The Dallas Cowboys sit with the 17th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and that just so happens to put them in a prime position to snag one of the top wide receivers coming out of college. Players like CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, and Henry Ruggs III are all guys who have been mocked to the Cowboys as they are the cream of the crop. The idea of having any of these guys added to this offense is very appealing. Sure, Dallas has needs on defense, but that shouldn’t influence how you use your top draft resource. Grab the best player and get out of dodge.
So, if one of these guys is your clear-cut top guy - then stop here. Story over. Go directly to the comment section and type “Bazinga!” so your voice can be heard. However, if you have other first-round graded players who you find comparable, then let’s look a little deeper into this predicament. In fact, here are seven reasons why the Cowboys would be wise to pass on a wide receiver in the first round.
1. They got Amari
Let’s not pretend the Cowboys are going to somehow continue playing football without Amari Cooper. Even if he gets tagged, we all expect that to just serve as a placeholder until a long-term agreement can be reached. He’s a great player and the Cowboys need him.
When he runs by his guy, making Eagles fans cry...that's Amari https://t.co/ojyhkkPMJP— Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) March 7, 2020
It’s not a crime to load up talent at one position group, but is it the best use of the Cowboys resources? Some say, who cares about the defense if you can put up 40-burgers on opposing teams. That’s fine and all, but there is still only one football to go around, and players like Cooper and rising star Michael Gallup are still on this football team.
2. Don’t withdraw from Kinlaw
If South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw is available when the Cowboys are on the clock, then there you go - the Cowboys have their man. Having a 6’5”, 315-pound player who can explode off the snap could finally solve this team’s ongoing search for a stud defensive tackle.
If you have choices between stars at two different positions, why not go with the spot you could use the most help at? Drafting a player like Kinlaw would be a great move for the Cowboys.
3. Get more help on defense
This one is a little tricky because we want to be very clear here - don’t settle based on need. Players like cornerback C.J. Henderson and edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson may also be players the Cowboys have first-round grades on. These guys are great players, too. All things being equal, it would help the team more by adding a corner or another pass rusher than it would to have another wide receiver. But only if all things are equal.
4. What about that thingamabob Cobb?
Remember when people were talking about how new head coach might want to hang on to free agent Randall Cobb? After developing a great connection with Dak Prescott to the tune of 828 yards last season, he’s shown he can be a valuable asset to this offense. If he gets re-signed as well, how are you divvying out reps with a first-round rookie also on the roster?
5. Put the Eagles to a decision
I’m not going to lie, watching Henry Ruggs playing for the Philadelphia Eagles would not be something I would enjoy. It’s like having a fresh new version of DeSean Jackson on your team and that’s not ideal if your a Cowboys fan.
But in order for the Eagles to get Ruggs, they’re likely going to have to pull off a trade or else risk having to settle for the next tier of receivers when they are on the clock at pick no. 21. The Eagles have a tendency to get antsy and pull the trigger to make a move to go get their guy. They traded away two draft picks last year to move up three spots to get the tackle the wanted, Andre Dillard. It wouldn’t be shocking to see them do something like that to finally give Carson Wentz a formidable weapon in the passing game. At the very least, passing on potentially the last of these “elite” receivers will put the Eagles to a decision.
6. Blue-chip wide receivers are risky business
Any draft pick is a gamble, but there have been some heavy misfires when it comes to some of the top receivers taken in the draft in recent years. Over the last five years, there have been six wide receivers taken in the top half of the draft in the first round. Here are five of them:
The other one is Amari Cooper, who has racked up over 5,000 yards and earned Pro Bowl honors four times in that span. The Cowboys actually waited until one of those blue chippers proved themselves before using their draft pick. That’s a clever move, especially considering the poor success rate of these first-round gambles.
Now, just because some players flopped doesn’t automatically mean others are going to as well. Players like Lamb, Jeudy, and Ruggs should still be viewed as potential stars in this league. Any receiver that gets drafted comes with uncertainty, but why not take that risk in a later round?
Which brings us to the real seven reasons why the Cowboys should pass on a WR in the first round...
7. Seven other great choices!
Not only are there three really good receivers sitting at the top of the first round, but there are a total of 10 receivers ranked in the top 50 players of this draft class. If you sifted through all the mocks out there, you’ll find quite a lot of variation when it comes to order; however, many of the same names keep showing up. After the big three, you have (ranking based on The Draft Network):
30. Laviska Shenault Jr, Colorado
31. Jalen Reagor, TCU
34. K.J Hamler, Penn State
35. Justin Jefferson, LSU
44. Denzel Mims, Baylor
45. Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State
47. Tee Higgins, Clemson
Many of these players will go off the board either late in the first or early in the second, but some of these guys will fall to when the Cowboys pick next at 51. If you look at the latest mock by The Athletic, CBS Sports, and The Draft Network - you’ll find at least two of these players on the board when the Cowboys are up.
This is a great draft class for wide receivers and the Cowboys should look to get some of that, but it doesn’t have to necessarily come at the expense of a first-round pick.