The Dallas Cowboys had a lot of needs going into the 2016 NFL Draft this past weekend, and they had a lot of picks at their disposal. Many thought they would end up making some trades to try to group them together for a higher pick, but it didn’t happen. From running back Ezekiel Elliott to the undrafted rookie free agents, it’s time to take a look at everything the Cowboys did to help advance the team for 2016.
With the number four overall pick, the Dallas Cowboys selected running back Ezekiel Elliott out of Ohio State. It was a pick that was expected, but many thought the team could have gone defense with the high pick as well.
Even with Darren McFadden returning, the number four rusher in the NFL last season, Elliott is going to help right away. The Cowboys dealt with a revolving door at running back last season that saw injuries, off-field problems, and other issues that just left it a mess.
While it isn’t a shock that the Cowboys drafted a quarterback, it is shocking that they were able to get one like Dak Prescott in the fourth round. With Tony Romo not getting any younger, and a number of injuries plaguing him in recent years, Prescott could learn for a couple of seasons and maybe step in as the franchise quarterback when Romo is done.
The Cowboys had a total of nine picks in the 2016 NFL Draft, with the majority of them coming in the fourth and sixth rounds.
Rd. 1 (4). RB Ezekiel Elliott – Ohio State
Rd. 2 (34). OLB Jaylon Smith – Notre Dame
Rd. 3 (67). DT Maliek Collins – Nebraska
Rd. 4 (102). DE Charles Tepper – Oklahoma
Rd. 4 (135). QB Dak Prescott – Mississippi State
Rd. 6 (189). CB Anthony Brown – Purdue
Rd. 6 (212). S Kavon Frazier – Central Michigan
Rd. 6 (216). RB Darius Jackson – Eastern Michigan
Rd. 6 (217). TE Rico Gathers – Baylor
All of the picks make a lot of sense and there can be an argument made for each, but the second-round selection of Jaylon Smith is concerning. In the Fiesta Bowl, Smith suffered a serious knee injury that some have said may keep him from ever playing again due to the risk of nerve damage.
The Cowboys using a very high second-round pick on an injured player that may not even play in his rookie year is something that many question. According to Dallas Morning News, Smith actually believes there is “absolutely” a chance he will play in 2016 and to “never doubt God.”
“I get different sensations everyday with the nerve, but it’s just a timing thing. I’m only three and a half months out, so time will definitely tell, but the knee is fine. That was cleared at the medical recheck that the knee won’t have any issues. But it’s just a timing thing for the nerve. It’s too early in the process to tell.”
When the end of the draft comes each year, there are hundreds and even thousands of players that don’t hear their name called. It’s then that they hope to get picked up by other teams and become the hard-working class of undrafted rookie free agents.
Blogging the Boys has kept up with all those that the Dallas Cowboys are bringing into camp, and here is the full list.
- WR Chris Brown – Notre Dame
- C Jake Brendel – UCLA
- LB Deon King – Norfolk State
- CB Arjen Colquhoun – Michigan State
- WR Ed Eagan – Northwestern (LA) State
- OT Ryan Mack – Memphis
- DE Caleb Azubike – Vanderbilt
- S Rolan Milligan – Toledo
- TE Austin Traylor – Wisconsin
- WR Andy Jones – Jacksonville (FL)
- CB Jeremiah McKinnon – Florida International
- OG Boston Stiverson – Kansas State
- DT Rodney Cole – Akron
- DT Jason Neill – UTSA
- OT David Hedelin – Purdue
Please remember that these are only reported and aren’t official until confirmed and announced by the team.
The 2015 season is one that anyone and everyone associated with the Dallas Cowboys wants to forget about, and now, they can. Ezekiel Elliott is going to contribute immediately to the Cowboys and there are many other draft picks that could do the same. Some of the undrafted rookie free agents could easily end up being diamonds in the rough, and Jerry Jones is hoping that their selections and gambles pay off.
[Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]