The Cowboys were quiet in NFL free agency thanks to limited money under the salary cap. They have the volume of picks to make a lot more noise in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Dallas is sitting on 10 total draft selections as they try to rebound from a 9-7 season that kept them short of a return to the NFC playoffs. Although they are not too desperate at any one position, the Cowboys need to keep getting a jump on the eventual changes tied to age and expiring contracts.
We take a deep dive into what Jerry Jones and Dallas will and should be thinking come NFL Draft weekend.
Wide receiver: Dez Bryant, who turns 30 in November and has seen his play fade, was cut. Terrance Williams, a shaky No. 2, anyway, turns 39 in September and is coming off a broken right foot. With Cole Beasley, Ryan Switzer and newcomer Allen Hurns, the Cowboys have plenty of options in the slot, so the focus should be on a big-target replacement for Bryant and a big-play upgrade from Williams on the outside.
Tight end: Jason Witten turns 36 in May, and 2018 probably will be last NFL season for the future Hall of Famer. Whether Witten hangs it up after this year or next, it’s high time to line up a replacement receiving threat. Gavin Escobar didn’t quite work out five years ago.
I don’t see Gettleman trading down unless he gets a Jared Goff- or Carson Wentz-type offer of multiple high draft picks, including several first-round choices over a couple years, from a quarterback-starved team. And even then, Gettleman would not want to move out of the top 10 since that’s about how many blue chip players (i.e. likely Pro Bowlers) are in any draft. He never traded his first-round picks as Panthers GM, and I don’t think he’ll change his M.O. this year.
I see Gettleman taking the highest-rated player on his draft board regardless of position, and he likely will have Barkley and Chubb graded higher than the QBs in this class. He might even have a few other players such as guard Quenton Nelson rated above the QBs.
I also feel Gettleman will pass on the quarterbacks because he believes Eli Manning can still be effective with the right supporting cast and that, at age 37, the QB can play Cheap Paintball Jerseys several more years, a la his brother Peyton. Gettleman also remembers the great years of Eli; he was a Giants player personnel man when Manning was drafted and when the QB led them to Super Bowl titles Cheap Official Jerseys in 2007 and ’11. Gettleman also realizes Manning was a playoff quarterback just two years ago.