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Dallas Cowboys' 2019 draft: Analysis for every pick

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NFL draft profile: Trysten Hill (1:06)

UCF's Trysten Hill is a highly gifted defensive tackle with a good combination of height, length, weight and speed. (1:06)

Breaking down the Dallas Cowboys' class in the 2019 NFL draft.

Round 2, No. 58 overall: Trysten Hill, DT, UCF

My take: While the Cowboys had a chance to draft a safety of their choice in the likes of Juan Thornhill or Taylor Rapp (each made pre-draft visits to The Star), they opted to go with the bigger player in Hill. The Cowboys view Hill as a player who can fill in the rotation in 2019 and become a full-time contributor in 2020. He has a quick first step and can get up the field, which is a must for coordinator Rod Marinelli. He is good enough against the run, but the Cowboys allowed just 3.8 yards per rush last season. Finding a pass-rusher to push the pocket to help DeMarcus Lawrence, Robert Quinn, Taco Charlton and potentially Randy Gregory on the outside is a solid move for the Cowboys. They do not need Hill to be a key contributor immediately with Maliek Collins as the starter, which is always good for a rookie.

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NFL draft profile: Connor McGovern

Connor McGovern is an offensive lineman out of Penn State who is a highly effective run-blocker with the ability to drive defenders off the line.

Round 3, No. 90 overall: Connor McGovern, G, Penn State

My take: The Cowboys have made their draft intentions clear over the years: they want to build their lines. They have first-round offensive linemen in Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick and Zack Martin, a second-rounder in Connor Williams and a first-round talent in La'el Collins, who dropped out of the draft in 2015. Now they add McGovern, who can play the interior spots, in the third round. He is tough and durable and gives the Cowboys some protection for now with Frederick coming back from an auto-immune disease and Collins going into the final year of his deal, which could move Williams to right tackle in 2020.

What's next: The Cowboys go into the draft's third day with two fourth-round picks (128, 136 overall), a fifth round (165) and seventh round (241) selection. They will need to look for running back, receiver and defensive back help with their last four picks, but look for them to potentially work a trade for a specific player they have targeted.


Round 4, No. 128 overall: Tony Pollard, RB, Memphis

My take: The Cowboys wanted to find a running back who could take some of the heat off Ezekiel Elliott or be able to handle the job if something were to happen to him. Pollard, however, has not been that guy, but he brings a versatility to an offense. He scored touchdowns as a runner, receiver and returner. New offensive coordinator Kellen Moore has been called a creative mind even if he has yet to call a play in a game, so the Cowboys could find ways to get the ball in his hands more than his predecessor, Scott Linehan, did with Lance Dunbar and Tavon Austin.

Round 5, No. 158 overall: Michael Jackson, CB, Miami

My take: The Cowboys entered the draft with a need at cornerback in the near future; Byron Jones, Anthony Brown, Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis are coming into contract years either after 2019 or 2020. Michael Jackson was a two-year starter at Miami and had all four of his interceptions in 2017. The Cowboys can only hope that defensive backs coach Kris Richard can replicate the success he had in Seattle with another fifth-round pick at corner in Richard Sherman. Jackson fills the bill with what Richard wants in a corner with size (6-1, 205 pounds). Richard worked him out prior to the draft.

Round 5, No. 165 overall: Joe Jackson, DE, Miami

My take: The Cowboys believe in building depth on their defensive front, but Joe Jackson, their second fifth-round pick, will enter a crowded room. The Cowboys have DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford, Taco Charlton, Dorance Armstrong and Kerry Hyder at defensive end. If Randy Gregory does not return from a suspension, then he could find his way into the rotation. Jackson was productive with 24 sacks and 34.5 tackles for loss in three seasons. He plays with more power than speed but he can close quickly.

Round 6, No. 213 overall: Donovan Wilson, S, Texas A&M

My take: Safety was one of the Cowboys' biggest needs entering the draft and they considered Juan Thornhill in the second round and saw Will Harris go off the board early in the third round. The Cowboys finally grabbed a safety with Wilson. He had a productive 2018 season, coming up with two interceptions, five pass deflections, two sacks, and 4.5 tackles for loss after missing the 2017 season with a foot injury. Jeff Heath, George Iloka, Darian Thompson and Kavon Frazier are set to be free agents after the 2019 season. Wilson could be a special teams' player to start with the chance to build a bigger role in the future.

Round 7, No. 218 overall: Mike Weber, RB, Ohio State

My take: Weber took over for Ezekiel Elliott in 2016 at Ohio State and ran for more than 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns. He did not top 1,000 yards again but he had 954 yards and five scores last season. He is more of a three-down back than Tony Pollard, who was picked in the fourth round. He is not a flashy runner, but he will pick up the dirty yards. He is a decent pass-catcher as well, which makes him a better fit than last year's seventh-round pick at running back, Bo Scarbrough. He is the third pick to have visited The Star before the draft with Hill and Pollard.

Round 7, No. 241 overall: Jalen Jelks, DE, Oregon

My take: The Cowboys are taking this “you can never have enough defensive linemen” thing pretty far. They selected Jelks in the seventh round, making him the third defensive linemen added in the draft. They took Trysten Hill in the second round and Joe Jackson in the fifth round. In free agency, they added Kerry Hyder and Christian Covington and traded for Robert Quinn to a group that was already fairly deep. Jelks has some traits that justify the draft pick (6-foot-6, 34.5-inch arms) had he had 15 sacks in his collegiate career. At first glance, it appears he will face a fight to make the roster with the practice squad as a possibility.