The NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys hold the 27th pick coming off an unexpected 12-4 season. Heading into last season many expected the Cowboys to be awful along with their defense. While the defense was not spectacular, Rod Marinellimanaged to get the best out of a very average group he was given. Marinelli will return as defensive coordinator after speculation he might leave for Tampa Bay. As many are aware the Cowboys signed troubled defensive end Greg Hardy in the offseason who was recently handed a 10 game suspension to start the 2015 campaign. Dallas is still very thin up front and losing Hardy for that amount of time will not help matters for a team desperately in need of a pass rush off the edge. Linebacker Sean Lee will look to return again after tearing his ACL early in the offseason workouts before 2014. Rolando McClain was a pleasant surprise for the Boys last season and will return for 2015. However, McClain might be facing a performance enhancing suspension as well that remains to be seen. Rotational and special teams linebacker Andrew Gachkar was brought in from San Diego to provide depth. The Cowboys secondary remains the same and it’s still in question if cornerback Brandon Carr will take the pay cut many have speculated he’s been asked to do. I look for Jerry Jones to address the depth of the secondary during this draft. Tony Romowill be entering his 13th season with the Cowboys and the shift in focus to the running game seems to have extended his career by a few years. Romo’s back is one hit away from being the last hit he takes and the less drop backs he needs to take the better for the franchise. That strategy stands to be put to the test this year as the NFL’s rushing champion in 2014, Demarco Murray, left to play for another NFC East team were familiar with. Joseph Randle, Lance Dunbar, and free agent signee Darren McFadden are the current group of running backs on the Cowboys roster. Randle would be the likely starter out of that group as it’s currently positioned. If the Cowboys are much less effective running the football behind the strength of their team in the offensive line they will have no other choice than to put the ball in Romo’s hands more. The team was not able to agree to terms on a long term extension with Pro Bowl wide receiver DezBryant. Bryant was given the franchise tag for 2015 and the same situation could come back into play next offseason. Dallas appears weary of the potential guaranteed money they would give to Dez and his off the field question marks. As a diehard Eagles fan nothing would please more than seeing Dez walk and play for another team besides Dallas. I think eventually the two sides will work things out and he’ll be a Cowboy long term. The best offensive line will return intact for the 2015 season and will be blocking for a new starting running back. Tyron Smith, Zack Martin and Travis Frederick are the key components of the group. With the 27th pick in the 2015 Birds Scoop Mock Draft the Dallas Cowboys select…
Melvin Gordon- Running Back (Wisconsin)
Gordon fills the obvious need for Dallas at running back with the departure of Murray. I view Joseph Randle as more of a change of pace 10 carry back. I won’t even mention Run DMC until he can stay healthy for more than 3 straight games. Gordon will come into a favorable situation compared to most running backs with the tremendous o-line which he’ll be running behind. He has the size at 6’1 215 pounds to carry the ball 25 times per game which he often did while at Wisconsin. He also has the ability for big plays as he had 40 runs for 15 plus yards in his final season with the Badgers. Scouts say Gordon loves to run behind the tackles and he arguably has the best one in the league in left tackle Tyron Smith. That being said one of his main drawbacks is his knack for often trying to bounce too many runs outside instead of taking the few yards up the middle. While Gordon has the capability to hit the home run, he also can come up with too many runs of zero or negative yardage when he’s looking to hit the big play. The thing that made the Dallas offense so effective last season was Murray taking the positive plays and creating shorter down and distances for Romoto convert on. Gordon needs to improve upon his interior running especially since Pro Bowlers Travis Frederick and Zack Martin would be paving the way for him inside. Similar to Murray, Gordon had fumbling issues while at Wisconsin. He fumbled six times over his final five games and that will absolutely find you a spot on the bench as a rookie in the NFL. Lastly, Gordon will need to improve on becoming a better receiver. However, early on Dallas will most likely use Lance Dunbar or Randle on third downs to give the rookie a blow. I still believe Gordon is the second best running back behind Todd Gurley in this draft and would be a quality pick for Dallas.
Impact on the Eagles
Gordon would be the main replacement for current Eagles running back Demarco Murray, whom the Eagles did a pretty good job of slowing down last season. Cedric Thornton, Bennie Logan and Fletcher Cox seemed to take it as a personal insult regarding all the talk about the Dallas offensive line heading into both regular season matchups. The Wisconsin Badger alum will be a different style running back than they faced in Murray, but dangerous nonetheless. They will get an early look at Gordon for the Week 2 home opener at the Linc which should be an electric atmosphere. The Eagles run defense has vastly improved over the last few seasons due in large part to those three names I mentioned earlier. I have full confidence they would be able to keep Gordon in check. Dez Bryant is the biggest threat to the Eagles by far.
Next Pick: 28th overall Denver Broncos
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