Dallas Cowboys fill holes, add depth in 2019 NFL Draft

The Dallas Cowboys were able to fill needs and add depth despite entering the 2019 NFL Draft without a first-round pick. Michael Mastropierro reviews each pick.

Overview of early-round picks

As part of the trade that brought Pro Bowl WR Amari Cooper to Dallas, the Cowboys relinquished their first-round pick to the Oakland Raiders.

As a result of this trade, the Cowboys weren’t on the clock until Day 2 of the draft. In the second round (58th overall) they came away with DT Trysten Hill out of UCF. In the third round (90th overall), the Cowboys chose guard Connor McGovern from Penn State. Both picks fill a need but neither guy is an instant starter.

These picks were more about providing depth in the short term while gaining a few projects in the long term. McGovern could look to overtake last year’s second rounder Connor Williams. Williams was underwhelming in his rookie campaign and was pushed back because of his lack of size. McGovern is much larger and fits the Cowboys’ ground-and-pound philosophy much better.

Hill is a Marinelli guy that hustles to the ball every play. There were some character issues at UCF but the Cowboys are confident they will mold him into a solid professional. He’s a big body that the Cowboys dearly missed during last year’s Divisional Round playoff game in Los Angeles.

Overview of late-round picks

On Day 3, the Cowboys picked a couple of players who can contribute right away. Fourth-round pick RB Tony Pollard out of Memphis will immediately be a weapon. He can line up at RB, WR, and even return kicks. Seventh-round pick RB Mike Weber out of Ohio State will spell Ezekiel Elliott. Weber and Tony Pollard provide the Cowboys with a nice insurance policy if Elliott goes down with an injury.

Fifth-rounders CB Michael Jackson and DE Joe Jackson out Miami will battle for roster spots and provide quality depth for the team. Michael, in particular, could make the jump to safety because of his size and tackling ability. Joe Jackson has the ability to learn from Cowboys star rusher DeMarcus Lawrence.

Seventh-rounder DE Jalen Jelks from Oregon and sixth-rounder S Donovan Wilson from Texas A&M are likely practice squad players who would have to impress to make the 53-man roster.

Takeaways

The big question coming out of this draft for the Cowboys is how they managed to miss a top safety prospect in a deep safety draft. They traded back twice on Day 3 but in hindsight, they might’ve been better served staying put in one of those cases to draft a quality safety.

Overall, it was a decent draft with a couple of players who can contribute instantly and a few long term projects. It remains to be seen whether failing to take a top safety will come back to bite the Cowboys. But after the outcome of this draft and a few free agent acquisitions, the Cowboys look poised to repeat as NFC East champions – making the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2006-07.

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