Film room: 3 draft prospects worth trading up for, including a pass rusher reminiscent of DeMarcus Lawrence - John Owning, Dallas Morning News
The Cowboys could make a pick at #10, and then trade back into the bottom of the first-round with some of their other picks. Here are some prospects that could tempt them.
At 6-foot and 192 pounds with 31 1/8-inches, Newsome is slightly smaller than Quinn’s ideal CB type, but he more than makes up for it with his elite athleticism, fluid hips and smooth footwork.
Newsome is outstanding at taking away vertical routes, which is key for cornerbacks in Cover 3-heavy schemes. While he usually does a great job staying on top of receivers to prevent the big play, Newsome also has the speed and footwork to recover and get back into phase with the receiver if he does cede separation early in the route (doesn’t happen often). On passes 10-plus yards downfield, Newsome allowed just one catch (on 15 targets) and forced four incompletions in 2020, per Pro Football Focus.
In addition, Newsome might be the best click-and-closer in this class, as his ability to stick his foot in the ground and drive forward, or at an angle, explosively without wasted steps enables him to contest a lot of passes when playing off-coverage or bailing to Cover 3. This is why Newsome was still able to generate seven pass breakups in just six games this season despite playing on top of receivers in a Cover-3 heavy scheme, as he could drive forward from his position on top of the receiver to disrupt the catch point.
The impact of some of the recent draft trades on the Cowboys.
Cowboys Angle: How could the recent moves change the Cowboys' draft plans? Originally slated as the second team out of the NFC East to pick in this year's draft, the Cowboys now lead off the division's selections and start a run of three straight rivals picking from 10 to 12. It was widely believed that Philadelphia would have targeted a high-end pass catcher at their slot in the top 10 and would've likely netted a player like Florida's Kyle Pitts or LSU's Ja'Marr Chase. But now, as the strategy may stay the same, they'll have to settle for players like Alabama's DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle who are likely to slip out of the Top 10. Which, if you ask the Cowboys secondary, could be a massive win.
Greatest Debate: Is Mac Jones really the reason the 49ers moved up to third overall? There recently have been many connected parties around the draft world that have mentioned the possibility of Alabama quarterback Mac Jones to be selected by San Francisco with the third overall pick. However, to some of those that have studied the draft like Bryan Broaddus and Jeff Cavanaugh, the Crimson Tide gunslinger shouldn't even be in the conversation. Dane Brugler argued that if the top quarterbacks were compared in just accuracy and decision-making, Jones could be considered as the best in the group. Meaning the idea isn't as crazy as it seems.
Can the Cowboys afford to go offense in round one with all their defensive needs?
Offensive Tackle. Most of Dallas' needs exist on the defensive side of the ball, but the unfortunate injury luck it had on the offensive line last season exposed another big hole: left tackle. Tyron Smith has been the answer at the position for a decade, but he only played in two games last season and missed the rest of the year after having surgery on his neck. Right tackle La'el Collins spent the entire season on the IR as well and had hip surgery.
Collins is only 27 years old and has four years left on his contract. The hope would be that he'll recover. Smith, however, is entering his age-31 season and has a hefty contract. What are the odds both tackles make it through the season unscathed?
After watching the Cowboys' offensive line without the bookend tackles last season, it would be wise for the tackle of the future to be on the roster next season. Ty Nsekhe raises the unit's floor, but he only signed a one-year deal and is in the twilight of his career at the age of 35. Even if it's someone they just use as a swing tackle in 2021 or even kick inside to guard, getting an offensive lineman of the future is the biggest need on offense.
Mel Kiper ranks his draft prospects.
The Cowboys are in desperate need of a CB who can play opposite of Trevon Diggs, would they be willing to reach in order grab one of the top three? Two offensive players who could potentially fall to Dallas at No. 10 are offensive linemen Penei Sewell and Rashawn Slater, who are eight and nine on Kiper’s board. Sewell is prototypical left tackle. With Tyron Smith still in the fold, Dallas would likely play the Oregon product at guard or right tackle (moving La’el Collins to guard), unless Smith was sidelined again due to injury.
The 6-foot-6, 330 pounder would be the left tackle of the future for Dallas. Slater is considered an even more versatile player capable of playing all five positions on the line. Kiper believes his best position is at guard, if the Cowboys were to draft the former Northwestern standout, he would start next to Smith and be the swing tackle for the team.
How a 17-game NFL season clears the path for Jerry Jones, Cowboys to host another Super Bowl - Michael Gehlken, Dallas Morning News
A 17-game NFL season may have a big impact on Jerry Jones.
A 17-game schedule provided the league a novel way to export home games. Beginning this season, the 17th game will be an interconference matchup. Each AFC team picks up an extra home game in 2021 against an NFC team. That will alternate each year; NFC teams will be the ones who play a ninth home game in 2022 versus an interconference opponent. In 2021, the Cowboys will travel to play the New England Patriots.
Starting in 2022, four of these 16 interconference games will be played internationally, and there will be a rotation so that, within an eight-year span, each NFL club will host at least one interconference game abroad. A trip to the Patriots’ Gillette Stadium makes a difficult Cowboys road schedule even tougher.
Aside from the NFC East, Dallas already was scheduled to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Chargers and Minnesota Vikings on the road. The Bucs and Chiefs competed in last month’s Super Bowl. At home, the Cowboys will play the NFC East, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders and Arizona Cardinals in 2021. The schedule of dates and times won’t be finalized until later this spring.
Ranking the top 50 players in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The Dallas Cowboys and the rest of the NFL are entering the home stretch giving everything they have left in the tank to hopefully finish strong. For the most part things are close to wrapped up with only a few pro days left to be completed and medical reports to be checked/rechecked. It won’t be too long until the Commissioner is strutting up to the podium to announce the No. 1 this year.
With that in mind I thought I’d share with you my 2021 NFL Draft Top 50 Big Board. Overall this means very little to the Dallas Cowboys. However, I think it’s important to keep in mind they currently have four draft picks in the Top 100 this year and it’s not unreasonable to think two or three of these players end up being one of the selections.
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