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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Walter will host The Night of Champions. Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images.

In 2014, Austin Walter rushed for 2,704 yards and 34 touchdowns as a senior at Crosby High School. Despite falling short of a state title, Walter was named District 19-4A MVP and finished his prep career with a little over 6,000 rushing yards on 613 carries (6,062 yds). Seven years later, Walter will be returning to his high school alma mater to give back to the community that laid the foundation for an NFL career as a member of the San Francisco 49ers.

"It's a blessing to be able to come from a small town and be one of the guys who made it out," Walter said. "Not a lot of people made it to the NFL or the NBA from Crosby High School. To be one of the first, it's an amazing feeling. It's a blessing and an honor."

On Thursday, April 15, Walter will host The Night of Champions to benefit the Crosby High School Booster Club from 6-9 p.m. The event will be a weight lifting competition at Crosby High School for student-athletes around the area to showcase their talents and abilities.

In addition to hosting a weight lifting showcase, Walter will also share his life teachings with student-athletes in attendance. Perseverance and not taking no for an answer will be one of the most vital messages the Crosby native will share with aspiring pro-athletes. It's the two virtues Walter has leaned on from little league football to the NFL. And as an undrafted prospect in 2019, it was that same morale that helped him outshine six other running backs during the 49ers rookie training camp that same year.

"Before I started playing football in high school, a lot of people thought I was too small," Walter said. "They thought because we played little league and not in middle school we would not make it in high school. My twin brother [Ashton Walter] and I did not listen to that. We just kept pushing forward."

"When I left Rice, people thought I was going to play in the Canadian league or AFF, and I did not take no for an answer. I believed in myself. And I believed in God. And if I can make it out of a small town like Crosby, anybody can make it...It's the mentality I've had my entire life of not quitting. I feel like that is what got me to the point I am at right now."

Whether their life goal is to play in the NFL or not, Walter's primary objective for The Night of Champions is to be an inspiration and show kids they can find success despite their environment. It is one of the things the former XFL running back (Dallas Renegades) wished he would have seen growing up in Crosby.

After graduating from Crosby High School, Walter went on to have a record-breaking collegiate career at Rice University. He became one of two players in school history to rush for over 1,500 yards (1,744 yds.) and 1,000 kick return yards (1,548 yds.) in four seasons with the Owls. In February, Walter signed a one-year contract extension to re-join the 49ers ahead of the 2021 NFL season.

Click here to learn more about The Night of Champions at Crosby High School or support Walter and the Crosby High School Booster Club.

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