We can talk about mock drafts and speculate all we want about who the Cowboys might draft. The real conversation that should be happening, is what Dallas needs in the draft. There are holes in the defense, offense that can be filled. Throw aside the “oh he would be cool to have on the team” or the “wow he played well in college, what if he falls to us”. Dallas needs to focus on what the overall need is for the team. That being said, let’s break down the biggest draft needs for the Cowboys this year.
Offensive Line- Cowboys Biggest Need
With the loss of La’el Collins, Tyron Smith aging, and lack of depth at guard, the O-line is hurting. If Tyron Smith is healthy there is no worry. But the backup for Smith is Josh Ball who has yet to play a down. Dallas needs more help there. They are also lacking at left guard as the current starter is lined up to be Connor McGovern. After McGovern, there is no one else slated behind him should he get hurt.
This is a serious issue which is why Dallas is rumored to be looking into drafting O-line early in the draft. I hope this actually happens because Dallas will suffer from the current status of the O-line.
Guys like Zion Johnson out of Boston College, Tyler Linderbaum out of Iowa, or even Trevor Penning out of Northern Iowa all fit the bill for Dallas. A tough, interior lineman to add to that depth chart and likely replace Connor McGovern. However, this will not be a “sexy” draft pick unless that lineman turns into a Zack Martin. Regardless, that 24th overall pick in round one needs to be an offensive lineman.
While the Cowboys still have CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup, there is still a need here. The loss of Amari Cooper is a huge gut punch. Therefore, it is time to fill that position with some more talent. Dallas added veteran receiver James Washington but a fresh young talent is needed. This year’s draft has one of the deeper classes as far as wide receivers. While Dallas might go O-line in round one, there will be plenty of options left over for them in round two.
While names like Treylon Burks and Chris Olave are floating around in that Dallas draft room, they won’t be around by round two. If they are, teams made a huge mistake and Dallas would be extremely lucky if they fall to them at pick 56 in round two. The only way I see Olave or Burks going to Dallas in round one would be if Dallas trades up and picks them versus going O-line. If that move happens, then O-line is priority number one in round two.
The realistic route here is guys like George Pickens out of Georgia or Christian Watson out of North Dakota State. Both guys bring good speed and route running abilities. Dallas needs someone to get in solid reps until Gallup is 100 percent healthy. Find that guy who can not only spread the field but produce when it matters for a team lacking wide receiver depth behind Lamb and Gallup.
With the loss of Randy Gregory, Dallas is hurting at the edge position. They need someone to pair up with DeMarcus Lawrence. While the big names of Aidan Hutchinson and Kayvon Thibodeaux won’t be around long, there’s plenty of edge talent this year. I think Dallas needs to make a move in the draft but not prioritize it until round three or four.
Names like Josh Paschal out of Kentucky or Sam Williams out of Ole Miss are options. An edge rusher pick does not necessarily have to be an immediate superstar. Get someone that Lawrence can groom into a star and benefit you long-term. Guys like Paschal and Williams are both powerful speed rushers. Williams is more known for his speed to the QB while Paschal has been rather productive in the run game. Both guys producing well in the SEC shows they are ready for the next level.
I think Dallas could get a solid pick out in round three or four should they choose to go that route. Again, this position is not priority number one. Find that next-generation player to become another DeMarcus Lawrence. Find good depth players as well fast developers who can adjust to the NFL game quickly as they will be needed immediately.
Final Thoughts For The Cowboys
I think the Cowboys should use their first-round pick on an offensive lineman. They need depth at that position more than anything. Find that next guy who will hold up the guard position for years to come. Dallas needs to rebuild a strong offensive line just like they had early in Dak and Zeke’s career.
However, it would not surprise me if Jerry Jones and company throw in a curveball. If Olave or Burks falls to us in the first, I doubt they get passed up. I and most of the Cowboys fan base care purely about wins and if that means drafting O-line first or drafting a receiver first, whatever leads to wins and championships matters. Find that next generation and make good use of them for those long-term goals.
Which position should Dallas target first in the draft? Comment below and join the discussion!
For more Dallas Cowboys content, make sure to check out our website here!