2016 Dallas Cowboys NFL Draft Recap; Missed Out on Paxton Lynch

Let’s take a look at this year’s 2016 Dallas Cowboys NFL Draft Recap.


Jerry Jones loves to make a splash whenever he can and in the first round of the NFL draft Thursday night, he did not disappoint. After two huge trades leading up to the draft, the writing was on the wall for who the top two picks would be. After that, it was anyone’s guess who the San Diego Chargers and the Dallas Cowboys would take third and fourth, respectively.

2016 Dallas Cowboys NFL Draft Recap

Widely expected to take Jalen Ramsey, the Chargers now had supposed number 1 overall pick Laremy Tunsil fall into their lap at 3 after quarterbacks Jared Goff and Carson Wentz were taken off the board. In a bit of a surprise, they went with Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa.

Bosa had long been connected to the Cowboys, but with him off the board it set the stage for the war room in Dallas to decide between the two players they had long been debating between, defensive back Jalen Ramsey and running back Ezekiel Elliot.

Ultimately, they went with Elliot, making him the highest drafted running back since Trent Richardson went number 3 overall to the Browns in 2012. Part of the reason the running back position has been so devalued recently is how poorly Richardson paid off as an investment for Cleveland. However, Elliot is a different breed. He is not another Trent Richardson. In fact, he has been considered by some to be the best running back prospects since Adrian Peterson. The Minnesota Vikings took him in the first round and that turned out pretty well for them.

With Zeke filling the running back position of the current version of the “triplets” that Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin were dubbed as in the 90’s, the focus was shifted to the defensive side of the ball. After some surprises in the first round, several players with first round grades such as Myles Jack and Noah Spence were still available. The Cowboys attempted to trade with the Cleveland Browns to move up two spots to pick 32, so they could get Emmanuel Ogbah out of Oklahoma State, who was one of the best pass rushing prospects in the draft.

The trade fell through and the Browns ended up selecting Ogbah and set the stage for the boys to take Myles Jack from UCLA. In a shock, Dallas selected one of the most talented players in the draft LB Jaylon Smith out of Notre Dame. Undoubtedly a top 10 pick, Smith tore his ACL and MCL in a Fiesta Bowl loss to Ohio State, drastically dropping his draft stock. The jury is still out on if or when he will fully recover, but he is considered unlikely to play at all this season.

One thing the Cowboys have on their side is that their team doctor, Dan Cooper, performed Smith’s surgery. With that being said, they have a better estimate of his rehab timetable than anyone. Clearly Dr. Cooper must’ve liked what he saw if he was willing to confidently endorse the Cowboys using their second pick on the linebacker. There’s no doubting his talent and if he does fully recover, this will be considered a draft steal.

(2016 Dallas Cowboys NFL Draft Recap)

Later Rounds

2016 Dallas Cowboys NFL Draft Recap

2016 Dallas Cowboys NFL Draft Recap

The other big question facing the Cowboys was if and when they would select a quarterback. With Tony Romo entering the season at age 36 and coming off multiple clavicle fractures, the Cowboys were forced to address the position for the future. They attempted a big trade back into the latter part of the first round in an attempt to select Paxton Lynch, but the Denver Broncos were able to accomplish that feat to select the quarterback out of Memphis.

Going into the 4th round, Connor Cook of Michigan State was still available and a target for Dallas. However, the Oakland Raiders traded up just ahead of the Cowboys to select Cook, so they had to explore a different route. With their first pick of the 4th round, they chose to address another need by selecting defensive end Charles Tapper out of Oklahoma.

After that, they used their other 4th round selection on quarterback Dak Prescott from Mississippi State. Prescott is just the kind of prospect to take in this situation. He has so much raw talent, but is far from being a refined quarterback who can perform at a consistently high level in the NFL. Being able to sit and learn behind Tony Romo for a few years should do wonders for his development.

Zeke and Smith were the biggest buzz picks by the boys, but they finished with a solid overall draft haul. They addressed needs and set themselves up to have one of the most explosive offenses in football and a defense that should be improved from a season ago. Their other picks were DT Maliek Collins of Nebraska, CB Anthony Brown of Purdue, Kavon Frazier of Central Michigan, RB Darius Jackson of Eastern Michigan, and TE Rico Gathers of Baylor.

Gathers is the other buzz pick as he was a standout at Baylor for basketball, but hasn’t played football in years. With great size and athleticism, it’s no wonder why the Cowboys took a flier on him at the end of the draft. They worked him out and were enamored with his abilities. He will attempt to make the team as a tight end.

With the success of fellow basketball players turned tight end Antonio Gates, Jimmy Graham, and Julius Thomas, it’s not too far fetched to think this kid could have a successful NFL career, as well.

(2016 Dallas Cowboys NFL Draft Recap)

(2016 Dallas Cowboys NFL Draft Recap)