After taking a week off from our Cowboys 2021 mock draft tracker, we are back on track this week. We have 10 new mocks to peruse, and while we have most of the normal names, we have some real curveballs this week. One so off-the-wall that it inspired the headline of this article asking how mad would Cowboys fans be if it was the actual pick in April.
Before we get to that, let’s take a look at what we should consider the “normal” mocks for the Cowboys. Not too much has changed in the post-Dak-Prescott-contract landscape.
Patrick Surtain is the leader this week with four of our 10 mocks tabbing the Alabama cornerback as the Cowboys selection.
10. Dallas Cowboys – Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama: Everyone is over the moon in Big D with Dak Prescott finally under contract – and that investment warrants reinvestment in an aging offensive line. But bolstering a deficient defense is also a priority, and a top-line corner like Surtain makes sense given the way this board falls and this team’s lack of secondary depth.
10. Dallas Cowboys: CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
The Dallas Cowboys already accomplished their biggest offseason priority when they agreed to a long-term extension with quarterback Dak Prescott.
The defense should now take precedence.
At No. 10, the Cowboys could select the draft’s top cornerback, Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II. The disciplined defensive back has the size (6’2”, 202 pounds) and length to overwhelm receivers and the accompanying ability to shut them down in man coverage.
What separates Surtain from other cornerback prospects is how reliable he is in all phases of the game. As Pro Football Focus noted, the reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year is the only draft-eligible defender from a Power Five program with grades of 80 or better in coverage and against the run.
Since Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis are set to enter free agency, Dallas may need to find a corner to pair with Trevon Diggs.
Patrick Surtain II
For the Cowboys, it’s likely to come down to addressing the offensive line or cornerback. With Trevon Diggs as likely the only long-term option on the roster, coupling him with Surtain II gives the franchise two young corners to mold their defense around.
10. Dallas Cowboys | Alabama CB Patrick Surtain II
The Cowboys handled their biggest order of offseason business with a long-term extension for Dak Prescott, so now they can focus on rebuilding their disappointing defense. Surtain could easily be the first corner off the board this year, so getting him at this point is a bargain. He’s got the potential to be even better than his father, who was a three-time Pro Bowl corner himself.
There is a sameness to all those pick evaluations that centers around two points. One, now that Prescott is under contract, it’s time for the Cowboys to fix a bad defense so the offense isn’t engaged in a shootout every week. Second, the Cowboys cornerbacks are lacking with Trevon Diggs the only long-term solution back there. Adding Surtain would create an Alabama duo that could carry the Cowboys secondary into the future.
But if it’s not Surtain, it may be Caleb Farley.
10. Dallas (6-10) — Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech, Jr.
Injuries and age are starting to erode what was once the Cowboys greatest strength, it’s offensive line. It will need to be addressed to protect their investment in franchise quarterback Dak Prescott. However, the defense was plain awful in 2020. Farley is a physical press corner with elite athleticism and size (6-foot-2, 207 pounds) who didn’t play this season due to COVID. Top needs: OL, DB, DT
Caleb Farley CB
VIRGINIA TECH • JR • 6’2” / 207 LBS
The Cowboys are another team in need of corner help. Farley opted out last year, but his skills are top-notch. He might have the highest ceiling of the corners in this class.
What was said about Surtain above could certainly be applied to Farley, minus the part about creating an Alabama duo at corner. This really seems like what the Cowboys must decide on unless they trade back or something crazy happens in the draft - picking between either Surtain or Farley unless one, or both, are already off the board at pick number 10.
Now we start to deviate into the wildcards, some wilder than others. If Dallas wants to go for team 50-burger, then this pick might be their thing.
Kyle Pitts TE
FLORIDA • JR • 6’6” / 240 LBS
The odds of Kyle Pitts being available at No. 10 overall seem smaller and smaller every day. Although Dallas has other needs that are probably more important to the team’s overall success in 2021, Jerry Jones can not help himself.
This one will be one of the trickiest decisions if he’s still on the board. It’s unlikely, but not impossible, Pitts will be there at pick number 10 even though some have him as a top-five talent in this draft. The Cowboys don’t really need anymore weapons on offense, and they don’t need a tight end, but is Pitts just too special to pass up?
Or the team could take a chance on a player who has one great year to show for his college experience.
10. Dallas Cowboys: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
Once thought of as a slam dunk top-10 pick in the summer, Gregory Rousseau’s stock has dipped recently. However, in this 2021 First Round NFL Mock Draft, Rousseau does slip right back into the top 10.
The Cowboys decide to pass on any other cornerback here and, instead, bet on Rousseau’s length and tools as his upside. Outside of DeMarcus Lawrence, the Cowboys need a pass rusher, and Rousseau can be another piece to get after opposing NFC East quarterbacks.
This one always feels kind of iffy, given the presence of Randy Gregory and the possibility of re-signing Aldon Smith. Also, the Cowboys recent experience with a one-hit wonder at defensive end in Taco Charlton might sway their opinion.
Okay, now we get into out there territory.
Pick 10 Dallas Cowboys
Oregon · S · Junior
The versatile defender will help this Cowboys secondary improve. Holland can do it all and will be a major contributor however he’s used — as a centerfield safety, outside corner or nickel, and return man on special teams.
No one denies the Cowboys need for a safety, but there are a couple of issues with this pick. First, there is a general consensus that no safety in this draft is worth a Top 10 pick. And if the Cowboys were to use a pick on a safety here, most would project Trevon Moehrig as that guy. Holland’s rankings are all over the board from the second-best safety to the fifth-best.
And now, for the one that would probably create a total meltdown in Cowboys Nation.
Zaven Collins LB
TULSA • JR • 6’4” / 260 LBS
Jerry Jones sends shockwaves through the NFL with his selection, but Collins is a do-everything linebacker who boosts the play of that unit instantly.
Just imagine if this happened. It’s an off-the-ball linebacker at pick 10. That off-the-ball linebacker is not Micah Parsons, easily the top-rated linebacker in this class. The pick is a guy who played at a smaller school and may or may not project well into a pass-happy NFL. Good times.