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Dallas Cowboys 2016 NFL Draft: Top 3 Needs

As the NFL draft approaches, we go about finding the perfect fit for Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys 2016 NFL Draft Needs.

Now we might have issues as best players or position preference. You could have some position preference in the draft. You might go a position preference over one that’s higher on the board. You might do that.

For someone that’s had one the most failed draft histories, Jerry Jones is starting to make all lot of sense. This year the Cowboys sit in an almost perfect spot. You never really want the number one slot unless you absolutely need a surefire franchise quarterback, but you want to be in that happy range where all the potential All-Pro’s are (this year 1-5). And right now, it’s great to be Jerry.

You know what that quote really meant though?

Good luck guessing what I’m doing in the draft. I’m freaking happy where I’m at. WIN WIN BABY! Do I need to go best player available over position of need, NO. I got my pick of Laremy Tunsil, Joey Bosa, DeForest Buckner, AND Jalen Ramsey.

And he’s right. We know Carson Wentz is going number one. And with the Eagles moving up, Jared Goff is off the board next. From there, Tunsil and the rest of the elites will be picked one after another in some order, and Jerry will have his choice of any of them. Like being able to pick between a Ferrari, Lamborghini, and any other supercar.

So that’s where Jerry stands, but does that fall into line with the needs of the Cowboys? Let’s find out.

Dallas Cowboys 2016 NFL Draft: Top 3 Needs

Defensive Tackle

It’s conceivable the Cowboys can go 2-2 against their early schedule (Giants, Redskins, Bears, 49ers) before their two starting defensive ends return from suspensions. Inconceivable, thinking they can survive the season by allowing their now shaky offense, even with a healthy Tony Romo but a super questionable running back corps, carry a defense that gave up 120 rushing yards a game last year (tenth worst). Again, what made Dallas a Super Bowl contender two years ago was not having to rely too much on Romo by balancing the offense with a good running back (DeMarco).

One of the biggest principles in football, besides protecting the quarterback/sack the quarterback, is run the ball/stop the run. And Dallas just can’t do that even with their solid linebackers, blossoming ends, and quietly solid defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford. They missed their chance last year to draft that space eating tackle, Malcolm Brown, when they chose an up-and-down performing Byron Jones instead. Do they regret it? Not right now but maybe soon enough, because the team that drafted Brown (the smartest in the League), the Patriots, quickly scooped him up a few picks later. Just know Dallas has a chance to redeem themselves in this year’s draft. This year’s best defensive tackle, A’Shawn Robinson[1] (whom I graded a 4.5 out of 5), will be highly available along with a few other prospects: Jarran Reed (good), Andrew Billings (not sold), and Kenny Clark (not sold).


I’m not sure how bad Dallas’ championship chances dipped last year when Orlando Scandrick suffered an ACL injury, but there were a ton of white flags flown that day. They might as well have had a funeral procession that day on the way to burying Dallas’ 2015 Super Bowl hopes.

When you lose one player from your secondary and that’s how it feels, you know that player meant a lot.

With Scandrick back now, are we sure we should restore Dallas’ championship chances? No. Remember when the NFC Champion Panthers thrashed the Cowboys 33-14, with Romo passing for only 106 yards and zero touchdowns. Part of me wanted to turn that TV off at halftime. Dallas still has to get through Cam Newton with his multiple weapons loaded offense, AND Seattle’s revamped aerial attack to reach the Super Bowl. There’s no way they’re doing that with Scandrick, a shaky Byron Jones, and will-he-wont-he be on the team Brandon Carr. Anyway, here’s this year’s cornerback prospects: Jalen Ramsey (iffy on), Vernon Hargreaves (like), Mackensie Alexander (Super Like!), Eli Apple (don’t like), and Kendall Fuller (really like).

Running Back

Is Alfred Morris the answer, or isn’t he? We know he traded turns starting with Matt Jones last year. We know he was overshadowed by the rookie (Jones) last year too. We know he hasn’t been spotted on the star fantasy back radar for the past two years now. Another alarm, here are his career stats:

2012 – 1,613 yards, 13 touchdowns, 4.8 yards per rush

2013 – 1,275 yards, seven touchdowns, 4.6 yards per rush

2014 – 1,074 yards, eight touchdowns, 4.1 yards per rush

2015 – 751 yards, one touchdown, 3.7 yards per rush

So either he’s declining or the absence of Robert Griffin is affecting him more than we thought. On second thought, not really.

And sure, Darren McFadden and Lance Dunbar will be back, but let’s not forget they were also part of the group that didn’t really add explosiveness and balance to Dallas’ offense. So here’s this year’s draft class of running backs: Ezekiel Elliot (good but worthy of the fourth overall pick?), Derrick Henry (not sold on him), Alex Collins (decent), Devontae Booker (not sold), Kenneth Dixon (solid).

Rundown of this year’s Cowboys draft picks:

First Round (fourth)

Second round (34th)

Third round (67th)

Fourth round (101st)

Fourth round  (135th)

Sixth round (189th)

Sixth round (212th)

Sixth round (216th)

Sixth round (217th)

[1] I’m officially scared of A’Shawn. The guy looks like he should have been the star of Fox’s Prison Break or National Geographic’s Locked Up Abroad. And that’s exactly what I want from my defensive tackles, havoc creating AND menacing! Seriously Look.

*all quotes via Cowboys Beat Writer Clarence Hill (@clarencehilljr)

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