Dallas Cowboys
Ezekiel Elliot was drafted with the 4th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft (James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys)

The Dallas Cowboys won the NFC East in 2016 after the drafting of Ezekiel Elliot and Dak Prescott. This past year, Dallas was hit with the suspension cheese on Zeke which derailed their playoff chances. Now heading into this upcoming season, the Cowboys don’t have a lot of holes to fill with a lot of draft picks to work with. With Jerry Jones still leading the charge with the puppet Jason Garrett coaching the team, what can we expect from the Dallas Cowboys in the 2018 NFL Draft?

Holding the 19th pick in the draft, I would expect Dallas to target defense. The offensive line is solid, running back is an obvious check, and taking a receiver in the first round is dumb. Therefore, Dallas really has to go defense here. I’m not sure if Derwin James will be on the board at this point but I think he would be a target. Safety is really the only hole on the defense, especially when you consider that they drafted Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdon Lewis in 2017. Xavier Woods is a nice developmental safety but they really need an upgrade here. James is a do it all safety and a real athletic freak that can cover ground. With Byron Jones on one side, James can really be the prototypical safety to pair with this young secondary.

In the second round, Dallas needs to target another defensive end. Taco Charlton started the season slow and he really hasn’t proven he is worth a first-round selection. DeMarcus Lawrence is on a franchise tag in 2018 and Dallas may not opt to pay him after this upcoming season. Arden Key has the look and feel of a Cowboy. Key broke the LSU single-season sack record two years ago but had a sketchy 2017 season. Injuries and weird off the field issues will cause this giant talent to slide in the draft. Jerry Jones took a big swing and miss on Randy Gregory. I expect him to do the same with another red flag pass rusher. If there’s anyone that can get the most out of Key, it’s Rod Marinelli who is the ultimate lion tamer when working with defensive linemen.

That’s Some Cheese – Episode 16 – 3.23.18

The third round could be a spot where they look for a replacement for Jason Witten. I have no idea how Witten seperates at this point. You can argue that Witten can’t even run a 5 flat 40 time anymore. Maybe Rico Gathers is that guy but Jordan Aikens of UCF may be too tempting to pass on. Aikens could be a real H-Back for Dallas and a real threat as a receiver. Aikens had a really impressive Senior Bowl that also boosted his stock.