2012 NFL Draft - Dallas Cowboys

Posted Apr 28, 2012

Dallas Cowboys - NFC North, 2012 Draft Selections & Prospects


Dallas Cowboys

2012 NFL Draft Team Analysis - AFC
EAST Buffalo | Miami | New England | NY Jets
WEST Denver | Kansas CityOakland | San Diego
NORTH Baltimore | Cincinnati  Cleveland | Pittsburgh
SOUTH Houston | Indy | Jacksonville | Tennessee

2012 NFL Draft Team Analysis - NFC
EAST Dallas | NY Giants | Philadelphia | Washington
WEST Arizona | San Francisco | Seattle | St. Louis
NORTH Chicago | Detroit | Green Bay | Minnesota
SOUTH Atlanta | Carolina | New Orleans | Tampa Bay   

- 2011 Dallas Draft Breakdown
- 2010 Dallas Draft Breakdown

The Draft Was ... Dallas. It always seems like the Cowboys are trying to outsmart everyone else, but it doesn't really work when taking players like Eastern Washington S Matt Johnson and Virginia Tech WR Danny Coale in key mid-round picks. The pass defense needed to be addressed, and Dallas did that by making the move to get Morris Claiborne at the six and with pas rusher Tyrone Crawford in the third round.
Best Value Pick: TE James Hanna, Oklahoma, 6th round
Worst Value Pick: DE Tyrone Crawford, Boise State, 3rd round
They Should've ... addressed the offensive line. There wasn't much the Cowboys could do with only one of the first 81 picks, but there wasn't any move whatsoever to help out the offensive front
Division Draft Ranking: 3
Overall Draft Ranking: 29

First Round

CB Morris Claiborne, LSU (Jr.) 5-11, 188
Overall Pick No. 6 CFN Overall Ranking: 9
CFN Analysis: Dallas saw Claiborne still on the table and moved up to grab the best corner in the draft. Considering the LSU star was on the table for Minnesota at the three, the six is good value for a need pick. The Cowboys love top defensive backs and they love playmakers, and while he's not going to be another Deion Sanders, he could be the team's best corner since Prime was taking away one side of the field. He's going to erase one side of the field and there will be a ton of second-guessing in Tampa Bay if he turns out to be special.

It's easy to focus on what he's not. He's not huge, he's not Patrick Peterson, and he's not lightning fast. He has good wheels, but he's not a blazer who won't be a sure-thing shutdown defender against the speedier receivers. The lack of leaping skills won't make up for his okay height, and struggled in the short drills at the Combine. To add to the concerns, he's also not good at the Wonderlic, scoring a miserable, hard-to-do-even-if-you-tried 4, and he's not all that great against the run and isn't all that physical against the bigger targets. However, he has a great frame, is smooth as silk, and he never had any problems against SEC receivers. Able to stand out even on a team full of defensive stars, he's a playmaker with most of the tools to handle himself without a problem on an island – fine, his speed is good enough. Better on the football field than in workouts, he'll be just fine in any system and in any secondary with great ball skills and an uncanny knack to make the big plays at the right times. Forget about the Wonderlic; he's a good guy and won't give anyone any issues. There aren't any of the typical prima donna issues most elite corners have.
CFN Projection:
First Round  

Third Round

DE Tyrone Crawford, Boise State 6-4, 275
Overall Pick No. 81 CFN Overall Ranking: 182
CFN Analysis: This is the pick the Cowboys needed to make position-wise, but it was a bit of a stretch taking Crawford here. He's more of a try-hard type than a pure speed rusher the Cowboy defensive could use, but he can be a decent part of a rotation. He's not Demarcus Ware and he's not going to solve all the problems when it comes to getting to the quarterback, but he should be a part of the rotation. Dallas needed to get more.

A true end who can play and produce in any system, he's strong enough and big enough to be a solid 3-4 end and is good at holding up against the run. Athletic for his size, he moves well enough to be a worker who gets into the backfield on a regular basis. Even though he was productive, he needs more time and more polish. While there's a ton of upside, he's not a finished product and needs to figure out how to do the little things right. He's not going to be an elite pass rusher without the needed burst, and he could be the type of player who stuff things up but doesn't put up a ton of stats. While he's a good prospect, he only produced at a high level for one year and there's still a little bit of concern that he can hold up.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

Fourth Round

OLB Kyle Wilber, Wake Forest 6-4, 249
Overall Pick No. 113  CFN Overall Ranking: 86
Supposedly a speed rusher, he came up with a painfully slow Combine hovering close to a 4.9 at one point. However, he moved well in the shorter drills and came up with 25 reps on the bench. Smart, tough, and athletic on the field, he's a leader who's excellent against the run and he doesn't screw up. Instinctive, he seems to be able to sniff out plays and outguess blockers on his way to the ball, and he provides a big stick when he gets there. The problem is that he's decent at everything and not necessarily great at any one thing. He'll be a good all-around defender, but he doesn't have star potential and might have a hard ceiling that'll be hit right away.
CFN Projection: Third Round

Fourth Round

S Matt Johnson, Eastern Washington 6-1, 216
Overall Pick No. 135 CFN Overall Ranking: Unranked
CFN Analysis: With good size and toughness he can serve as a factor against the run in a strong safety role. He has decent enough athleticism to be used in nickel and dime packages, and he has just enough coverage skills to be solid in a cover-2 scheme, but he needs work as a tackler and needs to be surrounded by speedsters. He'll have to be a special teamer to make a team.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

Fifth Round

WR Danny Coale, Virginia Tech 6-0, 201
Overall Pick No. 152 CFN Overall Ranking: Unranked
CFN Analysis: With good size and excellent 4.4 speed he looks the part, and he shows up well on the screen with a good career in a non-passing offense. He'll block, he'll fight, and he'll do all the little things a coaching staff will want. However, he's not the most physical of receivers and he's more of a possession receiver than a blazer who can stretch the field. He can find a role in four-wide sets, but he'll have to catch everything his way to stick on a roster.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

Sixth Round

TE James Hanna, Oklahoma 6-3, 252
Overall Pick No. 186 CFN Overall Ranking: 201

Really, really, REALLY fast, he's a mid-4.4 runner with the wheels to stretch the field and the hands and moves to make things happen around the goal line. With good size, he proved he could run even at a bigger size and can still get more physical. This offseason he proved to be far more athletic than he shows on tape with better raw skills and tools than just about any tight end in the draft. However, he didn't actually do much on deep plays and wasn't a go-to target. He's not a great blocker and he needs a lot of work on his route running ability, but he's too athletic not to develop.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

Seventh Round

LB Caleb McSurdy, Dallas
Overall Pick No. 222   CFN Overall Rank: Unranked
CFN Projection: Free Agent