The 2019 NFL Draft is now complete and now the Dallas Cowboys can about their business in preparing for the upcoming season. There will be some more player acquisitions before the year gets underway, but the draft is over, which leads us to some reaction.
They say it takes at least three years to give out a real grade for a draft, so we won’t be making any snap judgments just yet. What we can do, however, is examine why the Cowboys drafted how they did.
Love them or hate them, the selections made sense. Trysten Hill is that 3-tech that Rod Marinelli has been looking for since he arrived in Dallas. After the Cowboys got carved up by the Rams in the playoffs (truth be told the last month of the season), getting a real stud inside was surely a need. Hill has the skill to be a major factor in the middle for the defense.
— Steven Van Over (@StevenVanOver) April 27, 2019
We also told you in this space that getting some depth for the offensive line was a need and the team proved that by drafting Connor McGovern in the third-round.
The rest of the draft was more about finding depth, notable picks were running backs Tony Pollard and Mike Weber, both of whom have a chance to be contributors in spelling Ezekiel Elliott. Michael Jackson adds cornerback depth for the future and Donovan Wilson was a safety addition late in the draft.
We don’t know how much the late round guys can play, but the real players came in the second, third and fourth rounds. Hill and McGovern are likely to be the gems of this draft, and Pollard looks like he’ll have a niche role.
Those first three selections, in particular, bring up something interesting with the Cowboys’ draft. All appear to be endorsed by specific coaches. Hill has talent great talent, but reportedly has attitude issues and has a very outspoken personality. Marinelli had several talks with Hill in the pre-draft process and was clearly one of his biggest fans.
The Cowboys picked Hill and it was in part because Marinelli seemed to push for him.
McGovern’s selection was a bit of a surprise because usually players picked in the top three rounds of the draft are starters. That won’t be the case with McGovern. However, offensive line coach Marc Colombo was a prominent figure in the draft room when McGovern was selected. The pick is a sign that Dallas will be ready to move on from La’el Collins after the 2019 season and Colombo likes what he sees in McGovern.
As a jack-of-all-trades running back, rumors are that Pollard was endorsed by new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. It’ll be up to Moore to be creative and get the most out of the offense, to make it less predictable, and Pollard should have a part in that plan.
Three coaches, all under Jason Garrett, at three different positions, had a big say in who the Cowboys drafted.
Here’s where it gets tricky, they are all on one-year deals. Garrett brought this staff in and is on the last year of his contract. If the Cowboys stink this season, the coaches could all be gone heading into 2020 and they just drafted three players who are likely to have identified roles with specific coaches. They were all drafted because their position coaches pinpointed them and endorsed their ability to coach 'em up.
Hill, in particular, poses a possible issue. If he was tough to coach, but Marinelli vouched for him, what happens if the team has a bad year and Garrett gets fired? Can Marinelli stay on if the man that hired him gets axed?
The same goes for Moore. There’s a lot riding on this one season, for Garrett, for Marinelli, for Moore, for all the coaches. If it doesn’t work out, can these players perform for a new staff that might have a different vision?
For now, the draft class looks good. These are problems for down the road. Hill will be a real player under Marinelli and McGovern allows options along the offensive line.
Time will tell on the rest.
You can chat with or follow Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi