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NFL Draft 32 for 32 - Dallas Cowboys


The 2018 season for the Dallas Cowboys saw another trip to the postseason only to end in an embarrassing loss to the Los Angeles Rams. But one thing that we did see was another step in the progression of Dak Prescott at QB. Finishing as QB11 on the season, Prescott looked all but lost before the acquisition of Amari Cooper. Once that trade happened, we saw another side of this offense. From Week 9 on, Prescott was QB4 in fantasy with 18 TD over that span. Cooper's precise route-running and great hands gave him a receiving option that he had yet to work with. Coupled with the work that the ground game was doing, Prescott showed the type of threat that he can be both with his arm and legs. He will not be drafted as a QB1 in 2019, but maybe we should be having that discussion. Because year in and year out, he is among the QBs that are right at the end of the QB1 threshold.

As for the receiving options for the Cowboys this season, there will be only two names to consider from a fantasy standpoint. One, of course, will be Cooper, who was WR8 in his time with the Cowboys last season. While the other will be second-year wideout, Michael Gallup. To his credit, Gallup looked to be picking things up towards the end of the season with Prescott often looking his way in tough situations. Although they did not connect much in scoring terms, there were chances. Whether it be from a dropped pass from Gallup or an overthrow by Prescott. Gallup could be a name to keep an eye on late in drafts, especially in standard scoring leagues. While Cooper will see his name called early in drafts by owners perhaps reaching for last year's success.

With the running game, all you need to know is that Ezekiel Elliott will once again be handling a majority of the duties in the backfield. His receptions jumped to 77 last season which is a plus for PPR formats. That could again be the case in 2019 unless the Cowboys decide to add another back to filter in on third downs. Elliott is sure to be one of the first three picks in any format and rightfully so.

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Top Three Projected Selections

Second Round- Jaylon Ferguson, DE Lousiana Tech (59th overall)
Third Round- Juan Thornhill, S Virginia (90th)
Fourth Round- Erik McCoy, C Texas A&M (128th)

Remaining Picks
Fourth Round- 136th
Fifth Round- 165th
Seventh Round- 241st

 

Needs Analysis

As for the draft, the Cowboys will play the waiting game until the second round after the deal for Cooper. But when it comes to this team, the defensive line will be a major need to be addressed in this draft as well as help in the secondary. I would not be shocked to see this team jump into the offensive line water, due to the fact of Tyron Smith is always fighting injuries and missing time. The success of this team stems from the offensive line playing well.

With the first pick in their 2019 draft, the Cowboys go after a major need in Jaylon Ferguson. He is an extremely productive edge rusher that has the frame that translates well to the NFL. He is very disruptive at the point of attack and also has an ability to step out and become a run defender. His pass rush technique is instinctive more than anything but gets the job done nonetheless. Playing opposite Demarcus Lawrence will allow Ferguson to see plenty of single coverage to take advantage of. His selection goes a long way to make up for the losses the defense lost in the offseason.

Juan Thornhill comes to Dallas and could immediately work his way into a role on the backend of this defense. A three-year starter in college, he played at both corner and safety; that flexibility that could do wonders for this defense. His size and cover ability will give the Cowboys options on where to deploy him on the field. He has the ball skills that you see at cornerback, but can come down and play the run like a traditional safety. Thornhill would be a very smart selection for a team that is looking to improve its defense after the embarrassing playoff loss at the end of last season.

With the uncertainty that still surrounds Travis Frederick at center, the Cowboys would do well with the selection of Erik McCoy. McCoy is a thick player with an incredibly strong frame and can hold up well against both power and athletic rushers. His body control and agility help to cut off opposing defenders before they can gain traction. McCoy is tailor-made for the scheme that the Cowboys employ as a power run team. While Frederick works towards regaining his starting job, McCoy gives the team a solid fall back option to go with.

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