FRISCO, Texas – So that’s a wrap on the final day of the NFL Draft. The Cowboys added six players – two more than expected – to finish with eight total picks.
On Saturday, the Cowboys were busy, drafting Memphis RB Tony Pollard, Miami’s defensive duo of Mike Jackson and Joe Jackson, followed by Ohio State running back Mike Weber, Texas A&M safety Donovan Wilson and Oregon defensive end Jalen Jenks.
So who was the best pick? Which one gives the team more value? And for the writers, who was their favorite pick of the day.
Nick Eatman: I know which guy the Cowboys’ front office would pick if they had a part in this story. It would be Memphis’ Tony Pollard, but I can argue that point with them as well, especially if he’s going to get “30 snaps a game” as Stephen Jones projected after the draft. Also, Jones playfully compared him to the Saints’ Alvin Kamara, which could be a stretch. But in terms of a dynamic player in space who has speed and size and can share the load with a featured back, that’s what the Cowboys are looking for in Pollard. I do like a guy who can play on all of the special teams, including returning kicks. My only hesitation here is that we’ve heard this before in Tavon Austin and he wasn’t used that often. If they use Pollard more, then I really like this pick.
Mickey Spagnola: Not sure how intriguing a seventh-round pick can be, but seventh-round running back Mike Weber of Ohio State definitely intrigues me. The Cowboys need candidates to back up Ezekiel Elliott, and this guy seems to have those traits. He’s 5-10, 214, and in his red-shirt freshman year rushed for 1,096 yards and caught another 23 passes to win Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Now he’s been a backup mostly these past two years, but that is what the Cowboys are looking for. One draft analyst had him projected to go in the fourth round, and while his negative is he isn’t “flashy,” his positive that caught my eye is able to break tackles and that he may prove to be a better pro player than he was in college. Bring him on.
Rob Phillips: The Cowboys had a much higher grade on Ohio State running back Mike Weber than his seventh-round position, so that selection embodied their philosophy of avoiding need-based picks. They’d already invested a fourth-rounder in versatile Memphis back Tony Pollard, and while Weber is perhaps a more traditional between-the-tackles runner, he’s a Cowboy because he presented excellent value just 36 picks before the end of the draft. Yes, he played for a big-time program, but any back who averages 6 yards a carry over his entire college career has my attention.
Bryan Broaddus: I really like with what the Cowboys did with Jalen Jelks out of Oregon. This guy has some versatility in the way he plays. I have seen him line up at both end spots and even reduce inside to rush as a defensive tackle. He might be a bit of an undersized guy weight wise but he plays with some snap in his body which gives blockers problems. He is not limited tools wise and working with both Rod Marinelli and Leon Lett will improve his game not to mention also learning from a couple of veteran pass rushers in DeMarcus Lawrence and Robert Quinn. Watching those two attack offensive tackles on a daily should benefit him as well.
David Helman: Maybe I’m giving Kris Richard too much credit, but it’s too easy to get excited by the parallels here. Picking in the fifth round on Saturday afternoon, the Cowboys grabbed a tall, long, developmental corner by the name of Michael Jackson. The Miami cornerback tallied 42 tackles and six pass deflections in 2018. More intriguing than that is his makeup. Jackson stands 6’1, 210 pounds with 32.5-inch arms. The similarities aren’t exact, but considering Richard’s history, it’s hard not to think about Richard Sherman. The Seahawks popularized the concept of the tall, rangy corner largely thanks to Sherman, and Jackson seems to fit that build. It seems unlikely that Jackson will contribute from Day 1, but it sure is intriguing to think about Richard molding him into a future difference-maker in this secondary.
Lindsay Draper:The primary reason drafting a running back intrigues me, is because Kellen Moore is your new offensive coordinator, and none of us have any idea how he plans to run things. Adding Memphis’ Tony Pollard to the mix intrigues me, because they had both he and Mike Weber in for a pre-draft visit. Pollard is more of a satellite player, and it seems he can be utilized in a number of ways: will he be more of a third down back? Will he come in for those one-two plays to share the load with Ezekiel Elliott? Either way, this group likes him, and has plans to use –really use him – under the direction of a new OC.