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2020 NFL Draft: Xavier McKinney is the pick for Cowboys in Mel Kiper’s latest mock

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The latest mock draft for the Cowboys goes for a safety.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 01 Citrus Bowl - Michigan v Alabama Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

There are almost as many mock drafts out on the internet these days as there are arguments about how much Dak Prescott should be paid, that can only mean that we are in the 2020 NFL offseason.

Times sure are interesting but before we know it there will be teams on the clock. Until then, we survive on mock drafts and there are many people that feel confident about predicting what the Dallas Cowboys are going to do.

It was two years ago when the Cowboys last had a first-round draft pick to play with as their selection last season was traded for Amari Cooper, and if you paid enough (or even just the bare minimum amount of) attention you knew that they were going to draft Leighton Vander Esch if and when he fell to them. It was obvious.

Perhaps we will reach that same level of obviousness a few months from now. We certainly seem to be narrowing the list down to a few names.

Mel Kiper selected Alabama S Xavier McKinney for the Cowboys in his latest mock

During his first mock draft of the offseason ESPN’s Mel Kiber gave the Cowboys a cornerback - Florida’s CJ Henderson. Given that we don’t know what is going to happen with Byron Jones as far as free agency is concerned, it’s fair to think that the Cowboys might target a cornerback with their first pick; the secondary as a whole is pretty suspect.

As far as his latest mock draft, Mel Kiper did keep with the theme of the secondary. Like fellow NFL Draft expert Daniel Jeremiah did, Mel Kiper has joined the Xavier McKinney bandwagon.

17. Dallas Cowboys

Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

So much about the Cowboys’ offseason is unresolved. Will they sign quarterback Dak Prescott to a huge contract extension? Will they lock up star receiver Amari Cooper? What about free-agent defenders Byron Jones, Robert Quinn and Michael Bennett? Will veterans Jason Witten and Sean Lee return on short-term deals? The good thing is that we’ll know about all of these players before the draft. For now, I’m betting on Jones being the odd man out among the guys who have to get paid this offseason. That opens up holes at corner, of course, but also accentuates the need at safety, where Dallas has struggled the past few years. The versatile McKinney, who had three interceptions and four forced fumbles last season, is my top-ranked safety in this class.

Kiper brought up all of the free agent questions that the Cowboys have and while it obviously makes sense that whoever they bring back will impact their draft plans, they already need a safety. They’ve needed one for some time. It makes sense to assume that they will finally dive in on the position (maybe?!).

This is such an interesting year for the Dallas Cowboys as it’s far more difficult to predict what they’re going to do with Mike McCarthy at head coach opposed to Jason Garrett. Will they continue to ignore safety? Will they obsess over Boise State players? Will position flexibility continue to be the most important quality that a player can possess?