Mock-It-Yourself: The Cowboys

Thanks to one of the writers at, I found a nifty site that allows you to select an NFL team and do a mock draft for them.

The site doesn't allow you to trade picks, which is a problem for the 'Boys since they have about 87 seventh round picks at the moment, but I figure since I have to know at least as much as Jerry Jones about football (low bar to clear, but still), I gave it a whirl and came up with the following:

Round 1 (16): Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Hmm, Lewan's off-field troubles must have caused him to slide a bit, since otherwise I don't see any way he gets to the 'Boys at 16. Nonetheless, with all of the defensive players I might have been interested in gone (the Bears nicked Aaron Donald at 14), this seems like a no-brainer. Lewan would team with Tyron Smith to form as impressive a pair of tackles as any team in the league, helping to keep Tony Romo upright, and Doug Free can try his hand at guard to close out his contract.

Round 2 (47): Terrence Brooks, S, Florida State
Little bit off the board here, but I happen to really, really like Brooks as a fit for the Cowboys secondary. He's not a great ball hawk in terms of INTs, but he's fast, fluid, instinctive and athletic, and would make a great free safety partner for Barry Church's battering ram act at strong safety.

Round 3 (78): Kareen Martin, DE, North Carolina
This was a tough call. Top RBs like Tre Mason were still on the board and I was sorely tempted (DeMarco Murray is good, but not so good that you don't look for an upgrade) but Martin looks like the last player on the board with the potential to make a real impact in the pass rush as a 4-3 end, and what's the point of having Rod Marinelli on the coaching staff if not to light fires under physically gifted players like Martin?

Round 4 (119): Bruce Ellington, WR, South Carolina
I considered Dri Archer in this spot as a pure return man, but Dwayne Harris is already pretty good at that. Ellington would step into the Cowboys' slot receiver role, and given his explosion off the line and out of his cuts he's going to be a handful for whichever nickel corner or safety is forced to keep tabs on him. Given what Romo has been able to do with a simply adequate slot guy like Cole Beasley, he should be able to turn Ellington into a true weapon.

Round 5 (158): Nevin Lawson, CB, Utah State
I was hoping Aaron Murray might fall to this pick, since Romo is going to need replacing eventually, but the Titans drafted him at 151. This is exactly one of the spots I wish I could have dealt an extra seventh to move up some spots to get the guy I wanted. Lawson's a small-school corner who needs polish and development, but he's got good wheels (he ran a 4.48 40 at the combine), showed some solid instincts and can contribute on special teams while he's learning the ropes on defense. Not a bad consolation prize.

Round 7 (229): Aaron Lynch, DE, South Florida
Another underachiever for Marinelli to work with. Lynch looks the part of a 4-3 DE, and if he doesn't get with the program, hey, he's only a seventh rounder.

Round 7 (231): Cassius Marsh, DE, UCLA
Marsh doesn't have Lynch's physical gifts, but his motor runs hot (sometimes too hot) and he's got NFL bloodlines. If Marinelli can instill some discipline in him, he'll be a contributor.

Round 7 (238): Carrington Byndom, CB, Texas
Jerreh loves his local boys, so I draft one to keep him happy. Byndom's not physical enough to be much more than a nickel corner, but he's got some quicks.

Round 7 (248): Kadeem Edwards, G, Tennessee State
Good frame, long arms, needs to turn his bulk into effective strength and work on his technique. Hello, practice squad.

Round 7 (251): Jeff Janis, WR, Saginaw Valley
Division II star has NFL size, strength and speed, but doesn't trust his hands and needs work on his route running. More upside than your typical seventh rounder.

Round 7 (254): Rajion Neal, RB, Tennessee
Basically a better version of Joseph Randle. Doesn't have great speed, but good with blitz pickups and had very good pass-catching skills.


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