Dallas Cowboys 7-Round Mock Draft: Trading Way Back

Michael Gallup #13 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Michael Gallup #13 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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Justin Madubuike #52 (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Round 2, Pick 51

Justin Madubuike, DT

Texas A&M

This is the Dallas Cowboys’ original spot. It’s tempting to go safety since only three have been picked at this point but Madubuike is too tempting of a prospect to pass on. It doesn’t hurt that he plays a position that’s of particular need to the Cowboys or that Dallas greatly values defensive tackle (the same cannot be said for the safety position).

The Dallas Cowboys like to rotate and develop talent at DT and that’s why Madubuike makes sense. Safety is not a position they want to heavily rotate and with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix signed, they’re more willing to gamble on waiting at safety. Besides, every year safeties fall in the draft.

Justin Madubuike is a penetrator – plain and simple. The DT from Texas A&M is explosive off the snap. He uses a strong first step and disciplined hand technique to beat blocks and attack the backfield. At 6-foot-3, 304 lbs, Madubuike is a well-built 1-gap penetrator who can line up in a variety of positions and roles. This is particularly valuable given the Dallas Cowboys desire to mix in some odd man fronts.

He’s not a bulky 2-gap NT Cowboys Nation has been banging the table for, but he’s a fierce tackler who makes plays against both the run and pass. Ideally he would come in to play the 3-tech. Recently signed Gerald McCoy will be playing both 3-tech and some 1-tech so the Cowboys should be able to maximize their ability to apply interior pressure with the two.

Madubuike has a high ceiling as a 1-gap penetrator and is well rounded enough to be an every-down player in the NFL. The ability to play 5-tech is an added bonus because he allows the defense to grow in either direction in coming season.