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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.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.