Cowboys FishTips - 10 Predictions For Their NFL Draft

Mike Fisher
April 24, 2018 - 9:17 am

Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports


FRISCO (105.3 The Fan) - This weekend's NFL Draft will be covered like a blanket by the Dallas Cowboys' flagship station here at 105.3 The Fan.

The stories we'll be covering include, I bet, my Cowboys FishTips - 10 Predictions For Their NFL Draft.

A pre-FishTip that teams rarely follow but always should: Don't Draft For Need. Ever.

Having said that ... 

FishTip 1) I think Dallas will attempt to order up a 'Taco Combo Platter II.' Two years ago, the Cowboys decided that, while needing both, pass-rushers were going to be harder to get in premier rounds than cornerbacks. So they took end Taco Charlton in Round 1 and got corners Chido Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis later.

I think the same thing is in play now. There are more wideouts available later than there are linebackers/D-linemen. So I think Dallas will try for a LB/DL around 19 (linebacker Leighton Vander Esch of Boise State? End Harold Landry of Boston College?) and manipulate its way to a highly-thought-of receiver immediately after that.

FishTip 2) That "immediate'' might come with the third-round pick, at No. 81, as the centerpiece, though. Why? Because I believe the Cowboys will make a bid to trade for Seattle safety Earl Thomas using pick No. 50. In the coming hours, Dallas needs to get the Seahawks on one phone line and Thomas' reps on the other, to orchestrate a trade and a new contract, essentially simultaneously.

The ball will be in Seattle's court. A premium pick can be theirs ... in exchange for a player to whom they might not want to give an extension.

FishTip 3) Dallas has since 2005 drafted in the first round 13 times. ... and on all but one of those occasions the guy selected in the first round was a 30-Visits guy. Additionally, in the last four years, 14 of Dallas' selections came from the 30-Visits list. This is ... significant.

FishTip 4) I believe the Cowboys have finally (finally!) figured out how to borrow from the old Packers philosophy that saw them draft a QB seemingly every other year, understanding the gold mine that springs up if you hit.

I think late in this draft Dallas selects a QB.

FishTip 5) Speaking of QBs, Dallas would love for there to be a run on them at the top of the draft. The sooner Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen and Lamar Jackson go, the more talent at other positions gets pushed down toward the Cowboys. No, linebacker Roquan Smith won't get pushed down very far. But linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and safety Derwin James could get nudged down.

FishTip 6) Are receivers like Calvin Ridley and DJ Moore in play at 19? Sure. But to reinforce FishTip 1: What if the Cowboys can envision receivers like Courtland Sutton and James Washington being available later?

FishTip 7) I would like to think Dallas would consider Vita Vea of Washington, even though the Cowboys don't want to over-use assets at the 1-Tech defensive tackle. To me, if a guy projects as a Pro Bowler - and Vea does - a team should bend its philosophy.

Meanwhile, no, I don't think David Irving's recent headlines impact the Cowboys' draft regarding defensive tackles because ... the organization is already well-aware of the turmoil that is a part of Irving's relationship.

FishTip 8) Follow The Money. The Cowboys wisely try to draft youngsters who will be primed to eventually take the place of veterans who are about to become too pricy. The Cowboys vet who is about to become to pricy? DeMarcus Lawrence, on a franchise tag for 2018 but desirous of a $17-mil-a-year deal going forward. The two sides are not close.

Dallas is much, much closer to simply hiring Tank's replacement.

FishTip 9) The Cowboys have a tendency to build a board (under the supervision of personnel boss Will McClay) and then to veer off of the board once it comes to nut-cuttin' time. Oh, they do it less than ever now, with the organizational chart more organized than its been in 25 years.

But it's still something to watch, with the coaching staff wielding its influence ... maybe too much so, because this coaching staff is quite possibly, after all, "Red Man Walking.'' Should Jason Garrett make picks for a franchise that might not be employing him next year? 

FishTip 10) The Cowboys enter this draft with a whopping total of 10 picks. They should exit it with a pair of "packaged-picks'' trades that net them six draftees ... and maybe Earl Thomas, too. Accomplish that and -- while we are years away from being able to judge the results (even though people will judge immediately anyway) -- we will be able to give Dallas an "A'' for its "execution of the plan.''