Cowboys’ insider Jean-Jacques Taylor provides his insight on the Cowboys’ 2018 draft class, and what some of the picks mean.
• Scouting director Will McClay told Jerry Jones that first-round pick Leighton Vander Each is the kind of player who creates turnovers with his energy and ability to make plays sideline-to-sideline. For a team that has struggled to create turnovers and set up short drives for its offense, that’s a big deal.
• Offensive lineman Connor Williams fell in the draft, in part, because his arm-length is only 33 inches. It’s why the Cowboys are inclined to move him to guard. Tackles typically have longer arms to keep defensive ends from getting close to their body and attacking them. The prototype for the Cowboys is a minimum of 34 inches. Just so you know Zack Martin’s arms are shorter than Williams, which is why they thought he’d be a better guard than tackle.
• The Cowboys didn’t take a change-of-pace runner because the Los Angeles Rams approached them about acquiring veteran Tavon Austin on Thursday. Austin will be used as a running back. He’ll get some carries, play in the slot and the Cowboys want to isolate him and create opportunities for him to make plays.
• The Cowboys nearly used a fourth-round pick to move back into the third round and draft DE Dorance Armstrong, who had 10 sacks as a junior but struggled in a new scheme and with some injuries last season.
• Mike White, a fifth-round pick, is only the eighth quarterback the Cowboys have drafted since Jerry Jones bought the team in 1989. Until the Cowboys drafted Dak Prescott in 2016, Dallas hadn’t drafted a quarterback since Texas A&M’s Stephen McGee in the fourth round of the 2009 draft.
• Stephen Jones continues to praise Blake Jarwin, promoted from the practice squad in December, more than any other tight end on the roster. Dallas drafted Stanford’s David Schultz in the fourth round and he should compete for a starting job if the Cowboys can’t persuade Jason Witten to play another year instead of going to the broadcast booth.
The latest news from around North Texas.
• Allen Hurns, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Deonte Thompson, Noah Brown and rookies Michael Gallup (3rd round) Cedrick Wilson (6th round) will likely compete for five roster spots.
• The Cowboys have decided not having a true No.1 receiver will help Dak Prescott focus on going through his progression instead of forcing the ball to Dez Bryant every time he has man to man coverage.
• The Cowboys wanted a free safety in the draft to compete with Xavier Woods but they didn’t want to force it after trade talks with Seattle for Earl Woods Thomas faded away.
• Each of the Cowboys’ final three draft picks - Indiana linebacker Chris Covington, Boise State receiver Cedrick Wilson and Alabama running back Bo Scarborough - were all fifth-round picks on the Cowboys’ draft board.