Re-Drafting the Dallas Cowboys' 2013 Draft
A year removed, it's hard not to wonder what could have been.
The Cowboys entered the draft looking to shore up their offensive line and get some impact players. They were able to do that by adding Travis Frederick and Terrance Williams, but they missed on plenty of opportunities to make the team significantly better.
Let's take a look at what Dallas' draft class could have been.
* All stats in this article are courtesy Pro Football Focus (subscription required) unless otherwise indicated.
Round 1, 31st Overall
Original Pick: Travis Frederick, Center, Wisconsin
Re-Draft Pick: Kiko Alonso, Inside Linebacker, Oregon
The selection of Kiko Alonso is no knock on Travis Frederick, who anchored the offensive line for the Cowboys and looks to be a franchise-caliber player. Instead, this is about supplementing an oft-injured linebacker group that lacked solid play from everyone besides Sean Lee.
Jerry Jones has already said that the Cowboys would have drafted Bobby Wagner in 2012 had they not traded up for Morris Claiborne. Therefore, you have to believe that if they knew just how good Alonso would be, they would have selected him without hesitation.
According to Pro Football Focus, Alonso graded as the 10th overall inside linebacker and second overall amongst inside linebackers in coverage.
In this scenario, Lee would be moved to the “Sam” outside linebacker spot and Alonso would play inside. This would allow Lee the freedom to make more tackles and Alonso the opportunity to make plays in the Tampa 2 defense.
Round 2, 47th Overall
Original Pick: Gavin Escobar, Tight End, San Diego State
Re-Draft Pick: Larry Warford, Offensive Guard, Kentucky
The Cowboys desperately need offensive line help in this situation, and Warford was a prospect that projected as a potentially elite right guard. Warford is a mauler that has solid size and great technique. In 2013, he never allowed a sack and only allowed 10 quarterback hurries, despite playing 75 percent of his team’s snaps.
While many fans were clamoring for the Cowboys to address a more serious need in the second round, they selected Gavin Escobar. Despite Escobar’s ability to catch the ball, he only saw 206 total offensive snaps and 15 targets in his rookie campaign.
Warford would have had an immediate impact on this club and would have provided them a young offensive line with elite talent.
Round 3, 74th Overall
Original Pick: Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor
Re-Draft Pick: Same
Terrance Williams was an absolute Godsend for this team with oft-injured Miles Austin missing quite a bit of time. Williams was originally drafted to be a third receiver but saw plenty of action throughout the season.
Once Williams got comfortable on the NFL scene, he became very productive. He concluded his season catching 61 percent of his targets for 736 yards, five touchdowns and an impressive 16.7 yards per reception.
The future is bright with Williams, who will get all the opportunity in the world to contribute in 2014 as a starter opposite Dez Bryant.
Round 3, 80th Overall
Original Pick: J.J. Wilcox, Free Safety, Georgia Southern
Re-Draft Pick: Same
Perhaps I’m being a little optimistic here, but I still believe that Wilcox will be a strong player for the Cowboys. Despite missing some time due to the loss of his mother and injuries, Wilcox showed something when given the opportunity.
When you watched tape of Wilcox in college, you saw a player who had a knack for being around the ball. He has good range, hands and the ability to make plays at the line of scrimmage. He was a project that had all the desired physical attributes.
The hope is that Wilcox can continue to develop. He finished the season with 22 tackles and had quite a few potential interceptions called back due to penalties.
I’m willing to be patient with him because I think he’ll pay of off in the end.
Round 4, 114th Overall
Original Pick: B.W. Webb, Cornerback, William & Mary
Re-Draft Pick: Devin Taylor, Defensive End, South Carolina
Webb made sense for the Cowboys due to the fact that he was a physical corner who wasn’t afraid to play the run—an attribute needed for the Tampa 2 scheme. What the team didn’t seem to account for was its lack of pass-rushing depth.
Taylor would be a great addition to Dallas. He doesn’t do anything specifically well, but he has great size and a high motor, which would allow him to flourish as an edge-rusher under Rod Marinelli.
As a rookie, Taylor recorded two sacks, four quarterback hits and 15 quarterback hurries in limited play. Drafting him in the fourth allows you to take a chance on him developing into a dynamic 4-3 end.
Round 5, 151st Overall
Original Pick: Joseph Randle, Running Back, Oklahoma State
Re-Draft Pick: Zac Stacy, Running Back, Vanderbilt
The Cowboys were hoping to find their running back of the future with this pick. Unfortunately, in limited work Randle seemed to struggle to find any holes in the defense and lacked any real consistency.
Zac Stacy would come into Dallas as a spell back who could specialize around the goal line. He has decent speed and power and can be a viable weapon as a receiver out of the backfield.
Stacy finished 2013 with 973 yards and seven touchdowns.
Round 6, 185th Overall
Original Pick: DeVonte Holloman, Outside Linebacker, South Carolina
Re-Draft Pick: Same
There is a small sample size on Holloman, but he’s a pretty solid depth linebacker from what we've seen. One thing to really like about him is how he fits into this scheme. He’s an athletic, playmaking linebacker who is solid in coverage and pursuit.
It seems unlikely that Holloman is going to develop into an everyday starter, but he has solid value as a plug-and-play depth player and special teamer. In the sixth round, you’re just looking for a guy who can contribute, and that’s what you get with Holloman.