FRISCO, Texas –Another draft is in the books.
Armed with 10 draft picks at the start of this weekend, the Cowboys used nine of them – and acquired two veteran players, on top of that.
The vast majority of that activity came on a busy Saturday afternoon, when the Cowboys used their final six picks – four of them on offense and two of them on defense. They also traded a sixth-round draft pick to the Los Angeles Rams for veteran receiver Tavon Austin, and they shipped Ryan Switzer to Oakland in exchange for defensive tackle Jihad Ward.
With the dust still settling on the final day, the staff of DallasCowboys.com set out to give their initial reaction on this year's draft class:
Rob Phillips:Sometimes staying put is the best course. On Day 2, the Cowboys had cursory discussions about taking wide receiver Michael Gallup at No. 50. They didn't and got him in the third round 31 picks later. Saturday, their first pick in the fourth round – Kansas defensive end Dorance Armstrong – was a guy they thought about trading up for Friday night late in the third round. They stayed put again and ended up drafting Armstrong, a talented edge rusher who posted 10 sacks two years ago, later than expected. With the extra fourth-rounder they didn't have to give up for Armstrong, the Cowboys selected versatile Stanford tight end Dalton Schultz, who can help replace some of the dirty work James Hanna did for the last several years.
Nick Eatman: My favorite move of the day was obviously the trade for Tavon Austin. Honestly, I like it for a couple of reasons. Those who have heard this once, they've heard it 500 times, but I've openly asked for more speed from the receiver position. Austin can give them that and a little more. He's a unique player with a skill-set that can be productive when put in the right position. I also like this move because I'm a fan of trading for veterans for low-round picks. Yes, I see the value of picks but when you have three in the sixth round, you should do something like this. Two years ago, they used a sixth on a basketball player who hadn't played football since junior high. This time, they're getting a proven player who probably just needs a fresh start. The jet-sweep is now back in the picture, plus a more dynamic punt returner. I think Ryan Switzer is a good, young player but to me, this is an upgrade.
David Helman:I'm going to cheat and say that it's not just one move that I loved, but several. Last year, we saw the Cowboys completely revamp their secondary by selecting four defensive backs in the draft. This year, they did the same thing on offense by drafting two wide receivers and trading for another. Drafted 81st overall, Michael Gallup might be good enough to compete for a starting job. Tavon Austin can fill an important role as both a receiver and a running back. Cedrick Wilson isn't a lock to make the roster, but he's certainly going to make a push when training camp starts. The Cowboys' plan is obvious – they said they wanted to foster competition at wide receiver, and they are definitely doing that. Allen Hurns signed a $12 million contract, and Gallup was a top 100 pick – those two have some job security. Everybody else had better bring their best effort, because this is clearly a team that's trying to improve its receiver corps.
Bryan Broaddus:In every draft there are certain players you want your club to select -- Mike White was that guy for me. There was just something about the way he carried himself on the field. I saw a leader. A guy that stood in the middle of the field, and, no matter what was going on around him, he kept his eyes down the field. I saw him take hits and get right back up and deliver again and again. I saw a guy that played with poise and determination who had the ability to make all the throws. On tape, Mike White was what I wanted my quarterback to be. When it came to the other top quarterbacks in the draft, I didn't feel that his level of play was all that much different. For a position that is one of the most important on the squad, this guy gets it and for that reason I am glad they selected him.