During this week’s NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys built up assets to help construct the future of their franchise.
Going into the 2019 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys were looking to supplement both offense and defense. We know that are no issues at the quarterback position, but nonetheless, they were needing to find a few players to give Dak Prescott a chance to make plays happen. After acquiring Amari Cooper, that left them with no round one pick, so it was going to be interesting to see who the Cowboys would be able to pick while still being able to integrate them into the team. Cooper helps plug a hole in the offense, but they were possibly considering to pick another receiver to help on offense.
The main issue is with the Cowboys’ defense. With Randy Gregory being suspended indefinitely, and other areas of uncertainty with the defensive line pervasive as well, the Cowboys needed help with shoring up the line. The best way to do this would be in the draft instead of free agency.
Round #2, Selection #58
Trysten Hill, Defensive Lineman, Central Florida
There has been some question about Hill’s ability to play, as well as his maturity, especially since he wasn’t the starter his last year at UCF. However, the Cowboys are standing by their decisions. They appear to be seeing what the 6-foot-4, 316-pound defensive lineman will be able to do for them in the future. He’s able to play with functional agility, is quick off the snap, and can be energetic and disruptive when he’s at his best. It will be up to the Cowboys to make sure he stays on track and is able to improve in personal and athletic areas.
Round #3, Selection #90
Connor McGovern, Guard, Penn State
He has experience with starting at both center and guard, which can lend to the Cowboys being able to use him in several different ways. More than likely he will not play much this first season unless an injury occurs and the Cowboys need him to step up. At 6-foot-5 and 326 pounds, he would make a larger and stronger option at the center position. As with any rookie, he does tend to have an issue with his pass sets, which the Cowboys will need to start work on immediately.
Round #4, Selection #128
Tony Pollard, Running Back, Memphis
At 6-feet and 208 pounds, Pollard ran the 40-yard dash at the combine in 4.52 seconds. While impressive, there are a few areas the Cowboys will need to start working on immediately. He’s the right size for an NFL player, but he does have issues with route-running and impatience once he has the ball in his hands. It can be corrected, but it will be up to Pollard to show the Cowboys that he’s able to put in the work and do the job. He has the talent, and if harnessed correctly, he will be able to bring flexibility to the Cowboys’ offensive line.
Round #5, Selection #158
Michael Jackson, Cornerback, Miami (Fla.)
At 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, it seems that the Cowboys might have something in Jackson, especially with his ability to use his size and strength against opponents when needed. He tackles opponents without hesitation, so his athleticism is impressive, and at the Combine, he impressed scouts when he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds. The downfall with Jackson might be his inconsistency. He needs improvement with recovery speed, his coverage instincts, and his ability to stay with the receiver through the route. All of these things can be improved upon if Jackson and the Cowboys are willing to work.
Round #5, Selection #165
Joe Jackson, Defensive End, Miami
Jackson has the size to be an NFL player, with his 6-foot-5, 285-pound frame, and with his college stats showing improvement from year to year, the Cowboys might have done a good job choosing him. He may not see playing time, but he can be worked into the rotation in order to get playing time if he earns it. He can seem inconsistent at times and needs improvement on getting blockers off him. These and other weaknesses are things that the Cowboys can certainly work on. If he continues to improve, he’s looking at a future with the Cowboys for years to come.
Round #6, Selection #213
Donovan Wilson, Safety, Texas A&M
At 6’1″, 207 pounds, Wilson certainly looks the part and has shown he can make plays when needed. Wilson’s stats at Texas A&M show a total of 220 tackles, 5 sacks, and 8 interceptions, which shows the ability to perform and room for improvement. The Cowboys will need to work with him on his self-control and awareness along with coaching him on the misses it appears he has in some plays. Where he lands on the Cowboys team will certainly be up to him and how much he wants to go to the next level.
Round #7, Selection #218
Mike Weber, Running Back, Ohio State
Despite his 5’10”, 214 pound size, his vision on the field, ability to change directions on the field, and unwavering effort, makes him something worth molding into an NFL worthy running back. He does have the speed and it showed not only on the field at Ohio State but also in his 4.47-second 40-yard dash at the combine. His stats might not show his full potential due to injuries, which hampered his playing in both the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons, but the Cowboys apparently see something in him for potential in the future.
Round #7, Selection #241
Jalen Jelks, Defensive End, Oregon
With Jelks being 6’6″ and 245 pounds, he will be able to add size and strength to the Cowboys defensive line. Despite his production at Oregon dropping from his Junior to Senior years, he was still showing flashes of potential. He will need to bulk up a little more in the gym, but this will only go towards his improvement as a player in the NFL. His versatility at playing different positions on the defensive line only adds to the possibility of a bright future in the NFL with the Cowboys.
Overall, the Cowboys did pick up the talent they needed for both the offense and defense. Several of these picks show potential but definitely need work to improve if they want to have longevity in the NFL. These picks show that the Cowboys feel good about current players, but are also mindful about how the future might play out by planning for it through the draft. If both the players and the Cowboy organization can be patient, these picks might just be the productive future they’re looking for.