Category Archives: Future Prospect – College

SITTIN’ AT SWEET SIXTEEN: Ranking the Top-50 NFL Draft Prospects | Dallas Cowboys Draft 2014

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IRVING, Texas – By this point in the draft cycle, you’ve likely heard of most of the guys on this big board. At the same time, you’re bound to notice some big names missing from the list – there’s no Teddy Bridgewater or Kelvin Benjamin to be found here.

After plenty of hours studying the tape, this is simply the 50 best targets in the 2014 NFL Draft – from obvious stars to some lesser-known surprises. This should give some idea of what to expect in the first two rounds of the draft, and who the Cowboys may have a chance of taking.

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NFL SCOUTING COMBINE REPORT: Big O-Line prospects show off amazing speed | Watch 2014 NFL Combine videos

NFL SCOUTING COMBINE REPORT - Big O-Line prospects show off amazing speed - The Boys Are Back website 2014

It’s been a long standing tradition that the offensive linemen kick off the on field workouts for the combine and today that tradition continued (Watch this Video). Of the two groups that worked, Group 2 was the headliner. First-round talents Taylor Lewan, Zack Martin, Jake Matthews, and Greg Robinson were on display for coaches and scouts to evaluate. As a group, they did not disappoint.

Coming into this combine, there were questions who would be the first tackle off the board, whether it would be Matthews or Robinson, with Lewan the third in that group. What we learned Saturday was that all three came to the workout with the intention of making these teams head back to their meetings with some other ideas of that order.

The tackle that appeared to gain the most ground when you studied his workout was Lewan. His 40 yard dash was 4.87 and throughout the drills he was able to perform with some smoothness that we had not seen on tape. You could tell that he prepared for this combine because there wasn’t that stiffness and over-extension. It was a very productive day for him.

Greg Robinson might not have the polish that you see when you watch Jake Matthews work, but you cannot deny the explosive power with which he plays. At 6-5, 332 and carrying that body down the track at 4.91 was jaw dropping. What I really like about Robinson is that despite that size, his movements are like that of a much smaller man. It is almost effortless in which the way he moves.

In watching Jake Matthews, there was no question that he was going to be the best athlete of the group. Where the questions for him are going to arise is in his strength numbers. With only benching 225 24x, there are times

where you do see him struggle with power. If you watch the Auburn game, it is clear. With all that being said, if you needed to have a tackle to come in and play right now, he would be your guy. There was not much of any wasted movement from him during the drills.

Of the centers and guards that were on the field, I thought the guy that helped himself the most was Xavier Su’a-Filo from UCLA. Here is a player that on tape you can watch him play guard as well as tackle. I feel that his best spot will be at guard and there were some athletic movements that gave me some hope that he could be a player that you could plug in there if you ran a zone scheme, he could give you a little power. If there was something that I wasn’t to impressed with him was his vertical jump was only 23″ because that might be a flag for a lack of lower body power but he doesn’t play that way.

A player that a lot of scouts have fallen in love with is David Yankey, but I just don’t see it on tape. He plays like a slow-footed guy and on Saturday, he ran like one. The times I had for him were 5.50 and 5.53. In the drills, he went through them in the same fashion.

Cyril Richardson was another disappointing player to me. I really want to like him but with each rep or game I study, I draw further away from him. He didn’t run all that well but to his credit, he did come in lighter than what he measured at the Senior Bowl where he looked not in his best condition. For a man that should play with more lower body power, his vertical jump of 23.5″ was a disappointment as well. He just didn’t go through the drills with any type of quickness. I feel like he is going to have to play in a scheme where they are a power blocking and that would be his best chance.


More NFL SCOUTING COMBINE 2014 video:

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Numbers On The Board; Fast 40’s

Take a look at the first numbers coming out of the combine with the offensive line and tight ends taking the field in Indianapolis.

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Top Bench Press Performers For OL, TE, & P

See how many bench press reps the offensive lineman, tight ends, and kickers did in Friday’s portion of the NFL Scouting Combine.

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Top D-Lineman & Dallas Cowboys Targets

See what Jadaveon Clowney, Timmy Jernigan, Aaron Donald, Kony Ealy, and Ra’sheed Hageman had to say as they took the stage at the combine.

ROAD TO 2014 NFL DRAFT: Dallas Cowboys can’t let an elite offensive lineman on their draft board slip past them | Dallas Cowboys Draft 2014

ROAD TO 2014 NFL DRAFT - Dallas Cowboys can’t let an elite offensive lineman on their draft board slip past them - Jerry Jones

The Dallas Cowboys used a first round pick on an offensive lineman twice in the last three years and it’s possible they could make it three in four years. Yes, the defensive line is the biggest area of concern, but the Cowboys can’t let an elite guard or tackle slip past if they’re the top player on their board. The top o-linemen in this class are Auburn’s Greg Robinson, Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews and Michigan’s Taylor Lewan. All three should be gone by the time the Cowboys are on the clock. But here’s 10 offensive linemen that could be available for the Dallas Cowboys throughout the first few rounds.

ROAD TO 2014 NFL DRAFT - Dallas Cowboys can’t let an elite offensive lineman on their draft board slip past them - Zack Martin

Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame – Doug Free could be a free agent at the end of the 2014 season. Draft Zack Martin (pictured) in May and the Dallas Cowboys could have a bookend to pair with Tyron Smith for a long time.

Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia – A solid starter for UVA over the last three seasons. The 6-6, 325-pound right tackle as seen his stock rise into the first round.

Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama – Another elite tackle option. One of the top rated prospects coming out of high school, Kouandjio has been Alabama’s full-time starter at left tackle the last two seasons.

Ja’Wuan James, OT, Tennessee – If you want experience, this is your guy. James has started a school record 49 games at Tennessee. He is projected to play right tackle in the NFL.

Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee – He played left tackle for the Vols but might be better suited for the right side in the NFL. Richardson has started all 24 games over the last two seasons.

Jack Mewhort, OT, Ohio State – He has played guard and tackle in college but projects to be a right tackle in the NFL. Mewhort played in 49 consecutive games for Ohio State, starting the final 39.

Seantrel Henderson, OT, Miami – He could be a steal in the second or third round. Henderson’s stock has slipped since telling teams at the Senior Bowl that his suspensions at Miami were because of marijuana use.

ROAD TO 2014 NFL DRAFT - Dallas Cowboys can’t let an elite offensive lineman on their draft board slip past them - Gabe Jackson

Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State – He’s considered by some to be the top offensive guard available in the draft. Gabe Jackson (pictured) could quickly upgrade one of the interior line spots for the Dallas Cowboys.

Cyril Richardson, OG, Baylor – A Fort Worth kid who was a two-time All-American, Richardson was a three-year starter for the Baylor Bears. He should come off the board in the second or third round.

David Yankey, OG, Stanford – A two-time All-American that has experience playing left tackle and left guard. He projects as a guard in the NFL and should be among the first few players at that position selected in May.

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Follow the Dallas Cowboys Draft 2014 and 2014 NFL Draft Prospects right here on The Boys Are Back website …

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ROAD TO 2014 NFL DRAFT: Ranking early standouts for Dallas Cowboys top pick

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ROAD TO 2014 NFL DRAFT: Ranking early standouts for Dallas Cowboys top pick

IRVING, Texas – It’s never too early in today’s NFL to start making wild conjectures about the draft.

Mock drafts pop up every week after the Super Bowl ends from a variety of sources, providing different names and opinions regarding which players will end up with specific teams. It’s only February, so these will get tinkered with throughout the offseason as draft experts learn more and more about each player.

Many of those mock drafts have the Dallas Cowboys landing a defensive lineman, which is understandable given their health at the spot and the pending free agency of Jason Hatcher and Anthony Spencer.

With that in mind, here’s a compiled Top-10 list of the most common names of potential Dallas Cowboys first-round picks.

1) Aaron Donald, Pitt, DT – Probably the most popular choice for the Dallas Cowboys so far, Donald’s quickness and ability to push the pocket and get up field quickly makes him a popular choice in the middle of the first round for Dallas. His lack of height may scare some teams away, but his dominant week at the Senior Bowl and ability to play in a 4-3 defense should attract the Cowboys.

2) Kony Ealy, Missouri, DE – His size at 6-5, 275 pounds means gives him the frame to be a dominant force off the edge. His ability to move inside and outside could also give him some versatility in this 4-3 scheme. If the Cowboys take Ealy, the consensus seems to be that he hasn’t reached his potential and may need some time to develop and tap into that, but the ceiling is high here because of his athleticism. 

3) Calvin Pryor, Louisville, S – If the Cowboys don’t look to the line, Pryor could be the next best choice. He’s got a ton of range and maintains his aggression with the ball in the air. He can cover, and he could be the perfect cover safety to pair with Barry Church, whose ability near the line of scrimmage could be tapped into more fully. But Pryor can still lay the wood.

4) Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama, S – The Crimson Tide defensive back might be the best all-around safety in the class. He had two picks in 2014 and may not rack up interceptions like an Ed Reed type, but he can bring the boom as well as any safety in the class, as most Alabama safeties are known to do. The Cowboys’ shouldn’t have much of an issue with their safeties attacking the line of scrimmage if Clinton-Dix pans out.

5) Louis Nix, Notre Dame, DT – Nix may not fall into the typical mold the Cowboys use on the defensive line and may fit more as a nose tackle for a 3-4 team at 6-2, 345 pounds. He might have trouble keeping his weight down to where he can be a mobile defensive tackle that gets up the field the way Rod Marinelli likes. But the Cowboys could take the chance, in which case he’d fill in as the new 1-technique in Dallas.  

6) Timmy Jernigan, FSU, DT – The lasting image of Timmy Jernigan is going to be him watching, out of breath, on the sideline during crunch time of this year’s national championship game. It was a damning moment for what is otherwise considered one of this draft’s brightest defensive linemen. Jernigan notched 63 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks last year.

7) Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota, DT – Hageman certainly stands out from a physical aspect, as he tips the scale at 6-6, 311 pounds. The first-team All-Big Ten selection was one of the standout defensive tackles at this year’s Senior Bowl, along with Donald. Conventional wisdom says Hageman could fit with the Cowboys as an oversized three technique tackle, similar to Jason Hatcher.

8) Dee Ford, Auburn, DE – Ford was another Senior Bowl standout, as he followed his 10.5-sack season at Auburn with a promising showing in Mobile, Ala. Ford is a bit undersized for a 4-3 defensive end, at 6-2, 240 pounds, but he makes up for it with speed. It raises the question of whether he’ll be used in the NFL as a down lineman or a pass rushing linebacker.

9) Zack Martin, Notre Dame, OT – A somewhat surprising target, considering the Cowboys just spent a high draft pick on Travis Frederick. Martin was fantastic at the Senior Bowl as an offensive tackle, though some think he projects as a guard at the next level. Depending on who else is available, the Cowboys could opt to shore up their offensive line for the foreseeable future with another high pick.

10) C.J. Mosley, Alabama, LB – The latest in a long line of dominant Alabama linebackers, Mosley finished the 2013 season with 108 tackles and nine tackles for loss. He was the heart and soul of a dominant Crimson Tide defense, averaging eight tackles per game. One problem is that he plays middle linebacker, the same spot as Sean Lee, but the Dallas Cowboys could surely find a place to use him.

Honorable Mention:
Derek Carr, Fresno State, QB – Probably the most polished of the quarterbacks at the Senior Bowl last month, Carr is following in his brother David’s footsteps to
the NFL. Carr showed some experience and poise in working with other players and media at Senior Bowl practices that showcased his leadership potential. Most agree he isn’t the top quarterback prospect in this draft, but he still figures to be selected early.

ROAD TO 2014 NFL DRAFT: Grading game film on Missouri DE/OLB Michael Sam | NFL Draft Prospect 2014

ROAD TO 2014 NFL DRAFT - Grading game film on Missouri DE OLB Michael Sam - 2014 NFL Dallas Cowboys Draft 2014

Much has been said and made of Missouri DE/OLB Michael Sam in the past few days. This article focuses solely on what he brings to the field on gameday.

Michael Sam – Missouri – #52 – 6’ 1” – 260 lbs – 4.74

Games Studied: Oklahoma State, Auburn, Texas A&M, Georgia

Sam plays as a defensive end in their scheme and will usually line up on the left side. He worked as an outside linebacker at the Senior Bowl but played as an end during the game.

He shows some initial quickness off the snap and can be a tough guy to block on the move. That said, he doesn’t have much change of direction and is more of a straight line rusher. He will use his hands as he closes down the line and plays with outstanding effort. Sam will try and spin to free himself off blocks and can win matchups with this first move. Often, he will slap hands down to rush and work around a low block and will use his arm over a move inside.

There are times where he will lose the ball on his rush. He had game saving sack in the Cotton Bowl that caused a fumble to seal game. He beat the offensive tackle to the outside, then sharpened the corner to get there. There were also times where he gave ground in the running game. Sam would get wide and does a much better job of playing assignment to find the ball on the read option.

He can retrace his steps and work back to the ball. He fought the fullback block with his hands and worked back to the play. He can play a low block and kept his balance, but didn’t finish with a tackle.

He has trouble when he gets pinned inside and will miss tackles on the move. I have seen him get in position, then bounce off and can cause problems when he gets to the edge. If he doesn’t, then he plays like another guy. He had a sack against Georgia on an inside charge – a nice, quick move that beat the offensive tackle. On the next play, he had a move around the edge and was able to knock the ball out of Aaron Murray’s hand on the play.

He picked up a fumble and ran 20 yards for a touchdown against Georgia. He is one of those players that is not for everyone. If a 3-4 team would draft him, I believe he would be played as a strongside linebacker, but during the Senior Bowl, he didn’t look comfortable at all.

He does have the ability to rush the passer, but he might not be an every down player so you may use him just on third downs. I did not see him slide inside as a nickel rusher, and he is more disruptive when he is on the move.

He will struggle when he gets hooked on blocks in the running game. His effort is outstanding, but he needs to win on first move which at times he has shown the ability to do.


2014 NFL DRAFT PROSPECTS 2014 - 2014 Dallas Cowboys Draft 2014

As of today’s date, Michael Sam is ranked #110 overall and the #11th ranked DE available.

ROAD TO 2014 NFL DRAFT - Grading game film on Missouri DE OLB Michael Sam - 2014 NFL Dallas Cowboys Draft 2014 - The Boys Are Back Draft Ranking

OVERVIEW:

Rated as the No. 75 defensive recruit in the country by ESPN coming out of Hitchcock, Texas, Sam played on both sides of the trenches in high school.

He redshirted in 2009 before entering the rotation the following season and producing 24 tackles, including 7.0 for loss, to go with 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.

Sam was again a rotation player as a redshirt sophomore, finishing with 29 tackles, including 3.0 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks. He started nine of 12 games in 2012 and finished four on the team with 7.0 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.

Sam was named the co-SEC Defensive Player of the year as a senior after leading the conference in both sacks (10.5) and tackles for loss (18.0) during the regular season. He joined Jeff Gaylord (1981) as the only Missouri Tigers to win conference defensive player of the year honors. He also was a unanimous first-team All-SEC pick by the Associated Press, and first team by the coaches.

Sam certainly has the production against top competition to intrigue scouts. He’s very quick off the snap, showing the ability to attack off the edge as well as the burst to penetrate through gaps.

At 6-feet-2, 255 pounds, Sam could earn the dreaded ‘tweener label from scouts who may see him as too short for defensive end and a project as a stand-up outside linebacker, pushing the productive defender into the second or even third round.

ANALYSIS:

STRENGTHS: Sports a compact, well-developed frame. Very good initial quickness to explode past offensive tackles and apply pressure on the quarterback.

Uses his natural leverage advantage well, keeping his legs driving to overpower much bigger opponents on the bull-rush, while also mixing in effective rip and club moves to keep blockers’ hands off his chest. Accelerates smoothly and closes in a flash, showing good power for the knockdown and technique to wrap securely.

Considering his size, Sam is surprisingly effective in run defense. Can slip gaps due to his quickness to penetrate and make a big play behind the line of scrimmage and shows good power, knee bend to anchor and create a pile when run at. Good awareness, quickness and balance to recognize and defeat cut-blocks.

Occasionally asked to drop back in this scheme, showing awareness and at least fair fluidity. Active defender who searches the ball and pursues with passion.

WEAKNESSES: Not quite the sum of his parts due to size and flexibility limitations. Does not possess ideal length and therefore, struggles to separate from blockers once engaged. Impressive burst upfield is mitigated by average core flexibility, limiting his ability to turn the corner in one fluid motion.

Only occasionally asked to drop into coverage in this scheme, making his conversion to outside linebacker a true projection, especially given his average ability to change directions.

COMPARES TO: Elvis Dumervil, OLB, Baltimore Ravens – Few undersized pass rushers are capable of beating the odds like Dumervil but he’s the model optimists will point to in projecting Sam to the NFL. Like Dumervil, Sam has an explosive burst and is more powerful than his relatively short frame might suggest.

–Rob Rang (1/7/14

ROAD TO THE 2014 NFL DRAFT: NFL Senior Bowl 2014 recap | Ten players that shined in Mobile, AL

ROAD TO THE 2014 NFL DRAFT - Senior Bowl 2014 Calendar and Schedule

Bryan Broaddus, the official The Boys Are Back draft scout takes a look at 10 Players that Shined in the NFL Senior Bowl:

  • Aaron Donald/DT/Pitt

      Broaddus: Not many teams will like his lack of height but there is no questioning how he played this week. He was the most disruptive player for either squad. His film and work here gives him a nice platform into the Combine.

      Official The Boys Are Back ranking: #21 overall | Position rank #2 | Projected Round 1

      • Zach Martin/OT/Notre Dame

          Broaddus: Didn’t matter who he was facing, he was up to the task. Played left tackle but also took reps at guard where he was just as good. Plays with power and mobility.

          Official The Boys Are Back ranking: #12 overall | Position rank #4 | Projected Round 1

          • Josh Huff/WR/Oregon

              Broaddus: Love how this player physically looks. He carries himself well. Knows he is a good player and plays like it. Was always at the side of Falcons receivers coach Terry Robiskie after every play. Can tell this game matters to him.

              Official The Boys Are Back ranking: #108 overall | Position rank #16 | Projected Round 3-4

              • Derek Carr/QB/Fresno State

                  Broaddus: Physically is a good looking player. Was clearly better than any of the quarterbacks at this game. Has a command and presence while he is leading the team. Can make all the throws, quick with the ball and accurate.

                  Official The Boys Are Back ranking: #29 overall | Position rank #4 | Projected Round 1-2

                  • Jared Abbrederis/WR/Wisconsin

                      Broaddus: This guy catches everything thrown his way. Has deceptive speed and quickness with the ability to separate. Makes plays all over the field. Not afraid to catch the ball in traffic, love his toughness.

                      Official The Boys Are Back ranking: #96 overall | Position rank #14 | Projected Round 3

                      • Dee Ford/DE/Auburn

                          Broaddus: I really do like this player a great deal but I do worry about his lacks of bulk. He measured in weighing 243 pounds but he has those types of traits that these defensive coaches are looking for with his ability to go get the ball.

                          Official The Boys Are Back ranking: #18 overall | Position rank #3 | Projected Round 1

                          • Stanley Jean-Baptiste/CB/Nebraska

                              Broaddus: It was a game with nice sized corners and he was one of the biggest at near 6-3. Really thought he did a much better job when he could play press coverage than zone. Was able to move with and handle these receivers. Made plays on ball.

                              Official The Boys Are Back ranking: #86 overall | Position rank #11 | Projected Round 3

                              • Jordan Matthews/WR/Vanderbilt

                                  Broaddus: Doesn’t have the best speed or quickness off the ball but finds ways to get open. Very consistent in his route running and even better hands. Plays with some nastiness as a blocker. Is always going to be prepared as a player. Receivers coach told me that you can play him inside or out and it doesn’t matter.

                                  Official The Boys Are Back ranking: #49 overall | Position rank #8 | Projected Round 2

                                  • Jack Mewhort/OT/Ohio State

                                      Broaddus: There was a reason why that the rushers on the North squad didn’t have the most productive practices this week because of Zack Martin and Jack Mewhort. Showed nice balance and base. Plays with power. Can get movement. Not a slow footed blocker at all. Helped himself each day with work.

                                      Official The Boys Are Back ranking: #61 overall | Position rank #8 | Projected Round 2

                                      • Michael Sam/DE/Missouri

                                        • Broaddus: I honestly don’t know where you play him but you need to find a place for him. He is not a linebacker which they tried him at this week during these practices. He is a put his hand on the ground get after the passer. Not athletic enough to drop but when he rushes, he is hard to block. Might be the defense’s version on a 3rd down receiver. Relentless.

                                          Official The Boys Are Back ranking: #90 overall | Position rank #9 | Projected Round 3


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                                          ROAD TO THE 2014 NFL DRAFT: Dallas Cowboys 2014 Mock Draft 1.0 | Analyzing the Dallas Cowboys position

                                          2014-NFL-Draft - Dallas Cowboys draft 2014 Jerry Jones - 2014 Dallas Cowboys draft - NFL Draft 2014

                                          The 2014 NFL Draft order is not yet official. Selections Nos. 21-32 are determined by the results of the playoffs. A coin flip between the Baltimore Ravens and Dallas Cowboys will determine picks No. 16 and No. 17. Please note, the Ravens are penciled in to draft a wide receiver. If that works out, It could actually benefit the Dallas Cowboys (financially) to pick below them.

                                          How might the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft shake out? The debate starts right at the top with several prospects in contention to become the first player selected on May 8 at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. Let’s take a stab at projecting the first round.

                                          2014 NFL Mock Draft Central - ROAD TO THE 2014 NFL DRAFT 2014 - Dallas Cowboys 2014 Mock Draft 1.0 - as of 01-26-2014

                                          Let’s run through this particular NFL Mock Draft (expect a variety of mock drafts from reputable sources in the coming months).

                                          My contention, shared with many others, is that this should be remembered as the Dallas Cowboys Trenches Draft. Overall, the Dallas Cowboys have numerous weapons offensively in the key “” positions …. anchored by Tony Romo, Jason Witten, Dez Bryant, DeMarco Murray, returner Dwayne Harris, clutch Dan Bailey, and emerging players such as Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Gavin Escobar, and speedy Lance Dunbar showing promise. Sure, an argument could be made that the Cowboys need depth at running back and possibly another wide receiver. I’m ok with a lower round back or receiver being taken if the staff is confident enough to pull that trigger. Personally, I believe the ‘boys have plenty of weapons offensively … and if properly coordinated should continue to be a Top 10 ranked unit in the NFL.

                                          If I’m sitting in the Dallas Cowboys war room on May 8, 2014 and the top ranked offensive linemen (guard) falls into my lap, I’m likely drafting him. In that scenario, I spend the rest of the 2014 NFL Draft on the defense. My reasoning is this. If the Cowboys have a dominate young offensive line, the defense will also benefit from extended drives and less pressure because the Dallas offense is scoring and building leads. If that standout, difference-making guard is sitting there … he’s mine. He’s suiting up at right guard with Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, Ronald Leary, and redemption seeking Doug Free. Next draft, I’m placing a promising right tackle is on my wish list to compete against Free and push backups Jeremy Parnell and Darrion Weems

                                          The overwhelming flaw in the Dallas Cowboys roster is on the defense, particularly along the front seven. That issue has been beaten to death, so let’s move on and take a look at the most glaring needs.

                                          Defensive tackles, defensive ends, linebackers and a Kiffin prototype safety.

                                          If the draft plays out as illustrated above, let’s get in the head of Jerry Jones and cover the options. Check out the #17 picks predicted in this mock draft:

                                          2014 NFL DRAFT - NFL DRAFT 2014 - Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft 1.0 - 2014 Dallas Cowboys Draft order 2014 - As of 01-26-2014

                                          Two analysts predict the Dallas Cowboys will select FS Calvin Pryor, while the other two are split between DE Kony Ealy and S Ha Ha Clinton Dix. Let’s get familiar with each player:

                                          CALVIN PRYOR | FS |  LOUISVILLE | 6’ 2” | 208 lbs

                                          Calvin Pryor might be the most physical football player in the entire draft. Against the run, he is very quick to diagnose and he explodes to the alley. He takes correct angles and he doesn’t need to gear down before securing the tackle. He uncoils his hips on contact and he’s produced several impressive hits this season. Against the pass, he has the instincts and ball skills to play over the top, and he has enough speed/agility to match up in man coverage. He’s a complete safety.

                                          Official The Boys Are Back Rankings:

                                          #29 Overall | #2 Position (behind Clinton-Dix #15 Overall | #1 Position)

                                          Perceived value: Predicted to fall to #22 (Eagles) by two analysts. Could the Cowboys trade down a few spots to #21 and still pick him up? If so, that could translate into ammunition in later rounds to move up or pick up additional talent. 

                                          KONY EALY | DE | MISSOURI | 6’ 5” | 275 lbs.

                                          Kony Ealy is a versatile, athletic player with strong production (9.5 sacks, 14.5 TFL, three FF in 2013). He lines up all along the defensive line and will also stand up at times on the outside. Against the run, he uses his quickness to penetrate and is very disruptive. He flashes the ability to violently stack and shed blocks, but there are other times when he gets washed down the line of scrimmage. As a pass rusher, he creates pressure with a slap/swim move as well as a club/rip move. When he’s lined up on the outside, he shows the ability to convert speed to power. He has the athleticism to drop in coverage and might be best suited as a 3-4 outside linebacker.

                                          The top DE in the 2013 NFL Draft is widely believed to be Jadeveon Clowney from South Carolina. Many think he’ll be the top overall pick (Texans) … or as low as #4 (Browns).

                                          Official The Boys Are Back Rankings:

                                          #11 Overall | #2 Position (behind Clowney #2 Overall | #1 Position)

                                          Perceived value: Predicted to fall to #27 (Saints) or #31 (Broncos) by two analyst and slide completely out of the first round by the other. Could the Cowboys trade down a few spots to #26 and still pick him up? That would be reminiscent of last years move to pickup Frederick at the bottom of the first round and get the extra 3rd round draft pick (used to draft WR Williams). As of this date, its hard to believe Dallas would be targeting Ealy as their first overall pick.  

                                          HA HA CLINTON-DIX | S | ALABAMA | 6’ 1” | 208 lbs.

                                          Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has the versatility to play the high or low safety. He has the physicality to be a box run defender and the athleticism to roam the deep middle. He’s picked off a total of seven passes during the last two seasons. His ability to cover athletic tight ends will be a huge asset at the next level.

                                          Clinton-Dix is the top ranked safety in this years draft.

                                          Official The Boys Are Back Rankings: 

                                          #15 Overall | #1 Position

                                          Perceived value: In this mock draft, he’s predicted to fall to #21 (Packers) or #11 (Titans) or #15 (Steelers) by the other three analysts. If this is Kiffin’s guy, should the Cowboys move up to #10 or let fate decide if he falls into their laps?


                                          What is your opinion? Comments always welcome!


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                                          ROAD TO THE 2014 NFL DRAFT: Senior Bowl 2014 | NFL Draft Prospects showcased in today’s game on NFL Network

                                          ROAD TO THE 2014 NFL DRAFT - Senior Bowl 2014 Calendar and Schedule

                                          Future stars of the NFL will hit the field in Mobile, Ala. for the 2014 Reese’s Senior Bowl at 3:00 this afternoon. Check out the pro football talent scouted by the Cowboys and imagine how some of these young men might fit on the Dallas Cowboys 2014-2015 roster.

                                          Last year’s Senior Bowl class produced a whopping 10 first-rounders, three top-five selections and the No. 1 overall pick.

                                          1. Injuries forced many top prospects to pass on the Senior Bowl: Top talents like Michigan OT Taylor Lewan and UCLA LB Anthony Barr were among the 19 invited players that weren’t healthy enough to participate.

                                          2. Nine invited prospects made a “business” decision to stay at home: Alabama QB AJ McCarron made headlines prior to the week when he announced he would pass on the Senior Bowl opportunity on the advice of his agent. He wasn’t the only player to make that choice. Top prospects C.J. Mosley and Khalil Mack were among the other healthy prospects that elected to pass on the Senior Bowl experience.

                                          3. The upcoming draft will feature a record number of underclassmen: This Senior Bowl crop will be competing for draft positioning with one of the most talented underclassmen groups we’ve seen in a few years.

                                          Potential first-rounders

                                          While there likely won’t be any top-10 picks to emerge from this year’s game, don’t be surprised if six players hear their name called in the first round of the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft.

                                          Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin (70) - 2014 Senior Bowl - NFL Draft 2014

                                          1. Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame #70): He was outstanding all week long. He has enough athleticism to play tackle, but he has Pro Bowl potential as a guard.

                                          2. Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh: His combination of quickness and power was a matchup nightmare for opposing offensive lineman. He doesn’t have ideal size, but he held up well in the team and run periods.

                                          3. Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia: He has ideal size and quick feet. He’s not a great knee bender, but he held up well in 1-on-1 pass-rush drills. He creates a lot of space in the run game.

                                          4. Ra’Shede Hagemen, DT, Minnesota: He had an up-and-down week, but he flashed enough to keep his name in the first-round conversation. He’s a size/speed freak with a huge upside.

                                          5. Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State: He was the best quarterback in Mobile, and teams that met with him really like what they heard. He has a big arm and he was accurate throughout the week.

                                          6. Dee Ford, DE, Auburn: He was the most explosive edge rusher throughout the week. Most teams I’ve spoken with have him rated as a second-round prospect, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he snuck into the bottom of the first round because of his pass-rush skills.

                                          Odds and ends

                                          Best position group: Offensive line

                                          Worst position group: Running back

                                          Stock on the rise: Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State

                                          Stock on the decline: Cyril Richardson, OG, Baylor

                                          Wildcard player: Seantrel Henderson, OT, Miami

                                          Three to imagine in a Dallas Cowboys jersey

                                          The Reese’s Senior Bowl is regarded as the crown jewel of the college all-star season, with elite prospects dotting the rosters at every position. Given the importance scouts place on the performance of players in highly competitive matchups, the practice week and game tape provide the answers to many of the questions evaluators have about the top prospects in the 2014 class. With that in mind, here are three guys with a lot riding on their performance this weekend:

                                          Ra'Shede Hageman - DT - Minnesota - 2014 Senior Bowl 2014 - 2014 NFL Draft 2014

                                          Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, #99 Minnesota (photo above)

                                          It’s hard to find a talented interior defender blessed with Hageman’s size and athletic gifts. Measuring 6-foot-6, 311 pounds, Hageman glides across the field like a gazelle, yet flashes explosive strength and power at the point of attack. While scouts are certainly fascinated by his physical tools and unlimited potential, Hageman’s marginal production and inconsistent motor keep him from rating as an elite prospect at the point. Now, Hageman has changed the perception of his game by dominating the competition in practice this week, but scouts need to see him take it to another level when the lights come on to solidify his standing as a mid-to-late first-round selection.

                                          Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska

                                          The league is trending toward bigger corners on the perimeter after watching the Seattle Seahawks make their way to Super Bowl XLVIII behind a physically imposing secondary that features long, rangy athletes on the outside. Jean-Baptiste is a former wide receiver turned cornerback with impressive physical dimensions (6-3, 220) and ball skills. He has been the top cornerback in attendance, displaying a refined game that is ideally suited to play in a scheme that features press-man coverage extensively. Although Jean-Baptiste has made a strong case to be in the discussion as a borderline Day 1 selection, a spectacular performance in the game could send the Nebraska star flying up the charts.

                                          Dee Ford - DE - Auburn - 2014 Senior Bowl 2014 - 2014 NFL Draft 2014

                                          Dee Ford, DE/OLB, Auburn (photo above)

                                          Scouts pay close attention to players who dominate the practice week at the Senior Bowl. Ford has not only thrashed opponents in drills, he has produced a number of disruptive plays that would qualify as game changers at the next level. Although he flashed that kind of potential occasionally at Auburn, no one expected him to destroy the competition with his speed, burst and athleticism off the edge. In doing so, Ford has convinced several scouts and coaches that his skills translate well to the NFL as a designated pass rusher. If Ford can continue to display the quickness, burst and rush skills in the game that he has shown throughout the week, Ford will be one of the fastest risers up the charts heading into the combine.

                                          Two quarterbacks to watch

                                          Derek Carr - QB - Fresno State - 2014 Senior Bowl 2014 - 2014 NFL Draft 2014

                                          Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State

                                          The NFL scouting community has been buzzing about Carr’s potential as a franchise quarterback since his emergence as a standout playmaker the past two seasons. He has lit up the Mountain West Conference for 9,086 yards and 87 touchdowns against only 15 interceptions. Most impressively, he has displayed a lively arm to match his superb athleticism and improvisational skills. Yet, some scouts still question his poise and composure within a muddied pocket. This was one of his biggest flaws discovered in his 2012 tape (junior season), and it reappeared in a disappointing showing against USC in the Las Vegas Bowl. With another opportunity to show his wares against a squad with NFL-caliber players at every turn, Carr needs to show scouts that he can deliver pinpoint throws with defenders in close proximity. In addition, he must show coaches that he has the poise to work through his progressions to find an open receiver with the pocket crumbling around him. If he can withstand the pressure, while making a few accurate throws downfield, Carr could leave the Senior Bowl rated as the top senior quarterback in the draft.

                                          Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech

                                          There are some scouts who believe Thomas is better suited to play tight end at the next level, but his combination of size and arm talent makes him too enticing to disregard as a quarterback. Thomas has enjoyed an up-and-down week of practice, but his flashes have been impressive enough to keep his name in the mix as a developmental quarterback prospect. With the NFL ushering in a new wave of athletic quarterbacks, Thomas’ performance in the game could significantly impact his chances of getting a legitimate shot to play his preferred position as a pro.

                                          FLASHBACK 2010 NFL DRAFT: Take a look at a REAL Dallas Cowboys draft board

                                          Shortly after the 2010 NFL Draft, a couple photos of the Dallas Cowboys’ big board were published (by Jonathan Bales) . The photos have been leaked for quite some time now, but I thought it would be cool to take a look back at the board to judge the Cowboys’ accuracy.

                                          Here are the images (click on images for a larger view):

                                          FLASHBACK 2010 NFL DRAFT - Take a look at a REAL Dallas Cowboys draft board - Board 1

                                          Since Jerry Jones’ arm is blocking out some of the board, we can’t get a completely comprehensive list of the Cowboys’ 2010 rankings.

                                          FLASHBACK 2010 NFL DRAFT - Take a look at a REAL Dallas Cowboys draft board - Board 2

                                          For the most part, though, it looked as though the Cowboys’ board was as follows:

                                          • FIRST ROUND

                                          1. Sam Bradford
                                          2. Gerald McCoy
                                          3. Ndamukong Suh
                                          4. Russell Okung
                                          5. Trent Williams
                                          6. Eric Berry
                                          7. Rolando McClain
                                          8. Joe Haden
                                          9. CJ Spiller
                                          10. Mike Iupati
                                          11.  Blocked by Jerry’s arm, but likely Earl Thomas or Dez Bryant
                                          12.  Blocked by Jerry’s arm, but likely Earl Thomas or Dez Bryant

                                          13. Bryan Bulaga
                                          14. Sean Lee
                                          15. Jared Odrick
                                          16. Jason Pierre-Paul
                                          17. Derrick Morgan
                                          18. Kyle Wilson
                                          19. Maurkice Pouncey
                                          20. Navarro Bowman
                                          21. Jahvid Best
                                          22. Tyson Alualu
                                          23. Jermaine Gresham

                                          Continued …

                                          Continue reading →

                                          THE PICKENS PICK FACTOR: Oklahoma State Cowboys RB Joseph Randle drafted by the Dallas Cowboys

                                          Oklahoma State Cowboys RB Joseph Randle drafted by the Dallas Cowboys - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

                                          Entering the NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys were looking for a No. 2 running back to get carries behind DeMarco Murray. What they landed in the fifth round was a three-down runner that compares well to the team’s starter.

                                          Oklahoma State’s Joseph Randle was selected by the Cowboys with the 151st overall pick, making him the 10th running back drafted. With free agent Felix Jones’ time likely done in Dallas, the Cowboys needed someone to compliment Murray, the team’s leading rusher but also someone who has missed nine games over the last two years.

                                          Last season, Murray carried 161 times. Jones was next in line with 111 rushes, followed by Phillip Tanner with 25 and Lance Dunbar with 21. Even if Murray avoids injury, Randle should be stepping into a significant role.

                                          “I can’t envision Murray carrying the entire load for an entire game,” Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said Saturday night. “In Dunbar, we’ve got a back that we really like a lot, and he’s very natural in what he does, but he’s your third back. He’s not the guy that comes in and carries a big part of that load.”

                                          The Cowboys are hoping Randle is capable of taking on that workload. And Jerry Jones’ relationship with Oklahoma State athletic booster T. Boone Pickens might’ve provided the Cowboys with some additional intelligence.

                                          Dallas Cowboys draft Oklahoma State RB Joseph Randle - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

                                          “We had a lot of great information about his entire Oklahoma State [career],” Jerry Jones said. “I respect and know the coach over there really well. Boone’s one of my three or four best friends there are, and Boone gets you some information over there.”

                                          Randle rushed for 1,216 yards and 24 touchdowns as a sophomore and 1,417 yards and 14 touchdowns last year. So why did he last until the 18th pick in the fifth round? Well, it could be because he’s dealing with a thumb injury.

                                          Jerry Jones said Randle will wear a club-like cast and be limited in OTAs and minicamp but it won’t prevent the 21-year-old from participating in training camp.

                                          “He’s been a real productive player as a runner,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “Not only as a runner, but as a receiver, and he certainly has all the physical traits you want. But you also feel like he’s a guy who is going to get bigger and stronger. He’s a six-foot 205-pound guy now, and he can probably be even bigger than that as he grows into his body even more. You see quickness, explosiveness in a fairly big body, and some versatility.”

                                          2013 POST-DRAFT SIGNINGS: Dallas Cowboys add 15 undrafted free agents

                                          dallas cowboys wide receiver cole beasley (11) dives for yardage after a catch - the boys are back blog

                                          IRVING, Texas – Over the years the Cowboys have excelled in landing undrafted free agents that make the 53-man roster, so it stands to reason a few of the 15 signings will make the club in 2013.

                                          Last year, Cole Beasley, Ronald Leary and Ben Bass spent time on the active roster.

                                          Here is the up-to-date list:

                                          • LB Brandon Magee, Arizona State
                                          • QB Dalton Williams, Akron
                                          • S Jakar Hamilton, South Carolina State
                                          • RB Kendial Lawrence, Missouri
                                          • CB Devin Smith, Wisconsin
                                          • CB Dustin Harris, Texas A&M
                                          • LB Cameron Lawrence, Mississippi State
                                          • WR Greg Herd, Eastern Washington
                                          • FB Paul Freedman, Virginia
                                          • LB Tank Reed, SMU
                                          • DB Jeff Heath, Saginaw Valley State
                                          • K Spencer Benton, Clemson
                                          • WR Eric Rogers, Cal Lutheran
                                          • CB Xavier Brewer, Clemson
                                          • LB Deon Lacey, West Alabama

                                          Interesting to note the Cowboys did not sign an offensive lineman. Perhaps some could come in on a tryout basis for the May 10-12 rookie mini-camp. One tryout player, who is expected to sign is tight end B.J. Stewart from Cumberland.

                                          UPDATE: TE BJ Stewart has signed with Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent

                                          Cumberland (Tenn.) University tight end BJ Stewart has signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent, upping the team’s total undrafted free agent signings to 16.

                                          Stewart told his hometown Rome, Ga., newspaper, “It really is a dream come true. Being a kid, my family always told me I would play in the NFL, so it’s just a dream come true.”

                                          Stewart (6-4, 263) led Cumberland last season with 21 catches for 396 yards and five touchdowns.

                                          Stewart played defensive end in 2010 and 2011 at Cumberland before switching to tight end last season. He came to Cumberland for wrestling, and he was ranked No. 1 in the nation in the heavyweight division for two weeks in 2009-2010.

                                          2013 NFL DRAFT: Meet your new Dallas Cowboys 2013 NFL Draft picks

                                          Well, it’s over. The weeks and months of anticipation have come to a close. Meet the newest additions to your 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys roster.

                                           

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                                          #70 C Travis Frederick, Wisconsin
                                          1st Round, 31st Pick (31st Overall)

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                                          ·                                 Bio

                                          ·                                 Conference Call

                                          ·                                 Photo Gallery

                                          ·                                 Selection Video

                                          ·                                 105.3 The Fan Interview

                                          ·                                 Story

                                          ·                                 Instant Analysis

                                          ·                                 Secret Call

                                          ·                                 Scouting Report

                                          ·                                 Pre-Draft Interview

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                                          #89 TE Gavin Escobar, San Diego State
                                          2nd Round, 15th Pick (47th Overall)

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                                          ·                                 105.3 The Fan Interview

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                                          ·                                 Secret Call

                                          ·                                 Scouting Report

                                          ·                                 Combine Workout

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                                          #83 WR Terrance Williams, Baylor
                                          3rd Round, 12th Pick (74th Overall)

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                                          ·                                 Conference Call

                                          ·                                 Selection Video

                                          ·                                 Photo Gallery

                                          ·                                 105.3 The Fan Interview

                                          ·                                 Story

                                          ·                                 Secret Call

                                          ·                                 Scouting Report

                                          ·                                 Draft Profile

                                          2013 NFL Scouting Combine

                                          #27 S J.J. Wilcox, Georgia Southern 
                                          3rd Round, 18th Pick (80th Overall)

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                                          ·                                 105.3 The Fan Interview

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                                          ·                                 Secret Call

                                          ·                                 Scouting Report

                                          2013 NFL Scouting Combine

                                          CB B.W. Webb, William & Mary
                                          4th Round, 17th Pick (114th Overall)

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                                          ·                                 105.3 The Fan Interview

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                                          ·                                 Secret Call

                                          ·                                 Scouting Report

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                                          RB Joseph Randle, Oklahoma State
                                          5th Round, 18th Pick (151st Overall)

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                                          ·                                 Photo Gallery

                                          ·                                 105.3 The Fan Interview

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                                          ·                                 Secret Call

                                          ·                                 Draft Profile

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                                          LB DeVonte Holloman, South Carolina
                                          6th Round, 17th Pick (185th Overall)

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                                          DALLAS COWBOYS 2013 DRAFT RECAP: Post-Draft press conference with Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett

                                          VIDEO - 2013 Post NFL Draft press conference - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

                                          2013 NFL DRAFT: Post-Draft Press Conference (Click HERE to watch/listen)

                                          See (or hear) what Jerry Jones, Jason Garrett, and Stephen Jones had to say about the Dallas Cowboys 2013 Draft class

                                          RELATED: Cowboys considered moving up, but players went in Top-10

                                          The Dallas Cowboys were bound and determined to improve the offensive line in the 2013 NFL Draft. They believe they did so with Wisconsin center/guard Travis Frederick with the 31st overall pick in the first round.

                                          But there were two other players the Cowboys were eyeing earlier in the draft that they would have moved up from the 18th pick to get but both went in the top ten, according to Jones. 

                                          Clearly, Jones was talking about North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper, who went seventh to the Arizona Cardinals and Alabama guard Chance Warmack, who went 10th to the Tennessee Titans. Both had been linked to the Cowboys in many mocked drafts leading up to the draft.

                                          With those two gone and then Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro and Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richarsdon also gone by the time the Cowboys were ready to pick at 18, Jones decided to pull the trigger on a trade with the San Francisco 49ers that moved them back 31 and netted them an extra third round pick. In the end, Jones was satisfied with getting Frederick and the extra pick.

                                          “We had two players but that was over by the time we got to the eighth pick, ninth pick, that we might have considered moving up for,” Jones said. “We ended up getting a player that I don’t know if I would’ve wanted to give up a three rather than to have the player we might have moved up for and had Frederick and gained a three. We’re two threes better off by having not moved up and picked another guard to move up and go get him.”

                                          But there is no doubt the focus was on getting quarterback Tony Romo some help by improving the offensive line. The Cowboys believe they did that with Frederick.

                                          “What is the very best thing we can do for this team? We’re in pretty good shape with defensive personnel,” Jones said. “Buy [Tony] Romo a half a second. Better than a ‘wow’ receiver to add to our receivers. Better than a ‘wow’ tight end, have a lot of three tight end, two tight end sets. Candidly, our consensus was after everything we’ve done in this draft, the best thing we could do to help us win football games is to get him another half a second. I’m talking about for the next 36 months, 48 months. That’s really the meat of where we are.”

                                          RELATED: Frederick’s 40 time and low reps don’t show ability, game tape does

                                          The Cowboys’ first-round draft pick, center Travis Frederick, had a very slow 40 time and low reps on the bench at the combine, and it may have caused his stock to drop.

                                          But he said neither says anything about his playing ability.

                                          “I think the film really shows how I play,” he said Thursday night in a conference call with reporters. “I’m a tough player who run blocks really well … I think that I do a good job of anchoring in against a bull rush or even somebody that’s a zero nose technique.”

                                          Frederick said Wisconsin does not stress high rep numbers in its lifting.

                                          “Wisconsin is not known for doing well at the reps because we’ve always been trained to do low reps, high intensity,” he said. “So we do single reps or double reps, and I do very well on those areas. So I don’t think the 21 reps on the bench was truly indicative of my strength.”

                                          He also said he could have run another 40 at his pro day and might have improved it a little.

                                          Frederick confessed that he thought he would be an early second-round pick, but he knew the Cowboys needed help at guard and center and that they had talked to him a lot.

                                          “I do feel very comfortable at both positions, so I think that’s what helps me out, is being able to play both positions,” he said. “I’m sure that they have some sort of idea for me, but I’m looking forward to getting down there and just seeing where I fit in.”

                                          He said the Cowboys liked his toughness and intelligence.

                                          “I’m a tough player, a tenacious player. I’m also a player who plays with a high football IQ,” he said. “I think that I’m able to pick up on the offense very quickly, and I’m going to be able to make adjustments at the line and be able to help direct everybody, and I think that those are things that they really liked.”

                                          He said he is proud of Wisconsin’s tradition of turning out offensive linemen.

                                          “That tradition is one of the reasons why I chose to go to Wisconsin, just knowing that such great offensive linemen have come out of there and would probably or hopefully give me the opportunity if I worked as hard as I could, to be in the situation that I’m in today,” he said. “I’m excited to join that long line.”

                                          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

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                                          • 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

                                          Player

                                          Pos.

                                          Pos. Rank

                                          School

                                          Class

                                          Ht.

                                          Wt.

                                          Travis Frederick

                                          C

                                          1

                                          Wisconsin

                                          rJr

                                          6-4

                                          312

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

                                          .

                                          2013 NFL DRAFT – FIRST ROUND

                                           

                                          Team

                                          Team Needs

                                          Drafted

                                          1

                                          Kansas City Chiefs

                                          OL; LB; DL

                                          Fisher, Eric (OT)

                                          2

                                          Jacksonville Jaguars

                                          QB; DL; CB

                                          Joeckel, Luke (OT)

                                          3

                                          Miami Dolphins (from Oakland)

                                          OL; CB; RB

                                          Jordan, Dion (DE)

                                          4

                                          Philadelphia Eagles

                                          CB; QB; OL

                                          Johnson, Lane (OT)

                                          5

                                          Detroit Lions

                                          OL; DL; LB

                                          Ansah, Ziggy (DE)

                                          6

                                          Cleveland Browns

                                          QB; CB; LB

                                          Mingo, Barkevious (DE)

                                          7

                                          Arizona Cardinals

                                          OL; LB; RB

                                          Cooper, Jonathan (OG)

                                          8

                                          St Louis Rams (from Buffalo)

                                          WR; S; RB

                                          Austin, Tavon (WR)

                                          9

                                          New York Jets

                                          WR; LB; S

                                          Milliner, Dee (CB)

                                          10

                                          Tennessee Titans

                                          CB; DL; LB

                                          Warmack, Chance (OG)

                                          11

                                          San Diego Chargers

                                          OL; CB; LB

                                          Fluker, D.J. (OT)

                                          12

                                          Oakland Raiders (from Miami)

                                          DL; S; TE

                                          Hayden, D.J. (CB)

                                          13

                                          New York Jets

                                          WR; LB; S

                                          Richardson, Sheldon (DT)

                                          14

                                          Carolina Panthers

                                          DL; S; OL

                                          Lotulelei, Star (DT)

                                          15

                                          New Orleans Saints

                                          LB; S; CB

                                          Vaccaro, Kenny (SS)

                                          16

                                          Buffalo Bills (from St. Louis)

                                          QB; OL; WR

                                          Manuel, EJ (QB)

                                          17

                                          Pittsburgh Steelers

                                          LB; S; RB

                                          Jones, Jarvis (OLB)

                                          18

                                          San Francisco (from Dallas)

                                          S; DL; CB

                                          Reid, Eric (FS)

                                          19

                                          New York Giants

                                          OL; DL; CB

                                          Pugh, Justin (OT)

                                          20

                                          Chicago Bears

                                          LB; OL; WR

                                          Long, Kyle (OG)

                                          21

                                          Cincinnati Bengals

                                          OL; RB; S

                                          Eifert, Tyler (TE)

                                          22

                                          Atlanta Falcons (from St. Louis via Washington)

                                          CB; DL; LB

                                          Trufant, Desmond (CB)

                                          23

                                          Minnesota Vikings

                                          LB; DL; WR

                                          Floyd, Sharrif (DT)

                                          24

                                          Indianapolis Colts

                                          DL; OL; CB

                                          Werner, Bjoern (DE)

                                          25

                                          Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle)

                                          LB; DL; WR

                                          Rhodes, Xavier (CB)

                                          26

                                          Green Bay Packers

                                          OL; RB; DL

                                          Jones, Datone (DE)

                                          27

                                          Houston Texans

                                          WR; LB; OL

                                          Hopkins, DeAndre (WR)

                                          28

                                          Denver Broncos

                                          DL; CB; RB

                                          Williams, Sylvester (DT)

                                          29

                                          Minnesota Vikings (from New England)

                                          LB; DL; WR

                                          Patterson, Cordarrelle (WR)

                                          30

                                          St. Louis Rams (from Atlanta)

                                          WR; S; RB

                                          Ogletree, Alec (ILB)

                                          31

                                          Dallas Cowboys (from San Francisco)

                                          OL; S; DL

                                          Frederick, Travis (C)

                                          32

                                          Baltimore Ravens

                                          LB; WR; OL

                                          Elam, Matt (FS)


                                          C – TRAVIS FREDERICK – WISCONSIN – BIG TEN (Continued)

                                          Continue reading →

                                          DRAFT DAY RESOURCES: Dallas Cowboys 2013 NFL Draft–Fan supplements for tonight’s primetime coverage

                                          nfl supplemental draft - national football league - the boys are back blog

                                          The 2013 NFL Draft returns to primetime, with the first round taking place tonight (Thurs., April 25) at 8 p.m. ET, followed by the second and third rounds on Fri., April 26 at 6:30 p.m. ET. Rounds 4-7 will be held Sat., April 27 at 12 p.m. ET.

                                          NFL Draft 2013 - Watch the 2013 NFL Draft on NFL Network - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

                                          Watch it live on NFL Network … click HERE to watch it online

                                          Check out the official NFL website’s coverage by clicking HERE.


                                          NFL Draft 2013 - Draft Xtra App from NFL - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

                                          NFL’13 with Draft Xtra has everything you need for the Draft. Download app now!

                                          • Draft Tracker – follow the draft live with pick-by-pick analysis and video highlights
                                          • Watch 24/7 NFL Network coverage of the Draft with select cable operators
                                          • Exclusive live video from Radio City
                                          • Chat with fans in team War Rooms
                                          • Predict the pick, trivia, polls
                                          • Stats and facts on every Draft prospect

                                          NFL Draft 2013 - NFL Draft radio coverage on 1053 The Fan - Dallas - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

                                          Listen to the 2013 NFL Draft live on Dallas’ 105.3 The Fan … click HERE to listen online.

                                          the dallas cowboys radio network - 105_3 the fan krld

                                          The Fan 105.3 Dallas (KRLD) … Flagship of The Dallas Cowboys Radio Network!

                                          The Fan will provide you with local Dallas Cowboys insight during the NFL Draft and

                                          will have extended coverage after the draft.


                                          at the crossroads - dallas cowboys - the boys are back blog

                                          Cowboys at the crossroads … check out the two pages below for more info on the TOP NFL DRAFT PROSPECTS 2013 and DALLAS COWBOYS 2013 NFL DRAFT PICKS

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                                          PRINT AND PREDICT: You’re on the clock–The official Dallas Cowboys 2013 Mock Draft worksheet

                                          2013 NFL MOCK DRAFT - Your official Dallas Cowboys mock Draft worksheet - The Boys Are Back blog

                                          For weeks now … we’ve heard, read, and have seen everyone’s (and their brothers) mock version of the 2013 NFL Draft. Now, (since you’re a loyal The Boys Are Back reader) you have all of the information you need to stage your own war-room.

                                          Just for kicks, print out the worksheet below and make your 2013 NFL Draft predictions … or use it to determine which players will fall into the Dallas Cowboys #18 slot. Remember, Dallas may elect to move up, down, or another team may jump ahead of the Cowboys and snag that all important OL, S, or DL.

                                          Editors Note: The worksheet below reflects a change announced today by the NFL. The New York Jets have dealt Darrelle Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Team needs: DB; QB; DL) for the #13 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. The Jets also receive a conditional 4th rounder that could escalate into a 3rd round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft. 

                                          Reminder … the NFL Draft begins in FOUR days! The pages below are dedicated to the NFL Draft.

                                          BUTTON - NFL Draft Picks - The Boys Are Back blogTBAB Button - NFL Draft Prospects

                                          .

                                           

                                          Team

                                          Team Needs

                                          Your Draft Pick

                                          1

                                          Kansas City Chiefs

                                          OL; LB; DL

                                           

                                          2

                                          Jacksonville Jaguars

                                          QB; DL; CB

                                           

                                          3

                                          Oakland Raiders

                                          DL; S; TE

                                           

                                          4

                                          Philadelphia Eagles

                                          CB; QB; OL

                                           

                                          5

                                          Detroit Lions

                                          OL; DL; LB

                                           

                                          6

                                          Cleveland Browns

                                          QB; CB; LB

                                           

                                          7

                                          Arizona Cardinals

                                          OL; LB; RB

                                           

                                          8

                                          Buffalo Bills

                                          QB; OL; WR

                                           

                                          9

                                          New York Jets

                                          WR; LB; S

                                           

                                          10

                                          Tennessee Titans

                                          CB; DL; LB

                                           

                                          11

                                          San Diego Chargers

                                          OL; CB; LB

                                           

                                          12

                                          Miami Dolphins

                                          OL; CB; RB

                                           

                                          13

                                          New York Jets (from Tampa Bay)

                                          WR; LB; S

                                           

                                          14

                                          Carolina Panthers

                                          DL; S; OL

                                           

                                          15

                                          New Orleans Saints

                                          LB; S; CB

                                           

                                          16

                                          St. Louis Rams

                                          WR; S; RB

                                           

                                          17

                                          Pittsburgh Steelers

                                          LB; S; RB

                                           

                                          18

                                          Dallas Cowboys

                                          OL; S; DL

                                           

                                          19

                                          New York Giants

                                          OL; DL; CB

                                           

                                          20

                                          Chicago Bears

                                          LB; OL; WR

                                           

                                          21

                                          Cincinnati Bengals

                                          OL; RB; S

                                           

                                          22

                                          St. Louis Rams (from Washington)

                                          WR; S; RB

                                           

                                          23

                                          Minnesota Vikings

                                          LB; DL; WR

                                           

                                          24

                                          Indianapolis Colts

                                          DL; OL; CB

                                           

                                          25

                                          Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle)

                                          LB; DL; WR

                                           

                                          26

                                          Green Bay Packers

                                          OL; RB; DL

                                           

                                          27

                                          Houston Texans

                                          WR; LB; OL

                                           

                                          28

                                          Denver Broncos

                                          DL; CB; RB

                                           

                                          29

                                          New England Patriots

                                          CB; WR; DL

                                           

                                          30

                                          Atlanta Falcons

                                          CB; DL; LB

                                           

                                          31

                                          San Francisco 49ers

                                          S; DL; CB

                                           

                                          32

                                          Baltimore Ravens

                                          LB; WR; OL

                                           

                                          TOP-100 2013 NFL Draft Prospects:

                                          Continue reading →

                                          2013 NFL DRAFT PRIMER: Big, bruiser running back from Michigan State visits Dallas Cowboys

                                          2013 NFL DRAFT PRIMER - Big, bruiser running back from Michigan State visits Dallas Cowboys - LeVeon Bell - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

                                          IRVING, Texas – Le’Veon Bell could fit the Dallas Cowboys’ need for a bruiser as backup running back, capable of handling a full load at any point.

                                          That’s why the Cowboys are one of two teams, along with the Jets, that the former Michigan State star running back said he’s visited so far. Bell was one of 30 players to take a pre-draft visit with the Cowboys.

                                          “The running backs coach (Gary Brown) was very impressed,” Bell said on 105.3 FM The Fan. “He loved the way I can catch the ball. He loves the way I move, especially being a bigger guy. He loves the way I can get in and out of my cuts. I did my thing at Pro Day and in my individual workouts with the Cowboys, and I’m going to continue to impress.”

                                          Bell made his first trip to see the Cowboys facilities this offseason and said he had a great two-day visit, describing the stadium as “unbelievable.” He talked to owner/general manager Jerry Jones, as well as executive vice president Stephen Jones and head coach Jason Garrett.

                                          “They said they want another guy there to be a No. 2 guy who can eventually compete for a starting job,” Bell said. “They said basically they want two starting running backs. That’s what they’re looking for, and I feel like I can bring that to any team in the NFL.”

                                          Bell, who ran for 1,793 yards last year, is on most draft boards as a third or fourth round pick, but he’s been told he could go even higher. He said he’s heard he could even jump into the first round, because of everything he can add to a team.

                                          “I’m the biggest guy of all the backs, probably, height and weight, I can catch the ball out of the backfield just as good as any back,” he said. “I can get tough yardage just as good, if not better, than any back. There’s a lot of things that I can bring to a team. I played a lot of special teams, punt returner, kick returner. There’s a lot of things I can bring to a team, so much value. I’m a bigger guy, so pass protection would be a big plus for me, being able to block bigger linebackers and defensive ends at times.”

                                          The running back grew up in Ohio, but he always watched former Jets running back Curtis Martin, even though his family consisted mostly of Steelers fans.

                                          The Steelers and Jets are among the teams that have shown interest in Bell, along with the Cowboys, Colts and Texans. But Bell, who has friends who are Cowboys fans, doesn’t have a preference in his location or his role. He just wants an opportunity.

                                          “I’m OK with whatever role,” Bell said. “I just want to get drafted and get into camp and compete. Once I compete, I just want a fair chance.”


                                          VIDEO - Le'Veon Bell on Path To The Draft - The Boys Are Back blog 2013
                                          Le’Veon Bell on Path To The Draft – Click HERE to watch video

                                          Michigan State RB Le’Veon Bell looks forward to taking the next step in his football career on “Path to the Draft.”


                                          DALLAS (105.3 THE FAN) – Michigan State running back Le’Veon Bell is a player that the Dallas Cowboys could realistically take.

                                          Looking for a second back to compliment starter DeMarco Murray, the Cowboys watched Bell at his Pro Day and hosted him at Valley Ranch as well.

                                          How did the trip to Dallas go for Bell and what have the Cowboys told him about the possibilities of drafting him?

                                          The 6-foot-1, 230-pound back explain to us why he believes he’s one of best backs in the draft. Plus, Bell tells us the craziest question he got at the NFL Combine.

                                          audio - 1053 the fan krld

                                          2013 NFL DRAFT PRIMER: Dallas Cowboys insiders reveal their six-round mock draft

                                          2013 NFL DRAFT PRIMER - Dallas Cowboys insiders reveal their six-round mock draft - Safeties - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

                                          The Dallas Cowboys website staff has created their own mock draft, projecting what the Cowboys will do from rounds 1-6, along with some quick analysis for their decision.

                                           

                                          Bryan

                                          Nick

                                          Ed

                                          Rowan

                                          David

                                          Round 1
                                          18th

                                          Jonathan

                                          Cooper

                                          G – UNC

                                          Chance

                                          Warmack

                                          G – Alabama

                                          Bjoern

                                          Werner

                                          DE – Fl. State

                                          Kenny

                                          Vaccaro

                                          S – Texas

                                          Sylvester

                                          Williams

                                          DT – UNC

                                          Round 2

                                          Gio

                                          Bernard

                                          RB – UNC

                                          Eric

                                          Reid

                                          S- LSU

                                          Kyle

                                          Long

                                          G/T – Oregon

                                          Larry

                                          Warford

                                          G – Kentucky

                                          Larry

                                          Warford

                                          G – Kentucky

                                          Round 3

                                          Bennie

                                          Logan

                                          DT – LSU

                                          Barrett

                                          Jones

                                          G/C  Alabama

                                          Justin

                                          Hunter

                                          WR – Tennessee

                                          Jonathan

                                          Franklin

                                          RB – UCLA

                                          T.J.

                                          McDonald

                                          S – USC

                                          Round 4

                                          Gerald

                                          Hodges 
                                          LB – Penn St.

                                          Marquise

                                          Goodwin

                                          WR – Texas

                                          Marcus

                                          Lattimore

                                          RB – S. Carolina

                                          Jordan

                                          Mills

                                          OT – LA Tech

                                          Ricky

                                          Wagner

                                          OT – Wisconsin

                                          Round 5

                                          Jakar

                                          Hamilton

                                          S – SC State

                                          Chris

                                          Jones

                                          DT – Bowling Green

                                          Kwame

                                          Geathers

                                          DT – Georgia

                                          Bennie

                                          Logan

                                          DT – LSU

                                          Rex

                                          Burkhead

                                          RB – Nebraska

                                          Round 6

                                          C.J.

                                          Johnson

                                          WR – Grand Valley St.

                                          Dennis

                                          Johnson

                                          RB – Arkansas

                                          Jakar

                                          Hamilton

                                          S – SC State

                                          Corey

                                          Fuller

                                          WR – VA Tech

                                          Reid

                                          Fragel

                                          OT – Ohio State

                                          Bryan Broaddus’ Mock Analysis: For the sake of this Mock Draft I have allowed history to dictate that a guard while slide down the board to the Cowboys spot at 18 and with that move, they would be more than happy to turn the card in of Jonathan Cooper of North Carolina who in my view is the best guard in the draft. When it comes back to their selection in the second round I have them staying in the Tar Heal State and choosing running back Gio Bernard who is a shorter player but gives them some quickness out of the backfield and a different style of a back to pair with Murray. There are those that think Bennie Logan in the 3rd might be a little rich there but I don’t think so and I believe the club feels the same way. The Cowboys did a private workout with him and brought him in on a visit. He could be that one technique that replaces Josh Brent. Gerald Hodges would be a nice fit as a potential Sam while Jakar Hamilton brings some toughness and coverage as a safety. CJ Johnson has outstanding timed speed and catches the ball well. He has played both inside and out so the fit is there. Again, in that round you are looking for traits to develop and he has several.

                                          Nick Eatman’s Mock Analysis: Last week, I went against the mantra I’ve been saying for months – and that’s to draft big, especially on the offensive line. While safety is a need, hopefully that can be addressed in the second round. But if Warmack is around at No. 18, that would be a great pick. I moved Jones to the third round this week because of his injury concerns, but even if he doesn’t play right away, he’s got the talent to wait for. Goodwin is the pure runner that I think this team has missed for a while. Because of that track speed, he probably doesn’t make it that far down to the fourth round. And while the sixth round is probably too long to wait to draft a back, there is something intriguing about Johnson. He won’t be the highest back taken from his school, but he’s a fireplug of a player who is a great kickoff returner and  has the toughness and attitude this team could use. 

                                          Ed Cahill’s Mock Analysis: In this situation I have the Cowboys selecting the best available players on their board. My first round pick has a lot of talent, but may slip to the Cowboys at the eighteenth pick. Bjoern Werner may have to play in rotation for a year, but he gives you depth on the line, a promising future, and some cap relief at the position next season. Kyle Long gives you some flexibility on the offensive line as he could play both guard and tackle. He should have the talent to come in and contribute right away. Justin Hunter has tremendous ability and would be great value if he falls into the third. Now, I’ve been against this for most of the offseason, but if the Cowboys were to bring in a veteran running back I could see them taking a chance on Marcus Lattimore. He’s a tremendous kid with all-pro talent, and given some time I think he could return to form. Kwame Geathers, brother of former Cowboy Clifton Geathers, provides a big body at the 1-technique on the defensive line. Jakar Hamilton is a former Georgia Bulldog who has first half of the draft talent. If he is available in the 5th or 6th it’s an absolute steal.

                                          Rowan Kavner’s Mock Analysis: The needs at offensive line and safety will make the Cowboys consider a variety of options, but Vaccaro fills a need if available in the first round. It’s feasible that all five offensive linemen are gone by the Cowboys’ first pick, and if the top safety’s still on the board, that would make for a logical selection. They could still fill a need at guard in the second round and potentially get a player with first-round talent if Warford’s still on the board. Franklin had a tremendously productive season last year at UCLA and his sub-4.5 speed should draw some interest at the backup spot. I’m starting to think the Cowboys’ starter at right tackle will either be Doug Free or a free agent pickup, but Mills provides adequate size to work with and develop into a potential starter. At 6-foot-2 with 4.3 speed, Fuller has all the tools a team could want with a late pick.

                                          David Helman’s Mock Analysis: I approached this mock draft using the scenario that all of the Cowboys’ offensive line targets were gone by No. 18. I don’t want to reach, and the defensive front needs plenty of help of its own. Sylvester Williams is just that type of pocket collapsing defensive tackle Dallas needs, with 13.5 tackles for loss and six sacks last season. If the Cowboys can’t find an offensive lineman they like in the first round, it seems imperative they nab one with their second pick, and Larry Warford is a big dude who played well for an awful team. Round 3 seems like the best place to find value at safety, as T.J.

                                          McDonald is just one of a handful of quality guys who should be there. To make up for missing a lineman at No. 18, I wouldn’t mind them going overboard in the late rounds, starting with Ricky Wagner. I still think this team should add a decent running back, and Burkhead fits that power back mold, plus he’s got local ties. Fragel is inexperienced at offensive tackle but his massive 6-8 frame gives him a lot of upside.

                                          Editors note: Stay up-to-date with the Dallas Cowboys 2013 NFL Draft and NFL Top Draft Prospects by clicking here:

                                          BUTTON - NFL Draft Picks - The Boys Are Back blog. TBAB Button - NFL Draft Prospects


                                          THE 2013 NFL DRAFT SHOW: Fan Takeover (Video/Audio)

                                          VIDEO - The Draft Show with Bryan Broaddus and Ed Cahill - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

                                          The Draft Show: Fan Takeover (Click HERE to watch)

                                          Bryan Broaddus and Ed Cahill let the fans takeover the show with the NFL Draft just fifteen short days away.

                                          AUDIO - Download audio MP3

                                          RELATED: 2013 NFL DRAFT PRIMER: Brian Broaddus’ Top 25 Prospects

                                          PROSPECTS ON HOT SEAT: 2013 NFL Draft attendees announced

                                          2013 Prospects joining NFL Draft in New York City - The Boys Are Back blog

                                          The green room at Radio City Music Hall in New York will be rather crowded this year. A total of 23 players have accepted an invitation to attend the 2013 NFL Draft on Thursday, April 25.

                                          In a year where the quarterback class lacks consensus top-shelf talent, two quarterbacks will be in New York: West Virginia’s Geno Smith and Florida State’s EJ Manuel.

                                          That’s the same number as offensive guards making the trip: Alabama’s Chance Warmack and University of North Carolina’s Jonathan Cooper. Six defensive linemen and five offensive tackles will be in the house. Yes, this is the draft of the big uglies.

                                          Smith figures to get the most attention of any player in the green room. Even though he might not get taken as early as people think, Smith still looks like a safe first-round pick. That’s true of most of the 23 players.

                                          Odds are that at least one player invited will slip into round two, but every player in attendance has a shot of being selected Thursday night.

                                          LSU safety Eric Reid is not a favorite of some analysts. Florida State offensive tackle Menelik Watson and Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant are two other players who could have a relatively long wait in the green room on draft day.

                                          Some of the biggest names not going to New York include USC quarterback Matt Barkley, Notre Dame linebacker Manti T’eo and Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei.

                                          Lotulelei released a statement Wednesday saying that he has decided to watch the draft from Utah with his friends and family.

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