Plus, how the Cowboys could upgrade the safety position, and why they likely won’t.
Moving to tackle? It likely won’t happen this year for Cowboys lineman Connor Williams – Jon Machota, SportsDay Dallas
Shortly after the surprising selection of Connor McGovern in the third round of the draft, it came out that the Cowboys are considering long-term plans of moving Connor Williams to right tackle and McGovern could fill Williams’ void at left guard. However, it doesn’t appear that anything will change in the next year.
The only way it would happen this year is if La’el Collins suffered some type of season-ending injury before the season started. And even then, I could see them going with Cameron Fleming for the year at RT. I think Connor Williams’ second season is going to be all about gaining good weight and building confidence while playing between Travis Frederick and Tyron Smith. If everything goes well there, then I see Williams potentially moving outside if they are unable to re-sign Collins. But it’s important to remember that Fleming is signed for two years. And he started three games last year and 20 games for the Patriots between 2014 and 2017.
Leading up to the draft, a whole lot of emphasis had been placed on upgrading the safety spot next to Xavier Woods, and the Cowboys brought in more safeties for pre-draft visits than any other position. It was odd, then, when they passed on several top safety prospects. But it’s just how they roll, as history shows.
The last time the Cowboys spent a first- or second-round pick on a safety was Roy Williams in 2002. Their most recent significant spending on the position was re-signing Gerald Sensabaugh for six years, $25 million in 2011.
The Cowboys currently have a safety depth chart that consists of Xavier Woods (sixth-round pick), Jeff Heath (undrafted free agent), George Iloka (one-year, $1 million signing), Kavon Frazier (sixth-round pick), Donovan Wilson (sixth-round pick) and Darian Thompson (one-year, $720,000 signing).
Once the draft ends on Saturday, teams start frantically calling undrafted free agents to bid for their services, and while we stayed on top of all the action with our UDFA signing tracker, the Cowboys officially announced the 13 undrafted free agents they signed over the weekend.
The Cowboys have agreed to terms with 13 players following the draft, but won’t be able to officially sign them until the start of the rookie mini-camp on that begins May 9. In fact, expect at least two more to sign to that list as well.
Until then, there could be some changes on the list, which is headlined by the son of a Hall of Famer. But there are some players that were All-Americans and finalists for awards that will likely end up joining the Cowboys on this list as well.
While many have debated the value of the selection, not many have argued the talent level of new running back Tony Pollard. Stephen Jones is especially high on the former Memphis Tiger, who seems to imagine Pollard having a much bigger role than a mere backup.
“It’s a little unfair — he’s certainly not at that level, don’t get me wrong – but a little Kamara to him, as to how he complements Ingram down in New Orleans,” Jones said.
“Pollard is a real running back. I think he can give you plays between the tackles, I think he can give you plays as a true running back,” Jones said.
It seems that the Cowboys have long been criticized for their unwillingness to invest in their defensive line, especially when it came to finding impact defensive tackles that are so vital to the success of Rod Marinelli’s scheme. But the Cowboys’ recent draft history, topped off with the most recent one, shows that Dallas has tried to remedy that.
When Marinelli took over defensive coordinator duties in 2014, the Cowboys were putting Band-Aids on significant D-Line departures. After parting ways with Pro Bowler Jason Hatcher and all-time franchise sack leader DeMarcus Ware, they signed journeyman veteran Jeremy Mincey to team with fellow starters Nick Hayden and George Selvie. All were solid but not long-term solutions.
The talent level has improved significantly since. It all starts with Lawrence, who has filled Ware’s role of ‘war daddy’ pass rusher. The March trade for Robert Quinn adds a proven edge rusher opposite Lawrence and insurance for suspended end Randy Gregory. The team also has belief in 2018 fourth-round pick Dorance Armstrong.
“I think that disrupting the passer helps makes safeties play better,” Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said. “It makes it easier for them to do their thing, easier to cover, easier for the quarterback to not be as accurate, easier for the quarterback to have to throw quicker, easier for the quarterback to have to disrupt the plans of the offense.
Cowboys’ Stephen Jones ‘feels great’ about where Travis Frederick is in his recovery – Andrew Ortenberg, Clutch Points
The Connor McGovern pick certainly surprised some of us, and led to several questions being asked about why it was made. One worrying theory that was thrown out was McGovern’s selection could mean bad things for recovering center Travis Frederick. However, it does not appear to be the case, thankfully.
Over the weekend the Cowboys raised a few eyebrows when they drafted Connor McGovern in the third round. McGovern is an interior lineman from Penn State who can also play center.
At the time some speculated that the drafting of McGovern could mean that Frederick wasn’t recovering at a pace the Cowboys were hoping for, but that apparently isn’t the case.
“We feel totally great about where Travis is,” Jones declared.