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Mel Kiper details the Cowboys’ biggest question mark following last year’s outstanding draft class Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 1: of the game on December 1, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** =m#3;=v#3

No doubt 2016 was a great draft, by any measure, for the Dallas Cowboys. Anytime you pick up a franchise quarterback in the fourth round (Dak Prescott) and a stud running back in the first (Ezkiel Elliott) that will power your team for years, that’s a winner.

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But, ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper (inside access required) still gave the Cowboys an overall draft score a ‘C,’ and says its future success relies on one player – Jaylon Smith.

Smith, from Notre Dame,  was a sure-fire first-round pick before he suffered a knee injury that threatened his career. He looks like he’s on the mend now. Still, here’s what Kiper had to say:

Again, this is the best player in the draft if he’s healthy, but what he’ll become still remains a mystery, and that’s a huge bet Dallas placed knowing its defensive personnel was a problem and will be again in 2017.

Kiper also noted that fourth-round pick Charles Tapper, the defensive end from Oklahoma,  didn’t see the field because of a back injury.

Given Dallas’ defensive woes – the Cowboys have lost several players from that unit in free agency this season – it makes it even more important Smith and Tapper make it back on the field.’

Ray Marcano About the author:
Ray grew up in the Bronx, New York, so no surprise --- he's a lifelong New York Yankee fan. He's suffered through the last 40 years of bad New York hoops (he's a Knicks fan) and gets occasional giggles from the Rangers (NHL finals last year!).  In addition to his ...Read more
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