48 hours is all that remains until the Cowboys take the next step in turning around the Cowboys defense. The Cowboys are undoubtedly done with their board and are probably going through some test runs and trade scenarios that will work with their current board. As for me, I’m done with all the mock drafts and ready for “THE” day to be here already – Draft day! I came up with my final mock which includes two trade downs in the 1st round, I call this a Jerry Jones two-step.
1st round trade: Cowboys receive the Eagles #22, 3rd, 4th, 5th round picks
1st round trade again: Cowboys receive Browns #26, and 4th round pick. Dallas sends the Browns their 7th round picks; 229,,231, 238
With Aaron Donald and Johnny Manziel likely out of the Cowboys reach, the Cowboys will be all-in for a trade down, and I think they do it again to slide down to #26 with the Browns. This will give the Cowboys extra picks and ammo to trade up in other rounds, which is what I did.
Let’s take a look at my Final 7-round mock draft 6.0:
Let’s talk about my selections:
1st round (#26): Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Boise State
To me, Lawrence is the perfect trade down selection for the Cowboys. You couple him next to fellow alumn Tyrone Crawford and meet at the QB all game long. The Cowboys need to double-dip on several defensive positions, and Lawrence will start the new era of Cowboys defense. Yes, he can be had in the 2nd round, but he’ll be one of those players that will creep into the 1st round come draft day. The Cowboys are fans of the Boise State program and they will go to the well again with Lawrence. If we learned anything from the Seahawks defense it was the defensive line play and constant pressure. Dallas needs to mold this draft into a pressure making draft class. If you can pressure the QB, the defensive backs will have more chances for ints. The Cowboys have to be excited about what Marinelli and Lett will do with any defensive lineman we select this year. They will get these rookies playing to their potential.
2nd round (#47): Billy Turner, OT, North Dakota State
Coming away with some offensive line depth will happen in this draft, I decided to go with the scrappy mauler in Billy Turner. Now we’re rolling and going to work! Turner bring toughness and nastiness that we have not seen since Erik Williams back in the day. If we can get Turner in this draft we will be sitting really good at the end of this.
3rd Round (#78): Caraun Reid, DT, Princeton
Reid’s stock has risen and thus, I believe the Cowboys would need to make the pick here in the 3rd round. This player has a lot of potential, nastiness, and mauling type presence we need on the defensive line. Reid will come to Dallas and start making plays for us. Reid has versatility to play anywhere on the defensive line, but he’ll excel at the tackle position.
3rd round (#86 via Eagles trade): Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU
The Cowboys will likely add a running back somewhere in this draft, and with the extra picks acquired in the trade, the Cowboys can now bolster the running game by selecting Jeremy Hill. Hill will give the Cowboys a true running attack and will be our safeguard against DeMarco Murray’s yearly injury bug. Time to move on from him and it starts in the 2014 draft.
3rd round (#92 via Panther trade): Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame
I packaged the 4th round pick acquired from the Browns and our existing 4th round pick #119 to jump back into the 3rd round. I’m fully prepared and fully expecting the Cowboys to draft a tight end in this draft. James Hanna and Gavin Escobar are not true blocking tight ends, but Niklas lives for it and he’s a legit pass catching, big bodied player. I’m taking Niklas here and terrifying our NFC East rivals with this herculean beast. Niklas is also cousins with the Matthews bloodline. Notre Dame has become Tight End U and Cowboys TE Coach Mike Pope will mold him into a Pro Bowl player.
4th round (#122 via Eagles trade): Kareem Martin, DE, North Carolina
This is exactly the path I would like to see the Cowboys go. Rebuild this defense and double-dip, make our divisional opponents fear our defense with a barrage of fresh pass rushers. Snagging Kareem Martin in the 4th round would be incredible. There’s no doubt the Cowboys plan on bolstering the defense, and with Martin you get a blue chip player who will contribute out the gate. The Cowboys have had some draft success from North Carolina, so they know what they will be getting with Martin. Martin has a solid frame and prototypical build with long arms. Coupled with his explosiveness off the line, this is a player Marinelli could turn into a Pro Bowler.
5th round (#158): Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia
Murray may land higher, or he may be a 5th rounder. In this mock draft, Murray was still available, so I made the selection. Murray will compete for a roster spot and should be an upgrade over the other back ups on the team. I’m not sold on Orton coming back, and I’m definitely not sold on Weeden or Hanie. Let Garrett mold Murray into his a possible Romo replacement in another year and get him ready in case Romo doesn’t hold up physically.
5th round (#162 via Eagles trade): Howard Jones, OLB, Shepard
The Cowboys have met with Jones and you have to wonder where the Cowboys would like to play Jones if he were to join the Cowboys, he’s your classic tweener type LB/DE. The Cowboys would probably like to put him at DE, and be in the rotation to get after the QB.
7th round (#248): Brandon Dixon, CB, Northwest Missouri State
The Cowboys visited with Dixon and could put him into the mix to compete for a roster spot. Dixon has some elite speed running a 4.40 and high 4.30s and his height could be something the Cowboys like. At 6-0, he could compete at the safety position and further safeguard the Cowboys against Matt Johnson’s inability to get on the field.
7th round (#251): Corey Linsley, C, Ohio State
This is my ultra sleeper pick. Linsley is a strong player and had a solid career at Ohio State, and with the Cowboys always needing depth on the offensive line, the pick was made. Linsley would give us insurance at the center position and some flex at the guard position if needed. I’m not sure he’ll fall this far down, but if he’s there in the 7th, go ahead and take him.
7th round (#254): Ken Bishop, DT, Northern Illinois
Bishop was a player I tried to land in two previous mock drafts, this time around he was available so I made the selection to close out the Cowboys draft class. Bishop could go as high as the 5th round, so this would be a high value pick for the Cowboys if he could be had in the 7th round with a comp pick.