Dallas Cowboys: D.C. Jefferson

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.

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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
IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys have one of the best tight ends in football in Jason Witten. With James Hanna, the Cowboys think they have a player who can be a mismatch for linebackers or safeties.

As the Cowboys enter the draft, they need to find another tight end. The only other tight ends on the roster are Colin Cochart and Andre Smith. Cochart had a cup of coffee with the club last year but didn’t play in a game. Smith was a late addition to the practice squad.

To a degree the Cowboys have wasted second-round picks on tight ends with Anthony Fasano (2006) and Martellus Bennett (2008). There simply aren’t enough plays for a tight end behind Witten to justify the second-round pick unless the Cowboys want to do what New England does with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.

This draft has a number of quality tight ends, but the Cowboys should not be in play for a Tyler Eifert or Zach Ertz, considered the top two at the position. Again, it’s based on how they use their second tight end behind Witten.

You have to maximize plays per game with early picks. Unless the Cowboys switch their philosophy and move away from heavy three-wide receiver personnel looks, then it does not make sense to grab a tight end early. And it doesn’t make sense to take a “pass-catching” tight end either.

The Cowboys have to look at the “blocking” tight ends more.

They had two of those types in for top-30 visits in Rutgers’ D.C. Jefferson and Michigan State’s Dion Sims. Both players are considered solid blocking prospects, with Sims more highly regarded. Another option is Alabama’s Michael Williams.