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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Another tough loss for the Texans. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans started fast but faltered late as the New York Jets hand Houston their ninth loss of the season 21-14. Here are 11 observations from the game.

1. Starting safety Justin Reid was benched for the game. David Culley said after the game it was his decision as head coach and he would keep the matter internal with Reid.

2. This is the third defender benched for disciplinary reasons this season. Reid joins Zach Cunningham and Desmond King as players who missed time for discipline.

3. Justin Reid told Fox 26 he was benched because he had a disagreement with the coaching staff. He also said he was shocked the Texans benched him. You have to wonder if the “culture” the team is building is right when one of the more likable and personable players falls victim to their rules. Reid, who is a free agent this offseason, could leave the Texans.

4. Tyrod Taylor had a couple of nice plays early on for the Texans. His willingness to take some shots downfield was refreshing and led to a touchdown pass to Brandin Cooks.

5. Rookie tight end Brevin Jordan found the end zone. He has played well in recent weeks after finally getting on the field. Jordan is playing over Jordan Akins as Akins was a healthy scratch again this week.

6. Tytus Howard started at left tackle with mixed results. Howard has struggled to find his way at guard but could be a long-term option at tackle if given the chance.

7. The offensive line overall played poorly after some early success. The pass rush of the Jets got going and the run blocking was poor again. Lane Taylor played at left guard some, with Max Scharping also playing some at that spot.

8. The offense was horrendous after the two scoring drives. The Texans amassed 202 net yards with 91 yards coming on those two scoring drives. Houston gained just 49 net yards after their opening three drives.

9. After the game, I asked David Culley if he would be making a change with his play-caller. Culley stood behind offensive coordinator Tim Kelly and said he would remain the team’s play-caller.

10. Second-year defensive lineman Ross Blacklock had two horrible errors that handed the Jets a chance to turn three points into seven points. Blacklock got a personal foul on a field goal attempt giving the Jets a first down. The very next play his offsides penalty erased a sack. Each week Blacklock falls even more behind a bevy of players drafted after him who contribute positively on a regular basis.

11. The loss to another bottom-dweller has the Texans back in the second spot in the 2022 NFL Draft order. It also feels like the deflating nature of this loss erased some of the good feelings after the victory over the Titans. The Indianapolis Colts come to Houston next week to begin December’s portion of the schedule.

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