Cowboys news: Dallas adds DE Marshawn Kneeland, C/G Cooper Beebe on Day 2 of the NFL Draft

Marshawn Kneeland to Cowboys as 2nd-Round Pick – Patrik Walker,

Dallas addresses sneaky edge rusher need with Kneeland.

Kneeland is a flat-out athlete.

With a run on positions that all but wiped out some top names the Cowboys had their eyes on, they opted to go to a less-heralded need on the roster by grabbing a defensive end — Kneeland entering the mix as someone who can counter the loss of Dorance Armstrong and Dante Fowler to the Washington Commanders in free agency; more so the former, considering the impact he’ll be looked to have on special teams as well.

His play was stout enough to earn honors as a second-team All-MAC talent last season at Western Michigan, finishing that campaign with a career-high in tackles (57), sacks (4.5), tackles for loss (7.5), (2) forced fumbles and quarterback hurries (8).

The 6-foot-3, 267 lb. pass rusher has a frame that’s ready-made for the NFL, and with a high motor to go along with it. He can bull rush, speed rush and effectively set the edge in run defense — all attributes the Cowboys can certainly benefit from.

Cowboys draft Kansas State IOL Cooper Beebe at No. 73 – KD Drummond, Cowboys Wire

Cowboys continue adding to the offensive line by stealing Beebe in the third round.

The Dallas Cowboys continued their assault on their depleted offensive line on Day 2 of the NFL draft. After taking Oklahoma’s Tyler Guyton in the first round following a trade down, the club used the extra pick acquired in the trade back to go back to the well.

Dallas sent the No. 24 pick to Detroit for No. 29 and No. 73, and with the 73rd pick in the first half of the third round, they selected Kansas State guard Cooper Beebe. The Cowboys have now created a ton of competition along the offensive line after losing Tyron Smith and Tyler Biadasz to free agency.

As of now, the Cowboys’ best two linemen are guards Tyler Smith and Zack Martin. Beebe could play left guard while Smith kicks out to left tackle, or he could be the starting center depending on how well Brock Hoffman and TJ Bass compete.

NFL Draft results 2024: Dallas Cowboys select LB Marist Liufau with the 87th pick – Dave Halprin, Blogging The Boys

The Cowboys get their next foundational piece at linebacker with Liufau.

With the 87th pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected Notre Dame linebacker Marist Liufau. The Cowboys entered the draft with a need at linebacker in Mike Zimmer’s new defense. The Cowboys now have knocked off some of their bigger needs in the drat.

Angular linebacker with endless energy but a level of impatience that can occasionally pull him out of positioning. Liufau plays with good short-area burst and a willingness to step downhill and leverage his gaps. At times, he will move unnecessarily and get trapped behind a second-level blocker or lose track of where the play is headed. Liufau offers third-down value as a spot dropper with good field awareness and might have enough man-cover talent to line up over big slot targets from time to time. He appears to lack the instincts to be a consistent tackle-maker as a pro but does have the qualities to potentially compete as a nickel linebacker with special teams value as a Day 3 pick.

Draft Network

Marist Liufau is an experienced linebacker that aligned primarily as the ‘MIKE’ in the Notre Dame defense. Quick first step downhill in the run but is often incorrect in his run fit. Will also delay engagement with opposing linemen when the alley is vacant. Play strength lacks when asked to engage/disengage in one-on-one opportunities. In space, Liufau is active and consistently around the football. As a blitzer, Liufau lacks a pass-rush repertoire but showcases an innate ability to ID vacant rush lanes from the second level. Pursuit angles can be inconsistent where a lack of foot speed can quickly see him chasing a play.

In coverage, Liufau is comfortable in space but is someone whose projection looks muddied as a true three-down stalwart at LB. Instincts hurt Liufau at times versus RPO where he will lose depth to counter crossers behind his head. Open-field tackling needs improvement at this time in his evaluation (Ohio State). Excellent inside the contact window versus RBs and TEs where his quick hands will often jolt opposing players. Showcases good body placement to reroute opposing pass-catchers on short-yardage situations, as well. Allowed just 62 yards on 10 catches (11 targets) in 2023.

Ezekiel Elliott free agency: Jerry Jones says interest in potential reunion with former Cowboys RB is ‘real’ – Garrett Podell, CBS Sports

It appears to be a foregone conclusion at this point.

“We spent a lot of time with Zeke,’’ Jerry said.

The elder Jones didn’t want to guarantee a reunion with Elliott because he revealed the pursuit of the running back is “a competitive situation” meaning Dallas isn’t the only team talking to Zeke. He did make clear that his interest in Elliott is “real.”

“Is it real that Zeke is going to play next year in my mind?’’ Jerry rhetorically questioned. “I think it’s very real that he’s going to play in my view. But I don’t want to go too far here because it’s competition.’’

Dallas lost eight of its own players in free agency, tied for the third-most in a single offseason in Cowboys history, and that number includes the team’s 2023 starting running back Tony Pollard, who signed a three-year, $21.8 million contract with the Tennessee Titans. Rico Dowdle, an undrafted free agent in 2020, and 2023 sixth-round pick Deuce Vaughn are the top two backs on the Cowboys’ current depth chart.

Dallas Cowboys 2024 NFL draft picks: Selection analysis – Todd Archer, ESPN

The Cowboys have quietly made noise so far in the draft.

Round 1, No. 29 overall (via Detroit): Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma

My take: You never want to be forced into taking a specific position in the draft, but the Cowboys almost had to come away with an offensive lineman in the first round. By trading back with Detroit, the Cowboys cost themselves a chance to take center Graham Barton, who is more ready to play right away, but Guyton plays a premium position at tackle. He will need some time to adjust to the pro game as well as likely a new position after starting just 15 games at Oklahoma with 13 coming at right tackle. Replacing a legend like Tyron Smith at left tackle would be difficult for any rookie but patience might be the biggest key when assessing Guyton as a rookie.

Is this pick for depth or does it fill a hole?: It fills a hole because the Cowboys’ in-house candidates — Asim Richards, Matt Waletzko and Josh Ball — are inexperienced as well. Guyton did not believe it would take him long to get accustomed to left tackle. “I’ve done both,” he said. “I feel like either one I’m good at, and I’ll jump right in at left tackle and do whatever I can … There’s no big difference for me. I feel it’s only flipping plays and flipping techniques. I don’t think it will be a hard job to do. I’m really excited for it actually.”

What we’re hearing about Guyton: He was not a visitor to The Star prior to the draft, but the Cowboys met with him at the combine and at his pro day. Guyton said he spoke with offensive line coach Mike Solari multiple times and felt a connection. “We’ve got a history of having guys that do things at a high level at that position and there’s some traits that definitely showed us that that was there,” vice president of player personnel Will McClay said. “You talk about athletic ability, and left tackles are usually more athletic, and this guy is an athletic guy — basketball background, some defense in his nature. So that way that he plays the game will add something to us as well.”


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