The Dallas Cowboys will look to repeat as NFC East division champions. They will have to do so without a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Dallas Cowboys traded their first-round pick of the 2019 NFL Draft to the Oakland Raiders for Amari Cooper in the middle of last season. While Cooper’s play the rest of the season justified spending a first-round pick, the Cowboys will now have to wait until 58th overall to make their first selection.
Round 2, Pick 58: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
The Cowboys have had a need for an interior defensive lineman since the departures of La’Roi Glover and Jay Ratliff. Lawrence would more than fill that hole. At 6’4″, 340 pounds, the former Clemson Tiger would give the Cowboys a big body up the middle to clog running lanes. The Cowboys could’ve used a lineman the caliber of Lawrence when they allowed over 200 rushing yards in their Divisional Round loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
During his three years at Clemson, Lawrence had 50 solo tackles, 131 total tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, one forced fumbled, three fumble recoveries, and an interception. He’s exactly the disruptor the Cowboys need that can also plug the A-gap. He isn’t much of a pass rusher, but he brings flexibility as he can play the 1-tech or 3-tech and has great burst for his size.
He would fill a need and contribute to the Cowboys right away.
Round 3, Pick 90: Jaquan Johnson, S, Miami
Much like their need for a defensive lineman, Dallas has been starving for a safety Darren Woodson and Roy Williams. Safety has been a need heading into every draft for the ‘Boys for well over a decade, and Johnson could finally fill that need.
A frequent earner of Miami’s turnover chain, Johnson had eight interceptions, six forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries in four years as a Hurricane. He also totaled 252 career tackles (139 solo). That knack for turnovers coupled with his tackling ability aligns perfectly with the Cowboys’ defensive philosophy.
Johnson’s size (5’11”, 190) and nose for the ball make him a perfect schematic fit for the Cowboys in round 3.
Round 4, Pick 128: Stanley Morgan Jr., WR, Nebraska
Unlike the first two picks, the Morgan selection is more about depth and less about necessity. Despite not being a big name, Morgan was productive during his four years as a Cornhusker. He’s coming off a career year racking up 70 catches for 1,004 yards and seven touchdowns. This is following a stellar junior season where he tallied 61 receptions for 986 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Morgan has good size for a receiver at 6’0″, 200 pounds. He would provide the Cowboys with a big, reliable target with sure hands. Allen Hurns is coming off a catastrophic leg injury. Tavon Austin and Randall Cobb are coming off injury-shortened seasons. Morgan would be a safe pick and provide much-needed depth for the ‘Boys in round 4.
Round 4, Pick 136: Mark Fields, CB, Clemson
With the Cowboys’ second pick in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, they go with more depth and another Clemson Tiger. The Cowboys are in good shape at CB with Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie, Anthony Brown, and Jourdan Lewis. But another body back there would surely help. Especially with the reports of Jones having offseason hip surgery.
Fields is a decent sized corner at 5’11”, 180 pounds and would fit well into Kris Richard’s defensive backfield. He has big game experience coming off a National Championship team. During his four seasons as a Tiger, he had 11 passes defended and one interception. He’d provide Dallas’ highly ranked defense with more depth and could play on special teams.
Round 5, Pick 165: Tommy Sweeney, TE, Boston College
With Jason Witten returning for what is likely his final season, and the departure of Geoff Swaim this offseason, the Cowboys need to find a long term answer at tight end. Sweeney could be that guy at 6’5″, 260. He is known for being a reliable pass catcher with soft, natural hands.
Among 2019 draft prospects, Sweeney is second among all tight ends in career receiving yards (1,281). He could be a reliable target for Dak Prescott to lean on when he has to scramble or on third down. Sweeney would fill a long-term need for the Cowboys and get to absorb Witten’s wealth of knowledge for a year. That would be a perfect situation for the young pass-catcher.
Round 7, Pick 241: Benny Snell, RB, Kentucky
It’s no secret that Ezekiel Elliott is the bell cow for the Cowboys. But if you’re Dallas, you don’t want to burn him out. He needs a breather every now and then and Snell is the perfect fit to spell Zeke. Snell was a workhorse for Kentucky over the last three years totaling 3,873 yards on an impressive 5.3 yards per carry and 48 touchdowns.
Snell is a power back who can be a battering ram for the Cowboys after Elliott wears the defense out. While he lacks burst, he provides exceptional skills in pass protection. Snell could be the situational change of pace back the Cowboys are looking for when Elliott is on the sidelines. He could even help out in short yardage situations.
Heading into the 2019 NFL Draft, the Cowboys are in good shape. For the first time in what feels like ages, they participated in free agency and plugged some holes. Now, they look to fill out the rest of the roster, add some depth, and find long term possible solutions to the team. The 2019 Dallas Cowboys look to be on a collision course with the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC East this year and the draft could provide them with an advantage.