*************2016 NFL DRAFT GRADES************

1.4 Ezekiel Elliot, RB, Ohio State

I wish I could find out if the Cowboys would have gone with Joey Bosa here or not if he were available. I contested that they wouldn't because you don't draft a rookie edge rusher to fill a week 1 need. They take time, and they have two guys that will be back by week 5. The team instantly gets better and a lot more fantasy-interesting.


2.34 Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame

It's a good story, but I hate this pick. Smith's knee surgeon works for the Cowboys, and so does his brother Rod. But the Cowboys clearly ignored the fact that Smith likely could have been gotten 40+ picks later. Smith also is too big of a risk for this pick too. He is out at least a year, and it is unreasonable to believe that he will ever come back to the level that he was.

3.67 Maliek Collins, DT, Nebraska

Collins has potential, but he is a bit of a project for a team with a closing window.


I just don't get where this team is going. If you are going to take Zeek Elliot as a luxury pick because your Romo window is closing then DO NOT take a 2-year recover project in the 2nd.

*************2015 NFL DRAFT GRADES************

1.27 Byron Jones, CB, UConn

Jones might be the best player on the board and he fills one of their biggest needs. Love it.


2.60 Randy Gregory, DE/LB, Nebraska

Why not? He's one heck of a pass rusher and he will be on a short leash. I wonder what motivation does for him.


3.91 Chaz Green, OT, Florida

I am all for adding extra depth on the O-Line, but this is a reach. 


4.127 Damien Wilson, LB, Minnesota

5.163 Ryan Russell, DE, Purdue

7.236 Mark Nzeocha, LB, Wyoming

7.243 Laurence Gibson, OT, V-Tech

7.246 Geoff Swaim, TE, Texas


Can't complain too much. The team got some huge talent on defense which was huge. But completely ignoring the RB position may cripple them. They cannot actually believe the Darren McFadden will be healthy (or good) next year, even with their offensive line.

*************2014 NFL DRAFT GRADES************

1.16 Zach Martin, OT, Notre Dame

I like the pick in terms of need and value, but the Cowboys are such a blurry team. They have the weapons of a 10-win team, have the consistency of a 6-win one. 


2.34 Demarcus Lawrence, DE/LB, Boise State

I like this pick in terms of value and skill, but trading up (with a division rival) to get him hurts it a little bit.


4.119 Anthony Hitchens, LB, Iowa

5.146 Devin Street, WR, Pitts

7.231 Ben Gardner, DE, Stanford

7.238 Will Smith, LB, Texas Tech

7.248 Ahmad Dixon, S, Baylor

7.251 Ken Bishop, DT, NIU

7.254 Terrence Mitchell, CB, Oregon


Yet another interestingly strange Cowboys draft. They just don't get that they have key needs that they need to address rather than getting a collection of improvements. I like a lot of their picks, but I just don't know if it puts them anywhere closer.

*************2013 NFL DRAFT GRADES************

1.31 Travis Frederick, OC, Wisconsin

Frederick was the best pure center in the draft, but he should not have gone this early.  I like that the team traded back and ended up with an extra pick, but they picked a good guy too early.


2.47 Gavin Escobar, TE, SD State

Wow. This is another reach, but the team is getting a tight end with a ton of potential. A two TE set added into the team is a very scary thought.


3.74 Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor

Now this is a pick I like. He was one of the best guys on the board, and he was a free pick after their first trade. Three weapons now for Romo and zero focus on their new 4-3 defense.


3.80 JJ Wilcox, S, Georgia Southern

Can't complain here. Fills a need and decent value.


4.114 B.W. Webb, CB, William & Mary

5.151 Joseph Randle, RB, OK State

6.185 DaVonte Holloman, LB, South Carolina


This team had a great offense which features a QB that struggles to come from behind & hold on to leads. So naturally you would think to add defensive players for their new 4-3 defense to help prevent this pressure on offense. right? Nope. You reach on a center (best Center in the draft does not mean worth a 1st round pick). You pick up a backup TE (maybe a 2nd TE for a new system), and then follow it with a very good potential WR3. Two defensive backfield picks for depth and no real 4-3 defensive help later and you have a very questionable draft. 

 *************2012 NFL DRAFT GRADES************ 

1.6 Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

I'm not in love with Claiborne, but I LOVE this move for the Cowboys. The team has created one of the best 1-2 punches at corner this offseason, and the moves will do nothing but improve the front seven by proxy. They lost a 2nd rounder to do so, but this was worth it.


3.81 Tyronne Crawford, DE/DT, Boise State

I like the idea of getting a defensive end that would improve the pass rush, but not when you take the 2nd best available guy from Boise State.


4.113 Kyle Wilber, DE/LB, Wake Forest

4.135 Matt Johnson, S, Eastern Washington

5.152 Danny Coale, WR/P, Virginia Tech

6.186 James Hanna, TE, Oklahoma

7.222 Caleb McSurdy, MLB, Montana


Ugh. I tried to give grades for rounds 1-5 (the ones that don't have just sleepers and flier picks). Unfortunately the Cowboys draft made me almost vomit. I actually like that the team added a nasty weapon like Morris Claiborne to their team, but after that they just went south. Tyrone Crawford wasn't even the best DE/DT from Boise, the other small school guys were almost all terrible reaches. Danny Coale is a D grade receiver and a C grade punter. And finally James Hanna is all athlete and zero real production, although in the 6th I like that pick. The team realistically found a single starter.


*************2011 NFL DRAFT GRADES************ 

1.9 Tyron Smith, OT, USC

The Cowboys took an offensive linemen in the first round for the first time in a very long time. That's great, but they took a guy that is 20 pounds less than their ideal fit, and they messed some things up. If they play him at LT then Doug Free's progress there is ruined. If they put Smith at RT then they are making him play a position he is not bound for. I just don't quite get it, but I can't hate a team for trying to protect their biggest asset.


2.40 Bruce Carter, OLB, UNC

Carter might not play in 2011 because of injury, which is why he went in the 2nd. But he was never a guy that was supposed to play in the 3-4, so I don't quite get the pick. He might end up inside which could make a little sense, but too many questions to love the pick.


3.71 DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma

Murray has an elite DM Score which makes me think he could be a steal here. The team clearly isn't happy with the trio of underachievers at runningback, and i personally don't like that none of them seem to be able to get into the endzone.


4.110 David Arkin, OG, SW Missouri State

I can't hate the pick because I hadn't even heard much of Arkin before the draft, but his value was much less than an early 4th round pick. Again, I can't hate the pick because the team reached on a guy to help the offense.


5.143 Josh Thomas, CB, Buffalo

This is a guy that ESPN was higher on then any other source. There were better corner options, but they are touching on a need. 

6.176 Dwayne Harris, WR/KR, ECU

I have heard some say that Harris could have a Chris Johnson impact when he gets the ball. I don't see it, but there is no reason to hate on a 6th rounder for it.


7.220 Shaun Chapas, FB, Georgia

I'm ok with a team drafting a full back, but I'm just not sold that Chapas was the best guy out there.


7.252 Bill Nagy, C, Wisconsin

A center with one of the last picks. Can't complain about that.


Draft Grade ???

I don't know what to think of this draft. They got an OT that doesn't quite fit the team, but will start. They got a great LB but I have no idea where he will play. Finally they have gotten a 4th runner to compete, but I don't know if he will be competing to get rid of someone, or to be 'the guy.'


If I had to put a grade on this draft it wouldn't be a very good one. The team found awkward fits for their schemes, but they also ended up with some very intriguing pieces to help on offense. I do think the team could have done more to help the defensive backfield.