Yesterday, my esteemed colleague, Mr. Ryle, asked you to talk to the hand when it comes to the conventional wisdom that suggest the Cowboys need to draft a pass rusher in the first round. In doing so, he explained how drafting a cornerback may be the best value for the team at pick 28. It is an argument I am seeing more and more lately and it has me a little worried. Don’t get me wrong, there are a couple of corners that are worthy of such a high pick, but that doesn’t mean they should be the players selected. With the depth of this cornerback class, that is just not the best use of resources for the Cowboys in the first round. It would be like paying for a buffet, but then only getting a salad. Sure, salads are healthy and can be delicious if you’re a rabbit, but that’s terrible value. For the love of all that is good, please get some meat and potatoes!
And that is reason number one to pass on a cornerback in round one - the alternatives are more appetizing. Many of us are just holding our breath that an impact pass rusher makes it to 28. For that to happen, it requires two things. First, there has to be some options the Cowboys really love. Both Taco Charlton and Takkarist McKinley are players that fans really seem to want. But do the Cowboys want them? Second, they have to slide. Some mocks give us hope, but once the draft gets firing on all cylinders, teams will surprise everyone by snagging those coveted players earlier than we might expect. It’s a gamble on whether either one of those guys make it to 28.
If there is a run on edge rushers to where the next available DE is nothing to get excited about, then it’s okay to wave the white flag on the idea of getting a battle papa (sorry, I am getting a little burned out of the “war daddy” term). The last thing we’d want to see the team do in that situation is settle for the next best defensive end. Phooey on that idea. That’s just another salad with a different type of dressing.
Regardless of which players get taken, there is (are) going to be some player(s) that are high on the Cowboys' board who slipped through the cracks of the first round. It may be a player that catches us completely off guard, like one of those super-talented tight ends, O.J. Howard or David Njoku. That is the beauty of picking late in the first round - you get to pounce on other team’s mistakes.
The single most important thing is to get a great player. Now, should that player happen to play cornerback, then without a doubt - punch that ticket and move on to round two. Gareon Conley looks the part of a solid NFL corner that could play in this league for years. But if a corner doesn’t jump off the page to where he’s the clear choice at 28, then pass on him. Because while the first round may be a little tricky to predict, the second round of the draft is leading us toward a path that will consist of a good corner falling into the Cowboys' lap.
Just look at cornerbacks on the Cowboys invite list:
There are 12 corners on that list and nine of them have second-round projections. That’s a lot of players that can potentially help the Cowboys at pick 60.
Taking a defensive end in the second round, however, does not provide that same level of enthusiasm. Sure, there are solid guys there, but the Cowboys don’t need more players that aren’t any better than what they already have at the position. There is a little bit of a dice roll there as to what type of impact that player could make.
And if the Cowboys determine the best player available in round one is a cornerback, that shouldn’t deter them from taking another one in round two. The team could then double-dip at CB to shore up the position. Taking a corner in the second round just seems like a great use of a pick based on the talent distribution in this draft.
And even if the Cowboys don’t go corner in the first round, they can still get two CBs by round four. If Dallas takes a good corner in round two, they still have a couple rounds to snag another quality corner. They got Anthony Brown in round six of last year. Just think of what they can get with a third- or fourth-round pick in a draft that is deep at the position.
Take the star in round one and then stockpile on secondary players thereafter.
I’d love to see this tweet again come April 27th.
Just landed in Dallas ⭐️— Takkarist McKinley (@Takk) April 9, 2017
Attention front office: Please give Rod Marinelli an actual pass rusher.