2011 NFL Draft Grades: Mel Kiper Gives Cowboys B-

We take a look at the Cowboys' draft through grades.

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2011 NFL Draft Grades: SB Nation Grades The Cowboys' Draft

Our SB Nation representatives from Blogging The Boys, Mocking The Draft and SB Nation DFW grade and summarize the Cowboys' 2011 draft.

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2011 NFL Draft Grades: ESPN Dallas Grades The Cowboys Draft

ESPN Dallas-Ft Worth has chimed in with their grade for the Cowboys’ 2011 draft, and it looks familiar. Todd Archer and Calvin Watkins took part in evaluating Dallas.

Archer wished that they would have found more immediate contributors, but gave them a B-.

The Cowboys say they followed their board instead of reaching for needs, which is probably why they did not go after defensive ends and a safety. They needed to find immediate contributors but of their eight picks only two figure to do so in 2011: first-round tackle Tyron Smith and third-round running back DeMarco Murray.

Watkins acknowledged that they had to go after players that were high on their board and that that meant they couldn’t necessarily load up on defenders. He also gave them a B-.

We understand what the Cowboys were trying to do and in some ways they didn’t have any choice. They selected offensive players because the better defensive players were off the board. Dallas should have gotten more defensive players but that’s OK, because they finally drafted a tackle in the first round who can play right now in Tyron Smith.

See their entire comments here:

Todd Archer
Calvin Watkins

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2011 NFL Draft Grades: Rick Gosselin Gives Cowboys B Grade

Rick Gosselin didn’t sound enamored with the Cowboys draft after their peculiar second day, but a strong third day bumped them up to a B on his draft grades. Gosselin particularly liked Dwayne Harris and J.T. Thomas.

“The Cowboys had a superb third day of this draft. Harris is a Kelvin Martin clone and the arrival of Arkin and Nagy will help Smith make the offensive line deeper and more competitive. Murray can solve a running back riddle.”

Whether Murray can actually solve that running back riddle is the biggest question surrounding the Dallas draft. Gosselin’s ranking of No. 84 on his top 100 doesn’t sound like solution material, but he was more positive when discussing the pick live Saturday.

While most observers liked the New York Giants’ haul of Prince Amukamara, Marvin Austin, Jerrel Jernigan and James Brewer better than the Cowboys’ draft, Gosselin actually gave the Cowboys the highest grade in the NFC East.

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Cowboys 2011 Draft Has Jason Garrett Handprint, Curious Initial Results

Jason Garrett seemed to play a big role in his first draft as head coach. His initial results were hard to evaluate.

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NFL Draft Grades 2011: CBS, ESPN, NBC, FOX Grade The Cowboys

NFL Draft grades have begun to filter in from national outlets, and the Cowboys have received a remarkably consistent response. The DeMarco Murray pick in the third round seems to be what sticks in most evaluators' craw. There were higher rated (on commonly available boards) players at positions where the Cowboys more desperately needed something. If Murray turns into a serious player, I have a feeling that we'll all look at this draft differently.

CBS Sports (Pete Prisco) 

Best pick: I like the pick of Bruce Carter in the second round. He is coming off an ACL injury, so he might be limited in 2010, but he has star potential if on the field.

Questionable move: Taking DeMarco Murray in the third round was a strange move with all the other needs they have.

Third-day gem: Sixth-round pick Dwayne Harris is a steal. He will make their team and be a good slot receiver.

Analysis: They added a starter in tackle Tyron Smith and then filled in some holes, though I think they could have gone in another direction when they picked Murray.

Grade: B-

ESPN (Mel Kiper)

While I thought Dallas might trade down off No. 9 and get more value at the tackle position a little later in Round 1, Smith made a lot of sense at No. 9, and the Cowboys showed conviction with the pick. He could be the solution for them at left tackle if he develops, or perhaps gets moved to the right side for now. After that, it got a little confusing for two rounds. Dallas went linebacker and running back in Rounds 2 and 3 before targeting more pressing needs at corner and guard in the following two rounds. Dallas got good value later, but never took a player that seemed like a steal at the position. Harris is a guy who might continue to develop at wideout.

Grade: B-

NBC Sports

The Cowboys got fine value with their first two picks, and acquiring the best left tackle in any draft as "late" as No. 9 overall is a coup. But it's fair to wonder if they could have done better in the end. DeMarco Murray is an injury waiting to happen, and wasn't nearly as productive on a per-play basis as some think. David Arkin is a project and probably a reach so early in round four. The only late-rounder we especially like is Dwayne Harris, who can do all of the things Patrick Crayton could.

Grade: B-

Fox Sports (Adam Caplan)

The Cowboys might have gotten a steal with Carter in the second round. He's still coming back from ACL surgery, but should help the team more in his second season. They failed to address their weaknesses at safety and cornerback.

Grade: C+

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2011 NFL Draft Grades: Mel Kiper Gives Cowboys B-

After being somewhat critical of the Cowboys’ Day 2 picks for not addressing needs, Mel Kiper settled on a B- for their overall draft grade. Kiper grades two components – needs and overall value – and combines the two for his overall grade. He gave the Cowboys a B- for addressing their needs and a C+ for overall value.

Summary: While I thought Dallas might trade down off No. 9 and get more value at the tackle position a little later in Round 1, Smith made a lot of sense at No. 9, and the Cowboys showed conviction with the pick. He could be the solution for them at left tackle if he develops, or perhaps gets moved to the right side for now. After that, it got a little confusing for two rounds. Dallas went linebacker and running back in Rounds 2 and 3 before targeting more pressing needs at corner and guard in the following two rounds. Dallas got good value later, but never took a player that seemed like a steal at the position. Harris is a guy who might continue to develop at wideout.

Like Kiper says, the Cowboys didn’t draft anyone, maybe outside of Josh Thomas, who was expected to go significantly higher. They obviously felt like Davis was a first-round talent, but it’s reasonable for a first round talent to go No. 40 if he’s still recovering from a torn ACL, and not everyone agrees with them on that assessment anyway.

Questioning a team for not drafting to immediate need is always a dicey proposition, but it would be comforting to see observers a little more excited about the overall talent collected by the Cowboys.

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2011 NFL Draft: Grade The Cowboys In Round One

With the choice of Tyron Smith at the No. 9 slot, Jerry Jones drafted an offensive lineman in the first round for the first time in his 23 drafts. In most publicly available draft rankings Smith was ranked close to that spot, but rumors circulated prior to the draft that the Cowboys were likely to attempt to trade down, add picks, save money, and settle for another offensive tackle or defensive end.

They decided to play it straight instead and lock up the top player on their board at a key position. What do you think of the pick?

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