sportsCowboys

Loaded with confidence, Cowboys’ latest draft class is determined to make an immediate impact

One rated his athletic ability ahead of one of the best cornerbacks of the last decade. Another declared he’ll be the Cowboys’ best corner.

It’s too early to say what level of production the Cowboys will get from this draft class. But it’s not too early to make this observation.

They’re a confident bunch.

One of the 11 picks rated his athletic ability ahead of one of the best cornerbacks of the last decade. Another believes that in time he could be regarded as the best player taken at his position in the Class of 2021 and beyond. Another declared he’ll be the Cowboys’ best corner.

And these are just the guys that went late Friday night and Saturday afternoon.

Let’s start with Nahshon Wright. He was regarded by most as a reach (No. 99) when the Cowboys used the last of their three picks in the third round on the Oregon State corner.

He doesn’t see it that way.

“I look at myself as a more athletic and agile Richard Sherman,’' Wright told reporters. “That scheme just fits perfect.’'

Simi Fehoko gives Wright a run for his money in the confidence department. In a draft where three of the top 10 players selected were receivers, where seven more were taken before the second round was done, the fifth-round pick out of Stanford doesn’t flinch.

“I’m still raw,’' Fehoko said. “I’m underdeveloped. I really need one person to learn from, and I think that with my God-given abilities and gifts, there’s no reason that I can’t be the best wide receiver in this draft class, if not the league.’'

And what contribution will he make before that happens?

“I’m going to come in and be able to make an immediate impact on special teams,’' Fehoko said. “With my size, speed and ability, I have no problem coming in and playing.’'

South Carolina’s Israel Mukuamu thought he would go in the second or third round. He was available in the sixth round when the Cowboys were on the clock at No. 227.

The corner who played opposite first-round pick Jaycee Horn in college is undeterred.

“When I had Mukuamu on the phone, I was saying what a great experience it had been for me in the NFL and don’t waste it and come in and do good,’' owner Jerry Jones related. “He said, ‘I’m going to be the best corner you got.’ So he has confidence.’'

He’s not alone.

Position shift for rookie

For those who wonder why the Cowboys didn’t use at least one of their picks on a safety, it turns out they did.

Maybe.

Dallas intends to work Mukuamu at safety when rookie mini-camp is staged this month.

“Give our scouts credit,’' executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “They had a vision.

“This guy is long. He’s got great ball skills, and he’s a little heavier than Nahshon [Wright].

“I think we’ve got a vision, and that’s probably where we’ll start him, over at the safety position and see what he can do. He obviously has a lot of confidence as a corner, if you ask him. At the same time, I think he’s got the ball skills to play in the post to cover tight ends and do the things we need him to do and be physical enough to be a safety.’'

Mukuamu told Jerry Jones he intends to be the team’s best corner.

“We’ll have to rethink safety if he is the best corner,’' the owner said.

Rookie free-agent class

The emphasis for Dallas in the draft was defense.

The club has flipped the script in rookie free agency. Ten of the 13 players the Cowboys have signed play offense. The list:

Wide receivers — Brennan Eagles (UT), Osirus Mitchell (Mississippi State), T.J. Vasher (Texas Tech) and Brandon Smith (Iowa).

Running backs — Brenden Knox (Marshall), JaQuan Hardy (Tiffin) and fullback Nick Ralston (Louisiana).

Tight ends — Nick Eubanks (Michigan) and Artayvious Lynn (TCU).

Offensive line — Center/guard Braylon Jones (Houston).

Defensive tackle — Austin Faoliu (Oregon).

Linebacker — Anthony Hines III (Texas A&M).

Safety — Tyler Coyle (Purdue)

Staff Writer Michael Gehlken contributed to this report.

Catch David Moore on The Ticket (KTCK-AM 1310 and 96.7 FM) Monday morning at 9:35 with the Musers.

Find more Cowboys coverage from The Dallas Morning News here.

In This Story

David Moore, Cowboys Insider. David is in his 4th decade of covering sports on the DFW scene. You know what that means. He's old.

dmoore@dallasnews.com @DavidMooreDMN
Cowboys Catch-Up

Be the smartest Dallas Cowboys fan

Get the latest news, analysis and opinion delivered straight to your inbox.

By signing up you agree to our privacy policy