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Cowboys news: One potential defensive player would split the fanbase if chosen at #10

Happy Monday from the Star!

Penn State v Memphis Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images

What if LB Micah Parsons is the Cowboys first-round pick? - Steven Mullenax, The Landry Hat

Parsons has been linked to Sean Lee for more reasons than their shared Penn State lineage.

Throw in health concerns surrounding former first-rounder Leighton Vander Esch, who has missed a total of 13 games over the last two seasons, and suddenly the Cowboys’ once highly-touted linebacker corps could be in need of an injection of talent.

That’s where Penn State’s Micah Parsons fits in. The young linebacker could very well be the first defensive player taken off the board in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft in April. And with the Cowboys owning the 10th overall selection, Parsons is certainly on their radar.

While selecting an off-the-ball linebacker with a top-ten pick is likely not ideal for Dallas, Parsons might be too talented to pass up. And the Cowboys certainly proved last year with the selection of Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb in the first round that they aren’t afraid to draft for talent over team need.

Described as possessing a freakish combination of size and explosiveness by Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network, the 6-foot-3, 245-pound Parsons projects as a MIKE linebacker who has the ability to be a dynamic blitzer. Opting out last year, he recorded 109 total tackles, 14.0 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks, five pass defends, and four forced fumbles in 13 games as a sophomore in 2019.

Now that Drew Pearson is finally a Hall of Famer, who’s next for the Dallas Cowboys? - Kevin Sherrington, Dallas Morning News

Who are some former ‘Boys that you think should be included on this list?

Darren Woodson’s case is as good as Walls’. Also every bit as good as those made for John Lynch and Steve Atwater, contemporaries who made the Hall. Safeties often make reputations as big hitters, and Lynch and Atwater certainly qualified. Woodson made his presence felt, too. I mean, the man was a linebacker at Arizona State. But his career also overlapped with Roy Williams, and if there’s one thing Superman did even after box safeties were passe, it was hit. I once wrote that Williams crashed an opponent’s backfield at Texas Stadium like a Buick coming off 114.

But if Woodson’s ferocity was sometimes overshadowed, he was an exceptional athlete so multitalented that he covered receivers out of the slot and played on special teams his entire career.

Here’s the best case I can make: The Cowboys haven’t been to an NFC title game in 25 years, and Woodson has been retired all but seven of them. You shouldn’t call it a coincidence.

Dallas Cowboys: Five Free Agent Safeties to Target - Reid Hanson, Sport DFW

Speaking of safeties...

It’s no mystery the Dallas Cowboys need to find a safety or four this offseason. With Xavier Woods set to depart in the free agency, the cupboard is bare heading into the 2021 season. Only third year pro, Donovan Wilson, is worth bringing back, meaning Dallas needs to find a starter and depth this offseason.

Under defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, the Dallas Cowboys are making a move back to the familiar Cover 3 system they rode so hard in the Marinelli/Richard era. The system operates with a free safety patrolling centerfield and a safety in the box. This single high look demands a lot from its free safety and with Donovan Wilson penciled in as the box safety, free safety has to be the target for Dallas this offseason.

Cowboys Trade Back in the First Round in this 3-Round Mock Draft - John Williams, Inside the Star

The mock drafts are coming by the plenty:

The Dallas Cowboys and the NFL are a little more than two months away from the NFL Draft, and a lot of names will be mentioned to America’s Team. Mock drafts are a good exercise to see what these names could be and how they might fall to the Cowboys.

At this point, most of Cowboys Nation seems to be targeting cornerback or defense in particular with the Cowboys’ first pick at number 10. One of the two names that seem to be high on everyone’s target list, Caleb Farley and Patrick Surtain II, is likely to be there when the Cowboys go on the clock in April. However, if a team comes with a trade back, it might be more profitable for the Cowboys to move back in the draft and still target the cornerback position.

And a trade back is what happened in this 3-round mock draft for the Cowboys. Using the mock draft simulator from Pro Football Network, which allows for trades in their free simulator, the Cowboys selected five players to add to their defense.

NFL INSIDER DROPS BOMBSHELL INFO ON POTENTIAL RUSSELL WILSON, DALLAS COWBOYS INTEREST - Darrelle Lincoln, Total Pro Sports

Could Wilson to the Cowboys become a reality?

Earlier this week, the Cowboys were given the second-highest odds (+600) of striking a blockbuster trade of Wilson. The Las Vegas Raiders (+300) are considered the odds-on favorite to acquire Wilson from Seattle.

In 2020, Wilson was sacked 47 times, the third-highest mark in the NFL behind Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson.

“The reality is that I think it’s frustrating being there and watching the game and sitting there. Part of it, like any player, you never want to get hit, that’s the reality of playing this position, ask any quarterback who wants to play this game. At the same time, it’s part of the job,” he said, via NFL.com.

“I’ve definitely been hit — I’ve been sacked almost 400 times. We got to get better. I got to find ways to get better, too. Just continue to try and find that. As we continue to go along the process and I think about my career and what I want to be able to do, it always starts up front, offensively and defensively. It always does. I’m grateful for the time I’ve been able to put in every day to the process. I love this game. I came to play this game to win championships.

“I’m frustrated with getting hit too much.”

Look: Cowboys Star Has A Message For J.J. Watt - Andrew Holleran, The Spun

Wilson isn't the only star who could be on the Cowboys’ radar:

Several notable NFL players are reaching out to J.J. Watt now that he’s been officially released by the Houston Texans.

The former Texans star was officially released by the AFC South franchise this week. Watt is still a good player, but Houston appears to be in re-build mode, and he carries a pretty big cap hit with him. So, Houston opted to release Watt, letting him hit the open market.

Multiple contenders are expected to have interest in Watt, with ESPN naming the most “intriguing” fit on Saturday.

The Dallas Cowboys could be among the teams interested in Watt. One Cowboys star is already doing some recruiting on Twitter.

ESPN poll: Cowboys’ potential Super Bowl timeline matches Dolphins, Chargers and Vikings - SportDay Staff, Dallas Morning News

A Super Bowl may be on the horizons a lot sooner than some fans may think according to this poll:

ESPN recently asked six NFL analysts to give a timeline of when every team in the league could realistically be considered a serious Super Bowl contender again, and the Cowboys landed in the group dubbed “Getting Closer: Two years away.”

With three groups of 14 total teams listed ahead of them, the Cowboys were joined in the fourth of six groups by the Miami Dolphins, Los Angeles Chargers and Minnesota Vikings. All four teams missed the postseason in 2020.

But in some potential good news, the Cowboys were still the highest listed team from the NFC East. After all, getting into the playoffs is the first step toward reaching the Super Bowl, and Dallas’ lackluster division opponents could continue to provide some helpful stepping stones.

But what’s the biggest X factor for the Cowboys when it comes to getting back on a Super Bowl track?

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