Dallas Cowboys

Initial Post-Draft Depth Chart for Dallas Cowboys

Jonathan BalesAnalyst IMay 11, 2014

Initial Post-Draft Depth Chart for Dallas Cowboys

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    Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

    The Dallas Cowboys started the 2014 NFL draft with 11 picks, but it’s very possible that the top of their draft chart won’t change very much. In Notre Dame offensive tackle Zack Martin and Boise State defensive end Demarcus Lawrence, the Cowboys landed two players in the first couple rounds who might—or might not—begin the season in the starting lineup.

    The Cowboys lost a decent shot at nabbing another potential starter when they traded away their third-round pick to move up to grab Lawrence. Still, most of the nine players the Cowboys drafted will play some role in 2014. It’s unlikely that the team will have enough room to retain all nine players.

    With that said, let’s project the Cowboys’ depth chart in 2014.

Skill Positions

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    • QB

    1. Tony Romo

    2. Kyle Orton

    3. Brandon Weeden

     

    • RB

    1. DeMarco Murray

    2. Lance Dunbar

    3. Joseph Randle

     

    • WR

    1. Dez Bryant

    2. Terrance Williams

    3. Cole Beasley

    4. Dwayne Harris

    5. Devin Street

     

    • TE

    1. Jason Witten

    2. Gavin Escobar

    3. James Hanna

     

    Analysis

    The Cowboys really did a poor job of addressing two positions that could become needs in the near future in running back and wide receiver. The team opted to forgo drafting a running back—hopefully that doesn’t mean they’re planning to re-sign Murray—and they waited until the fifth round to draft a receiver.

    The wide receiver they drafted was Pittsburgh’s Devin Street. Scouts seemed to rave about Street’s size, but at 6’3”, 198 pounds, he’s extremely thin. With weight as important as it is for wide receivers, Street could have a problem in that area.

    Although he was a fifth-round pick, you’d still like to see a wide receiver who dominated in college. Street never had 1,000 yards in a single season. He had a lot of chances, too, since he played four years at Pitt and is currently 23 years old.

    At that age, he was playing against younger competition. You can say “no fifth-round pick dominates in college,” but 1) that’s not true and 2) if that’s the case, he better be young (which could help explain the lack of elite numbers).

    A better pick might have been Nebraska’s Quincy Enunwa, who went to the New York Jets much later. Enunwa didn’t dominate in terms of bulk stats, either, but he had a higher percentage of his team’s receiving numbers, he’s just 21 years old, he’s faster and he weighs over 220 pounds.

Offensive Line

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    1. LT Tyron Smith

    1. LG Ronald Leary

    1. C Travis Frederick

    1. RG Zack Martin

    1. RT Doug Free

    2. G Mackenzy Bernadeau

    2. T Darrion Weems

     

    Analysis

    I’m projecting the Cowboys’ first-round pick in Notre Dame’s Zack Martin to start at right guard for Dallas, taking over for Bernadeau. One of the reasons the Cowboys liked Martin is because they think he has position flexibility. There’s a chance that he’ll take over at right tackle for Free, but an even better one is that the ‘Boys will ease him in at right guard first.

    The question for Martin is if he can really play offensive tackle. Let’s not forget he has just 32.9-inch arms. If he struggles outside, which I think might be the case, then it doesn’t seem like the Cowboys got great value on a mid-first-round pick who could be a career interior lineman.

Defensive Line

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    • DE

    1. Demarcus Lawrence

    1. George Selvie

    2. Anthony Spencer

    2. Tyrone Crawford

     

    • DT

    1. Henry Melton

    1. Tyrone Crawford

    2. Terrell McClain

    2. Nick Hayden

    3. Ken Bishop

     

    Analysis

    The Cowboys’ defensive line depth chart will really depend on where Crawford plays. Since the team traded up to draft Lawrence, it seems most likely that Crawford will play inside, which is where I think he’ll excel. That also helps the Cowboys the most given their current personnel. In Crawford, the Cowboys have a really underrated interior pass-rushing threat next to Henry Melton.

    On the outside, we can’t really project Anthony Spencer as a starter until we see him healthy. Even if he returns in training camp, there’s a decent chance that Lawrence will beat him out for a starting job. You could potentially place Spencer in the starting lineup ahead of George Selvie.

    The Cowboys also drafted a defensive end in the seventh round in Stanford’s Ben Gardner, although I don’t think he’ll make the team. His arms are 30.75 inches—unimaginably short for his 6’4” height.

    Seventh-round defensive tackle Ken Bishop (Texas Tech) will also be competing for a spot. His arms are sub-33 inches, and he had 3.5 career sacks.

Linebacker

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    1. LB Sean Lee

    1. LB Bruce Carter

    1. LB DeVonte Holloman

    2. Kyle Wilber

    2. Anthony Hitchens

    2. Martez Wilson

    3. Will Smith

     

    Two of the Cowboys’ three starting linebacker spots are pretty much set in stone. Holloman will battle with (maybe) Wilber for the other starting job, with fourth-rounder Anthony Hitchens out of Iowa perhaps also in the mix.

    In Hitchens, the Cowboys will get a player who was very productive in the Big Ten the past two seasons, racking up 236 tackles during that time. Meanwhile, seventh-round linebacker Will Smith had four sacks and 120 tackles in 2013. He’s probably going to need to work as the “Will” linebacker.

Secondary

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    • CB

    1. Brandon Carr

    1. Orlando Scandrick

    2. Morris Claiborne

    2. Sterling Moore

    3. B.W. Webb

     

    • S

    1. Barry Church

    1. J.J. Wilcox

    2. Matt Johnson

    2. Ahmad Dixon

     

    Analysis

    The Cowboys drafted a cornerback in the seventh round in Terrance Mitchell, but I don’t think he’ll make the team. He’s undersized at 5’11”, 192 pounds, but he also has poor speed (4.63). Even if you’re looking at him as a potential safety, Mitchell doesn’t impress. Webb disappointed in his rookie year, but at least he has speed.

    At the safety position, I think the odd man out will be Jeff Heath. His spot could be eaten up by rookie Ahmad Dixon (Baylor).

     

    Player information is courtesy of NFL.com's results tracker for the combine and draft.

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