2019 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys team needs, draft picks, prospects to watch
With their 2018 season over, it's time for Cowboys fans to turn their attention to the draft
The Cowboys made a go-for-it move before the trade deadline that looked like a head-scratcher for a team not the middle of the playoff hunt, but after reeling off win after win and taking the division title, the acquisition of Amari Cooper proved to be a wise move indeed. But without their first-round pick, what do the Cowboys have planned for this offseason?
Here's what you need to know about the Dallas Cowboys and the 2019 NFL Draft.
2019 draft picks
- Round 1: None
- Round 2: Dallas
- Round 3: Dallas
- Round 4: Dallas
- Round 5: Dallas
- Round 6: Dallas*
- Round 7: Dallas
The Cowboys of course sacrificed their first-round pick to acquire Amari Cooper, a trade that paid off handsomely went they went on a winning streak that powered them to the NFC East crown. Their sixth-round pick was conditionally traded to the Bengals in 2017 for Bene Benwikere.
Biggest offseason needs
- Defensive end
- Defensive tackle
- Tight end
- Wide receiver
Defensive end is a bit of an unknown at this point; if DeMarcus Lawrence comes back, they should feel good about the position, but if he walks and Randy Gregory can't stay on the field, the edge rush becomes a problem. The team had to do without David Irving for most of the season and he's hitting free agency as well, so a boost could be needed in the interior of the line. The team could bring in competition for Chidobe Awuzie after his struggles as a sophomore, and worst-case, they have depth at the position if Byron Jones walks after next year. And while the Cowboys' safeties have played well this year and are a large part of the defense's improvement, it would be hard to say no to bringing Earl Thomas aboard.
All season, the Cowboys offense was clearly missing the presence of Jason Witten, and it wouldn't be surprising to see them focus on upgrading the position this offseason, though Blake Jarwin flashed late in the year. The wide receiver group got a significant boost from Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup looks like he could be a dangerous deep threat, but they'll still need a reliable third option with Cole Beasley hitting free agency. On the offensive line, Travis Frederick is optimistic he'll be able to return, but the team should also make contingency plans with his health an unknown. And even if he is back, the team could look for a reliable option at left guard after Connor Wiliams had an uneven rookie season. The perfect option would be someone who could work at center or guard and hope that he'll spend the year as a reserve if Frederick is healthy and Williams plays up to his potential.
Prospects to watch
Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama
The son of the former Saints tight end of the same name, Smith is probably the best-case scenario for the Cowboys in the second round, though he has the receiving and blocking ability to wind up in the first round when all is said and done after catching 44 passes for 710 yards and seven TDs in 2018.
Charles Omenihu, DE, Texas
You don't see Omenihu's name up there with the blue-chip talent expected to go in the top 20, but he has everything you want from a pass rusher in the NFL except the ridiculous sack totals coming out of college. He's a valuable chess piece that can be moved around the defensive line depending on the situation, and if he gets out of the top 50 the Cowboys should seriously think about making him their top pick.
Terry Beckner Jr., DT, Missouri
Beckner is a potential target for the middle rounds as someone who was incredibly productive in college who might slip due to injury concerns. He's torn ligaments in both his knees, and the risk of re-injury could cause many teams to move him down their boards. But after racking up 23 tackles for loss in his last two seasons, the talented interior defender could work his way into the starting lineup quickly as long as he is healthy.
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