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Cowboys news: Kyle Pitts and “visions of sugar plums”? Ask Jerry Jones about that one

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SEC Championship - Alabama v Florida Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Jerry Jones gets “visions of sugar plums” picturing Kyle Pitts with Dak Prescott - Josh Alper, PFT

There is no shortage of Kyle Pitts fans through out the league and Jerry Jones looks to be a fan of his as well.

A report early this month said that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is infatuated with tight end Kyle Pitts and a video the team shared this week does little to refute that label.

The team shared a clip of Pitts’ virtual meeting with Jones and others from the organization that opens with Jones making no attempt to disguise how much he enjoys the idea of Pitts joining the offense in Dallas.

“I’m excited to have you come into this league, and man, what a pair up we could do with ole Dak Prescott and some of these guys that we’ve got out there with options to get you the ball. So we can dream of visions of sugar plums around here,” Jones said.

Star-Telegram’s 3rd NFL mock draft has Dallas Cowboys not repeating miss on Randy Moss - Clarence Hill, Star-Telegram

We all remember who Dallas passed on in 1998, but would passing on Kyle Pitts have the same impact?

Will the Dallas Cowboys not make the mistake of ‘98 and pass on Randy Moss again?

That is one of the biggest questions at the Cowboys headquarters at The Star in Frisco heading into the 2021 NFL Draft, which begins with the first round on April 29.

Since the end of the 2020 season, the Dallas Cowboys have screamed from the rooftops that improving the defense would be the primary focus in the draft.

That remains the plan for the 10th overall pick — barring something unforeseen, like Moss sitting there in the form of Florida tight end Kyle Pitts.

In 1998, the Cowboys infamously passed on Moss with the eighth overall pick because of off-field concerns and took defensive end Greg Ellis.

Moss became one of the greatest receivers in NFL history and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018. Ellis played 11 of his 12 years with the Cowboys and made one Pro Bowl.

Pitts is considered by many to be the second-best player in the 2021 NFL Draft and a potential generational talent at tight end.

But there is a chance he could fall to 10 because of the expected run on quarterbacks at the top of the draft and the remote possibility of other teams choosing other positions of need.

Team owner Jerry Jones has made no secret about his excitement of the thought of Pitts joining quarterback Dak Prescott and receivers Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup in an already-explosive Cowboys offense.

According to ESPN, Jones is infatuated with Pitts.

Cowboys: Alabama CB Patrick Surtain II the best option at pick 10 - Jelani Goodridge-Reid, withthefirstpick.com

Patrick Surtain II seems to be a popular choice for the Cowboys.

The 2020 Cowboys didn’t only prove to be one of the worst defenses in Cowboys history, but in NFL history in general. When it comes to where Jerry and the Jones family should be looking to improve most, is the secondary.

How can Cowboys improve defense in 2021 NFL Draft?

America’s Team’s defense ranked in around the basement of the league in total opponent yards per game, opponent passing touchdowns per game, and opponent points per game. In order to be the playoff team, they aspire to be next season, improving their defense is the highest priority. This necessity can be highlighted in the 2021 NFL Draft with a selection of another Alabama cornerback in Patrick Surtain II.

Surtain II, at 6-foot-2 and 202 pounds, was the focal point in the Alabama secondary during their recent championship campaign. Coming out of high school, he was considered a top cornerback in the country and his game has only trended upwards during his time with the Crimson Tide. He’s widely considered the best defensive back available and is highly likely to be the first defensive player off the board.

Dallas Cowboys: Secret plan to trade down in the 2021 NFL Draft? - Reid Hanson, sportdfw.com

Dallas has many options when it comes to the draft including trading down.

Fair or not, the Dallas Cowboys are somewhat known for their draft day shenanigans. Despite the fact they rarely trade around in Round 1, their reputation is that they’re ready to wheel and deal all day long. This year they may actually live up to that reputation.

At Pick 10 in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys are positioned where they could hold the keys to the kingdom. With five potential franchise quarterbacks this year, there’s a good chance No. 5 will be on the board when Dallas goes on the clock. That puts our beloved Cowboys in a very high-leverage situation.

The Dallas Cowboys’ ideal scenario may be trading back in the 2021 NFL Draft

Teams like New England, Washington, Pittsburgh, and Chicago are all in the market for a franchise QB this year and none of them are positioned in the top-10 to get one. Trading up may be their only chance to realistically find one this year and Pick 10 looks like their spot to do it.

If QB5 is there, teams will be competing to move up. Forget everything you know about the famous Jimmy Johnson draft pick trade chart. When teams are hunting QBs all bets are off. If you add in a possible bidding war, the market explodes.

QBs yield a king’s ransom

It’s not breaking news to say a quarterback is the most important position in the game of football. It produces 3x the WAR (wins above replacement) and over 4x the EPA (expected points added) as other positions, skill positions or otherwise. It takes an entire team to make up for a poor QB but it only takes a great QB to make up for poor team.

General Managers know their career is largely based on the ability to find a franchise QB. That’s why they’ll move heaven and earth to find one. And heaven and earth is exactly what the Dallas Cowboys could demand in return for that last coveted franchise QB.

2021 Draft Looms Large for Cowboys LBs Luke Gifford & Francis Bernard - Jess Haynie, insidethestar.com

Many Cowboys players will be watching the draft to see who goes where and how that will affect their job security.

The Dallas Cowboys are very light at linebacker heading into next week’s NFL Draft. Right now, prospects Luke Gifford and Francis Bernard would probably make the 2021 roster based on current talent. But could next week’s big event land a major blow to their job security?

Gifford and Bernard have been two of the hot names coming out of the 2019 and 2020 training camps, respectively. But with only eight total snaps between them on last year’s defense, neither is going into this offseason with any real momentum.

Their current status on the roster is based solely on attrition from other depth players. Sean Lee remains unsigned in free agency and is still contemplating retirement. Joe Thomas signed with the Houston Texans last month, and Justin March also remains on the open market.

Even with Keanu Neal coming from Atlanta and converting to linebacker, Dallas still has just him, Leighton Vander Esch, and Jaylon Smith as proven commodities at the position. Bernard and Gifford would be the top reserves right now by default, not by merit.

Possible Pick: Does This OL Need Penei Sewell? - David Helman, Dallascowboys.com

Penei Sewell could come in and solidify an offensive line that was once viewed as the best in the NFL.

Where He’s Projected: Sewell has been one of the names to know in this draft cycle for the better part of a year. His stock has fluctuated to a degree, but it’s widely acknowledged that he will likely be a Top 10 pick, as well as the first offensive lineman to hear his name called on Thursday night.

Whether that means he’ll fall to the Cowboys at No. 10 is up for debate. There are several teams ahead of them, such as Cincinnati and Miami, that could use help along the offensive line. But with so many talented offensive skill players available at the top of this draft, it’s not out of the question that Sewell could see himself slide a little bit.

There’s also the matter of Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater. Another blue chip tackle prospect who we’ll also talk about in this series, Slater is seen by many as the best tackle prospect in this class. If a team above Dallas opts for Slater over Sewell, it’s possible the Oregon All-American could be sitting there in the 10 spot.

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