version of Cam Newton. A wasted pick in my mind. Kevin Hogan is much more ready for the NFL and had much more success in college while playing in a Pro-Style offense. I don’t care about his throwing motion. The kid is mentally prepared for the NFL and won more games than Andrew Luck with less talent around him at Stanford.|
|Round 6, Pick 14 (189) (From Raiders)||Anthony Brown||CB||5’11”||192||Purdue||70.5: C|
|Pick Analysis: Brown is an intriguing prospect. He has blazing speed (4.35 40) and brings exceptional upper body strength for a CB (19 Reps). Unlike many CBs he is an excellent tackler and not afraid to come down hill and lay the wood. He amassed 4 interceptions in 2015 and has 20 career pass breakups. The problem is: he allowed 17 TDs on only 162 targets. The tools are there, but he needs a lot of coaching up on his overall technique. He has the instincts and vision to play in a zone or in press. He also has the hands, but his technique is awful. At this point he is limited to special teams. . The Cowboys needed a CB ready to play now because Carr is in a contract year and Mo has never fully translated or proven he can stay healthy.|
|Round 6, Pick 37 (212) (Compensatory Selection)||Kavon Frazier||SS||6’0″||217||Central Michigan||69.0: D|
|Pick Analysis: Frazier is a hard hitting box safety who just doesn’t have the skills to start or even be a solid backup at the NFL level. Once again the Cowboys wasted a pick on a special teams player when there were solid Players like Scooby Wright on the board who have the ability to step in and start on day one.|
|Round 6, Pick 41 (216) (Compensatory Selection)||Darius Jackson||RB||6’0″||221||Eastern Michigan||69.5: D|
|Pick Analysis: The Cowboys added Elliott in round 1 and already had 2 starting quality RBs on the roster. This is the definition of a wasted pick|
|Round 6, Pick 42 (217) (Compensatory Selection)||Rico Gathers||TE||6’6″||273||Baylor||70.0: D|
|Pick Analysis: Jerry Jones is still trying to prove he can do what Tom Landry did by converting players from other sports. The difference is: Tom Landry had depth at all positions and fielded winning teams year after year. He was also much better at coaching up players than our current learn on the job HC. Jimmy Johnson led this team to two Super Bowls in 5 years and got fired for his efforts. Jason Garrett has 1 winning season in 5 years and Jerry calls him a great coach. You figure that one out. Either way, taking a player who hasn’t played football since the eighth grade over a player that can contribute right away following a 4-12 season is foolish to say the least. If the kid develops in to a Jason Witten great move, but I will believe that when I see it. At the end of the day, the Cowboys continue to make mind boggling decisions in the draft. At times I feel as if they are throwing a dart at the draft board after the 1st round.|
If you were expecting to see Cowgirl’s complete 2016 Dallas Cowboys draft analysis, it’s not going to happen. At least not anytime soon. In fact, she is so distraught over this years draft that she said she is “done covering Jerral’s traveling circus”. That may change once she has had a chance to cool down, but in the meantime she has walked away from YDCFF. As my partner in crime, she will be missed. If you are one of her loyal readers, I apologize on her behalf. “Hell Hath Seen No Greater Fury, Than That Of A Woman Scorned.”
I hope you can understand her frustration. She has devoted her life to scouting players for the Cowboys only to watch the Jones family blow one draft after another, while her players thrive on other teams. I feel her pain. I hope you can too. I honestly believe the Cowboys opting to draft a disabled LB at 34 over a healthy top tier pass rusher, then a second RB, a Safety that will be lucky to cut it on special teams and a basketball player over her 2016 “Pet Cat”, Scooby Wright, was the straw that broke the camels back. I have to concur. The Cowboys don’t have enough depth to be buying a lottery ticket with the 34th overall pick. Especially when you look at the pass rush, MLB and CB positions. I digress.
I have to agree with what Jarvis Landry has to say. Cas and I are certain the 31 NFL GM’s that passed on Scooby Wright will learn this lesson the hard way. The Browns got a bargain.