We continue our weekly dive into mock drafts projecting the #10 pick for the Dallas Cowboys in the 2021 NFL draft. So far in this offseason, there has been a consensus emerging around one position - cornerback - and one player - Caleb Farley - for the Cowboys in these mock drafts.
That makes sense. Cornerback is a huge need for the Cowboys heading into 2021. It’s a premier position that is worthy of a Top 10 pick. And Farley is rated as the top corner in the draft on many draft boards. No-brainer, right?
Well, there could be one little problem. The Denver Broncos. It turn out that the Broncos are in need of cornerbacks, and they pick at #9. One spot ahead of Dallas. In more and more mocks, we’re seeing Farley going to the Broncos, leaving the Cowboys to make a choice.
In four of our mocks below, with Farley gone, the Cowboys’ choice is Patrick Surtain. You can find mocks where the Cowboys choose Surtain over Farley, but in general Surtain is the fallback corner for the Cowboys if they are projected to take him. Farley nudges him out in the rankings and the mocks in most cases.
Pick 10 Dallas Cowboys
Patrick Surtain · CB
School: Alabama | Year: Junior
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cowboys looked at an offensive or defensive lineman with this pick, but Surtain would be a welcome addition to the Dallas secondary.
Round 1 - Pick 10
ALABAMA • JR • 6’2” / 203 LBS
Dallas adds the shutdown cornerback that the team has lacked since allowing Byron Jones to walk in free agency.
10. Dallas Cowboys: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
The Cowboys’ secondary has been a need for as long as I can remember. Even when they had solid players in place, there was always some uncertainty about contract status or bigger needs elsewhere. It’s tough to find a bigger need now, but the defensive options for Dallas are strong for where they’re picking, and two of the best options left are corners.
Like Caleb Farley, Patrick Surtain has been a top cornerback on many boards for quite some time. While his ball skills could use some polish, Surtain’s length and athleticism make him a dangerous option outside.
If the Cowboys can manufacture even a little bit of a pass rush, Surtain is the clearest option for this pick. South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn was an option here as well. However, I think Jerry Jones is one of the NFL’s decision-makers who will hold opting out against the prospects.
10. Dallas Cowboys: Patrick Surtain II (CB, Alabama)
Chidobe Awuzie and Jordan Lewis are free agents, so defensive coordinator Dan Quinn will welcome a big ’Bama bookend for Trevon Diggs.
There are still mocks that have the Cowboys picking Farley. In these cases, it’s usually one of three things have happened with the Broncos. They choose another position like EDGE, or they pursue a quarterback as an upgrade over Drew Lock, or even pick Surtain ahead of Farley. Here are a couple of Farley mocks for the Cowboys.
Currently PFF’s top-ranked cornerback and No. 14 overall player in the 2021 class, Farley is a fluid athlete with all the tools necessary to dominate at outside cornerback in the NFL. Before opting out of the 2020 season and declaring for the draft, the 6-foot-2, 207-pound Farley earned a 90.5 PFF coverage grade that ranked third among Power 5 cornerbacks in 2019.
10. Dallas Cowboys: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
Despite drafted Trevon Diggs last year, cornerback remained an issue for the weak Cowboys defense in 2020. Farley opted out of the 2020 season as a potential first-round pick who had four interceptions in his final college season.
Time to take a look at some mocks that don’t feature a corner for the Cowboys. Offensive line still shows up as a popular pick for the Cowboys, and it’s generally Rashawn Slater.
For years the Cowboys’ offensive line has been the best in football, but due to age and injuries, the unit greatly underperformed in 2020 and was a large reason why this team struggled to move the football. Tyron Smith is getting up there in age and missed most of the year with injury. Zack Martin missed time with injury too and La’el Collins missed the whole season. It’s time for the Cowboys to inject some youth to this offensive line, and Slater would be an excellent option. Slater is a versatile player who could start at either tackle or guard for the Cowboys.
But, every once in a while, you get a curveball pick at offensive tackle like this one.
10. Dallas (6-10) — Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech, Sr.
Injuries and age are starting to erode what was once the Cowboys greatest strength, it’s offensive line. Darrisaw could definitely find his way into the top 10 if he tests as well as I believe he will during the draft process. Top needs: OL, DB, DT
And finally, it’s still out there. The possibility that a player that is high on the Cowboys’ board falls, and that player doesn’t play a premier position, or doesn’t fill a true need, but proves too irresistible for the Cowboys to pass on. That player is usually tight end Kyle Pitts.
It all depends on how you rate his talent. Is he just too good to pass up? Some think so.
10. Dallas Cowboys (6-10)
Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida (6-6, 246 pounds)
The Cowboys could use some cornerback help, too, but this curveball of going for another an offensive skill luxury pick can’t be ruled out for Jerry Jones in “best player available” mode. Dallas figures to lock up Dak Prescott and has fine weapons for him in Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and 2020 first-rounder CeeDee Lamb. But as much as Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz have flashed, neither is a matchup nightmare tight end. The Cowboys need someone as impactful as prime Jason Witten, and Pitts, a wide receiver hybrid, would be ideal. He posted 770 yards and 12 TDs on only 43 catches, a rare field-stretcher for the position as well as a dominant red zone force.
10. Cowboys: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
The Cowboys should definitely think about OL help here but instead they opt for one of the best overall players in the draft. They can’t turn down the value and they get a great player at a position of need.