The final day of the 2018 NFL Draft was by far the most active day for the Dallas Cowboys. The team not only made six selections but also pulled off two trades. First, let’s take a quick look at the day three draft picks before discussing the trades.
Dorance Armstrong Jr. – Defensive End – Kansas
The Cowboys actually considered trading back into the third round to select Armstrong, so grabbing him here in the fourth made it even sweeter for the team. At 6’4″ 257 lbs., Armstrong had his best season in 2016 when he notched 10 sacks and a staggering 20 tackles for loss. A switch to the 3-4 defense in 2017 stunted his production.
Dalton Schultz – Tight End – Stanford
Even without future Hall of Famer Jason Witten planning to retire Dallas needed to address the tight end position. Stanford runs a pro-style offense and is known for producing NFL ready tight ends. Schultz did a lot of the dirty work for the Cardinal, allowing others in a tight end-heavy offense to worry about the receiving duties – not to say he doesn’t have that ability because he does.
Mike White – Quarterback – Western Kentucky
Esteemed draft analyst Dane Bruglar had a third round grade on White, so grabbing him here is tremendous value. The Cowboys currently have just two quarterbacks on the roster in Dak Prescott and Cooper Rush so adding a third arm as imperative.
Chris Covington – Linebacker – Indiana
This is really the first pick of the draft that left many in Cowboys Nation scratching their head. No one was questioning the position, but rather the player with possibly better options on the board. Covington is a former quarterback who many draft analysts had going a bit later than this.
Cedrick Wilson – Wide Receiver – Boise State
The Cowboys affinity for Boise players is a discussion for another day, but grabbing Wilson here at the end of the sixth is a fantastic value. Pushing 6’3″, Wilson has the height and speed to carve out a solid role for himself as a number two. Adding Wilson and third-round pick Michael Gallup infuses some talent into a position group that lost Dez Bryant.
Bo Scarbrough – Running Back – Alabama
This selection has the potential to not only be one of the Cowboys’ best picks but one of the best picks in the entire draft. At 6’1″ 228 lbs., the former Alabama standout is the perfect hammer to compliment Ezekiel Elliott and newly acquired Tavon Austin. Health is a question for Scarbrough, but if he can remain on the field he should find great success running behind this offensive line.
The Cowboys are known for being active on draft day in the trade department, but that usually just involves the swapping of picks. The trades Dallas made this weekend involved acquiring veteran players that filled holes the team missed out on in the draft.
We examined the addition of versatile running back/wide receiver Tavon Austin for the Cowboys sixth-round pick here. At the time, however, we did not know that this move would directly lead to Stephen Jones and company making another deal.
That second trade came in the form of sending Ryan Switzer to Oakland for defensive tackle Jihad Ward. Switzer was the team’s fourth-round pick in last year’s draft, however, the addition of Austin, as well as the selections of Gallup and Wilson, made Switzer expendable. Factor in the Cowboys need at defensive tackle and it was a logical trade for Dallas to make. As Jerry Jones said, the Raiders “dangled the right bait out there” to get the deal done.
After being selected in the second round of the 2016 draft by the Raiders, Ward has largely been a massive disappointment. He has just 32 tackles and one sack during his two years in Oakland. However, if anyone is going to get that second round worthy potential out of Ward smart money is on Rod Marinelli.
Overall the Cowboys did a great job of addressing many areas of need. They set a plan and let the draft come to them. They didn’t panic and chase a player (Courtland Sutton) just to fill a “need”. While these additions certainly make the team better then they were this time last week, there are still holes to address. Safety remains a concern and it will be interesting to see if the team revisits the free agent market. Notable players such as Tre Boston, Eric Reid, and Kenny Vaccaro remain unsigned.
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