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I spent Saturday losing at a jiu jitsu tournament, so I missed watching the final day of the draft. Most are saying that the Cowboys were very conservative with this draft class, so expectations are not very high. We’ll see.
Here are ten facts about this year’s draft class.
- Until 2014, the Cowboys had never taken a Notre Dame player in the first round of the draft. Zack Martin is the third offensive lineman the Cowboys have selected from Notre Dame. The other two were Phil Pozderac (5th round, 1982) and Sam Young (6th round, 2010).
- Between 1960 and 2010, the Cowboys used three first-round picks on offensive linemen (John Niland, Robert Shaw, and Howard Richards). Three of the team’s last four first-round picks have been offensive linemen.
- Most are aware that the Cowboys drafted Orlando Scandrick and Tyrone Crawford from Boise State, the college of second-round pick Demarcus Lawrence. The team drafted two others in the 1970s. RB John Smith (1976) never played a down in the NFL. However, CB Rolly Woolsey was part of the Dirty Dozen of the 1975 Draft. He played one year for the Cowboys before moving on to play for three more teams over the next three seasons.
- Until taking LB Anthony Hitchens with the 119th overall pick, the Cowboys had not drafted a player from Iowa in 30 years. The last player was RB Norm Granger (1984), who played in 15 games as a rookie but did not play in the NFL after that except as a replacement player in 1987.
- The Cowboys had some good fortune with picks from Pittsburgh, taking Tony Dorsett in 1977 and Mark Stepnoski in 1989. Other picks, though, were less impressive. These include Curvin Richards (1991), Antonio Bryant (2002), and Rob Petitti (2005). Bryant and fifth-round pick Devin Street are the only receivers the Cowboys have taken from Pitt.
- Dallas did well with picks from Stanford in the 1970s, finding Scott Laidlaw (1975), Pat Donovan (1975), and Tony Hill (1977). Blaine Nye (1968) was also from Stanford. However, the last Stanford selection before Ben Gardner in 2014 was guard Matt Moran in 1985. Moran never played in the NFL.
- The Cowboys have taken eight players from Texas Tech, including linebacker Will Smith in 2014. However, only three of the previous picks ever played a down in the NFL. One of these three includes E.J. Holub, who was a five-time Pro Bowler with the AFL’s Dallas Texans and Kansas City Chiefs. The other two were Brandon Williams (2009) and Jamar Wall (2010). Only Williams ever played for the Cowboys.
- The Cowboys went with a Baylor player for the second year in a row, taking safety Ahmad Dixon with the 248th pick. He joines Terrance Williams, a third-round selection in 2013. Others from Baylor included guard Kelvin Garmon (1999), corner Ron Francis (1987), guard Bob Crenshaw (1964), and linebacker Sonny Davis (1961).
- Ken Bishop is only the second player the Cowboys have taken from Northern Illinois. The other was Doug Free in 2007.
- The Cowboys struck out on most of their previous picks from Oregon, the college that seventh-round pick Terrance Mitchell attended. The exception was Hall-of-Famer Mel Renfro.
The Dallas Cowboys have a new Demarcus on their defensive line.
Needing to upgrade the worst defense in the NFL last year, Dallas traded its second- and third-round picks this year to Washington to move up 13 spots in the second round to take Lawrence.
The video below provides a good review of Lawrence. Here are the pros and cons:
- Has not missed playing time in two years.
- Career at Boise State: 20 sacks, 7 forced fumbles
- Plays with leverage
- Is always around the ball
- Has natural pass-rush ability
- Served three one-game suspensions for off-the-field issues
- Can lose containment because he is overly aggressive
- Is somewhat small for a DE
Bottom Line (from NFL.com):
A loose, explosive, long-limbed athlete, Lawrence consistently pressurizes the edge and harasses quarterbacks. His pass-rushing ability rates among the best in this year’s class, and he holds mass appeal. Lacks ideal stoutness at the point of attack, but could thrive as a 4-3 right end or 3-4 rush linebacker, and should contribute readily on passing downs.
ESPN’s broadcast of the Dallas Cowboys’ 16th overall pick in the 2014 Draft focused almost entirely on quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Online sources said that the Cowboys would do it if Manziel were still there.
It did not happen.
However, the Cowboys also did not focus on defense with the pick, either. With defensive tackle Aaron Donald off the board (going to St. Louis at #13), the Cowboys took offensive tackle Zack Martin.
This was Mel Kiper’s guess in his mock draft posted on April 22. Martin began the off-season as someone who could fall to the late part of the first round. However, his stock rose, and some saw him as a top 10 pick.
Now he is a Cowboy. Whether he plays tackle or guard is something that needs to play out over the next few months.
Here is a video:
Below is a crossword puzzle focusing on the Cowboys’ possible selections with the #16 overall pick in the NFL draft.
Below are the possible hints (the puzzle changes each time you play). You can identify the players by reviewing the hints and then visiting the 2014 NFL Draft Tracker.
DT, Florida State
DT, Notre Dame
DE, Oregon State
DT, Notre Dame