Looking to get back into the playoffs the Cowboys turned to the draft to add some playmakers to their team to get them over the hump. The Dallas Cowboys 2018 NFL Draft Review takes a look at every single Cowboys pick highlighting how they fit within the scheme and their value.
Dallas Cowboys 2018 NFL Draft Review
1st Round, Pick #19: Leighton Vander Esch LB Boise State
All the rumors of the Cowboys loving Vander Esch proved to be true as they passed on the top receivers to get a linebacker. Now Dallas has had success with Boise State players and the upside that Vander Esch provides was enough to draw some Brian Urlacher comparisons. Now Vander Esch has talent but I don’t see him being the elite athlete that he’s been talked about or the fact that he is the 19th best prospect in this class. Vander Esch may very well be a good linebacker in this league, but there are better prospects they could have gone with.
2nd Round, Pick #18: Connor Williams OT Texas
At their heart the Cowboys want to be a ball control team and run behind their talented offensive line that is four strong and missing that final piece to having a complete line. Williams played left tackle at Texas but his skill set might be best suited inside at guard because he’s a much more physical blocker against the run and deep drops can give him fits. With La’el Collins likely staying at right tackle, Williams will get a look at left guard but could give the Cowboys some flexibility as a tackle down the road if he continues to develop.
3rd Round, Pick #17: Michael Gallup WR Colorado State
Without Dez Bryant being the number one receiver the Cowboys are going to more of a committee approach and Gallup factors to be a big part of that. Gallup may not have great size but he plays bigger than his 6’1 205lb frame shielding off defenders and winning at the catch point. Look for Gallup to quickly become a starter and the possession receiver within this offense.
4th Round, Pick #16: Dorance Armstrong DE Kansas
Pass rushers are at a shortage and Armstrong has to be viewed as a good value here with his ability to bend and change direction. Armstrong isn’t a great run defender but the Cowboys are loaded with run stuffing defensive ends and could use some pass rushing help to go with Demarcus Lawrence. Look for Armstrong to be that situational pass rusher initially but he has the traits to develop into a starter or key backup down the road.
4th Round, Pick #37: Dalton Schultz TE Stanford
With Jason Witten retiring the Cowboys missed out on Dallas Goedert in the second round and have to settle with the run blocking Schultz. Dallas will be going with a committee approach at tight end to replace Jason Witten and they are hoping that Schultz can cover the blocking role while their other ends hand more of the receiving duties. While Schultz can still provide a dump off and check down capabilities, he’s greatest trait to the Cowboys will be blocking in the run game.
5th Round, Pick #34: Mike White QB Western Kentucky
With Kellen Moore moving transitioning from player to quarterback’s coach that left the door open for the number three quarterback. White has a strong arm but tends to be a rhythm thrower and his accuracy can go down the further the throw is. White can come in and develop behind Dak Prescott and battle out Cooper Rush who looked very good in preseason action.
6th Round, Pick #19: Chris Covington LB Indiana
Covington played quarterback in 2016 but moved back to linebacker where he uses his speed and instincts to make plays. While the linebacking core is in flux, Covington will have to find a role on special teams while continuing to develop as a linebacker. His versatility could lend him to the practice squad initially.
6th Round, Pick #34: Cedrick Wilson WR Boise State
The Dallas Cowboys love to draft Boise State players and after taking Vander Esch with their first round pick it continues here taking a flyer on the speedster Wilson. With a ball control offense, the Cowboys want to take shots down the field and Wilson has shown his ability to make plays down the field averaging 19 yards per catch through his two year career with the Broncos.
7th Round, Pick #18: Bo Scarbrough RB Alabama
While the Cowboys have some capable backups behind Ezekiel Elliott, they really don’t have the bruising power back that Scarbrough can provide. Scarbrough had success at Alabama but he is a one dimensional back who is at his best running downhill and powering through tacklers. His inability to provide much wiggle or receiving ability out of the backfield means he’ll have a reserve role.
Draft Grade: A-
Best Pick: Dorance Armstrong
Biggest Reach: Dalton Schultz