Dallas Cowboys draft preview: Jones and Co. should stick to the plan
The Dallas Cowboys hold the No. 27 overall pick in the NFL Draft. In our 32-team preview series, FOXSports.com takes a look at their roster post-free agency and delivers a plan of attack for the last day in April.
With seven picks in the NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys don’t have a ton of flexibility to trade up unless they want to mortgage the future.
However, sitting at No. 27 overall, the Cowboys certainly have their options.
Addressing the interior of the defensive line is one of the biggest needs and there should be some quality prospects available. Adding a premier cover corner to beef up the team’s secondary could also be another good idea.
Finally, the Cowboys could address the seismic hole at the running back position left by DeMarco Murray’s departure to Philadelphia.
Of course, there are a few ways the Cowboys could attack this need. By signing oft-injured running back Darren McFadden, they have insurance in the unlikely case they don’t draft someone at the position. With running backs Lance Dunbar and Joseph Randle already on the roster, this three-back rotation would be a significant drop-off from Murray’s production (392 carries, 1,845 yards and 13 TDs) a year ago. Below are the Cowboys’ three options:
1) See what the asking price is for Vikings RB Adrian Peterson.
2) Draft best available of Todd Gurley/Melvin Gordon.
3) Draft a running back in Rounds 2-5.
The last scenario makes the most sense — unless the team views Gurley or Gordon as generational-type talents — as it’s a draft that is deep on running backs. Further, the Cowboys have met with Alabama’s T.J. Yeldon, Boise State’s Jay Ajayi, Indiana’s Tevin Coleman and Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah, who could realistically all be available at pick No. 60.
The Cowboys enjoyed success in 2014 because of the work they put in over the past four seasons, selecting three offensive linemen in the first round. While trading up and drafting a running back has Jerry Jones-like sizzle, the Cowboys would benefit most from sticking to their board and drafting the best player available. Bolstering defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli’s unit could pay dividends.
Positions of need: CB, DT, RB
Three options to consider at No. 27
Byron Jones, UConn, CB: The 6-foot-1, 200-pound cornerback is arguably the best athlete at the cornerback position and had a decorated career playing with the Huskies. Jones has a wealth of experience, starting every game of his career until a shoulder injury sidelined him during his senior season.
Eddie Goldman, Florida State, DT: Goldman might still be pretty raw as a prospect, but the 6-foot-4, 325-pound defensive lineman’s ceiling is towering. Goldman is a versatile defensive linemen, who played in three different schemes in three years at Tallahassee. Goldman is athletic for a big man, clocking a ridiculous 4.51 in the 40-yard-dash.
Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest, CB: Some consider Johnson to be the best cover corner in the class, which will ultimately equate to him being a first-round pick. Johnson never missed a game during his college career, and his 6-foot, 188-pound frame could be intriguing.