2015 NFL Draft Primer: Dallas Cowboys


Team Needs: Defensive End, Cornerback, Free Safety, Running Back

Cowboys’ Selections

Round 1- 27th overall

Round 2- 60th overall

Round 3- 91st overall

Round 4- 127th overall

Round 5- 163rd overall

Round 7- 237th overall

Round 7- 244th overall

Good fits early:

Todd Gurley:

The premier running back in this draft class, Todd Gurley would be a great fit for the Cowboys at No. 27. He may not be ready for the beginning of the season because of a torn ACL, but his value would be too much to pass up for Dallas. Gurley has the power, vision and elusiveness to excel in any scheme, but with the Cowboys’ offensive line, he would be truly outstanding. Gurley understands the nuances of playing running back as he understands how to read his keys and the pacing that each play calls for. Whenever Gurley was ready to play, he would be a dynamic and explosive playmaker for Dallas.

Owamagbe Odighizuwa:

The Cowboys only signed Greg Hardy to a one-year deal; therefore, there is still a chance that the Cowboys go defensive end early in the draft. If they do, the best player who could be available is UCLA’s Owamagbe Odighizuwa. At UCLA, Odighizuwa was an extremely stout run defender who utilized his length and strength to stack and shed offensive lineman on a regular basis. As a pass-rusher, Odighizuwa used his quick first step to stress opposing offensive lineman’s pass set as he used a myriad of finishing moves to beat the blocker. Odighizuwa could make an immediate impact as a run defender and sub-package rusher for Dallas as he steps into a starting role is year two.

Byron Jones:

Wake Forest’s Kevin Johnson would be the dream scenario for Dallas here, but it appears as though he will be gone when Dallas is on the clock. Nevertheless, Connecticut’s Byron Jones would be a great consolation prize. He is the premier athlete in this year’s draft class and he combines with stellar work in coverage. He has a shoulder issue that will need to be checked out, but Jones has showcased a lot of fantastic skills when he is healthy. He has displayed incredible knowledge of the nuances of playing cornerback as thrives in extremely hard situations like off-coverage. Jones would be able to step in as a No. 2 cornerback for Dallas and potentially develop into a premier cornerback in the NFL.

Don’t Be Surprised If…

The Cowboys grab a wide receiver in round two or three. One player to keep an eye on is Ohio State’s Devin Smith. He is the only wide receiver among Dallas’ 30 national visits and that is not a smokescreen. Smith would give the Cowboys offense a new dimension as he could stretch the field and open up the intermediate routes for Dez Bryant and Jason Witten.

Potential late-round targets:

Rakeem Nunez-Roches:

Southern Mississippi’s Rakeem Nunez-Roches would be a great fit in the Cowboys one-gap defense as he excels when attacking upfield. Nunez-Roches plays like his hair is on fire on every snap as he routinely makes plays out of his responsibility because of his hustle and athleticism. He doesn’t have the size or strength to hold up against the run initially, but he could do a lot of damage as a rotational interior disrupter early on in his career.

Ty Montgomery:

With Dwayne Harris gone, the Cowboys have a spot open in their wide receiver corps along with at the punt and kick returning positions. Stanford’s Ty Montomery would be able to fill all three holes by himself. As a receiver, he leaves a lot to be desired, as he is a subpar route runner with inconsistent hands; however, when he gets the ball in his hands there is not a better receiver in the country. As a returner, Montogmery runs like a running back as he is a deliberate decision maker who has the potential to take it to the house on every single play.

Chris Conley:

Another receiver who the Cowboys could have their eyes on is NFL Scouting Combine superstar Chris Conley. Unlike some combine superstars in the past, Conley has some good tape to go with his stellar athleticism. Conley has shown the ability to run the majority of the route tree and he has routinely made some extremely difficult catches in tight coverages. With his athleticism, Conley would make an immediate impact on special teams, while he works himself into the wide receiver rotation.

What Would Be A Good Draft:

No matter what, the Cowboys have to come out of the draft with a bell cow running back. They need someone who can tote the rock on a consistent basis and give them consistent production on all three downs. Furthermore, the Cowboys need to improve the depth across the defensive line. Furthermore, it would be beneficial if Dallas could a grab player who can thrive in the deep middle at free safety. If the Cowboys can come out of the draft with two immediate starters and two other reserves who contribute on special teams, it would be a very good draft for them.


About John Owning

John Owning

John Owning is a NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has years of experience covering the NFL, NFL draft and NCAA football. John's work has been featured on the Bleacher Report and