Dallas Cowboys 2016 Mock Draft

war cowboys

Dallas Cowboys 2015 KEY NFL Rankings:

Offense: Points- 31st,  Yards-22nd, Pass yards-27th,  Rush yards-9th

Defense: Points-16th,  Yards-17th, Pass yards-5th, Rush yards-23rd


1- 4- 4 Dallas
2- 3-34 Dallas
3- 4-67 Dallas
4- 3-101 Dallas
4-37-135 Dallas (Compensatory Selection)
6-14-189 Dallas from Oakland
6-37-212 Dallas (Compensatory Selection)
6-41-216 Dallas (Compensatory Selection)
6-42-217 Dallas (Compensatory Selection

With four picks in the 6th round, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jerry Jones trade some of those picks to move up or down. But for this mock, I make a pick at every draft spot.

First Round:  Jalen Ramsey FS

If there is one repeating theme for the Cowboys secondary in recent years, it is they don’t have a safety who can cover receivers with any consistency. Ramsey who is also considered a possible CB, could be the answer at FS for Dallas where I think they will want to play him. The Cowboys did pick a CB first last year in Byron Jones, but Ramsey appears to be a true safety and at this point in the draft, the top player on the board at his position.

Second Round: Derrick Henry RB

Last season the Cowboys were forced to throw together a running game after losing top rusher DeMarco Murray and recently the Cowboys parted ways with the off field troubled Joseph Randle. An excellent physical offensive line is already in place but what is needed is a physical RB who can pound the ball and force defenses to cave late in games. Henry is a Heisman trophy winner on the national champion Alabama team and appears to be a very good fit for the Cowboys run game. At 6-3, 247 Henry will be load to bring down but he has the speed with a 4.5/40 to explode after making a cut behind their offensive line. If the Cowboys are going to get back on track, it will require a top running game and Henry may be the answer.

Third Round: Carl Nassib DE

Safety isn’t the only defensive position that the Cowboys have had trouble getting settled, defensive end has been an issue since the departure of Demarcus Ware who won a super bowl with the Broncos. Dallas is moving on from Greg Hardy and they start the season with an injured  Demarcus Lawrence while Randy Gregory serves a 4 game suspension for violation of the NFL substance abuse policy. Nassib is considered a high character player and intelligent as a two time Big Ten All Academic team member. Described by coaches as a great locker room guy who plays with relentless effort to get to the QB or ball carrier. HIGHLIGHTS  Nassib had an NCAA best 15.5 sacks last year and would provide a spark on the defensive line. Nassib is taller than top ranked draft prospect Joey Bosa and Nassib’s arm and hand length size measure longer than Bosa too.

Fourth Round (101): Maliek Collins DT

Collins appears to be custom made to play the 3 technique on Marinelli’s defensive front. Collins possesses the “quick twitch” that the Cowboy defensive coaches talk about as he displays quick feet and gets off the snap quickly. HIGHLIGHTS In 2014, Collins had 13 tackles for loss at Nebraska and at the combine performed well in the cone and shuttle drills. The Dallas defense could use help in pressuring the QB and tackles for loss.

Fourth Round (135): Malcolm Mitchell WR

While wide receiver isn’t a huge need for the Cowboys coming into the draft, they could always use more depth at the position and Mitchel is an intriguing prospect as one of the better athletes at the position. At times, Mitchell has shown super star potential but was slowed down with 2 knee injuries. He had a strong performance at the combine and may be ready to break out ast an NFL receiver. Without the injuries, probably a player who is picked much earlier in the draft. HIGHLIGHTS

Sixth Round (189): D.J. Reader DT

At 6-3, 327 Reader would bring some bulk to the Cowboys defensive line as a potential run stuffer. He also happens to have good feet and is capable of playing both the nose tackle and 3 technique which he did at Clemson. At the combine, Reader did an impressive 30 reps on the bench press.

Sixth Round (212): Nick Kwiatkoski LB

An athletic former safety who would bring pass coverage support at the LB position. Has 6 interceptions at West Virginia and would offer depth at LB as well as potential as a special teams contributor. HIGHLIGHTS  Nick impressed at the combine with a 4.65/40 time, top performer in the broad jump (120″), 2nd best vertical jump (32″) and the 4th best shuttle time at his position. His athletic ability may make him a natural at the Will LB.

Sixth Round (216): Avery Young OT

Young was a three year starter for Auburn who is capable of playing both tackle and guard on either side. He is a strong zone scheme run blocker which will make him a good fit for the Cowboys offense. Young will provide depth on the Cowboys young talented line.

Sixth Round (217): Brandon Allen QB

I don’t look for Jerry to draft a quarterback early in the draft but at some point, it makes sense to draft one as a potential backup and perhaps develop into a starter eventually. Allen had a good performance in the Senior Bowl and possesses an arm that can make NFL type throws. Not likely Romo’s replacement but may be a good guy to have around as a 2nd or 3rd team backup.






2015 WEEK FOUR NFL RANKINGS: Colts Show Some Life


The Twist: Each week the top 12 ranked teams will consist of 6 NFC teams and 6 AFC teams since 6 from each conference will qualify for the post season therefore indicating the top 12 teams most likely to currently make the playoffs. One NFC team and one AFC team occupy the top two spots to reflect who may end up in the super bowl. At least one team from each division is represented in the top 12

TOP 12 Teams:
The Colts show life by beating the Titans and move back into the top 12 teams. It’s not that they are playing great or anything but they play in such a weak division, they are likely to win it yet again.

Peterson exploded for 126 yards making me believe the Vikings are a contender for a playoff spot. At 2-1, they land at number 12 this week.

In Miami, the Bills destroyed the Dolphins and move up to number 10 as a possible playoff team. I’m not completely sold on the Bills yet, but games like this do get my attention.

WEEK 4 Change
1. Patriots (3-0) 0
2. Packers (3-0) 0
3. Broncos (3-0) 0
4. Bengals (3-0) +1
5. Cardinals (3-0) +1
6. Falcons (3-0) +1
7. Panthers (3-0) +2
8. Steelers (2-1) 0
9. Cowboys (2-1) -5
10. Bills (2-1) +6
11. Colts (1-2) +11
12. Vikings (2-1) +3
13. Seahawks (1-2) -1
14. Jets (2-1) -4
15. Raiders (2-1) +13
16. Chiefs (1-2) -2
17. Chargers (1-2) -4
18. Giants (1-2) +11
19. Eagles (1-2) +1
20. Texans (1-2) +11
21. 49ers (1-2) -3
22. Dolphins (1-2) -5
23. Lions (0-3) 0
24. Ravens (0-3) -3
25. Redskins (1-2) -6
26. Browns (1-2) -2
27. Rams (1-2) -1
28. Jaguars (1-2) -17
29. Titans (1-2) -4
30. Bucs (1-2) -3
31. Saints (0-3) -1
32. Bears (0-3) 0

2015 WEEK THREE NFL POWER RANKINGS: Jets soar into top 12.

NFLTeamsThe Twist: Each week the top 12 ranked teams will consist of 6 NFC teams and 6 AFC teams since 6 from each conference will qualify for the post season therefore indicating the top 12 teams most likely to currently make the playoffs. One NFC team and one AFC team occupy the top two spots to reflect who may end up in the super bowl. At least one team from each division is represented in the top 12.

TOP 12 Teams:
AFC- This week the Ravens fall to 0-2 and out of the top 12 teams. They are replaced by the Steelers who scored often against the 49ers.
The Jets soar into the top 12 with a 2-0 record and believe it or not, the Jaguars move up to number 11 after defeating the Dolphins. With the Colts struggling at 0-2, I like the chances of the Jags winning that division.

In the NFC, the Seahawks fall to 0-2 so they are barely in the top 12 teams at number 12. It’s not that I think they deserve to be in the top 12 currently, but when I look at the other NFC teams not in the top 12, none stand out as deserving either.

WEEK 3 Change
1. Patriots (2-0) 0
2. Packers (2-0) 0
3. Broncos (2-0) 0
4. Cowboys (2-0) +2
5. Bengals (2-0) 0
6. Cardinals (2-0) +2
7. Falcons (2-0) +5
8. Steelers (1-1) +10
9. Panthers (2-0) +1
10. Jets (2-0) +11
11. Jaguars (1-1) +17
12. Seahawks (0-2) -8
13. Chargers (1-1) +1
14. Chiefs (1-1) -5
15. Vikings (1-1) +9
16. Bills (1-1) -3
17. Dolphins (1-1) -1
18. 49ers (1-1) -1
19. Redskins (1-1) +10
20. Eagles (0-2) -5
21. Ravens (0-2) -10
22. Colts (0-2) -15
23. Lions (0-2) -4
24. Browns (1-1) +6
25. Titans (1-1) -3
26. Rams (1-1) -6
27. Bucs (1-1) +5
28. Raiders (1-1) +3
29. Giants (0-2) -3
30. Saints (0-2) -7
31. Texans (0-2) -4
32. Bears (0-2) -7

2015 WEEK TWO NFL POWER RANKINGS: Pats and Brady back in top spot


The Twist: Each week the top 12 ranked teams will consist of 6 NFC teams and 6 AFC teams since 6 from each conference will qualify for the post season therefore indicating the top 12 teams most likely to currently make the playoffs. One NFC team and one AFC team occupy the top two spots to reflect who may end up in the super bowl. At least one team from each division is represented in the top 12.

TOP 12 Teams:

Thanks to a judge’s ruling, Brady is back and the Patriots take the top spot after taking care of the Steelers. In the AFC, the Steelers drop put of the top 12 teams and the Chiefs move into the top 12 after a convincing win over the Texans. After defeating the Eagles, the Falcons move into the top 12 and knock the Eagles out of the top 12.

Biggest Mover UP:

The Rams ,who I had ranked at the bottom, beat the Seahawks in OT and move up 12 spots to 20. While I knew they looked good on defense on paper at least, I wasn’t sure their offense would make the most of it but they were able to have success against the NFC defending champs.

Biggest Mover DOWN:

The Texans look like they should have a good defense but they are awful on offense with shaky QB play and their starting RB Foster still out with injury. They fall 9 spots down to 27, after getting man handled by the Chiefs at home. It was never even close.

WEEK 2     Change

1. Patriots (1-0) +4
2. Packers (1-0) +1
3. Broncos (1-0) -1
4. Seahawks (0-1) -3
5. Bengals (1-0) +1
6. Cowboys (1-0) +1
7. Colts (0-1) -3
8. Cardinals (1-0) +1
9. Chiefs (1-0) +5
10. Panthers (1-0) +2
11. Ravens (0-1) 0
12. Falcons (1-0) +5
13. Bills (1-0) +7
14. Chargers (1-0) +1
15. Eagles (0-1) -7
16. Dolphins (1-0) 0
17. 49ers (1-0) +2
18. Steelers (0-1) -8
19. Lions (0-1) -6
20. Rams (1-0) +12
21. Jets (1-0) +6
22. Titans (1-0) +9
23. Saints (0-1) -2
24. Vikings (0-1) -2
25. Bears (0-1) -2
26. Giants (0-1) +2
27. Texans (0-1) -9
28. Jaguars (0-1) -4
29. Redskins (0-1) 0
30. Browns (0-1) -5
31. Raiders (0-1) -5
32. Bucs (0-1) -2


NFLTeamsThe Twist: Each week the top 12 ranked teams will consist of 6 NFC teams and 6 AFC teams since 6 from each conference will qualify for the post season therefore indicating the top 12 teams most likely to currently make the playoffs. One NFC team and one AFC team occupy the top two spots to reflect who may end up in the super bowl. At least one team from each division is represented in the top 12.

Last season 8 teams I ranked in my top 12 for week one, went on to make the post season.

With Brady serving a deflategate suspension to start the season, I think it opens the door for some of the other AFC teams like the Broncos and Colts, to get to the super bowl. The Patriots will probably finish strong but I look for a slow start.

In the NFC, Seattle remains the team to beat and were one play away from winning the super bowl. The Packers were dealt a major set back when they lost wide receiver Jordy Nelson for the season. Still they are deep at the position, and I believe Rodgers will make the most of who he has available.

Dallas has big shoes to fill at running back with the departure of Murray to the Eagles. If he stays healthy, (and it’s a big if) I believe McFadden can help replace Murray. The Cowboys should have a much improved pass rush with the additions of Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory. But the defense did receive a big set back by losing Orland Scandrick for the season. The Cowboys and Eagles should battle it out to win the NFC East title.

Last season the NFC south was easily the worst division in the NFL and it’s not easy to figure who will win that division this season. Even with the loss of wide receiver Benjamin, I still favor the Panthers to come out on top because they should be very good on defense. I do look for the Falcons to be much improved and in the race to win the division.

At the bottom of the rankings, are teams with QB issues and in the NFL, that can make it difficult to win.


1. Seahawks
2. Broncos
3. Packers
4. Colts
5. Patriots
6. Bengals
7. Cowboys
8. Eagles
9. Cardinals
10. Steelers
11. Ravens
12. Panthers
13. Lions
14. Chiefs
15. Chargers
16. Dolphins
17. Falcons
18. Texans
19. 49ers
20. Bills
21. Saints
22. Vikings
23. Bears
24. Jaguars
25. Browns
26. Raiders
27. Jets
28. Giants
29. Redskins
30. Bucs
31. Titans
32. Rams

Analysis of Dallas Cowboys 2015 First Five Draft Picks

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1. CB Byron Jones 6-1, 199

Strengths: Excellent athletic ability on display at the NFL combine in vertical and broad jump. Has the quickness and size to cover top receivers in the NFL. Potential to be a shut down corner. Excellent character and team captain type, that should be very coachable and therefore develop quickly.

Weakness: Needs to become more physical when battling receivers for the ball. Could use more strength. A willing tackler but often comes  up on the short end of collisions. Not a very physical tackler and NFL backs/receivers may break the tackle. Jones could benefit from an additional 5 pounds of muscle on his wiry frame. While not great in run support, he can cover and that’s why Dallas drafted him.

How he fits: Jones could be a day one starter at corner where Dallas has had issues in the past with an often injured and disappointing Claiborne. I think Jones may be Mo’s replacement sooner than later. Jones should also be capable of covering receivers out of the slot and he has experience at safety.

Player comparison:  Broncos All Pro corner Aqib Talib who has similar size at 6-1, 205 and Talib wore #31 while a Patriot. Talib was drafted by the Bucs in the first round (20) in the 2008 draft. Talib was also a NFL combine stand out.

2. DE Randy Gregory 6-6, 245

Strengths: Outstanding quickness and good pass rushing instincts. Relentless in pursuit of the ball in run or pass. Long arms serve him well against offensive linemen.

Weakness: A little under weight for the position at 245 and the Cowboy coaches are going to want to put 20 pounds or so on him quickly. Needs to develop more pass rush moves for next level. There are the obvious off field character issues which have the potential to keep him from reaching his full potential.

How he fits: With Greg Hardy starting the season with a suspension, the Cowboys will expect help from Randy right away. A potential day one starter at DE and for sure we will see him in the rotation. Should have an immediate impact on the Cowboys pass rush struggles.

Player Comparison: Former all pro Cowboys DE Charles Hayley who was a bit undersized but had a real ability to get to the QB finishing his career with 100 sacks. He helped the Cowboys win a super bowl in 1992. Randy will wear #94 which was Haley’s number. Let’s hope he plays at that level.

3. OT Chaz Green 6-5, 300

Strengths: Good pass blocker in college, with nice feet work. Identifies and picks up blitzes well. Versatile along the line.

Weakness: Needs to develop as a run blocker. Not very physical and will need to become more physical to hang with the linemen Dallas currently has. Recently during rookie camp he struggled with the heat and with blocking as well. His technique needs work for sure. History of injuries (ankle) must be a concern too.

How he fits: With the departure of tackle Jeremy Parnell to the Jags, Green was drafted to provide depth at left and right tackle and I expect him to do just that. Not yet ready to be a starter but may eventually develop into an effective option when injuries dictate he play.

Player comparison: I’m comparing him to tackle Jeremy Parnell who was a solid backup for the Cowboys and I believe Green could develop into one as well.

4. LB Damien Wilson 6-0, 243

Strengths: Displays some instincts at the position. Good tackler and brings a hit with his tackles. Good at blitzing. Appears to have good size for the position.

Weakness: Average athletic ability and is often not particularly outstanding in his play. At times appears a step behind. Functional but not outstanding in any area.

How he fits: Appears capable of making the roster in a crowded position for Dallas. Likely providing depth at LB and seeing some action if injuries open the door. Appears to be a good blitzer and may be useful there. Stays low, finds the opening, and then adjust to the play. His ability to contribute on special teams may have a lot to do if whether or not Wilson makes the final 53 man roster.

Player comparison: LB Justin Durant who left Dallas in the off season to join the Falcons. Like Durant, Wilson should be a decent option at LB when needed.

5. DE Ryan Russell 6-4, 269

Strengths: Ideal size for the position. Good run defender and displays nice strength too. May have a lot of upside.

Weakness: Doesn’t appear to have great quickness like you would want from a DE. Looks the part of an NFL DE, but it feels like he has been a bit of an underachiever so far in his career. Just an average pass rusher (3 sacks his senior season).

How he fits: Russell should get an opportunity to contribute to the team as a backup DE. His size and run defense should be of use right away but he will need time to develop as a pass rusher at the NFL level.

Player comparison: DE Anthony Spencer played at Purdue like Russell, and was an OLB for Dallas before they switched to a 4-3 defense where he played DE. Spencer had a breakout season in 2012 with 11 sacks. Like Russell, Spencer was a better run defender than pass rusher.

Analysis and Grade for Dallas Cowboys 2015 Draft.

war roomNow that the NFL draft is complete, a look at how effective Jerry and Stephen were at taking care of some needs for the Cowboys in a pick by pick grade and a final grade. There were some surprises and definitely some solid picks, but their draft provided some questionable moves too as they often do.

Jerry Jones started off with a bang on days one and two but kind of fizzled out on day 3. More on that later.

Round 1:
CB Byron Jones
Fits a need: YES for sure.
Value– Exactly where he was ranked
In my mock draft, I had Dallas taking a CB with their first pick and they did. I didn’t think Jones was the best CB in the entire draft but he was the best one available at 27 when Dallas picked. Jones is considered a high character guy (could use some of that in Dallas) and was outstanding at the shorts and t-shirt Olympics, NFL combine. Described as a “freakish athlete”.

How he fits: I think Jones will contribute immediately in the Dallas secondary in replacing Mo Claiborne a bust pick they would like to move on from it appears. He can play safety as well but I look for him to play corner for now.

Round 2:
DE Randy Gregory
Fits a need: Yes
Value: Gregory was ranked a top 25 pick so some value here.
Jerry signed Greg Hardy in the off season to help the pass rush but he will serve a 10 game suspension to start the season. Last year Dallas invested a couple high picks in DeMarcus Lawrence who is expected to start this season. They will look to Gregory to help right away with Hardy out.

Gregory’s athletic skills and ability to get after the QB are undeniable as his off field issues are undeniable too. He and Jerry Jones have discussed it evidently, and a support system (baby sitters) will be in place to keep Gregory out of trouble so he stays on the field. So much for Jason’s “right kind of guy” approach, we need somebody to get to the darn quarterback!

Randy can potentially provide a huge boost to one of the weakest areas of the defense. One day we all look back at this pick as either the steal of the draft or a failed Jerry Jones indulgence.
GRADE: B (a slight deduction for the character stuff that makes it a risky pick for rd.2)

Round 3:
Chaz Green
Fits a need: YES
Value: Ranked as a round 5 pick so a bit of a reach here.
Parnell who backed up Free last season at right tackle, has gone to Jacksonville. Dallas drafts Green to replace Parnell and back up the right tackle position but it appears Green is versatile enough to back up the entire offensive line which makes this an insurance pick for the team.

I don’t hate this pick as Green seems like a solid player but I do think there were some very talented prospects on the board at the time who could fill more pressing needs than a backup lineman who they could have likely picked later than round 3 any way. This kind of pick frustrates me a bit with Jerry and Stephen.
GRADE: C (a reach and good talent remained on the board at DT, RB and WR)

Round 4:
LB Damien Wilson
Fits a need: Perhaps
Value: Projected as a round 6 pick so a bit of a reach here.
Bruce Carter left Dallas for Tampa so there is an opening at LB however the Cowboys had 12 LBs on the roster entering the draft. Sean Lee is expected to return after injury and Dallas found a good LB last year in Hitchens and actually a great one in McClane.

Wilson looks like a LB that covers the passing lanes well and could develop into a solid backup LB but no one should expect him to be a starter real soon. It’s another pick that may have been better used to address other needs.
GRADE: C (bit of a reach for a depth player)

Round 5:
DE Ryan Russell
Fits a need: No
Value: Picked about where ranked
At this point someone should have checked the Cowboys’ war room to make sure the old man (Jerry) hadn’t fallen asleep at the wheel. Were Stephen and Jason even in the room?

DE was addressed earlier when they waited for the highly ranked Randy Gregory so this pick becomes a head scratcher and indicates a point in the draft where the Cowboys seemed to lose draft momentum.

Russell ran a nice 40 time of 4.75 but production wise, only had 8.5 sacks at Purdue in three seasons. He is described as raw and a bit of a project at DE. An athletic looking prospect with potential but not a lot of production. Other needs should have been addressed here since Dallas didn’t have a pick in the following round.
GRADE: D (a project player that will struggle to make the roster)

Round 7 first pick:
LB Mark Nzeocha
Fits a need: No unless stocking practice squad a priority
Value: Not easy to reach in the 7th round but Jerry managed to do it. A likely FA.
Mark was a pretty good player on his club team in Germany (Franken Knights) so he will do well to make the Cowboys practice squad. Not sure why Jerry felt the team needed yet another LB but at this point what the heck, can’t have too many evidently.

Fact is at the time, there were several good value picks who should have gone earlier in the draft, so why grab a guy who would go undrafted? Don’t get it.

Round 7 second pick:
OT Laurence Gibson
Fits a need: Perhaps
Value: Right about where ranked and maybe a little value here.
Gibson put up some impressive numbers at the combine and while Dallas already drafted an OT in round 3, I get the impression they felt they couldn’t pass on Gibson in the 7th. I’m not sure that Gibson becomes anything other than a backup lineman but he has enough skills making him worth a pick in the 7th. Described as “inconsistent” in college play but very athletic.

Round 7 third pick -from 49ers:
TE Geoff Swaim
Fits a need: No
Value: CBS Sports had Geoff ranked #726 while “Mr. Irrelevant” is #256. Sums it up I guess.
Another draft pick wasted on a player who was not going to get drafted and Jerry cut a deal with the 49ers to make sure of it. Last chance to actually attempt to fill a need but not accomplished. Don’t ask me what they were thinking here?

Entering the draft, most fans and experts realized the Cowboys needed another RB in the mix with the departure of their top RB DeMarco Murray. Jerry signed Darren McFadden but no one knows how that will work out for them in 2015. Not drafting a RB was a miss and this draft was well stocked with some good ones worth giving a look.

Also the DT position is in need of some serious upgrade particularly at the 1 tech where Hayden has gotten them by. Several good matches at DT were passed up during the draft and I’m not even counting Malcom Brown in the first.

The secondary was a glaring weakness last season and while they added Jones to help, they failed to pick up a ball hawk safety. Some may point out that Jones can also play safety, that may be true but he can’t play both corner and safety at the same time. Safety is another miss in the draft.

This draft had some nice splashes at the top with a solid pick in Jones at CB in round one and a surprise pick up in a very talented DE Randy Gregory however it ran out of steam and finished with a rather, “content with who we have” vibe that failed to address some critical areas of need.