5 Players Dallas Cowboys Should Target on Day 2 of the NFL Draft
The Dallas Cowboys got their wow factor in the first round of this NFL draft. Fans and analysts alike were both shocked and displeased the 'Boys for taking center Travis Frederick with the 31st overall pick.
The argument could be made for Dallas taking a center in the draft this year after an injury-ridden and mediocre year from Phil Costa, just not in the first round.
The Cowboys will have three picks in Day 2 of the draft to try and make up for their first-round folly. Here are five names that Dallas should look at in Rounds 2 and 3.
SS Jonathan Cyprien, Florida International
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Sitting with the 31st pick in the first round of the draft, the Cowboys could've easily (and should've) taken Jonathan Cyrprien. It's obviously unknown if the former FIU safety will be on the board at pick No. 47 for Dallas in the second round, but it should try to find a way to get him.
Cyprien is the last of the top-tier safeties available in this draft with Kenny Vaccaro, Matt Elam and Eric Reid all going in the first round. Outside of the offensive line, safety is the highest need on the Cowboys' list this draft and Cyprien is their last chance to address it with a premier talent.
The former Panther showed the ability to cover and snatch the ball for interceptions in college. He also developed a reputation as a ferocious hitter. Cyprien is kind of a throwback at the position in that he can help in coverage or make a receiver wish he never caught the football.
Cowboys fans, think of him as Roy Williams but with coverage skills. Jerry Jones' war room needs to find a way to get this guy.
RB Montee Ball, Wisconsin
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Montee Ball isn't going to ever be the superstar rusher he was at Wisconsin in the NFL, but he'd fill a definite need for Dallas.
The Cowboys let 2008 first-round bust Felix Jones walk this offseason and now find themselves looking for a backup for DeMarco Murray. The Dallas starting running back has had a history of injury issues in his first two years, which makes this a considerable need.
Ball is a back that can offer a solid change of pace to Murray's running style and can step up if the starter gets injured. The former Badger has a great "north-south" style of running and knows how to get through and around defenders.
Murray could get a rest on short-yardage situations with Ball in the fold. At the same time, Dallas would have a respectable insurance policy in case Murray ever misses significant time.
DE Cornelius Washington, Georgia
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Both ESPN analysts Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr.'s final mock drafts had the Cowboys addressing defensive line in the first round. The team chose not to do so, but likely will sometime early this draft.
Cornelius Washington would be a fine way to upgrade the defensive line given his size at 6'4", 265 pounds and overall talent. The former bulldog has a quick first step and keeps his feet moving towards the quarterback. One reason he has success in this area is due to a fine swim move.
With the 4-3 defense being put into place, DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer will start ahead of Washington at defensive end. Still, having Washington to spell Ware or Spencer and play a rotational role would be a nice added dynamic.
Spencer was also franchise tagged for the second year in a row this past offseason. Washington would serve as an insurance policy in the event Spencer left Dallas next year.
DT Jesse Williams, Alabama
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Another way the Cowboys might address their defensive line woes is by giving tackle Jay Ratliff a partner on the inside. The Hulk-like strength of Alabama product Jesse Williams would likely be welcomed with open arms by the former Pro Bowler.
Williams has been known to lift over 600 pounds in the weight room and knows how to push even the biggest offensive linemen back into their quarterback. Another great thing about Williams is his versatility.
The Nick Saban-coached lineman played defensive end his junior year at Alabama before moving to nose tackle in his senior season. With Dallas restructuring its defense as a whole, something like versatility is welcomed.
If the Cowboys want Williams, it'll likely cost them their second-round pick, but it would be a wise one if they chose to spend it on him.
OT Menelik Watson, Florida State
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If Dallas wants to continue to rebuild its offensive line on Day 2 of the draft, Menelik Watson is someone the team should look at.
The former Seminole would be an incredible help to protecting Tony Romo with his impressive initial punch out of his stance. Watson knows how to make defenders pay for trying to get to his quarterback right from the start of the play.
At 6'5", 310 pounds, Watson has that size Dallas loves for its linemen and he has long arms to boot. He knows how to use his arms to keep defenders at bay and has quick feet to keep up with them. Watson would be an instant upgrade over current starter Doug Free at the position.