Daily Archives: April 26th, 2013

2013 NFL DRAFT: Day-Two breakdown and analysis on today’s three Dallas Cowboys selections

2013 NFL DRAFT - Day-Two breakdown and analysis on the three Dallas Cowboys selections

If the opinion on the Dallas Cowboys’ draft was confused or uncertain 24 hours ago, it certainly seems to have cheered up heading into the weekend.

Dallas added two new weapons to what was already a potent offense, and they secured a playmaker in a position of need. That’s highlighted by Baylor wide receiver Terrance Williams, who many thought the Cowboys might snag in the first round.

So, to recap: Jerry Jones and Co. grabbed a receiver many thought was a first round talent, and they upgraded the depth at safety. Tight end Gavin Escobar is a bit of an unknown, but he offers an intriguing receiving option to compliment Jason Witten.

So if Thursday night’s first round was a bit of a head scratcher, Friday night feels more like a fist pump.

Bryan Broaddus:

I’m not surprised that they went with a tight end in this draft but I thought it would have been later and more of the blocking type like Sims or Jefferson. Gavin Escobar is a big body that can get down the field and make adjusting catches. Hands are outstanding which is one of his best traits. He will need to develop some strength and toughness at the point of attack and work on his technique but he has a chance. Know the scouts were really high on his ability to develop because of what we had seen on tape.

The scout in me was really hopeful that the front office would have been able to pull both Bennie Logan and JJ Wilcox for this Monte Kiffin defense, but they were only able to grab one in Wilcox but in my view, it was a really nice get. I really enjoyed studying his film and watching him play live at the Senior Bowl along with wide receiver Terrence Williams. Wilcox will knock you stiff and Williams is a steady, polished route runner that can make consistent plays.

Ed Cahill:

The Dallas Cowboys made it clear with their first three picks in this draft that they are maximizing their investment in Tony Romo. I had Gavin Escobar in my final mock draft in the fourth round, but truth be told I thought he might be taken in the third. I still like the value, and on tape, the kid catches everything.

Terrance Williams gives you an immediate contributor and an eventual replacement for Miles Austin. He is a guy the Cowboys were probably considering in the second, and to have him fall to them in the third must have sent high fives around the War Room.

J.J. Wilcox is a guy we have followed on The Draft Show all offseason, and a player the Cowboys staff has spoken highly of in the months leading up to the draft. Just from hearing his first few interviews he sounds like a great kid, and I think he might end up being an even better player. There may have been a few safeties in this class more NFL ready right now, but I think Wilcox projects better than most of them.

Nick Eatman:

I can’t lie and say I knew much – if anything – about Gavin Escobar before the pick. He certainly passes the eye test with his size. I have some concerns about getting another pass-catching tight end who needs to work on his blocking. Isn’t that James Hanna? But still, it’s a big weapon for Romo.

But I wanted the Cowboys to take Terrance Williams instead. So naturally, I like the third-round pick to get the Baylor WR. I think he’s a polished, NFL-ready receiver. Look how the other two Baylor receivers did last year as rookies. I think he’ll contribute right away. Wilcox fits a position of need and he’ll have a chance to compete with Matt Johnson and Will Allen to start.

Rowan Kavner:

In getting Gavin Escobar – It seemed more likely the Dallas Cowboys might grab a running back, receiver or safety here rather than a tight end who seemed to excel more as a pass-catcher than a blocker. But he did score 13 touchdowns in his final two seasons, and this team could use his 6-6 frame to help out near the goal line and erase the red zone woes.

As a candidate for the Cowboys’ first round pick, getting Terrance Williams, the nation’s leading receiver in college last season, provided great value in the third round. The trade with San Francisco looks better today than it did the day prior by adding the local star, particularly if they can figure out how to use Williams and Escobar in conjunction with each other.

Safety J.J. Wilcox was a candidate in our mock drafts because of his athleticism and potential, which were both draws for the Cowboys. He doesn’t have much experience as a safety after moving around positions, but he could end up being a special playmaker at safety and should be an immediate contributor on special teams.

2013 NFL DRAFT: Random pre-draft and post-draft tidbits

Jerry Jones and Tony Romo on sidelines - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys still haven’t come to a final decision with right tackle Doug Free.

Executive vice president Stephen Jones said the two parties need to get something resolved, but they haven’t heard an answer back yet about whether or not Free will accept a pay cut.

“We want him,” Jones said. “We’d love to have him here. I think he’d love to be here. Now the question is, it’s got to work for him and it’s got to work for us.”

Free agent veteran tackles Tyson Clabo and Eric Winston are still available for the taking if the Cowboys choose to make a move after a down year for Doug Free, who ended up splitting time with Jermey Parnell.

“He wants to play better than he played,” Jones said. “I think he’d be the first to tell you that. I think he played better toward the end.”

The Cowboys have thrown around the idea about moving him to guard, but as of this point that doesn’t appear likely.

Editors comment: I’d like to see Doug Free’s agent and the Dallas Cowboys work out a new contract that has incentives that allows Free to keep his money with productivity incentives while allow the Cowboys to reduce his salary cap numbers with lower productivity. The current contract can have a lowered cap number, while providing substantial incentive dollars if Doug Free returns to form.

Tony Romo offers pre-draft opinions

Much was made of the tidbit, revealed on Friday,  that Romo himself came to Valley Ranch to evaluate Gavin Escobar and Terrance Williams ahead of their eventual selections.

Apparently, Romo visited with both Jerry and Stephen Jones for about an hour during the tight end meeting room late Friday afternoon.

But Jones was quick to point out that Romo hasn’t been hard to find this offseason.

“Make no mistake about it, Romo has been all over this place,” Jones said. “He hasn’t been in here every day in this draft room, but he has been all over this place back here with the coaches. He’s in the building; it’s not much effort to bring him in.”

Editors comment: I believe we’re going to see a major transformation within Tony Romo and the organization beginning this offseason. Expect him to be much more involved in “all things” offensive. He’s reached a point in maturity and experience were his input can really help with aspects seen on the field and those decision made behind closed doors.  

The Wilcox factor – The More You Can Do …

For three seasons at Georgia Southern, J.J. Wilcox played running back and receiver. Not until late August did he get the chance to move over to defense.

Less than a year later, he’s a third-round pick of the Cowboys (80th overall) with a shot to compete for a starting job.

Wilcox said he believes switching positions didn’t hurt his chances of becoming a higher pick, but probably enhanced them. And more importantly, will allow him to compete for a spot.

“It doesn’t make you limited. You come in and the team can use you anywhere,” Wilcox said. “ I think it helps out a lot with ball skills, foot work, hips and dictation that you need to be a good safety such as good route running and understanding how the receivers run their routes and how they come out and what their stems are, and stuff like that. Playing offense for three years helped me out back at safety this year and hopefully this will transfer over to the NFL and I’ll become one of the best safeties in the NFL.”

Despite not playing the position until his senior season, Wilcox said he always eyed the safety spot.

“I always wanted to be a safety. I had love for the game from day one,” Wilcox said. “Some of my favorite players are from the safety position and I grew up watching the Cowboys. It’s just a blessing to just put a star on the side of my helmet.”

Editors comment: The local media has had their eyes on J.J. Wilcox for quite some time now. He is very highly regarded in local football circles. I think we can expect big things from Wilcox on the field and locker room. He is a smart diversified player with great leadership qualities.

2013 NFL DRAFT–DAY TWO: Broaddus scouting report on safety J.J. Wilcox

2013 NFL DRAFT–DAY TWO - Broaddus scouting report on safety J.J. Wilcox


  • One of my favorite players to study on tape…this guy is not afraid to blow you up but you will also see him play a little in coverage….is a physical player like a linebacker…is very aggressive…will be a little too aggressive at times and miss in space but will wrap you up too…
  • Has some strength when he tackles…ball carrier is on the ground…not afraid to be part of the attack…once he sees it, he is gone…does a nice job of avoiding blocks…will really rally to the ball…arrives with a bad attitude…can stay with his man in coverage but this is the area will he need the most work because he hasn’t had many opportunities…
  • Will need to work on recognition but you don’t see busts or a dumb player here…better when he can come forward…emotional player…will carry the tight end up the field…can beat blocks in space…when he gets going, he can cover some ground…
  • Loves to throw his body around…plays with huge effort…nose for the ball…has been a kickoff return man in his career…averaged over 25 yards a return…was a wide receiver early in his career….he will not be a hard player to find on the field…

Courtesy: Bryan Broaddus | Football Analyst/Scout

RELATED: J.J. Wilcox says playing offense helped him at safety

Safety J.J. Wilcox, taken with the Dallas Cowboys’ second pick in the third round, played offense his first three years at Georgia Southern. He was a slot receiver and also carried the ball, finishing his career with 45 catches for 898 yards and four touchdowns and 138 carries for 968 yards and 13 touchdowns.

But it didn’t slow him down when he moved to safety last year. He recorded 88 tackles, three pass breakups and two interceptions.

“It doesn’t make you limited,” he said. “You have to be a good athlete and a good team player at any position. It helps you with ball skills, feet, hips. You understand route recognition, how receivers come out. Playing offense all three years definitely helped me out playing safety in college. Hopefully it will help me out once I’m in the NFL.”

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he was impressed by how smoothly Wilcox adapted to safety last year after not having played the position since high school.

“If you watch him play, he leaps off the screen at you,” Garrett said. “He can run, he can hit. He plays with great explosiveness. For a guy who hadn’t done this since high school, he really seemed to pick up the position well.”

Wilcox said he likes playing safety, anyway.

“You know, back in the days when you were playing Emmitt Smith and John Lynch, playing tiger football in the back yard growing up, I laid a couple guys out,” he said, drawing laughs from reporters. “I got laid out a couple of times, too. But I was usually one of the ones that wound up on top.”

2013 NFL DRAFT–DAY TWO: Dallas Cowboys got steal with Baylor WR Terrance Williams

2013 NFL DRAFT–DAY TWO - Dallas Cowboys got steal with Baylor WR Terrance Williams

IRVING, Texas – During the 2009 season, Terrance Williams was a redshirt freshman at Baylor and was getting his team ready for a big game against Oklahoma State. During the week, Williams wore an orange No. 1 jersey on the scout team, simulating OSU’s star receiver Dez Bryant.

Four years later, Williams and Bryant are now teammates, and perhaps even the receiving duo of the future for the Cowboys. But if anything, Williams joins a current receiving corps that also features Miles Austin and promising youngsters Dwayne Harris and Cole Beasley.

The Cowboys entertained the thought of taking Williams at No. 31, but went with Wisconsin center Travis Frederick. Williams was nearly taken at No. 47 on Friday, but San Diego State tight end Gavin Escobar was the eventual pick.

But at No. 74, the selection the Cowboys picked up Thursday by trading out of the 18th pick, they couldn’t pass on Williams for the third time. Williams, a local star from W.T. White High School in Dallas, said he couldn’t believe when he saw his phone ringing with the 972 area code on the number.

“It feels like a dream, to be honest, to be drafted by a team that I grew up watching and always liked,” Williams said. “To get a chance to play for them, this just means the world to me.”

Baylor head coach Art Briles visited with Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett for about 30 minutes last weekend and said he got the feeling the Cowboys would take him if he was around.

“Dallas got a steal and he got a thrill,” Briles quipped Friday night after the pick. “It’s great for both sides. (Williams) got to go the place he’s always loved and supported and the Cowboys got a great football player and teammate. He’ll be a great professional.”

Briles knows a thing or six about sending receivers to the NFL. Last year, rookies Kendall Wright (Titans) and Josh Gordon (Browns) had successful seasons coming out of Baylor, which also produced Carolina three-year veteran David Gettis. Briles also coached Donnie Avery at Houston and recruited Wes Welker when he was an assistant coach at Texas Tech.

Briles said Williams is as NFL-ready as all of them.

“I think he’s ready, no question. He can jump on the field today and play,” said Briles, who had a quick response when asked to comment on the notion Williams might not have game-breaking speed. “First thing that pops in my mind is that he’s fast enough to have 1,800 yards and the leading receiver in America. Facts don’t lie.”

Williams (6-2, 212) ran a 4.52 at the combine last February. His 1,832 yards led the nation last year, along with 97 catches and 12 touchdowns. A finalist for Biletnikoff Award for the nation’s top receiver, Williams improved his stats every season, including 43 catches for 484 yards as a sophomore and 59 for 957 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2011 with Robert Griffin III as the quarterback.

Earlier in his career, Williams had to wait his turn behind Wright and Gordon and shared some snaps with Lanear Sampson, who could be a late-round pick in this draft. So Williams shouldn’t have a problem learning from guys Bryant and Miles Austin.

“I can be a good bailout person – somebody who can also take the pressure off Dez, Miles and Jason (Witten),” Williams said. “And someone who can just continue to help them stretch out the field and make big catches when I’m called upon. That’s something I think I can really help out with.”

But make no mistake, Williams is certainly excited about teaming up with Bryant.

“That’s somebody that I really like and to get a chance to play besides him means the world to me because now I get to learn from one of the best and somebody who can help me throughout this whole process and bring the best out in me. I’m just ready to go to work and play football now.”

Editors note: Also think of Terrance Williams as a replacement for Kevin Ogletree’s past role on the roster. Williams has a tremendous upside and with his speed, could push all of the current wide receivers on the team.

2013 NFL DRAFT–DAY TWO: Dallas Cowboys use second pick on towering tight-end Gavin Escobar

2013 NFL DRAFT–DAY TWO - Dallas Cowboys use second pick on towering tight-end Gavin Escobar - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys used their second round pick at No. 47 overall on San Diego State tight end Gavin Escobar.

Escobar compiled 122 catches for 1,646 yards and 17 touchdowns in his three-year career. He actually had his most productive season his sophomore year in 2011, when he finished with 51 catches for 780 yards and seven touchdowns. Escobar followed that up with 42 catches for 543 yards and six touchdowns last year.

The 6-foot-6, 254-pound tight end is the highest pick the Cowboys have used on a tight end since selecting David LaFleur in the first round with the 22nd overall pick in 1997.

The last time the Cowboys used a second-round pick on a tight end was in 2008, when they took Martellus Bennett with the 61st overall pick. Escobar was the third tight end selected in this draft, behind Tyler Eifert and Zach Ertz.

The Cowboys already have a backup tight end behind Jason Witten in James Hanna, a sixth-round pick last year, but Escobar should be able to compete immediately for playing time. Witten just finished his 10th NFL season last year with a career-high 110 catches for 1,039 yards.

DALLAS COWBOYS 2013 NFL DRAFT: First round pick–Top ranked Center Travis Frederick–Wisconsin

Dallas Cowboys Center Guard Travis Frederick - The Boys Are Back blog - 2013 NFL Draft



Pos. Rank





Travis Frederick







The Dallas Cowboys drafted the #1 ranked center in the 2013 NFL Draft. See the full analysis below.





Team Needs



Kansas City Chiefs


Fisher, Eric (OT)


Jacksonville Jaguars


Joeckel, Luke (OT)


Miami Dolphins (from Oakland)


Jordan, Dion (DE)


Philadelphia Eagles


Johnson, Lane (OT)


Detroit Lions


Ansah, Ziggy (DE)


Cleveland Browns


Mingo, Barkevious (DE)


Arizona Cardinals


Cooper, Jonathan (OG)


St Louis Rams (from Buffalo)


Austin, Tavon (WR)


New York Jets


Milliner, Dee (CB)


Tennessee Titans


Warmack, Chance (OG)


San Diego Chargers


Fluker, D.J. (OT)


Oakland Raiders (from Miami)


Hayden, D.J. (CB)


New York Jets


Richardson, Sheldon (DT)


Carolina Panthers


Lotulelei, Star (DT)


New Orleans Saints


Vaccaro, Kenny (SS)


Buffalo Bills (from St. Louis)


Manuel, EJ (QB)


Pittsburgh Steelers


Jones, Jarvis (OLB)


San Francisco (from Dallas)


Reid, Eric (FS)


New York Giants


Pugh, Justin (OT)


Chicago Bears


Long, Kyle (OG)


Cincinnati Bengals


Eifert, Tyler (TE)


Atlanta Falcons (from St. Louis via Washington)


Trufant, Desmond (CB)


Minnesota Vikings


Floyd, Sharrif (DT)


Indianapolis Colts


Werner, Bjoern (DE)


Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle)


Rhodes, Xavier (CB)


Green Bay Packers


Jones, Datone (DE)


Houston Texans


Hopkins, DeAndre (WR)


Denver Broncos


Williams, Sylvester (DT)


Minnesota Vikings (from New England)


Patterson, Cordarrelle (WR)


St. Louis Rams (from Atlanta)


Ogletree, Alec (ILB)


Dallas Cowboys (from San Francisco)


Frederick, Travis (C)


Baltimore Ravens


Elam, Matt (FS)


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