FRISCO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – The Dallas Cowboys started their final day of the NFL Draft by picking a possible backup for star running back Ezekiel Elliott. Memphis’ Tony Pollard was chosen with the 128th pick overall pick in the fourth round.
Dallas considered the spot behind Elliott an offseason priority after not bringing back seldom-used Rod Smith.
Pollard also has potential as a return man after tying the FBS career record with seven kickoff returns for touchdowns.
After trading back, Dallas’ next pick was in the fifth round, where they chose Miami cornerback Michael Jackson. The 6-1 player will look to be molded by defensive backs coach Kris Richard.
The cornerbacks position was seen as a need as players such as Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown are soon entering contract years.
Several picks later, the Cowboys chose another Miami player in defensive end Joe Jackson with the 165th overall pick. He joins the team with a crowded defensive line led by star DeMarcus Lawrence, but he will look to add depth to the defense.
At the end of sixth round, Dallas went defense again. This time they took safety Donovan Wilson from Texas A&M with the 213th overall pick.
“I knew it was very possible that we could get out of here without picking a safety,” Jones said. “We need to, from a standpoint of efficiency within a game as well as from managing our overall future, we need some good running back skill behind Zeke. That was a goal coming into this draft was let’s let us wisely use Zeke now and in the future. So those two address that perfectly.”
To start their seventh round, the Cowboys went running back again by taking Ohio State’s Mike Weber. This is the second running back they’ve taken in this year’s draft.
Weber had his only 1,000-yard season at Ohio State as a redshirt freshman the year after Elliott left, rushing for 1,096 yards and nine scores. A hamstring injury limited him as a sophomore and he had 954 yards last season.
With the 241st overall pick, the Cowboys drafted more depth to their defensive line by picking DE Jalen Jelks from Oregon.