There are very few things that I enjoy more than hypotheticals.
What-ifs, would-you-rathers, and “let’s say this happens” are fun ways to begin any sort of sports conversation. They’re part of what make losses and falling short so painful. You can always envision a way that things could or should have worked out for your favorite team.
Of course we all have many examples of hypotheticals regarding the Dallas Cowboys that have kept us up late at night. Such is life with America’s Team over the last few years.
The fine folks over at ESPN put together their own hypothetical but this was a bit specific, sort of. They re-drafted the entire NFL using the draft order from just a few months ago. The results are... interesting.
Dak Prescott is the Jaguars QB, and the Cowboys have Kyler Murray
The worldwide leader outlined a few rules in starting there re-draft of the entire league. You have to have a bit of organization or else it will be football chaos!
It’s easy to say that the entire NFL is up for grabs, but what are the goals? What are the parameters? Here is how ESPN outlined their practice for all 32 teams.
Every current NFL player is available, and salary caps don’t matter here. But we only drafted four rounds.
In those four picks, each pretend GM had to select a quarterback, a non-QB offensive player and a defensive player. The fourth pick was a wild card, open to anything.
We used the 2020 NFL draft order, with traded picks reversed, and a snaking format.
What about the other 20 starters for each team? The rest of the roster is made up of average-level NFL talent. Our analytics team identifies that as someone such as OT Donovan Smith, edge rusher Harold Landry III or CB Malcolm Butler.
Each GM was asked to draft with intentions of winning a Super Bowl within five years. Some took a harder line, while others built a base that might still need a year or two.
Again, they used the draft order that the 2020 NFL Draft had so the Cincinnati Bengals had the first overall pick. They obviously took Pat Mahomes there and there were a lot of quarterbacks off of the board early.
Interestingly enough (ducks for cover) Dak Prescott was the sixth quarterback off of the board. He went to the Jacksonville Jaguars after Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson, and Drew Brees all went ahead of him. I wonder what that says about his status as a quarterback in today’s NFL!
Obviously the Cowboys needed a quarterback and since theirs was in Duval County they took someone that knows the state of Texas well with the 17th overall pick. Funny enough just like their pick from a few months ago it was a former star for the Oklahoma Sooners - Kyler Murray.
Amazingly the Cowboys still wound up with Tyron Smith on their team as they netted him in the second round (what a world!). Ezekiel Elliott also went in the second round although he is planted in South Beach in this hypothetical as it was the Miami Dolphins that took him.
The Atlanta Falcons took CeeDee Lamb in the third round here which says just how valuable the now “third” receiver for the Cowboys is that he went so high in a draft featuring the entire pool of NFL players. One pick later the Cowboys nabbed their own elite wide receiver and took Keenan Allen, with Amari Cooper on the board at that. Cooper wound up going six picks later to the New England Patriots.
DeMarcus Lawrence went three picks after Justin Tucker in the fourth round to the Seattle Seahawks, and Zack Martin went a bit later to the New York Jets (they’d likely be happy about that). The Cowboys passed on Martin in the fourth but only because of the rules that required them to draft a defensive player. They took defensive end Maxx Crosby.
Active Dallas Cowboys Drafted (overall selection)
- Dak Prescott, Jacksonville Jaguars (9)
- Tyron Smith, Dallas Cowboys (48)
- Ezekiel Elliott, Miami Dolphins (60)
- CeeDee Lamb, Atlanta Falcons (80)
- Amari Cooper, New England Patriots (87)
- DeMarcus Lawrence, Seattle Seahawks (102)
- Zack Martin, New York Jets (118)
Dallas Cowboys Draft Picks
- Kyler Murray, QB
- Tyron Smith, OT
- Keenan Allen, WR
- Maxx Crosby, DE
What do you think?