Over the last few weeks, it’s become a common refrain among mock drafts when it comes to the Dallas Cowboys and pick #10. They take a cornerback, and that cornerback is Patrick Surtain II. It makes a lot of sense. The Cowboys need help in the secondary, and Surtain is widely viewed as CB1 on many draft boards.
There was a time Caleb Farley was in contention with Surtain at this pick, but his stock has seemingly dropped off a bit over the last few weeks. Especially after it was revealed he was going to have back surgery that would keep him out until sometime around training camp. Paired with his opting out in 2020, Farley generally isn’t considered on par with Surtain any longer.
But what happens if Surtain isn’t available at pick #10? Do the Cowboys take Farley anyway? That situation comes up in Todd McShay’s latest mock draft. Instead of the Cowboys taking Farley, McShay goes in another direction. He gives the Cowboys Jaycee Horn from South Carolina.
10. Dallas Cowboys
Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
Jourdan Lewis is back in Dallas, but the Cowboys still want to upgrade the cornerback position opposite Trevon Diggs. Perhaps it’s Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley, though his back procedure might cause concern. Instead, I’m tabbing Horn, a speedy and versatile press corner. The Cowboys gave up 34 passing touchdowns last season, so expect them to address that area here — unless they opt to help protect the $160 million man, QB Dak Prescott, with one of the class’s top tackles.
Horn’s stock has been on the rise, especially after his recent performance at the South Carolina pro day. He wowed everybody with his athleticism. We know the Cowboys were in attendance and had plans to meet with him while they were there. (For a couple of different breakdowns of Horn’s abilities, go here and here.)
Horn is definitely making the case as CB2 in this draft, and some analysts actually prefer him to Surtain thinking that he has a higher ceiling. McShay has Surtain going to the Denver Broncos at pick #9, even though they have recently signed Kyle Fuller and Ronald Darby, but noting that Fuller’s deal is a one-year deal.
What is interesting in this mock is who the Cowboys pass on. McShay has Penei Sewell sliding all the way down to #13 where the Los Angeles Chargers pounce. Sewell was once a lock for the top five picks, but because of the expected run on quarterbacks he is being mocked further down, but #13 is really low. (For the record, Kyle Pitts goes at #4 to the Atlanta Falcons,)
Would the Cowboys pass on getting what should be their left tackle of the future? Even if Sewell isn’t the starter now, it’s become obvious Tyron Smith’s time as an elite player is getting shorter. This would be the perfect opportunity to draft his replacement.
In this situation, would you take Sewell, Horn or someone else like Farley?
The top nine picks in McShay’s mock - Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Mac Jones, Kyle Pitts, Ja’Marr Chase, DeVonta Smith, Trey Lance, Jaylen Waddle, Patrick Surtain.
In the second round, the Cowboys catch a huge break in McShay’s draft. If the actual draft fell this way, the Cowboys fanbase would be ecstatic.
44. Dallas Cowboys
Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
Not only does Barmore fill a hole in the Dallas defense, he also comes at great value. He is my 33rd-ranked prospect, as he’s super disruptive from the interior.
Wow. Barmore has been flirting with the end of the first round in many mocks and is usually among the top 30-40 prospects available. The Cowboys would end up filling a huge position of need with a super-value pick in the second round.