2017 Dallas Cowboys’ Draft & OTA Review

The Cowboys needed defenders, more specifically secondary playmakers. Dallas selected a pass rusher first then grabbed four defensive backs in their next five selections. Taco Charlton received some great work in camp, lining up time after time against Tyron Smith, arguably one of the top two or three left tackles in the league. According to reports, Smith made Charlton work harder and study his game. The ex-Wolverine is getting work at both right and left defensive end. Chidobe Awuzie is smart and making headway to get on the field quickly this fall, getting work at corner as well as nickel and dime positions. His value to the Cowboys is his versatility and intelligence. Awuzie has been working with the second unit, but with Nolan Carroll’s looming drunk driving problems, the ex-Buffalo may challenge for a starting spot. Jourdan Lewis fills a role in the Cowboy secondary as a nickel corner. Dallas feels Lewis will be an impact corner, nickel, and return specialist. He is looked at as another building block of a revamped defense. Lewis has been working with the second unit. Ryan Switzer took advantage of Cole Beasley and Lucky Whitehead sitting out practice due to hamstring injuries. The ex-Tar Heel has been getting first team reps and demonstrated a skill set similar to Beasley. A quicker than fast slot with sure hands. Safety Xavier Woods is a smart and instinctive back end defender who concluded his college career with 14 interceptions. The durable and consistent athlete has been getting his hands on balls in OTAs. Woods is a clutch player who reacts quickly off the hash. Cornerback Marquez White was drafted by the Cowboys on what they view as a future starter with ascending talent. The former Seminole two-sport athlete is a good technique player who has the size and strength to play press coverage. Has shown good man-to-man ability in camp. Defensive tackle Joey Ivie is a high motor, hard working blue collar defender who got work as a three technique in camp. He has strong hands and slips a block quickly, then finishes pursuit. Ivie has a tendency to play high where he loses leverage. Shorter arms than ideal. Pro day numbers: 6031, 298, 5.14/40, 1.75/10, 23/BP, 29.5/VJ, 8-9/BJ, 4.72/SS, and 8.09/3 cone. Receiver Noah Brown is a third year sophomore who started only one year for the Buckeyes. A big and physical receiver with excellent ball skills. A solid blocker who has fringe NFL caliber speed. A mid-field receiver who can find the holes in the offense. Will need to work on all receiver nuances. Defensive tackle Jordan Carrell was honorable mention All-Pac 12 and collected 46 tackles his senior year. He also had 5.5 sacks and 12 quarterback pressures. Drafted for depth and competition on a thin interior line. Pro day numbers: 6021, 290, 4.98/40, 1.75/10, 20/BP, 31.5/VJ, 8-11/BJ, 4.51/SS, and 7.92/3 cone. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE.

FREE AGENCY: The Cowboys re-signed their own wide receiver Terrance Williams to a four-year contract that guarantees him 9.5 million. Darren McFadden (RB) and Kellen Moore (QB) were also brought back. Nolan Carroll was added to put a bandage on the secondary losses. Others added for depth include Byron Bell (OT), Stephen Paea (DT), Damontre Moore (DE), and Robert Blanton (SS).

NOTABLE UNDRAFTED COLLEGE FREE AGENTS: Dan Skipper (Arkansas) OT, Blake Jarwin (Oklahoma State) TE, and Cooper Rush (Central Michigan) QB.

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