The Dallas Cowboys don’t have to wait long for their first round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, as they draft fourth overall in the first round. It’s the Cowboys highest draft position since 2012, when they selected LSU DB Morris Claiborne with the sixth overall pick. They haven’t drafted in the top five since 2006, when they took Terrance Newman fifth overall. In fact, this is Dallas’ highest overall selection since 1991, when Russel Maryland became the first overall pick of the 1991 draft.
Dallas went defensive in 2015, selecting CB Byron Jones out of Connecticut 27th overall. Jones didn’t make the same splash as fellow rookie corner Marcus Peters, but still registered 47 tackles in 16 games last season.
Some projections have the Cowboys thinking big, and taking OSU RB Ezekiel Elliot. That would be a departure for the Cowboys, who haven’t taken a skill position player in the first round since Dez Bryant in 2010. Other mock drafts have Dallas selecting Jalen Ramsey, who would provide an immediate boost to a secondary that already allowed the fifth-lowest pass yards per game last season.
The Cowboys have mostly focused on their offensive line in past years, and that has paid dividends. Now it might be time to improve other areas, making Elliot or Ramsey an excellent selection.
The Pick: Ezekial Elliot, RB, Ohio State
Cowboys First-Round Pick History
2015: Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut
2014: Zach Martin, G, Notre Dame
2013: Travis Frederick, C, Wisconsin
2012: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
2011: Tyron Smith, OT, USC