DRAFT IN DALLAS

The 2018 Dallas Cowboys draft recap

The Cowboys draft was entertaining. Tom Pennington/Getty Images

With 10 picks, this was a HUGE draft for Dallas. While the departure of Dez Bryant made a lot of people think WR is the position of greatest need, I don’t agree. Here is what I saw as the 5 biggest needs…

Linebacker: Was a need last season, and with Dallas losing two LBs, it becomes the greatest position of need.

Pass rush: Dallas franchise tagged leading pass rusher Demarcus Lawrence and David Irving is also returning on a one year deal. I’m not sure if either of these guys will be around next season as Lawrence is going to command a huge contract if he produces again this year.

Left guard: Kicking La'el Collins out to RT left a huge hole here last year. Dallas picked up Cameron Fleming from the Patriots but that might not be enough. Dak Prescott needs all the time he can get.

Tight end: The Jason Witten situation leaves a big question mark. James Hanna retired.

Wide Receiver: Although Bryant is gone, I don’t see this as a HUGE need.

AND HERE… WE… GO…

Round 1, Pick 19

LEIGHTON VANDER ESCH - LB - Boise St.

If you listen to the right people in Dallas (@BryanBroaddus, @HelmanDC, @Birddog26, & @dpbrugler) you saw this coming.  LVE brings what this organization loves, VERSATILITY. Big dude who always knows where the ball is. Biggest knock is that he only started one year. If he can ball, and it looks like he can, I am good. Let Sean Lee coach him up and put him in between Jaylon Smith and Lee.  

Round 2, Pick 50

CONNOR WILLIAMS - OL - Texas

How Williams dropped this far I have no idea but I’M HAPPY HE DID because it looks like they found their LG. The game against the Falcons last year informed this pick. “The Great OLine of Dallas” looked more like a flatline last year. This could be the LG they have been looking for with Ron Leary leaving and Doug Free retiring, leaving huge holes… and it showed.  After Tyron Smith got injured it was over. Putting Zeke behind a line that added Williams with a healthy  Smith, Zach Martin, Travis Fredrick, and Collins could MOGA (MAKE OLINE GREAT AGAIN)!

Round 3, Pick 81

MICHAEL GALLUP - WR - Colorado St.

Stephen Jones said before the draft that they want competition with the wide receivers in camp.  How do you do that…. GET ALL THE WIDE RECEIVERS (sans Dez). NFL is going spread offense and Gallup is a good fit for it.  Physical receiver who can play X or Y ( there’s that whole versatility thing again). Good target for Dak.

TRADE

Cowboys give up 6th round pick # 192 for TAVON AUSTIN of the LA Rams… Remember, GET ALL THE WIDE RECEIVERS!

Round 4, Pick 116

DORANCE ARMSTRONG JR. - EDGE - Kansas  

Dallas almost traded up into the 3rd round to grab him but instead waited and he landed right to them. Adding him to DLaw and Irving is going to made this pass rush legit.  

Round 4, Pick 137

DALTON SCHULTZ - TE - Standford  

GREAT TE for this offense. Dallas needs a solid blocking TE who can also catch. Great replacement for the departing Hanna… and possibly Witten.

Round 5, Pick 171

MIKE WHITE - QB - Western Kentucky

White becomes only the sixth QB drafted by the Cowboys since Jerry Jones bought the team in 1989. I remember Bryan Broaddus touting White as only slightly different from the top QBs in this draft. Looks like Dallas will carry three QBs, which I think is a good thing.

TRADE

Cowboys give up Wide Receiver Ryan Switzer for Oakland Raider DT Jihad Ward.  Dallas still wants ALL THE WIDE RECEIVERS, just not the ones named Dez or Switzer.

Round 6, Pick 193

CHRIS COVINGTON - LB - Indiana

Competitive guy. Speed guy. Possible special teams guy too.  

Round 6, Pick 208

CEDRICK WILSON - WR - Boise

GET ALL THE WIDE RECEIVERS!  (And Boise St players)

Round 7, Pick 236

BO SCARBROUGH - RB - Alabama

How did he get all the way down here? Don’t care! Put him behind Zeke and freaking RUN THE HOG!

WRAP IT UP

I can’t remember the last time I was this positive about a Cowboys draft.  ON PAPER this was the draft Dallas needed. The biggest complaint you’ll hear from people is that they did not draft a safety.  Meh… There are still UDFAs and FAs out there. Bottom line is that the Cowboys stuck to their board, and many of their picks had higher grades than where they ended up falling draft positions wise.  

Positions of need got addressed, some lower risk chances were taken, WIDE RECEIVERS happened, and they even scooped a QB so ESPN can talk quarterback controversy in Dallas for the next year…

The NFL is moving to the RPO, and in my opinion, this draft reflects that Dallas recognizes it and is moving that way too. Lots of speedy versatile physical players.  

 

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Houston drops the game to Arizona

D-backs outslug Greinke and Astros to take series opener

Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

With the series win over the Rangers by taking two of three games in the middle of the week, the Astros welcomed the Diamondbacks to Minute Maid Park for a three-game weekend series, Houston's final three regular-season home games. Here is how the opener unfolded:

Final Score: Diamondbacks 6, Astros 3.

Record: 25-26, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Zac Gallen (2-2, 3.00 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Luis Garcia (0-1, 2.53 ERA).

Houston scores first, but Arizona grabs a lead against Greinke

Houston would get on the board first on Friday night, with George Springer reaching base in the bottom of the first on an error, moving to second on a walk, then to third on a single, as the Astros loaded the bases with no out to threaten a big inning. Instead, they would come away with just one run, with Springer taking home on a wild pitch, grabbing the 1-0 lead, but leaving runs on the table.

They doubled their lead in the bottom of the third, getting a two-out RBI-double by Kyle Tucker to make it a 2-0 Houston lead. The D-backs responded in the top of the fourth, getting back-to-back singles to lead off the inning before a three-run homer by Kole Calhoun off of Zack Greinke would put Arizona in front, 3-2. Greinke would finish one more inning before Houston would move to their bullpen, striking out the side to bring his total to nine on the night, making the bad fourth inning the one blemish on his night. His final line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 1 HR, 89 P.

Astros tie it, but D-backs take the opener

George Springer would get Greinke off the hook in the bottom of the fifth, leading off the half-inning with a solo bomb to tie the game at 3-3. Luis Garcia was first out of Houston's bullpen and retired Arizona in order for a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the sixth. He returned for the top of the seventh but would allow a leadoff single, RBI-triple, and wild pitch to bring in two runs. He would face two more batters, allowing a double and getting a strikeout, before Dusty Baker would come out to get him, now down 5-3.

Blake Taylor would make his return from the IL after Garcia, getting back-to-back outs to finish the inning. He continued on in the 5-3 game in the top of the eighth, but allowed a one-out solo homer to Calhoun, his second of the night and fourth RBI. That made it a 6-3 D-backs lead, which would go final as Houston would go scoreless after Springer's home run back in the fifth.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game set will start Saturday at 6:10 PM Central. The pitching matchup will be Luke Weaver (1-7, 6.70 ERA) for Arizona and Cristian Javier (4-2, 3.22 ERA) for Houston.

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