With the 2018 NFL Draft now over, the Dallas Cowboys have added nine prospects who will help provide competition and more youth in the locker room. And this does not include the players the Cowboys could sign in the undrafted free agency period, something they have done well in recent years.
Dallas entered the draft with ten picks, but one of those was traded away so ended the day with nine new players through the draft.
Let’s take a look at each player drafted by the Cowboys on Day 3, six new players, and give them some grades.
Round 4, Pick 116: Dorance Armstrong, Defensive End, Kansas
In case the analysis at BTB has not hammered it enough, the Cowboys look for specific criteria and measurables in certain positions across the roster. Such is the case at the defensive end position. While the position of defensive end was not their biggest need, the Cowboys strengthened their depth at the position by drafting Dorance Armstrong.
Talking about the criteria they look at, Armstrong is a 6-foot-5, 255-pound EDGE player with 34 3/4-inch arms. Production-wise, there were not many players that did more for their respective schools than Armstrong did in 2016. He finished the 2016 season with 56 total tackles, 20 tackles for loss, and ten sacks. In 2017, his tackle numbers stayed consistent, but he only finished with 9.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. That drop in production was associated with a scheme change that lessened his opportunities to get in the backfield, combined with the fact that he faced constant double-teams.
Armstrong has long arms, good bend around the corner, and non-stop motor, so it comes as no surprise that Dallas had significant interest. With Randy Gregory potentially coming back into the fold, the Cowboys have a stacked defensive end room to work with. Armstrong will be a unique project for Rod Marinelli and Leon Lett to work with.
Is he the Jason Witten successor or is he another player the Cowboys will use for a tight-end-by-committee approach? Regardless, this draft pick proved that the Cowboys were clearly not sold on the tight ends they currently have on their roster. With Witten (likely) and James Hanna now retired, the Cowboys’ depth chart looks like Geoff Swaim, Rico Gathers, Blake Jarwin and now Dalton Schultz.
Due to his upside and potential, people are obviously clamoring for Gathers to make the transition and come into his own in 2018. Nonetheless, the Cowboys drafted Schultz here and he should be an instant contributor in 2018.
Coming from Stanford, Schultz played in a pro-style offense where he was asked to block routinely and catch passes. Of course, Schultz would benefit by adding more strength, but he has sneaky athleticism and ability after-the-catch to be a nice starter for the Cowboys. He is a very good inline blocker in the run game.
NFL draft analyst @LanceZierlein compares new Cowboys TE Dalton Schultz to Dwayne Allen: "Schultz is a Y-tight end with the ability as a run blocker to help bolster a team’s rushing attack very quickly."
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) April 28, 2018
Quarterback was not among the Cowboys’ list of needs going into the draft, but it is not like it was a position that was untouchable either. While Dak Prescott was spectacular in his rookie season, he took a step back in 2017. And while this pick does not place any pressure on Prescott, teams can simply never know.
Behind Prescott in 2017 was just Cooper Rush, so it is not like the Cowboys had great depth at the position anyways. Regardless if the Cowboys keep two or three quarterbacks, White is a player that has some potential.
At 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, White is a bigger quarterback who can sling it. With his powerful arm, White can make throws to all levels of the defense, short, intermediate, and deep throws. He did not receive much help from his offensive line, but with more refinement and a better supporting cast he would have a chance in the NFL. The prospect is a good one, but there were more pressing needs at this spot.
I had QB Mike White in the 3rd round so I love the pick by the #Cowboys. Passing instincts and intangibles are above average.
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) April 28, 2018
Despite using their first-round pick on Leighton Vander Esch, Dallas double-dipped in the sixth round when they added Indiana’s Chris Covington, making it six straight years the Cowboys have drafted a Big Ten player.
This pick sort of screams project, as Covington heavily relied upon his athletic ability over technique in college. At 6-foot-2, 245 pounds, Covington was an impact player for the Hoosiers in 2017. He has a big frame with long arms to go along with his motor.
The athleticism is there, but Covington has his issues in play recognition, anticipation, and his ability to take on blocks. With his athleticism and playmaking ability, the Cowboys could get a strong special teams player from the start and potentially a depth linebacker long term.
However, there were other linebackers available that were unanimously graded better like Wisconsin’s Jack Cichy or Alabama’s Shaun Dion Hamilton. And not only that, but the Cowboys opted to double-dip at linebacker rather than shoring up on another need across their roster.
The final line from my LB Chris Covington eval: Overall, Covington might not have a high ceiling in the NFL, but he flashes the competitive chops and enough speed to see the field on special teams. #Cowboys
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) April 28, 2018
Surprise, surprise! Yet another Boise State product drafted by the Cowboys. After drafting Vander Esch in the first round, Dallas has now used four draft picks in recent memory on defensive players from the school. This time, however, the Cowboys allocated a draft resource on a receiver.
A quarterback-converted-receiver, Wilson has had four years of experience at the pass-catcher position, two of which were at a junior college. At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, Wilson has ideal size to go along with NFL bloodlines and a robust football acumen. He seemed to have gotten better at the position each game at Boise State. Despite his undesirable test results, Wilson was a deep-ball playmaker for the Broncos.
I get that it is the sixth round and the Cowboys are staying true to their board, but this choice is questionable. After cutting Dez Bryant, the Cowboys signed Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson and had already drafted Gallup. Adding Wilson at this point in the draft means that the Cowboys will likely be cutting one to two known names at the position prior to the start of the season.
Dallas ended their day by probably adding one of the more known players in the draft in Alabama’s Bo Scarbrough. Perhaps the Tide’s most impactful offensive player on their 2017 championship run, Scarbrough lasted until late in the draft mainly because his skillset does not translate to the current model of NFL running backs.
However, the Cowboys are going to love to have him run behind Ezekiel Elliott. While the drafting of Scarbrough creates competition with Rod Smith, who did a nice job of spelling Elliott in 2017, the Cowboys have really bolstered their running back room with this acquisition.
At 6-foot-1, 230 pounds, Scarbrough is an abnormally large running back who will absolutely punish defenses. When the Cowboys are trying to ice games in the fourth quarter, the combination of Elliott and Scarbrough is simply going to wear opposing tacklers down. He runs high and does not have great cut ability like the Cowboys would prefer in their heavy zone-blocking scheme, but with the Cowboys’ offensive line in front of him, Scarbrough could do some damage as a rookie in the NFL.
The biggest thing with Bo Scarborough was durability. If he can stay healthy, he is a dangerous spell back/backup to Ezekiel Elliott.
— Jonah Tuls (@JonahTulsNFL) April 28, 2018