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2016 NFL Draft Grade: Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys 2016 Draft Class4th overall:


Dallas Cowboys 2016 Draft Class

4th overall: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

34th overall: Jaylon Smith, OLB, Notre Dame

67th overall: Maliek Collins, DT, Nebraska

101st overall: Charles Tapper, DE, Oklahoma

135th overall: Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State

189th overall: Anthony Brown, CB, Purdue

216th overall: Darius Jackson, RB, Eastern Michigan

217th overall: Rico Gathers, TE, Baylor

Oh Dallas. They spend year after year building a truly terrific offensive line that guided first DeMarco Murray and then Darren McFadden to amazingly productive seasons. So what do they do then? Well they sign Alfred Morris in free agency. Hell, I’m sure if given the bulk of the work even the slow Morris could get near 5 yards a carry. So surely come draft day they go and fill a need somewhere else. With Jalen Ramsey still on the board they could have instantly improved their secondary, if they weren’t keen on Ramsey they apparently had an offer on the table from Baltimore. Instead they took Ezekiel Elliott, another running back…. Look, Elliott is fantastic. He could be as good as Todd Gurley was last year and behind that offensive line the Dallas rushing attack could legitimately kill people, but there were such bigger needs and such better value later in the draft for running backs. When you’re already getting 4.6 yards per carry regardless of who is in the backfield, what is the point of adding an elite talent there? In the second round the Cowboys took Jaylon Smith, who is a truly amazing player but in the Fiesta Bowl Smith tore the ACL and MCL. Not only did Smith’s knee come apart but the lingering numbness in the knee and surrounding area confirms nerve damage as well. A lot of teams stated Smith’s medical report was severe enough to not consider him even a day 2 pick, never mind so early in the second round. It’s a huge gamble for the Cowboys, who already have enough trouble keeping their outside linebackers on the field. The rest of their draft was good work. They have a young back-up for Tony Romo that has a lot of potential in Dak Prescott and some new toys for defensive line coach Rod Marinelli. Although there is yet another running back picked late. Maybe the Cowboys think Darius Jackson can be a return man or help in special teams, but when you already have a raft of running backs do you really need another one?

Grade B-


Toby Durant

A passionate and opinionated writer, I am currently the NFL and MLB editor for RealSport. However I also contribute to F1, WWE, Football, and other sections of the site.

I have covered the NFL International Series for RealSport and previously contributed to SB Nation.

2016 NFL Draft Grade: Dallas Cowboys

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