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Cowboys' Draft Grade: B+

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Cowboys' Draft Grade: B+

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IOWA CITY, IA - NOVEMBER 2: Linebacker Anthony Hitchens #31 and defensive back Desmond King #14 of the Iowa Hawkeyes elebrate a stop during the second quarter against the Wisconsin Badgers on November 2, 2013 at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. Wisconsin won 28-9. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)

Discipline. It’s a quality the Cowboys have rarely shown on the field during their 8-8 malaise. Or off it in the front office.

But in the NFL Draft there they were, playing out of character. Playing smart. Playing to win. Now.

The Cowboys needed to fill immediate holes. The Cowboys needed substance over style. And the Cowboys needed to address their woeful defense.

Check, check and check.

Feels like Dallas gave up too much (a third-round pick) to draft defensive end Demarcus Lawrence, but other than perhaps overpaying for a player they coveted, the Cowboys stuck to the plan in the draft. Because of it, they are a significantly better football team today than they were a week ago. At least on paper.

First-round pick Zack Martin was sensible and solid, and he’ll be a Game 1 starter in 2014 and, hopefully, a book-end to Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick on an offensive line built for the present and the future. The Cowboys used all five of their 7th-round picks on defense, and picked up playmaking linebackers (Anthony Hitchens and Will Smith) in the middle rounds.

Dallas said it had a 3rd-round grade on receiver Devin Street, who they traded up for to select in the 5th round.

All in all, the pressing needs were addressed. Holes were filled. Sideshows were avoided.

The Cowboys still don’t know their quarterback of the future, but they can be assured their football team is improved in the present.

Grade: B+.

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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