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Nextyearfordaboyz

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McClay Passes the Test

7 years ago, Dallas faced a remarkably similar situation in the first round. Their #5 ranked player, Sharif Floyd, fell all the way to #18. Cowboys fans couldn’t believe their luck! But Dallas had missed out on their actual targets, Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper, and bailed out of the spot for low return. Dallas, was determined to land one of the “Mohicans” (offensive linemen) and drafted the last of them at the end of the first round in Travis Frederick.

While that ultimately worked out for Dallas, the chaos of that draft is what prompted Jerry to give Will McClay the keys to the kingdom. And while there have been some bumpy moments over the last 6 drafts, everything really culminated when Dallas was faced with a near identical situation on Thursday. Would Dallas be prepared this time around?

Heck yeah, they would. Thank you, Will McClay. Welcome to Dallas, CeeDee.

Interior OL Battle

The interior offensive line battle is going to be really interesting, and the word about working Connor Williams at Center has me intrigued.

In the long run, they probably want the starters to be McGovern at LG and Biadasz at C. But in the short run, they probably view Williams as one of the top-5 OL on the roster.

If Williams can do it, he’ll start at center in 2020, and then battle Biadasz for the spot in 2021, while McGovern can settle into his long-term spot comfortably this season. If Williams can’t do it, it’s going to be really interesting to see how they shuffle the linemen to get the best players on the field.

What happens at RDE is anyone’s guess, but we should be ok

RDE is probably the most up-in-the-air position. Who ends up getting the snaps there is anyone’s guess, but I don’t think we should be very concerned. Tyrone Crawford is a reliable vet. You have Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith who are potential lightening rods, and a slew of young guys in Armstrong, Anae, Jelks, and Jackson. And that’s not even considering the high potential of adding another vet in FA or trade. Nolan and Tomsula shouldn’t have a problem cobbling together NFL caliber play out of that group, but which players actually provide that play will be a top story line.

Donovan Wilson Season

After DE, Safety probably represents the biggest question mark. But I propose Donovan Wilson season as the potential solution at strong safety.

1.       Our new DB coach, Maurice Linguist, was Wilson’s DB coach in 2018 at A&M

2.       Dallas is placing an emphasis on turnovers, and Wilson sure looked the part last offseason

3.       He’s probably the only natural SS on the current roster

If you were to gamble, Clinton-Dix and Woods is probably the safest bet. But I hope Wilson gets a real shot to compete.

Offensive continuity

The ages of our starting offense:

QB – 27
RB – 25
WR – 26
WR – 24
WR – 21
TE – 26
LT – 30
LG – 23
C – 23
RG – 30
LT – 27

And each player (save Dak, who will be) is under contract for at least 2 years. We are going to watch some fun offensive football over the next few seasons as this group gels together.

LB overblown

No Kenneth Murray. No Patrick Queen. No real linebackers at all. Color me not very surprised. They are good to roll with LVE and Jaylon.

Cowboys Draft Grades and Career Paths

Two of my favorite things to do post-draft: 1) Figure out how the Cowboys graded each player they selected, and 2) Project what their career as a Cowboy will look like. So here’s my thoughts on each.

CeeDee Lamb
Cowboys Grade - #6 Overall… We know this, because they told us. My guess at the top-5: Burrow, Young, Okudah, Simmons, and Wills.

Career Projection – Immediate impact receiver who gets a massive second contract

Trevon Diggs
Cowboys Grade – Mike Fisher reported he was in the top-20 on their board, but was he a 1st round grade or a 2nd round grade? My guess is he had the last 1st round grade for the Cowboys, given we know they were seriously considering him at #17. Worst case, he was at the very top of their 2nd round board.

Career Projection – How much he plays as a rookie remains to be seen. I would guess he starts to get more snaps towards the tail-end of the season, but won’t be able to wrangle a job away from the incumbents early because of a truncated offseason. Either way, he should play 3,000+ snaps at a high level from 2021-2023.

Neville Gallimore
Cowboys Grade – 2nd Round Grade… This is pretty clear. We know they had 25 2nd round grades, and liked Gallimore as a potential pick at #51. They wasted absolutely no time submitting this pick once they got on the clock. Definitely in their top-40 players, but perhaps even higher.

Career Projection – Will need to develop and will probably just be a rotational guy early. He’ll have a chance to earn a starting role in place of Gerald McCoy in 2022.

Reggie Robinson III
Cowboys Grade – Third Round… It’s been hard to get much information on this one. But given how highly they thought of the next player selected, they must have viewed Robinson as at least a high 3rd round pick.

Career Projection – Special teams demon year 1. Full-time starter in 2021.

Tyler Biadasz
Cowboys Grade – Early 3rd Round, at worst – They traded 2 picks to the Eagles to go up and get Biadasz. They implied after the draft that they thought the Wisconsin center could have been their biggest value of the draft (over DeeDee and Diggs?!). It would not even surprise me to learn the had a late 2nd round grade on him given the easy comparables to Travis Frederick and Connor McGovern.

Career Projection –It’s unlikely he’ll start as a rookie, but not impossible. He will fight for, and very possibly win, the starting job at center in 2021.

Bradlee Anae
Cowboys Grade – Unclear, probably 4th round. Any higher than that, and you would have seen a move up to get him like with Biadasz.

Career Projection – He doesn’t have a lot of development needed, which is a good and bad thing. The ceiling is not that high, but he should get solid snaps in the rotation throughout his rookie contract. I think he’ll settle into a SAM/nickel pass rusher rotational role early in his career. Think Kyle Wilbur, but with talent.

Ben DiNucci
Cowboys Grade – Beats me... 6th round?

Career Projection – Practice-squader they hope can develop into the future backup. Traits make him worth a shot.

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I forgot one last point:

Cherish it 

If you are somewhat newer to following the Cowboys drafts, don't take this year for granted or expect it to happen again soon. It takes a well executed plan and a lot of luck to end up with a draft you feel this great about. Most of the other old-timers here would agree with me that the last time this happened was all the way back in 2005.

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This is the the happiest I have been about the draft since probably when they drafted Bryant and Lee in 2010. 2016 turned out to be a good draft but I wasn’t particularly happy at the time. Wanted Ramsey over Zeke and I really did not like the Jaylon pick even though he turned out to be a good player. Last season not as good as the year before. This draft I really don’t have one complaint about any of the picks. 

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1 hour ago, cromagnum said:

This is the the happiest I have been about the draft since probably when they drafted Bryant and Lee in 2010. 2016 turned out to be a good draft but I wasn’t particularly happy at the time. Wanted Ramsey over Zeke and I really did not like the Jaylon pick even though he turned out to be a good player. Last season not as good as the year before. This draft I really don’t have one complaint about any of the picks. 

I agree.

2010 with Dez and Lee was great, and probably matched rounds 1 & 2 from this year. But they didn't dominate the draft from top to bottom that year the way they did this weekend.

2016 will obviously go down as one of the best Cowboy drafts of all time. It will be almost impossible for this one to match it, because in '16, we landed a franchise QB. But that is hindsight 20/20. There is no way anyone felt as good about that draft in the moment.

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Posted (edited)

Excellent write up NYFDB. 
 

Was just reading some Twitter posts that tie in with this. Apparently Dallas had 1st rd grades on Gallimore and Diggs, 1.20 and 1.21 respectively. Believe it was Cavanaugh and Ickes.  They said Dallas took TD over NG in rd 2 based on position need. 
 

Regardless how a person views need vs BPA, I can’t imagine anyone not viewing this draft as one of the best since the Jimmy Johnson Era. Personally, I think it has the potential to be one of the best ever for any team.....minus the Steelers 1974  draft.

Here's the thread about TD and NG's placement on Cowboys board....

Something else that was mentioned regarding draft philosophy was McCarthy going to McClay with a “player over scheme” mentality. Believe this is a 180 from the previous coaching staff. I love this line of thinking.

 

 

Also some analytics for the draft. Music to my ears....

Interesting tweet altogether. Coop is expendable in 2 years. Dak....

 

Edited by WizardHawk

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2 hours ago, Nextyearfordaboyz said:

I agree.

2010 with Dez and Lee was great, and probably matched rounds 1 & 2 from this year. But they didn't dominate the draft from top to bottom that year the way they did this weekend.

2016 will obviously go down as one of the best Cowboy drafts of all time. It will be almost impossible for this one to match it, because in '16, we landed a franchise QB. But that is hindsight 20/20. There is no way anyone felt as good about that draft in the moment.

Franchise qb not so sure about that. Good starting qb with potential to get better. 2010 had 2 all pro level players. 2016 probably only has one and that’s Zeke. This draft I can see Lamb being all pro one day probably nobody else but some good football players hopefully. 

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53 minutes ago, cromagnum said:

Franchise qb not so sure about that. 

He’s started every game in the first 4 years of his career and is about to be the highest paid player in NFL history. He just had a season where he threw for 4,900 yards, and 30 TDs to just 11 INT. And they literally just gave him the “franchise” tag.

If you can’t be sure that Dak Prescott qualifies as a franchise quarterback, what in life could you be sure of?

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19 hours ago, Nextyearfordaboyz said:

I forgot one last point:

Cherish it 

If you are somewhat newer to following the Cowboys drafts, don't take this year for granted or expect it to happen again soon. It takes a well executed plan and a lot of luck to end up with a draft you feel this great about. Most of the other old-timers here would agree with me that the last time this happened was all the way back in 2005.

What about the draft of Zeke, Jaylon and Dak??

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14 minutes ago, buddy_z34 said:

What about the draft of Zeke, Jaylon and Dak??

2016 turned out to be a good draft but at the time it wasnt expected to be much.

Some people were happy with Zeke while others wanted Ramsey.

Jaylon was coming off a horrific leg injury and know one even knew I'd he would play again.

A lot of us wanted Jerry to pull the trigger and move back for Lynch. I dont believe anyone was ecstatic about getting Dak and thinking he would be our starting QB.

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25 minutes ago, CAPJ said:

2016 turned out to be a good draft but at the time it wasnt expected to be much.

Some people were happy with Zeke while others wanted Ramsey.

Jaylon was coming off a horrific leg injury and know one even knew I'd he would play again.

A lot of us wanted Jerry to pull the trigger and move back for Lynch. I dont believe anyone was ecstatic about getting Dak and thinking he would be our starting QB.

Ah I see you guys are basing this on how we felt about the draft at that time. Tbh I felt good about Jaylon. Felt even better knowing that the team doctor was the one who performed the surgery. Nobody knew Dak would become what he did but we also didnt expect Romo going down with injury. Going off the criteria then yes Cowboys nation felt good about the 2005 draft more than 2016. But in hindsight 2016 takes the cake

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40 minutes ago, buddy_z34 said:

Ah I see you guys are basing this on how we felt about the draft at that time. Tbh I felt good about Jaylon. Felt even better knowing that the team doctor was the one who performed the surgery. Nobody knew Dak would become what he did but we also didnt expect Romo going down with injury. Going off the criteria then yes Cowboys nation felt good about the 2005 draft more than 2016. But in hindsight 2016 takes the cake

Yeah, like I mentioned in my response to cromangum earlier, it will be tough-to-impossible for this year to match 2016 in terms of success on the field. 2016 was pretty ridiculous in hindsight.

And sure, some people liked that draft in the moment. But it was far from the clear home run that 2020 looks to be.

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15 hours ago, WizardHawk said:

Excellent write up NYFDB. 
 

Was just reading some Twitter posts that tie in with this. Apparently Dallas had 1st rd grades on Gallimore and Diggs, 1.20 and 1.21 respectively. Believe it was Cavanaugh and Ickes.  They said Dallas took TD over NG in rd 2 based on position need. 

I saw this, fascinating.

I'm a little bit confused by the grading system, and I wonder if anyone here understands how those grades work. I don't think 1.20 means "1st round grade, 20th best in that round".

Jeff Cavanaugh said, "on their scale I’d have had Gallimore as a 1.31 or so", and certainly Cavanaugh didn't have Gallimore as a first round grade.

So I think the # that comes after the decimal is the round. Meaning maybe the Cowboys viewed Gallimore as a 2nd round pick, while Cavanaugh had him as a 3rd..

Does anyone know how this works better?

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Nextyearfordaboyz said:

I saw this, fascinating.

I'm a little bit confused by the grading system, and I wonder if anyone here understands how those grades work. I don't think 1.20 means "1st round grade, 20th best in that round".

Jeff Cavanaugh said, "on their scale I’d have had Gallimore as a 1.31 or so", and certainly Cavanaugh didn't have Gallimore as a first round grade.

So I think the # that comes after the decimal is the round. Meaning maybe the Cowboys viewed Gallimore as a 2nd round pick, while Cavanaugh had him as a 3rd..

Does anyone know how this works better?

 

 

It would be very interesting. We know Dallas had two 1st round grades left at the end of the 1st...I still doubt heavily that Diggs and Gallimore were. I imagine they were at the top of the list for a trade-down though, should all 1st round talent drop off. 

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5 minutes ago, Texas_OutLaw7 said:

It would be very interesting. We know Dallas had two 1st round grades left at the end of the 1st...I still doubt heavily that Diggs and Gallimore were. I imagine they were at the top of the list for a trade-down though, should all 1st round talent drop off. 

I do think that Diggs was the emergency option at #17, in case Chaisson and Terrell were gone. And I think it was phrased "1 or 2 first round grades left", so I think it's possible that DeAndre swift was the only remaining guy on the board going into Friday.

Either way, I agree. I don't think that tweet should be interpreted as "Dallas had first round grades on Diggs and Gallimore".

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Personally I am giddy even mire then normal after this draft. I see four or five regulars from this draft making it a home run for sure.  I was not and still am hesitant about Robinson. I think he has the most to prove and it’s highly subjective to put him as a starter in 2021.  I saw/see  just as much talent upside on Awuzi and Lewis. Anae If works out is solid rotation guy.  Gallimore should also be a solid everyday starter for years.  Biadasz is not a lock like Martin and Red bird were but should turn into a solid starter all pro might be a reach. Diggs is not a font miss pick like say Ramsey but he should be a HQ starter.   Lamb I would rank as no1 waiting to happen.  
 

thus yeah anytime you can get 4 plus starters in 1 draft that’s as good as it gets.  

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