Cowboys Post-Combine 7-Round Mock Draft: Tyron Smith Replacement Arrives

The Dallas Cowboys attack the trenches in this post-combine 7-round mock draft

Cowboys, Ruke Orhorhoro
Cowboys, Ruke Orhorhoro / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Round 5, Pick 173: Aaron Casey, LB, Indiana

The Cowboys are expected to lose Leighton Vander Esch which is a massive blow. His long-term health is far more important to the game and while we wish him well, his absence will be felt.

LVE struggled with neck injuries throughout his career but when he was healthy, he was the exact type of MIKE linebacker they needed in their defense.

Looking to replace him with someone who can bring the heat as a middle linebacker, Dallas turns to Aaron Casey from Indiana. According to Lance Zierlein of, he has the production and willingness to deliver hits but needs to figure out how to see the game better.

"Casey looks like and hits like an NFL inside linebacker but doesn't always seem to see the game like one. The instincts and play recognition fall below par, but the production still stands out. His high number of solo tackles displays an ability to work through blocks and hammer ball-carriers or pass catchers. Casey will take shots downhill when he reads his keys but needs to balance that aggression with more patience to keep from running himself into traffic." — Zierlein,

Casey isn't a perfect prospect, which is why he's still here in the fifth round but he's another player who fits what Dallas needs. He could find a role on special teams early but there's also a chance he sees the field during running situations.