The 2020 NFL Draft is a big one for the Dallas Cowboys. As thing stand right now, the Cowboys number one receiver, cornerback, and quarterback and currently set to become free agents. Now as we all know, Dallas will not let Amari Cooper or Dak Prescott get away, but Byron Jones is another story.
When Jones departs, he could be followed by guys like Maliek Collins, Robert Quinn, Jeff Heath and Randall Cobb, all of which played important roles on the team in 2019. Whether it’s by retaining these players, or looking for outside help, the Cowboys will fill some of their needs during free agency. But with Prescott and Copper needing big-time deals, to go along with the Elliott deal from last offseason, Dallas won’t just be able to spend freely.
The Cowboys will need to be stingy with their money, and will most likely just look to patch holes so they do not go into the draft with a glaring need at any spot. If Dallas is successful doing this, say they bring back Anthony Brown, Randall Cobb, Jeff Heath, and sign an outside DT and DE, they will be able to have flexibility with the 17th pick.
By now we know the big names being linked to the Cowboys at 17. At this point, C.J. Henderson or Javon Kinlaw seem to be the top two players being mocked to Dallas, but CeeDee Lamb, Xaiver McKinney, and K’lvaon Chassion can’t be counted out. If they are still on the board, taking one of these players would be a very solid pick.
I think it's understandable to question why Javon Kinlaw doesn't have more sack production, but also I studied 3 games and saw at least 10 plays that were THIS close to being sacks. Here's 7 of them: pic.twitter.com/utga9hzTPR— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) March 5, 2020
Let’s just take Henderson for example. He could step in from day one and start at corner, giving Dallas an instant upgrade. If the pick is Kinlaw, he would add a huge boost in production to the Dallas defensive line. But one player can only do so much, especially when they are a mid-first round pick, and the likelihood that either are available at pick 17 is 50/50 at best.
I just watched him vs. CJ Henderson. Good battle - got fiery in the 2nd half.— Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) March 3, 2020
Easy to see Henderson's speed on tape (below) but Chase still got him a few times - his combination of strength and acceleration is ridiculous. pic.twitter.com/vLMLQHMIXE
With limited money to work with in free agency, and so many needs to fill, could trading back in the first-round be the Cowboys best option? Let’s say Dallas gets to pick 17 and Henderson is still on the board, but the Seattle Seahawks come calling. They offer the Cowboys pick 27 and 59 for pick 17 and 179 in the fifth round.
Would it be tough to walk away from an instant upgrade at corner in Henderson, sure, but if Dallas made this move it would give them a chance to select three players in the top 60 of this draft. Is there that much of a difference between the player they could get a 17 versus 27? Is the value of one player in that spot worth not acquiring more draft capital?
If Dallas did make this deal, they could possibly get a guy like Grant Delpit or Xaiver McKinney at 27, possibly a corner like Jeff Gladney, Damon Arnette, or Cameron Dantzler at 51, and a DT or WR at 59, upgrading three positions in the first 60 picks.
Ohio State CB Damon Arnette didn’t have a great combine, but the tape shows a player with some of the better pure cover ability in this class.— Connor Livesay (@ConnorNFLDraft) March 4, 2020
His click-and-close, mirroring skills, and press technique is top notch. Top 50 player in this class. pic.twitter.com/SwyyL9vA6f
The saying goes two is better than one, and for the Dallas Cowboys this might be their best strategy in the upcoming draft. For a team with so many needs to fill, acquiring as many picks as possible is the best option. Dallas has enough star power on this roster they do not need one guy to help them take the next step. They need solid role players to fill out the roster which did not look nearly as deep as we thought it was last season.
On April 23 the Cowboys need to get the phones ready. Trading down isn’t as exciting as sticking and picking, but it’s the smart move for Dallas in this draft.