The 2020 NFL Draft is officially in the books and the Dallas Cowboys knocked it out of the park. Smart minds all across the football world are crowning the Cowboys as draft champions and as soon as they starting handing out Super Bowl trophies for that, we’re in serious business. For real though, probability is high that what they Cowboys did over the last few days will translate well towards their goals on the field.
While odds are that you are very excited about what the newest Dallas Cowboys will do when they get their turn, the most important thing is how they impact the overall production of the team. Football is obviously a sport that relies on multiple things to go correctly so the hope is that the addition of these new players will have the Cowboys team humming their best possible tune together.
Dallas addressed just about every need that they entered the offseason with over the course of free agency and the draft. Obviously, there is a bit more focus on the latter as what you do with your draft selections can have a ripple effect for years to come.
Who were the overall winners and losers that resulted from what the Cowboys did throughout the draft? We’re glad you asked.
Winner: Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott (plus Kellen Moore)
First of all we’d like to extend our sincere condolences to Dak Prescott and his family on the loss of his brother Jace. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dak and his loved ones during this difficult time.
Looking at on-the-field things for the Cowboys, it is easy to think that the stars of the 2016 draft will benefit greatly from what happened over this past draft. Adding CeeDee Lamb to the offense is going to be a rising tide that lifts all boats, and scoring more points is never a bad thing.
Prescott took a great leap in 2019 and a lot of that certainly had to do with Michael Gallup’s development as a wide receiver. Putting Lamb into that mix is only going to add to this idea and if your quarterback is moving and grooving then things are likely going well.
From a Zeke standpoint, the reality of what the Cowboys can now do in 11 personnel is going to command defenses to go small in order to keep up. You know what a running back’s favorite thing is? Small defenses.
Winner: Dalton Schultz
The Cowboys extended tight end Blake Jarwin over the course of this offseason and he is very clearly going to be given starting opportunities.
What’s more is that the Cowboys also added tight end Blake Bell in free agency. What his exact role will be is obviously unknown, but clearly the Cowboys liked something about his game.
Bell’s addition seemed like it could mean third-year tight end Dalton Schultz could be the odd man out in the group, especially if the team drafted another tight end like many people thought they might. With the Cowboys not drafting a tight end at all, they are clearly satisfied with the group they’ve got which is good news for the bottom of the depth chart.
Winner: The linebacking group
There was a lot of buzz that the Cowboys might take a linebacker in the first round and that would have likely caused a panic of sorts. People would have started to wonder about Leighton Vander Esch’s health or how the group viewed Jaylon Smith.
It is obvious that the Cowboys stayed true to their board and that is what matters most here, but it is worth mentioning that they did not add a single linebacker. They must be confident enough in the players they have that they didn’t feel the need to add to it. Considering this is a part of the defense that struggled last season, any kind of hope and/or optimism is certainly welcome.
Winner: The future of cornerback
We have talked plenty about how the Cowboys are going to be in a sticky situation next offseason at cornerback thanks to both Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis entering contract years in 2020.
By drafting both Trevon Diggs and Reggie Robinson the Cowboys now have a solid point of reliability at the absolute worst. If they have to build around them in 2021, at least they have something to build upon.
Diggs’ role during his rookie season is still to be determined, but his better days are surely ahead. With Robinson potentially also getting a look at safety, the youth movement is all over the secondary and that is a very good thing.
Winner: Will McClay
It isn’t said enough that the Cowboys have one of the NFL’s brightest minds orchestrating the draft process. What Will McClay did over the course of the last few days deserves a round of applause.
We will obviously never know exactly how the draft worked out logistically, all we can do is draw our own conclusions. With no intended slight to the former coaching staff, the reality is that a gigantic variable was very different throughout this draft and, unlike years before, there appeared to be no reaching on any prospects from the Cowboys.
Well done, Will McClay.
Loser: Somebody at center
There was a thought that the Cowboys might trade back in the first round and ultimately net Michigan center Cesar Ruiz (who went to the New Orleans Saints). Clearly the Cowboys didn’t do that but they did trade up in the fourth round to nab Wisconsin center Tyler Biadasz.
This comes on the heels of the Cowboys bringing back both Joe Looney and Adam Redmond, plus Mike McCarthy mentioning both Connors (McGovern and Williams) as options at center during the team’s pre-draft press conference. Perhaps that was all smoke to divert attention from the group drafting a center, but if it wasn’t then there is a good problem here... a surplus.
The league’s new CBA expanded gameday rosters from 46 to 48 players and one of the new spots must be an offensive lineman. Perhaps the Cowboys are leaning into this. Good for them.
Loser: The future of Cooper Rush... maybe
The Cowboys ultimately did draft a quarterback and he seems to be someone that Mike McCarthy thinks highly of. James Madison’s Nick DiNucci is an interesting prospect.
McCarthy has spoken many times since joining the Cowboys about wanting to develop a quarterback on the back end of their roster. This has nothing to do with Dak Prescott so please don’t think that it does, if a team truly didn’t think highly of their quarterback they’d do something crazy like draft another in the second round. There is no way anybody in the NFL is currently in such a place!
Looking at DiNucci, he has ties to McCarthy in that he played youth basketball for McCarthy’s brother. He’s from Pittsburgh where McCarthy is from. This just seems like someone that could be McCarthy’s project, which could mean he is the future backup, which could mean that the current one in Cooper Rush might not be around much longer.
Loser: The safety position... again
Death, taxes, and the Dallas Cowboys refusing to invest at safety.
To be fair, the Cowboys did sign Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in free agency so it’s not like they haven’t done anything to address safety, but there were definitely people hoping that Xavier McKinney (Giants) or Grant Delpit (Browns) would somehow make their way to the 51st overall pick.
That disappointment was likely quelled by the Cowboys drafting Trevon Diggs, but the reality is still that there are no rookie prospects at safety to think that highly of. Mike McCarthy did hint that a current veteran could slide over there, but this just seems to be a place where the Cowboys are fine figuring it out year in and year out.
Loser: The Dez Bryant hype
Over the course of the last few months there has been a sector of Cowboys fans clamoring for the team to bring back wide receiver Dez Bryant.
The reality is, and has been, that bringing back Dez never made sense. If the Cowboys truly wanted just another receiver they could have taken one much younger, and that would be much cheaper than Dez, with a mid-to-late-round pick. In drafting CeeDee Lamb the Cowboys are obviously devoting a serious resource to wideout, but that means that there is simply no room for the franchise’s all-time leader in receiving touchdowns.
Hopefully Dez finds a home in the NFL soon, but it’s hard to see it being with the Cowboys.
Loser: The rest of the NFC East
How are they going to stop what is clearly the greatest offense ever assembled?!
In all seriousness though, the entire division got a nice little makeover. Washington is going to be a problem on defense with Chase Young and the Eagles now have a lot of fast receivers for Jalen Hurts ( ) to throw to.
This is going to be fun.