DRAFT IN DALLAS

The 2018 Dallas Cowboys draft recap

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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The Astros rotation looks like a strength moving forward. Composite Getty Image.

The Houston Astros are coming off a much-needed series win over the White Sox, but have a quick turnaround as they host the Orioles on Friday night at Minute Maid Park.

The 'Stros dropped the first game of the series with Framber Valdez on the mound, but were able to rebound with Hunter Brown and Spencer Arrighetti starting the final two games.

Brown was brilliant once again, and Arrighetti bounced back after a disastrous start against the Tigers over the weekend. Despite all the injures to the Astros staff this season, their young pitchers are stepping up when they need them the most.

Brown has six consecutive quality starts and is beginning to show signs that he can be the top of the rotation pitcher the club always hoped he could develop into.

Arrighetti has stepped in and shown that he belongs in the big leagues, and has provided innings Houston desperately requires with so many pitchers on the injured list.

Speaking of which, with Justin Verlander on the IL, Double A prospect Jake Bloss will make the start for Houston on Friday night. Bloss has quickly progressed through the farm system, having been drafted just a year ago.

We'll see how he performs in his MLB debut, but the club seems to have a lot of quality pitching options moving forward, especially with Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers scheduled to return in late July and early August respectively.

And as we look at the Astros rotation moving forward, perhaps they will go back to a six-man rotation during certain stretches in the second half of the season.

Which could prove to be vital to the team's success. As good as Ronel Blanco has been, he's never pitched as many innings as he'll be asked to pitch this year. Same goes for Arrighetti. And let's face it, sending Verlander out to pitch on four days rest consistently at 41 years old doesn't sound like a wise decision. He's already been on the IL twice this year.

While some see Garcia and McCullers as wild cards to help the team this season, Astros GM Dana Brown doesn't see it that way. He told the Astros flagship station this week that he's counting on those guys to make big contributions when they return. And he's counting on their postseason experience should they get there.

Keep in mind, Garcia has a 3.61 career ERA and has been durable outside the Tommy John surgery. And McCullers has always been good, it's just the health that causes concern.

Garcia is also an example of how a player can skip Double A and Triple A and have success right away in the big leagues. Hopefully, Bloss can follow in his footsteps, since he's bypassing Triple A to make his first start.

So what's the short and long-term outlook for the Astros rotation? And should we expect Verlander to return in 2025?

Be sure to watch the video above as we address those questions and much more!

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