Cowboys’ 2018 draft picks: Projecting first-rounder, late-round sleepers

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.

Linebacker: Sean Lee is a stud on the weak side, and Jaylon Smith in 2017 showed he still has some untapped upside for the inside. The Cowboys, however, lost versatile playmaker Anthony Hitchens to the Chiefs in free agency, leaving Damien Wilson as an unappealing next best option, especially given his off-field concerns. Former Packer Joe Thomas is only a depth swing guy. The Cowboys need a well-rounded starting option, preferably one who can get to the quarterback.

Defensive tackle: Although the Cowboys have some options to support DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford on the edges with recent draft picks Charles Tapper and Taco Charlton and newcomer Kony Ealy, the interior lacks pop beyond the disruptive David Irving. Maliek Collins, signed through only 2019, is coming off a bad year and offseason foot surgery. After him, there are only some veteran retreads. Because of Irving’s pass-rush ability but limited beef, it would make sense for Dallas to think about a run-stuffing tackle to help the linebackers fill faster.

On the field, though, Bryant’s star has faded in recent campaigns. The once dominant physical wideout hasn’t surpassed 900 yards since signing a lucrative extension in 2015.

” Cowboys coaches started seeing Bryant’s overwhelming physical gifts start to slip all the way back in 2015, the injury-plagued first season of his five-year, $70 million second contract,” The MMQB’s Albert Breer wrote earlier this month. “And that hasn’t reversed itself. Three years later, at the point in his career when some players reinvent themselves by becoming craftier, Bryant’s struggle to adjust to playing at a different speed has disappointed the team.”

Bryant lacks the quickness and explosion that once made him a perennial top-five playmaker at his position. Still, Dez is bound to find a new home sooner than later — at least, he certainly seems to think so.
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