The word of any draft weekend is value. That's what it came down to on Thursday night when the Cowboys went for Travis Frederick, getting a center in the first round, coupled with a third-round pick that turned into Terrance Williams.
As it turned out, Frederick and Williams probably gave the Cowboys much better value than sitting at No. 18 and taking Sharrif Floyd or Eric Reid or anyone else in that range.
But with entire NFL Draft now complete, as I scan through the seven selections, one name keeps standing out, head and shoulders above the rest on the value meter.
That would be Oklahoma State's Joseph Randle, the fifth-round running back.
The Cowboys had a third-round grade on Randle, who was a consideration to take Friday night, although they opted for safety J.J. Wilcox. Then in the fourth, the OSU tailback was again in the discussions but the Cowboys went with cornerback B.W. Webb.
But in the fifth, with Randle still on the board, the Cowboys didn't pass him up this time, getting the 6-0, 202-pound runner. Personally, I think it's the best pick of the entire draft.
Again, it's all about the value – who you get and what you have to give up.
And in this case, getting a player who will step right in and back up DeMarco Murray and probably won't be much of a drop-off is quite the steal for the 151st overall selection.
What I like the most about this pick is that Randle and Murray have similar running styles. This isn't really a change-of-pace back. There's no "Thunder & Lightning" here. And that's a good thing. Because if, or when, Murray gets hurt and has to miss some time, the Cowboys can turn to Randle, a player who has carried the load for his OSU Cowboys the last two years.
And he's not just running the ball, he's scoring touchdowns. Randle found the end zone 40 times in the past two years, including 24 during the 2011 season alone. I think everyone by now realizes the Cowboys have scored just 13 rushing touchdowns in the past two seasons and your quarterback has two of them. [embedded_ad]
With Felix Jones moving on in free agency and not expected to re-sign, the Cowboys had a need at running back and Randle certainly fills it.
The Cowboys had to make sure they got a starting-caliber player with Murray's injury history and Randle should fill that as well.
And they need a player who has a strong nose for the end zone, and the stats certainly support Randle's ability to do that.
So without a doubt, Randle fits what the Cowboys are looking for, in more ways than one. To get all that with a fifth-round pick … now that's some value.