Grading Dallas Cowboys’ 2014 Draft Picks After Preseason
Grading Dallas Cowboys' 2014 Draft Picks After Preseason
The Dallas Cowboys are now done with the preseason. Because of injuries and an overall lack of talent, the Cowboys finished 0-4 and all four games weren't even close. While it is only the preseason, the Cowboys need to improve before their matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. The rookies on this football team have an opportunity to make a name for themselves.
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Zack Martin has had some ups and downs since being drafted by the Cowboys, but overall Martin has shown that he could be a really good player for the Cowboys for years to come. The trio of Martin, Travis Frederick and Tyron Smith is one of the best in the league. Martin's versatility and his football IQ are just two reasons why he will be a great player.
I wasn't a fan of Demarcus Lawrence when the Cowboys gave up a third-round pick to move up and select him, but after watching him practice against Tyron Smith, I was sold. Despite being a bit undersized, Lawrence is quick off the ball and his long arms help him against bigger and stronger tackles. Unfortunately, Lawrence will be sidelined for two months because of a foot injury.
Anthony Hitchens will be forced into action because of injuries to Sean Lee and DeVonte Holloman. While this may be alarming at first, putting Hitchens into action in the early going is a smart idea. Many Cowboy fans were upset when the team drafted Hitchens, but he is excellent in the running game. Hitchens can play the MIKE linebacker or the SAM linebacker.
Devin Street is one of the best route-runners I have ever scouted coming out of college. Although he is only around 190 pounds, Street uses head-fakes and quick feet to get open. Even if he is going up for contested passes, Street has long arms which allow him to go up and bring down the football. The Cowboys have a deep receiving group, but with some added bulk, it shouldn't be long until we see a lot of Street.
Ben Gardner was a player I loved coming out of Stanford. Gardner is Rod Marinelli's type of player. He is a grinder and he plays with a nasty attitude. Gardner would've been a nice rotational player in Dallas, but he will be out for the season because of a torn pectoral.
I didn't think much of Will Smith when the Cowboys drafted him. I thought he wouldn't be anything more than a special teams player. Instead, Smith has been garnering a lot of attention. As of now, Smith is a depth player, but with some more game experience, it wouldn't surprise me if Smith started taking snaps at the weakside linebacker position.
I was happy when the Cowboys selected Ahmad Dixon out of Baylor. I had a fourth-round grade on him before the draft. Dixon is a big-hitter, and he is excellent at coming up and making plays around the line of scrimmage. The problem is that Dixon has problems in coverage. That being said, he is a nice special teams player who will continue to improve with more coaching.
The Cowboys added Henry Melton and Terrell McClain over the offseason. While both will likely be the starters come Week 1, Ken Bishop is a player who could be a nice spell from time to time in place of McClain. Bishop has a quick jump off the ball, and that is extremely important in the 4-3. Bishop hasn't done much yet, but the Cowboys like his game.
Terrance Mitchell has been performing really well throughout the past few weeks. While he is only 5-foot-10, Mitchell is a playmaker and he has great eyes that allow him to read the quarterback with ease. After waiving B.W. Webb, the Cowboys clearly like Mitchell. With Orlando Scandrick's suspension, the Oregon product might have to take a lot of snaps early in the season.
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