Dallas Cowboys: Sheldon Richardson

Cowboys trade down to No. 31

April, 25, 2013
IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys made their 60th draft day trade under owner/general manager Jerry Jones on Thursday night.


Did the Cowboys make the right move trading down in the first round?


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The Cowboys switched spots with San Francisco, moving from No. 18 to No. 31 in the first round. The Cowboys also acquired a third-round pick, the 74th overall selection.

The 49ers drafted LSU safety Eric Reid with the 18th pick of the first round.

Dallas was interested in several players, including Sheldon Richardson, Kenny Vaccaro, Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper, but those players were off the board by the time the Cowboys' turn came to pick.

However, the Cowboys left highly-regarded Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and defensive tackle Sylvester Williams on the board.

The Cowboys have two third-round picks, 74th and 80 overall.

Playing out Cowboys' scenarios at No. 18

April, 25, 2013
IRVING, Texas – With the 18th pick in the first round, the Cowboys could make their pick sometime around 10 p.m. That’s a lot of time to sit around and wait.

Todd Archer joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what we can expect in the first round of the NFL draft and how it relates to the Dallas Cowboys.

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Throughout the week, the Cowboys have run through every possible scenario so when they are on the clock (or even a little earlier than that) they will have a pick ready. It’s like going in with multiple game plans on a Sunday.

Best-case scenario: Somehow, some way Jonathan Cooper or Chance Warmack are available. History says they will there because five offensive linemen have not gone so early in thirty-plus years, but it seems like there is a lot of evidence to the contrary.

Cooper would be the preference but Warmack would be a nice pickup, too. They would walk in as Day 1 starters, which has become something of a catch-phrase around the Cowboys here this week. They would upgrade the weakest part of the team.

The only way this happens is if a quarterback or two or a wide receiver or two go early. Perhaps a running back. They need some unexpected moves that would push Warmack (most likely) down to them.

Likely scenario: The Cowboys take a defensive lineman, like Sheldon Richardson or Sylvester Williams, or safety Kenny Vaccaro.

As of this moment, I believe they would take Richardson if they cannot move back and the offensive linemen are gone. He can play both interior spots with the idea of him becoming the Warren Sapp for this Monte Kiffin defense. Williams is more of the traditional run stopper. Both would bring value to the defense.

Vaccaro is the top safety and he would fill an immediate need. Does he slip to No. 18? The Cowboys worked him out privately and had him at Valley Ranch for a visit.

Of the three, Williams figures to be the guy most likely to be available.

Second-best case scenario: Trade down in the first round and pick up extra picks.

Some might believe this would be the best-case scenario, but the offensive line needs big help.

If the Cowboys can move down, then that would open up more players to them and fit with their draft board more. They are in a no-man’s land right now where there is a gap in talent.

Depending on how far back they go, this would give the Cowboys looks at offensive lineman D.J. Fluker and Justin Pugh, defensive end Bjoern Werner and safeties Eric Reid and Jonathan Cyprien.

A pick of Fluker would seem to mean Doug Free would not be back. Pugh could be a walk-in starter at guard. Werner would fill a need as a backup defensive end with the eye on him starting in the future with Anthony Spencer on a one-year deal. Reid and Cyprien would be walk-in starters, too.

Worst-cast scenario: Everybody listed above is gone and they can’t trade down.

They must be willing to make a pick and this is where Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert comes into the mix. He could be their best player available but drafting a first-round tight end doesn’t help them that much in 2013 or give Jason Garrett the best chance to win now.

Eifert will be a terrific player, but Garrett has not shown the ability to work multiple tight end packages effectively like New England has. The Cowboys couldn’t make it work with second-rounders Anthony Fasano or Martellus Bennett behind Jason Witten.

Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, Werner, Cyprien and Fluker would also be in this mix. Picking any of them at No. 18 would likely be higher than the Cowboys would want.

First-round preview: Dallas Cowboys

April, 25, 2013
Where they're picking: No. 18

Conventional wisdom tells us the top six offensive linemen will be gone by 18, depriving the Cowboys of the chance to address their most significant short-term and long-term need. The mock drafts in which this happens have the Cowboys taking a defensive tackle such as Sheldon Richardson or Sylvester Williams at No. 18, and some are still connecting the Cowboys with Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro, since safety is a need as well. Everybody seems to agree that the Cowboys' dream scenario is that they get one of the draft's top two guards, either Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper, but no one seems to think either will fall to 18.

Ed Werder joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett live from Kansas City to discuss Jerry Jones' attendance at the Bush Library on NFL draft day, what he expects the Chiefs to do with the No. 1 pick and tell a funny tale about Bill Clinton and Jerry Jones.

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History tells us that the conventional wisdom is wrong. The last time six offensive linemen went in the top 17 picks was 1966, when the league only had 15 teams in it. Guards don't tend to go early, since most teams don't assign top-half-of-first-round value to that position. History tells us the Cowboys will be able to get offensive line help if they want it in the first round. But history also tells us that the Cowboys tend to pick out a guy they really like in the first round (Dez Bryant, Tyron Smith and Morris Claiborne are the recent examples) and do what they can to get him.

They probably won't end up with Vaccaro. First of all, it's possible he goes earlier than 18 (say, to St. Louis at 16). Second of all, their needs on the lines and the comparative value at those positions likely will push them to take a linemen of one sort or the other in a draft whose second round is packed with starting-caliber safeties. Sure, it's possible Vaccaro is this year's Jerry Jones crush and there's nothing anyone else in the braintrust can do to talk him out of it. But I'd be surprised if they end up with the Texas safety.

They could shock us by taking a tight end. The Blogfather, Matt Mosley, says he's been hearing the Cowboys love Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert, and if that's the case they could be making plans to move up to get him. While that would seem silly with Jason Witten still in place and at the top of his game, it's not completely crazy to find another weapon for Tony Romo in the passing game. If Eifert is the Cowboys' best player available, they could go for it. It would be foolish, and would leave them too short in too many other areas, but I'm not sure that would stop them.

My prediction: I'm leaning on history here and saying the mocks are all wrong and the Cowboys are going to be able to get one of those guards. Since we're making a pick, I'll say it's Chance Warmack who falls either all the way to 18 or at least into the 14-15 range that would allow them to make a sensible, cost-effective trade-up to get him. Not like last year's trade for Claiborne, which cost them their second-round pick, but maybe for a later-round pick or even a 2014 one.

Names to keep an eye on for Cowboys

April, 25, 2013
IRVING, Texas – Over the last few years, the Cowboys’ top-30 visitors before the draft have been a good indicator into who they end up selecting.

Nate Newton went undrafted in 1983, but he still feels like he was part of one of the greatest draft classes in league history. Newton joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss his draft experience from 30 years ago and his journey to three rings.

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Guys like Dez Bryant, Sean Lee, Tyrone Crawford and Matt Johnson, among others, visited Valley Ranch and ended up getting picked by the team.

Here is the list of this year’s invites to keep handy for the next three days:

S Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
S Jonathan Cyprien, Florida International
S Eric Reid, LSU
G Chance Warmack, Alabama
RB Le’Veon Bell, Michigan State
RB Joseph Randle, Oklahoma State
DL Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
RB Knile Davis, Arkansas
G Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina
OL Justin Pugh, Syracuse
DT Kawann Short, Purdue
DT Jordan Hill, Penn State
C Travis Frederick, Wisconsin
S Phillip Thomas, Fresno State
WR DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson
LB Sio Moore, Connecticut
LB Gerald Hodges, Penn State
CB B.W Webb, William & Mary
WR Charles Johnson, Grand Valley State
RB Giovani Bernard, North Carolina
OL Kyle Long, Oregon
S J.J. Wilcox, Georgia Southern
LB Brandon Magee, Arizona State
TE D.C. Jefferson, Rutgers
TE Dion Sims, Michigan State
WR Markus Wheaton, Oregon State
S Jakar Hamilton, South Carolina State
DT Bennie Logan, LSU

The final mock drafts

April, 25, 2013
Late Thursday night we'll know the entire first round of the NFL draft and begin the discussion of who did what and why.

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay have their final mock drafts.

Kiper has the Cowboys taking North Carolina defensive tackle Sylvester Williams. Says Kiper:
The Cowboys currently have 31-year-old Jay Ratliff as one starting defensive tackle, and 30-year-old Jason Hatcher as the other. They may have other more pressing needs, but if the Cowboys can't put together a solid rotation on the interior of their defensive line, the conversion to a 4-3 is going to be ugly.

To get the rest of the first round, go here. You need to be an ESPN Insider to get the complete list.

McShay's final mock draft has Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson going in the first round to the Cowboys. McShay has Williams going to the Minnesota Vikings at No. 23.

Here's McShay's mock. You have to be an ESPN Insider to view it.

Scouts Inc. takes on Cowboys' draft

April, 25, 2013
Nate Newton went undrafted in 1983, but he still feels like he was part of one of the greatest draft classes in league history. Newton joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss his draft experience from 30 years ago and his journey to three rings.

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IRVING, Texas – While most draftniks focus their mock draft on the first or first and second rounds, the guys at Scouts Inc. have gone through the entire seven-round process.

For those of you wanting the Cowboys to go heavy on the offensive line, they didn’t disappoint. Three of the team’s six picks were on the offensive line.

Here you go:

1 – DL Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
2 – OL Kyle Long, Oregon
3 – S. J.J. Wilcox, Georgia Southern
4 – CB Sanders Commings, Georgia
5 – OT Ricky Wagner, Wisconsin
6 – C Khaled Holmes, Southern Cal

That would leave the Cowboys on the lookout for running backs, wide receivers and tight ends if the draft fell this way. Richardson, Long and Wilcox were among the team’s national visitors. Holmes would be a good get in the sixth round.
With the 18th pick of the NFL draft, the Dallas Cowboys will select ...

With that, we look at five players that the Cowboys might select with their first-round pick Thursday night:

Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley and Glenn "Stretch" Smith discuss some of the players the Cowboys should be looking at in the upcoming NFL draft.

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1. Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina: Highly-regarded player had just two seasons of work in college. Scouts say he has a quick first step, excellent swim move and strong, active hands. Selecting Williams will become more of a reality if a safety or offensive linemen aren't available and the desire to move down decreases. He won't start right away because of the Cowboys' experience along the defensive line, but he most likely will be a starter in 2014.

2. Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas: He fills a need at the position where he can play close to the line of scrimmage and in coverage. The Cowboys want defensive backs to make plays on the ball, and the Cowboys defensive coaches and scouts believe he can do this. Vaccaro covers a lot of ground because he plays fast and displays smarts to make plays.


Who will the Cowboys pick at No. 18?


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3. D.J. Fluker, T, Alabama: In a draft heavy with guards and tackles, Fluker should be around in the teens. He's been projected to go late in the first round or possibly early in the second. He's got one of the biggest wingspans (87 1/4) of any tackle in the draft, displays good hands and has power to push defenders off the line of scrimmage.

4. Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri: The Cowboys might have to choose between Williams and Richardson. Both players attended JUCOs, but it seems Richardson needs some work. He's got the measureables (6-2, 294 pounds), a quick first step and makes plays away from the line of scrimmage. But he had shoulder surgery before the 2012 season and played only one full season at Missouri.

5. Chance Warmack, G, Alabama: He's considered one of the best guards in the draft along with Jonathan Cooper. There's some doubt if Warmack will be around at No. 18, but if he falls somehow, the Cowboys need to grab him. Warmack has good foot quickness, balance and strength. He had 40 starts in the SEC, which is impressive to NFL coaches and scouts.

Cowboys visitors from need positions

April, 2, 2013
Stretch Smith takes Galloway & Company around the NFL, discussing quarterback moves, Tony Romo's contract and Chip Kelly's first season.

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IRVING, Texas – It is no secret that the Cowboys need help along the offensive and defensive lines and at safety entering the NFL draft, so it’s not surprising the team is meeting with some of the best available at those positions this week at Valley Ranch.

With the draft three weeks away, the Cowboys are scheduled to meet with 28 national prospects, including offensive linemen Chance Warmack (Alabama), Jonathan Cooper (North Carolina), Jonathan Pugh (Syracuse) and Travis Frederick (Wisconsin), safeties Kenny Vaccaro (Texas), Jonathan Cyprien (Florida International) and Eric Reid (LSU) and defensive linemen Sheldon Richardson (Missouri) and Kawann Short (Purdue).

Among the other players visiting are Clemson receiver DeAndre Hopkins, Fresno State safety Phillip Thomas, running backs Knile Davis (Arkansas), Joseph Randle (Oklahoma State) and Le’Veon Bell (Michigan State) and defensive tackle Jordan Hill (Penn State).

Advanced scouting: Sheldon Richardson

March, 27, 2013
RichardsonAP Photo/L.G. PattersonMissouri defensive tackle had some of his best games against his toughest competition.
To help preview who might be on the Dallas Cowboys’ board for the NFL draft, ESPNDallas.com has identified five players at five key positions that we’d like to learn more about. Along those lines, we’ve asked former Cowboys assistant coach Glenn “Stretch” Smith – the official scout of Galloway & Company – to study tape of each player and give his thoughts.

No. 4 defensive lineman: Sheldon Richardson

Position: Defensive tackle

Height/weight: 6-foot-3, 294 pounds

School: Missouri

Why he’s on the radar: It is important to remember that a draft is not just for the upcoming season. It’s for the four or five years a pick will be with the club. The Cowboys have an aging defensive line and need a boost in youth and talent. Richardson has all of the measurables you would want for this new defense. He had his best games against the better teams, which can be considered good and bad because you do want to see consistent play.

Projection: First round

Stretch Truths: Combine stats -- Ran a 5.02 in the 40; has a 32-inch vertical and did 30 reps at 225. ... The junior college transfer has good feet and can pursue with speed. ... Flashes some pass rush techniques and moves; he plays hard sideline to sideline. ... Shows power to shoot hands, but he’s not quick to separate and get off blocks. ... Can play tackle in a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. ... You can't take this kid too early in the draft as it could be feast or famine with him.