We are under a week away from the 2021 NFL Draft and no one can be sure what the Dallas Cowboys are thinking. Will they trade down and try to secure more picks in an effort to fortify their roster, or will they keep the 10th pick and take the best player on their board? Many would like for them to stay at 10 and take the best player available but we continue to hear that it’s a possibility they trade back. If they choose that route they are moving away from a top 10 talent in the draft, and they will likely drop behind their NFC counterparts as the New York Giants have the 11th pick and the Philadelphia Eagles have the 12th pick.
If a team trades up with Dallas, it’s likely because they want a quarterback. That would push one other position player down the board for either the Giants or Eagles to draft. Of course, there is a scenario where the Eagles want a quarterback and trade up themselves with Dallas, something we discussed here.
If the Cowboys do drop out of pick 10 (or even if they don’t), let’s take a look at what the Giants and Eagles might need in the draft. Here’s what both teams need according to NFL.com after their free agency signings.
New York Giants
Biggest needs: EDGE, OL, WR, RB, DT
At first glance, you can immediately see that three of the Cowboys bigger needs are on this list. The Cowboys have had consistent injuries along the offensive line as well as poor play at times from left guard Connor Williams. The Cowboys also need to add depth behind pass rushers DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory. They signed Tarrell Basham in free agency, but to this point he hasn’t shown he can be an impact player. Then you have one of the biggest problems on this Cowboys defense, the defensive tackle position.
The Giants haven’t had a solid offensive line since quarterback Daniel Jones came into the league, so they will want to make sure they give him some protection. They also haven’t had a true pass-rushing threat on the outside since they traded Jason Pierre-Paul to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and now that they’ve signed Leonard Williams to a big deal they are going to have to find cheap pass rush help in the draft. And finally, they need help at defensive tackle to replace losing Dalvin Tomlinson in free agency.
Eagles’ biggest needs: WR, CB, OL, LB, DL
The Eagles are just like to Giants except for two positions changed. Instead of needing an edge rusher, they need cornerback help and then they also need help at linebacker just like the Cowboys do thanks in part to the injury history of Leighton Vander Esch and the up-and-down play from Jaylon Smith. We’ve already gone over the Cowboys needs along the offensive and defensive lines, but the most talked about position of need this offseason for the Cowboys has been cornerback.
If the Cowboys were to move away from the 10th pick instead of taking one of the best corners in the draft, they have a real chance of having the Eagles take one and having their fans feel like Cowboys fans last season when CeeDee Lamb fell.
BTB’s own Tom Ryle wondered whether the Cowboys could even be a trade partner for the Eagles on the latest episode of Ryled Up.
If the Cowboys don’t stay at 10 and pass on a cornerback, they aren’t guaranteed that another cornerback with the top 10 talent will be around when they are up again. Then the Giants and Eagles could possibly draft the pair of Alabama receivers in Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith. The Cowboys secondary that was so easy to beat last season, and has now lost a starting cornerback in Chidobe Awuzie, is going to be facing two of the best receivers coming out of the draft twice a season with no good answer to defend them.
The Cowboy will need to decide whether a deal to trade down from pick #10 is in their best interest. And they really need it to be in their best interest, because right behind them will be two of their rivals ready to possibly snap up a player they pas on. Dallas still needs to do what is best for their franchise, but having NFC East teams back-to-back right behind them adds a new wrinkle.
It’s going to be interesting to see what the Cowboys do.