Cowboys Appear to Get Decent Value in Later Rounds

I am not going to write too many negative things about the Dallas Cowboys draft. One guy at ESPN did, but I won’t.

National Football League Draft

National Football League Draft (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many people I know thought highly of the trade to get Morris Claiborne, and I like the change in strategy. I really thought that Dallas would get the second-round pick back by dealing Mike Jenkins, but that did not happen.

The third-round pick of Tyrone Crawford has merit, though not everyone is sold. At the least, he should provide more depth on the defensive line, even if he looks a little bit more like an outside linebacker than a defensive end for a 3-4 defense.

With the first of two fourth-round picks, Dallas took OLB Kyle Wilber of Wake Forest. ESPN thought he had “exceptional” intangibles, noting: “A well rounded individual. Hard worker and takes coaching well. Respected by coaches and teammates. Named a team captain as a senior.” NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks said that Wilber “is a raw edge rusher with good first-step quickness and length.” Not bad.

But then Dallas took Eastern Washington safety Matt Johnson. Brooks said Johnson will be a special teams player. ESPN didn’t even evaluate Johnson. Sound like a decent seventh round pick? Perhaps a sixth rounder? Well, the Cowboys got him in the fourth.

The Cowboys finally got a receiver by taking Danny Coale of Virginia Tech. Someone immediately said that he fit the mold of a “Wes Welker type,” though at 6’0, 201 pounds, he is bigger than Welker. ESPN had Coale rated very high in terms of ball skills and competitiveness, but he is likely going to be a special teams player. The big problem for next year is that Dallas still doesn’t have a third WR, and it would be a surprise if Coale was the guy.

Dallas grabbed Oklahoma tight end James Hanna in the sixth round. ESPN said he is durable, while NFL.com said he is a “sneaky fast pass catcher.” It isn’t often you hear “sneaky fast” used to describe a tight end.

The final pick was a linebacker named Caleb McSurdy of Montana. He will compete for a roster spot by standing out on special teams. NFL.com said he “was a force in the Big Sky Conference in his senior year,” which is hopefully a good indication that can tackle while on the kickoff unit.

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Cowboys Grab Boise State DE Tyrone Crawford in the 3rd

Instead of taking a defensive tackle with the #14 pick on Thursday, the Cowboys traded up to grab a corner in Morris Claiborne. Several thought the Cowboys would find a way to get back into the second round by trading cornerback Mike Jenkins, but it didn’t happen.

Instead, the Cowboys stayed put at #81 and took Boise State defensive end Tyrone Crawford. It was hardly a pick that grabbed headlines, but it also did not draw anything negative. None of the commentary I’ve seen has said that this was a bad pick.

Here is a video showing a few “highlights” from a couple Boise State games. Crawford (#40) had a few good plays, but nothing overwhelming.

NFL.com had Crawford rated at 77.5, while ESPN rated him at 75. He is above average overall only average in terms of pass rush according to ESPN.

Two defensive tackles were available after Crawford, including Brandon Thompson of Clemson.

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