At Bleacher Report, I published a round-by-round “big board” with a few prospects who might interest Dallas in each round. I posted a couple of those prospects below.
There’s an obvious emphasis on acquiring players who will help in the passing game, on either side of the ball. According to the 2014 Super Bowl odds at TopBet Sportsbook, the Broncos are now 2.5-point favorites over the Seahawks for this weekend’s big game. Part of that is due to the public favoring Denver, but some of it is due to the value of a potent passing attack. Statistically, Denver has the league’s best offense but an average defense, while Seattle has the best defense and an above-average offense. Nonetheless, because of their ability to move the ball through the air, Denver is the favorite to win.
Dallas needs to find players who can either help move the ball through the air or stop opponents from doing it.
Round 1: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
It would be mildly shocking if the Cowboys didn’t come out of the first round with a defensive lineman. They can talk all they want about selecting the best player available, but unless a truly elite player at a position like offensive tackle drops to them, they’re in position to select the best possible defensive lineman.
There are numerous players at both defensive end and defensive tackle who figure to interest the ‘Boys.
Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy is one of those players. At 6’5″, 275 pounds, Ealy figures to have the requisite size and length to excel at the next level. Known for his athleticism and ability to stop the run, he will almost certainly get selected in the first 32 selections.
The primary question mark for him is where the production was. In three years with Missouri, Ealy had only 12.5 sacks. That’s not a good sign. He also had 27 tackles for loss, which is decent but hardly dominant. The good news is that he is still young, so teams will be drafting a player before a potential college breakout, allowing them to potentially land value.
Round 3: Daquan Jones, DT, Penn State
With defensive tackle Jason Hatcher figuring to leave Dallas this year, the Cowboys are so thin at the position that it’s not out of the question that they address it twice within the first few rounds. Thus, even if they draft a defensive tackle early, you could see them come back to a player like Penn State’s DaQuan Jones in the third round.
Jones is a 6’3″, 318-pound defensive tackle who reportedly lost 25 pounds before the 2013 season, according to CBS Sports. That helped him register 56 total tackles, which is a big number for an interior defensive lineman.
However, Jones had only 3.5 sacks in his entire Penn State career, and his arms are under 33 inches long. Those are big-time concerns for a player who could sneak into the second round. For those reasons, I wouldn’t touch Jones in the middle rounds. But he’s listed here because the Cowboys historically care more about “what the tape says” than analytics that are more predictive than traditional scouting.