PFF draft board: Dallas Cowboys

Ben Stockwell takes a pick-by-pick look at the 2016 draft prospects that best fit the Cowboys' needs.

| 5 months ago
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

PFF draft board: Dallas Cowboys


PFF is putting together team-specific draft boards for all 32 teams using our draft rankings and evaluation of how each player fits in specific schemes.

Included are three ideal targets for each team with their first-, second-, and third-round picks, along with a team-specific draft board (scroll down to bottom of article) that includes every player in PFF’s draft rankings.

Here is the list of potential picks for the Dallas Cowboys:

Round 1 (fourth overall)

Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State

You can never have enough quality pass rushers, and spending 2nd-round picks on defensive ends during the last two drafts shouldn’t stop the Cowboys from adding a potentially top-tier defensive end here. The Cowboys ranked 23rd in the league in terms of total pressures from their edge defenders in 2015 and adding a player with 145 pressures over the last two seasons at Ohio State would boost this group.

Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State

A top-tier talent matching a pressing need would make Ramsey an ideal fit for the Cowboys at the top of the draft. Ramsey shifted from a hybrid slot/safety role to outside corner this year at Florida State surrendering more than 50 yards in a game only twice all year. The Rams trade up to the number one overall pick brings Ramsey firmly into the conversation to fall to Dallas at No. 4.

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

The Cowboys refused to pull the trigger on a runner last April despite a clear need, and after signing Alfred Morris to a two-year deal in free agency it would not be surprising to see them pass on a back here. However, Elliott’s all-round game would solve the Cowboys need at running back once and for all. A talented blocker and receiver, Elliott would be the every-down back to clear up the Cowboys muddled backfield situation.

Round 2 (34 overall)

Maliek Collins, DT, Penn State

A strong 2014 season that earned Tyrone Crawford an early contract extension wasn’t backed up in 2015 and the Cowboys are now thin at defensive tackle behind Crawford and newly signed Cedric Thornton. Collins is coming off a quality season as both a pass rusher and run defender at Nebraska and would provide an immediate rotational upgrade for the Dallas defensive line.

Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

When healthy, Tony Romo is still the man for the Dallas Cowboys and a quality starting quarterback, but his enforced absence this year highlighted that the Cowboys lack a plan B for right now and have nobody ready to take over down the line. Step forward Lynch, who until a late-season slump was in the mix to be the first quarterback taken in this year’s draft. If the Cowboys can get the QB who tore up the Mississippi Rebels’ talented defense midway through the season they will have their QB of the future.

Leonte Carroo, WR, Rutgers

The Cowboys’ supporting cast at receiver failed to pick up the slack for an injured Dez Bryant this season, and though they have a solid core when Bryant is in place, competition and greater quality to cover for any future absences are essential. In limited playing time this season Carroo was exceptional eclipsing the 125-yard mark in half of the games he played this year and scoring three touchdowns in three games.

Round 3 (65 overall)

Joshua Perry, LB, Ohio State

The Cowboys have two starters in place with Rolando McClain and Sean Lee ready to continue their pairing at middle linebacker and weak-side linebacker, but at strong-side linebacker the Cowboys need an upgrade over the competition between Anthony Hitchens and Kyle Wilber. Perry was productive in all three phases for the Buckeyes over the last two seasons, earning positive grades in coverage, against the run and as a pass rusher in both 2014 and 2015.

Devontae Booker, RB, Utah

If the Cowboys choose to pass on a running back in the first and second rounds they still need to add a running back who can improve their play in the passing game out of the backfield; neither Alfred Morris nor Darren McFadden are adding value here. Booker collected 80 catches for the Utes over the last two seasons and forced 14 missed tackles as a receiver this past season — third-most in this draft class.

Kalan Reed, CB, Southern Miss

Making plays on the ball was not the forté of the Cowboys cornerback corps in 2015 — on 276 targets their corners broke up just 20 passes and collected only two interceptions. In an exceptional season for Southern Miss, Reed broke up 14 of the 89 passes targeted into his coverage and snagged four interceptions. Reed would immediately put pressure on the underwhelming duo of Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne for playing time on the outside.

PlayerPositionSchoolPFF Draft BoardDallas Cowboys Draft Board
Joey BosaEDGEOhio State11
Jalen RamseyCBFlorida State32
Jared GoffQBCal43
DeForest BucknerDIOregon24
Ezekiel ElliottRBOhio State75
Laremy TunsilOTOle Miss56
Sheldon RankinsDILouisville87
Corey ColemanWRBaylor98
Myles JackLBUCLA69
Josh DoctsonWRTCU1010
Shaq LawsonEDGEClemson1111
Chris JonesDIMississippi State1212
William Jackson IIICBHouston1513
Mackenzie AlexanderCBClemson2114
Sterling ShepardWROklahoma2315
Ronnie StanleyOTNotre Dame1616
Carson WentzQBNorth Dakota State1417
Jonathan BullardDIFlorida2717
Shilique CalhounEDGEMichigan State2919
Hunter HenryTEArkansas3320
Cody WhitehairGKansas State1721
Sheldon DayDINotre Dame3422
Leonard FloydEDGEGeorgia1923
Jarran ReedDIAlabama2024
Noah SpenceEDGEEastern Kentucky3624
Leonte CarrooWRRutgers3524
Emmanuel OgbahEDGEOklahoma State3724
Andrew BillingsDIBaylor2228
Austin JohnsonDIPenn State3929
Rashard HigginsWRColorado State4029
Michael Thomas (OSU)WROhio State2431
Robert NkemdicheDIOle Miss4432
Eli AppleCBOhio State3133
Laquon TreadwellWROle Miss2834
Karl JosephSWest Virginia3035
Jaylon SmithLBNotre Dame2536
Vernon HargreavesCBFlorida1837
Reggie RaglandLBAlabama2638
Jason SpriggsOTIndiana4639
Jack ConklinOTMichigan State1340
Michael Thomas (SM)WRSouthern Miss3841
Joe ThuneyOTNC State5142
Maliek CollinsDINebraska6143
Adolphus WashingtonDIOhio State4344
Carl NassibEDGEPenn State6845
Nick MartinCNotre Dame4546
Kalan ReedCBSouthern Miss5447
Paul PerkinsRBUCLA4948
Jeremy CashSDuke5349
Hassan RidgewayDITexas5750
Will FullerWRNotre Dame6050
Su'a CravensLBUSC4852
Darius LathamDIIndiana8453
Daniel BravermanWRWestern Michigan6254
Isaac SeumaloGOregon State6355
Ryan KellyCAlabama4256
Kevin DoddEDGEClemson7057
Darron LeeLBOhio State8157
Malcolm MitchellWRGeorgia6757
Connor CookQBMichigan State7560
Kevin ByardSMiddle Tennessee State7360
Joe SchobertEDGEWisconsin7460
Kenneth DixonRBLouisiana Tech4763
Willie HenryDIMichigan9963
Javon HargraveDISouth Carolina State7965
Tyler BoydWRPittsburgh8265
Jerell AdamsTESouth Carolina5967
Paxton LynchQBMemphis5568
Jordan HowardRBIndiana5668
Alex CollinsRBArkansas8770
Nick KwiatkowskiLBWest Virginia7671
Kevin PetersonCBOklahoma State9472
Christian WestermanGArizona State8573
Dean LowryDINorthwestern9774
Devin LucienWRArizona State9274
Braxton MillerWROhio State9874
De'Vante HarrisCBTexas A&M6977
Keyarris GarrettWRTulsa6478
Joe DahlOTWashington State11279
Taylor DeckerOTOhio State5280
Joshua PerryLBOhio State8681
Vernon ButlerDILouisiana Tech3282
Bronson KaufusiEDGEBYU6682
Ronald BlairEDGEAppalachian State10282
Xavien HowardCBBaylor8085
Joshua GarnettGStanford5086
Brandon DoughtyQBWestern Kentucky10986
Darian ThompsonSBoise State8388
Thomas DuarteTEUCLA8989
Scooby Wright IIILBArizona7190
A'Shawn RobinsonDIAlabama4191
Matt IoannidisDITemple12491
Vonn BellSOhio State9093
Austin HooperTEStanford12594
Cre'Von LeBlancCBFlorida Atlantic9394
Kentrell BrothersLBMissouri10896
Pharoh CooperWRSouth Carolina9697
Will AnthonyEDGENavy13297
Le'Raven ClarkOTTexas Tech11999
Kenny ClarkDIUCLA58100
Shon ColemanOTAuburn91101
Kyler FackrellEDGEUtah State65102
Anthony ZettelDIPenn State114102
Jake McGeeTEFlorida123104
Cyrus JonesCBAlabama77105
Steven DanielsLBBoston College101106
Demarcus AyersWRHouston150106
Jordan PaytonWRUCLA118108
Kamalei CorreaEDGEBoise State78109
Nick VanHooseCBNorthwestern88110
Aaron BurbridgeWRMichigan State138111
Nelson SpruceWRColorado145112
Matt SkuraCDuke128113
Tavon YoungCBTemple115114
Devon CajusteTEStanford174115
Tajae SharpeWRUmass180116
Jakeem GrantWRTexas Tech173116
Austin BlytheCIowa203118
Spencer DrangoGBaylor107119
David MorganTEUTSA153120
Darrell GreeneGSan Diego State157121
Devontae BookerRBUtah103122
Germain IfediOTTexas A&M182123
Kyle MurphyOTStanford72124
Henry Krieger-CobleTEIowa230125
Cardale JonesQBOhio State222126
C.J. ProsiseRBNotre Dame105126
Cody KesslerQBUSC106126
Will RedmondCBMississippi State116129
Max TuerkCUSC113130
Terrell ChestnutCBWest Virginia129131
Jack AllenCMichigan State122132
Derrick HenryRBAlabama95133
Sebastian TretolaGArkansas126134
Joe HaegOTNorth Dakota State117135
Will ParksSArizona100136
D.J. ReaderDIClemson162136
Brandon AllenQBArkansas104136
Demarcus RobinsonWRFlorida140139
Daniel LascoRBCal141139
Artie BurnsCBMiami144141
Matt JohnsonQBBowling Green110142
Jayron KearseSClemson120143
Byron MarshallWROregon121143
Jihad WardDIIllinois159145
Tyrone HolmesEDGEMontana130146
B.J. GoodsonLBClemson146147
Trevone BoykinQBTCU142148
Charles TapperEDGEOklahoma136148
Kenyan DrakeRBAlabama135148
Jonathan WilliamsRBArkansas137148
Keanu NealSFlorida176152
Jatavis BrownLBAkron131153
Eric MurrayCBMinnesota154154
Nile Lawrence-StampleDIFlorida State148155
Jacoby BrissettQBNC State151155
Kevin HoganQBStanford143155
Jeff DriskelQBLouisiana Tech149155
D.J. WhiteCBGeorgia Tech155159
Vernon Adams, JRQBOregon111160
Miles KillebrewSSouther Utah187160
Trevon ColeyDIFlorida Atlantic186160
Eddie YarbroughEDGEWyoming192160
DeAndre WashingtonRBTexas Tech194160
Tyler ErvinRBSan Jose State197160
Graham GlasgowGMichigan158166
Ryker MathewsGBYU164166
Terrell LathanDITCU167168
Dadi Lhomme NicholasEDGEVirginia Tech161168
Aaron WallaceEDGEUCLA166168
Justin SimmonsSBoston College163168
Eric StrikerEDGEOklahoma165168
Cory JohnsonDIKentucky156168
KeiVarae RussellCBNotre Dame171174
Corey TindalCBMarshall172174
Alex LewisOTNebraska183176
Tyler MatakevichLBTemple185176
Perez FordLBNorthern Illinois188176
Jordan JenkinsEDGEGeorgia127179
Connor WujciakDIBoston College204179
Caleb AzubikeEDGEVanderbilt209179
Kyle RoseDIWest Virginia168182
Sterling BaileyDIGeorgia170182
Delvon SimmonsDIUSC175182
Brennan ScarlettDIStanford178182
Adam GotsisDIGeorgia Tech177182
Jhurell PressleyRBNew Mexico179182
Kolby ListenbeeWRTCU181182
Tyler GrayLBBoise State160189
Kendall FullerCBVirginia Tech139190
Yannick NgakoueEDGEMaryland134191
Joey HuntCTCU189192
Rees OdhiamboGBoise State190192
Nick VigilLBUtah State205194
Taveze CalhounCBMississippi State147195
Bryson AlbrightEDGEMiami (OH)195196
Travis FeeneyEDGEWashington196196
Cody CoreWROle Miss184196
Kenny LawlerWRCal193196
Rashard RobinsonCBLSU200200
Donte DeayonCBBoise State199200
Connor McGovernGMissouri202202
Quniton JeffersonDIMaryland210203
D.J. PettwayEDGEAlabama211203
Clayton FejedelemSIllinois201203
Tanner McEvoySWisconsin206203
Curt MaggittEDGETennessee207203
Teddy RubenWRTroy212203
Alex McCalisterEDGEFlorida169209
Wendell SmallwoodRBWest Virginia228209
Blake MartinezLBStanford198211
Dak PrescottQBMississippi State221212
Ian SeauEDGENevada219212
Matt JudonEDGEGrand Valley State220212
T.J. GreenSClemson217212
Jenson StoshakWRFlorida Atlantic214212
Jordan WilliamsWRBall State218212
D.J. FosterWRArizona State216212
Ted KarrasGIllinois213219
Tyler RobertsLBTroy215220
Prince Charles IworahCBWestern Kentucky225221
Jalen MillsCBLSU247221
Praise Martin-OguikeEDGETemple208223
Mike RoseEDGENC State223224
Victor OchiEDGEStony Brook244224
Cory LittletonEDGEWashington246224
Roger LewisWRBowling Green224224
Mike HiltonSOle Miss233224
Vincent ValentineDINebraska234224
Martavius FosterDIColorado State240224
Nick ArbuckleQBGeorgia State242224
Jimmy BeanEDGEOklahoma State248224
Mitch MathewsWRBYU226224
Charone PeakeWRClemson229224
Josh FergusonRBIllinois235224
Chris MooreWRCincinnati236224
Trevor DavisWRCal239224
Alex EricksonWRWisconsin227224
John TheusOTGeorgia231239
Jerald HawkinsOTLSU232239
Justin MurrayOTCincinnati249239
Deion JonesLBLSU250239
Jesse ChapmanCAppalachian State241243
Jake BrendelCUCLA245243
Boston StiversonGKansas State237245
Jarell BroxtonGBaylor238245
Vadal AlexanderGLSU243245
Landon TurnerGNorth Carolina133248
Nila KasitatiGOklahoma152248
Brandon ShellOTSouth Carolina191248

| Director of Analysis

Ben joined Pro Football Focus in 2007, and has since been in charge of the company’s analysis process. He also contributes to PFF’s weekly NFL podcast.

  • Phil

    After just reading the Miami Dolphins article I came to read this draft board and It’s awful. Round 2 you have them taking Collins, Lynch or Carroo. Carroo is the only player with a 2nd round grade with Lynch and Collins both having 3rd’s but they over draft for them? Round 3 you have them taking Perry, Booker or Reed. Perry is a 3rd round talent, so hes where he should be but Reed is a 2nd round talent and is still there? Booker is a 4th round talent but they over draft for him too? You may ask where I’m getting these draft grades from. They’re from the positional rankings and superlatives page on that 9.99$ draft guide that I bought from you guys. One would think that the Director of Analysis would at least analyse his own draft guide. SMFH Ben Stockwell.

  • alex

    After all the meetings and workouts the Cowboys had with Dax Prescott, how can this list be accurate when he isn’t on the list?

  • Causedtheflames

    Bosa is not on the Cowboys draft board… he’s not worth a top 10 pick, anyway.