NFL writer says Cowboys had the worst 2019 rookie class in the NFC East
Getting ready for the NFL Combine, the NFL’s Nick Shook and Gennaro Filice are breaking down each division’s 2019 rookies. Shook examined the NFC East’s rookies and, surprising absolutely no one, the Dallas Cowboys 2019 rookie class came in dead last with a C- grade.
The Giants and Redskins each received and A- and the Eagles received a B.
While the Cowboys’ rookies collectively were not afforded many opportunities in 2019, only two or three of them actually capitalized on those chances when they came.
The News’ own Michael Gehlken pointed out this problem back in December, but he also cautioned against jumping to conclusions so soon.
“The offseason between a rookie and second year generally is considered the greatest development period for an NFL player,” Gehlken wrote. “How the 2019 draft class approaches and progresses during that window will provide the Cowboys more clarity into how they did this past April.”
Outside of the absolutely electric RB Tony Pollard the next most notable Cowboys rookie in 2019 was DT Trysten Hill and he was mostly notable for how little fans saw of him.
Hill finished the season with just five total tackles in seven appearances.
Pollard was, of course, an incredible back up to Ezekiel Elliot and finished the season with 455 rushing yards with two touchdowns on 86 carries.
Safety Donovan Wilson played in 11 games, carving out a role for himself on special teams. However, even with Jeff Heath playing injured most of the season, the Cowboys felt Wilson and his two healthy shoulders were not a better alternative to an essentially shoulder-less Jeff Heath.
New York and Washington got production from just about all of their rookies, while Philadelphia got more out of its first three picks. Both the Giants and Washington’s rookies made a combined 70 starts for their teams. Eagles rookies only made 20 starts, but that’s still 19 more than Dallas.
Undrafted free agent OT Brandon Knight made the lone start for Dallas’ rookies while appearing in just seven games.
Pollard played in the most games (15), Wilson was second (11), Hill and Knight tied for the third most (7), and DE Joe Jackson was last with five games played.
Of the 10 rookies, two were lost to injury by September (G Connor McGovern, DE Jalen Jelks) and two finished the season with other teams — RB Mike Webber was on the Chiefs practice squad and CB Mike Jackson went to Detroit.
Read more about the NFC East’s rookie classes here.
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