Dallas Cowboys 2016 Mock Draft: February 16, 2016 - Ezekiel Elliott To Dallas?

Our weekly mock draft exercise returns to take a closer look at several candidates for the Dallas Cowboys.

OK, so it's Tuesday... sue us.

This week's Monday Mock Draft may be a day late, again, but it's the thought that counts, right? As we inch closer to free agency, the needs of the Dallas Cowboys will soon come into focus a lot more clearly than they are now. As it stands, Dallas could really use one of everything, and having a pick at the top of the first six rounds (counting a 4th round comp as an early fifth) will allow the Cowboys a chance to grab several players who can make a big impact on the team in the next several years. Not every player drafted will have an immediate impact on the team, although that is always the hope. Some players are more potential than production, and the hope in drafting those guys lies in them having a much higher ceiling than someone who might be more ready in the immediate.

There are players who could do both, and the consensus thinking is that with the fourth overall pick, that's the type of player Dallas should focus on drafting in the first round. The issue is, there are several position which are difficult ones to have highly impactful rookie seasons. Of course, a rookie QB wouldn't start with Romo around, but the question there is whether or not a rookie could turn in a better performance than Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel did in 2015. We've long chronicled how the average number of sacks for a rookie DE is minimal, and Randy Gregory's 2015 played out in that regard. Corners often time are hit or miss in the first two years of their careers. Take out the amazing class of 2014 wideouts and view the overall history of the position... plenty of doubt there as well.

The caveat is, there can always be players who defy the concensus, and if your team identifies a prospect as "that guy" you take him and don't look back.

For this exercise, I will employ the assistance of the good folk at Fanspeak's On The Clock Mock Draft Simulator. You can perform your own mocks by simply clicking this link. You'll need to upgrade to Premium for the option to trade. GREAT NEWS! FanSpeak is now allowing projected comp picks!

The real point of these exercises is not only to get an idea of how the draft process flows, but also give readers an opportunity to learn about some of the prospects in the draft. To assist in that, we will feature a video (using DraftBreakdown.com when available) for each of the selected prospects from their collegiate days. I will not guarantee that it will be a game they played particularly well in. Fans should get used to the idea that players with plus skills can still put out bad tape, and players with questionable ones can play a "game of their life" they may not ever live up to again.

Today's mock will be based off of CBS' Big Board dated 2/12/16.

Prior to the draft's start, the Chicago Bears offered their 2nd, 3rd and 4th round picks to move up from 11th to 4th in the first round. We took it above offers from Tampa (unrealistic) and New Orleans (not as appealing).

At 11, we still had Treadwell and Wentz on the board, but decided to go with the do-it-all back out of Ohio State. The caution of taking Elliott is the massive, pro-ready offensive line that Ohio State and other Big 10 schools boast, but we'll gamble that all of Elliott's skillset translates beautifully to the NFL. Getting out of the Top 10 for Elliott makes his fifth-year option a lot more appealing as well, as we also focus on the financial implications of draft picks here at CowboysHQ.

Two important links to click in regard to all this:

1) Where the Cowboys are, and can be, in cap room.

2) The philosophies that must be wrestled with at Valley Ranch - "10 Steps To Taking Elliott.''

Oh, and ... In a nightmare scenario, the Eagles took Wentz at 13 and Dallas would have to face him post-Romo for a decade.

Here's how the rest of the draft turned out:

To look at this mock in its seven-round entirety, go here

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA

Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson

Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio State

Xavien Howard, CB, Baylor

Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia

Cardale Jones, QB, Ohio State

Paul Perkins, RB, UCLA

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