Cowboys draft: Day three selections

Cowboys draft: Day three selections

Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Nov 23, 2013; Iowa City, IA, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback Devin Gardner (98) loses the ball to Iowa Hawkeyes defender Anthony Hitchens (31) at Kinnick Stadium. Iowa beat Michigan 24-21. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

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by LANDON HAAF

WFAA Sports

Posted on May 10, 2014 at 6:47 PM

Updated Saturday, May 10 at 8:07 PM

Owner Jerry Jones said the day three additions to the roster added competition on the defensive side of the ball, and that there was a clear emphasis on defense in the late rounds. Dallas drafted six defensive players on Saturday.

Fourth round, no. 119 overall - OLB Anthony Hitchens

The Dallas Cowboys selected Iowa outside linebacker Anthony Hitchens with the 119th pick in the draft. 

Many analysts had Hitchens rated a sixth-round value, and conclude that the Cowboys "reached" to grab Hitchens that high in the draft.

"He's a hard hitter, we see him as a Mike linebacker first," head coach Jason Garrett said. "He was very productive there [at Iowa], we also think he has position flex and the ability to play on special teams."

Jerry Jones said the team sees Hitchens as a guy who could fill in if it loses Sean Lee again.

Hitchens, a senior out of Iowa, led the Hawkeyes in tackles and was the team's defensive MVP in 2013. He was named second team All-Big Ten by the conference's coaches, and won the Hayden Fry "Extra Heartbeat" Award on defense, according to his Iowa Athletics page.

Hitchens stands 6-foot, 240 lbs. and ran a 4.65-second 40-yard dash at his Pro Day.

Fifth round, no. 146 overall - WR Devin Street

The Detroit Lions traded their 5th round pick to the Cowboys, and Dallas selected Pittsburgh wide receiver Devin Street at no. 146 overall. 

"We had very high grades on him," Garrett said. "He comes from a pro-style offense and is an accomplished route-runner. He's a taller, thinner type guy who plays the game with really good skill."

Street received third team All-ACC honors in 2013 despite missing three games with a shoulder injury.

He holds the Pittsburgh school record with 202 career catches and is third in program history with 2,901 receiving yards. 

The Cowboys released wide receiver Miles Austin earlier in the offseason.

Seventh round, no. 231 overall - DE Ben Gardner

Dallas used the first of its five remaining seventh-round picks to select Stanford's Ben Gardner 231st-overall.

"We see him as a left defensive end as a starting point, with position flex to possibly move inside. We think of him as a make-up guy," Garrett said.

Gardner, a fifth-year senior out of Stanford, was named to the All-Pac 12 first team in 2013. He was on the watch list for the Rotary Lombardi, Bronco Nagurski, and Chuck Bednarik awards given to elite defensive players in college football.

The Science, Technology & Society major stands 6-foot-4, 277 lbs. according to his Stanford Athletics page.

Gardner missed the last five games of last season with a torn pectoral muscle.

Seventh round, no. 238 overall - OLB Will Smith

The Cowboys selected the 6-foot-2, 231-lb Will Smith from Texas Tech with the 238th overall selection in the 2014 draft.

Garrett said Smith is a guy the team feels could compete for an off-the-ball linebacker spot. The goal in adding two linebackers was to create competition at a position decimated by injury last year, he said.

Smith won Defensive MVP honors at the 2013 Holiday Bowl, and made ESPN's All-Big 12 Bowl team. He was named Honorable Mention All-Big 12 for the season.

Seventh round, no. 248 overall - S Ahmad Dixon

The Cowboys used the 248th pick, a compensatory selection, to take Baylor's Ahmad Dixon.

Read our pre-draft analysis of Dixon

"He's a fast, hard-hitting safety who we feel can come in and compete on special teams, but also is the right kind of guy who can develop come in and compete as a position player," Garrett said.

The Cowboys will give Dixon a shot at both free safety and strong safety.

Garrett and Jones added that they love Dixon's passion. His emotion is one of his attractive assets, they said. The Waco product started crying and had to cut his phone call with Jones short right after being drafted.

"It made me appreciate what it means to be in the NFL," Jones said.

Dixon was a first team All-American in 2013. He has made headlines for violating NCAA's targeting rule on the field, and was also arrested in September on misdemeanor assault charges. Those charges were cleared.

Seventh round, no. 251 overall - DT Ken Bishop

The Cowboys finally addressed their need at defensive tackle by taking Northern Illinois product Ken Bishop late in the seventh round. Bishop will join a group of Henry Melton, Terrell McClain, Nick Hayden and possibly Tyrone Crawford to fight for playing time at the defensive tackle position.

"Bishop is a really good athlete for his size, we view him as a nose tackle candidate at the outset," Garrett said. "We like his athletic ability and the bulk that he can provide inside."

Seventh round, no. 254 overall - CB Terrance Mitchell

Mitchell was the final pick of the 2014 draft for the Dallas Cowboys. Mitchell, who measures 5-foot-11, 192 lbs, recorded five interceptions for the Ducks in 2013.

"He has the traits to be a good cover corner for us. We value bigger guys at the corner position, and especially this late in the draft you value guys that have some traits we can develop, and we feel like he has a chance," Garrett said.

The Cowboys had very high draft grades on Mitchell as well, higher than the seventh round.

CBS Sports had Mitchell projected as a fourth-round pick.

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