This is the week. On Thursday, all speculation will be put aside and we will know who the Cowboys are going to draft with pick #10, or whatever pick it is if they decide to do some trading. It’s been a long road to this point with countless mock drafts speculating who the Cowboys would get.
Early on, Caleb Farley was the hot name as the mock drafters were giving the Cowboys a cornerback at pick #10. Patrick Surtain II was also in the picture, and ascended to the top of the pecking order after Farley was revealed to have medical issues. An amazing pro day from Jaycee Horn thrust him into the picture, vying with Surtain for mocker’s affections. Still, Surtain has had a stranglehold on the #10 pick for the Cowboys in most mocks.
Nothing has really changed the week of the draft. Surtain still rules, but if the Cowboys trade back, Horn becomes a name to know.
Six of our mocks have the Cowboys sitting still and taking Surtain with the #10 pick.
10. Dallas Cowboys—Patrick Surtain II, cornerback, Alabama
I am not signing on to the Jerry’s-moving-up-for-Kyle-Pitts storyline. I saw Jerry Jones passionately push to try to trade for Paxton Lynch five years ago and, though he has the juice to do what he wants, not overrule his football people when they said the Cowboys should not up the offer to be able to trade for Lynch. Good thing, obviously. So I doubt Jones this year will trade next year’s one, or a passel of picks, to move up to number four to be able to take the talented Florida tight end.
Picking Surtain is smarter. Dallas gave up 29.6 points per game last year, and allowed a ghastly 34 touchdown passes. (Previous five years, on average: 23 per season.) The Cowboys, as my friend Rick Gosselin has preached for years, have to spend more time tending to the defense in the high rounds, and Surtain would be a good add to a beleaguered defense.
Alabama · CB
Surtain is everything you could ever want in a corner: an elite athlete and an absolute technician at the position all wrapped up in a sturdy, long frame. This pick immediately upgrades a defense that was historically bad a season ago — and pairs Surtain up with his former Alabama teammate Trevon Diggs, whom the Cowboys selected in the second round last year.
Alabama · CB
Surtain joins his former Alabama teammate, Trevon Diggs, on the outside of the Cowboys’ defense. Just put him on the line of scrimmage and let him work his magic with supreme physicality and ball skills.
10. Dallas Cowboys: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
Dallas desperately needs help in every area of the defense, but their leaky secondary was particularly an issue last season. Surtain is an elite prospect, with the pedigree to boot after his father’s 11-year NFL career that included three Pro Bowls.
10. Dallas (6-10) — Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama, Jr.
The Cowboys defense was plain awful in 2020. Surtain, a former five-star recruit, has NFL DNA (father was an All-Pro corner who played 11 seasons) and prototypical traits. Top needs: OL, DB, DL
Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
Why: Is Surtain rated higher than Horn? Is Surtain rated higher than tackle Rashawn Slater? Is a trade possible? The Cowboys are in good position to get a Week 1 starter. Surtain had an impressive pro day with a 4.42 in the 40, 18 reps in the bench press and a 39-inch vertical.
Then we have what could be termed a dream scenario. No, it doesn’t involve Kyle Pitts dropping to #10, but it does involve a trade-back where the Cowboys still end up with Surtain. The Cowboys trade down to #15 with the New England Patriots.
The New England Patriots send picks 15 and 46, and a second-round pick in 2022 to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for pick 10.
Then the Cowboys still find Surtain on the board at #15.
15. Dallas Cowboys (via NE): Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
The Dallas luck strikes again, with a clear top talent falling to them in the teens. With Philly trading up, Dallas would feel comfortable enough moving down the boards to nab any of their top guys who end up here. With the board falling the right way, Dallas gets the guy they would have quite happily taken at No. 10 with a couple of extra second-rounders to boot.
It’s just about the perfect match in terms of a prospect’s play style, a defensive scheme fit, and a clear team need matching up into one pick. Patrick Surtain II would immediately top the depth chart in Dallas.
This would be like CeeDee Lamb falling to them again, but coming with more draft picks. Seems unlikely, but we would have said the same thing about Lamb last year.
Now on to the more realistic trade-back scenarios. They involve Jaycee Horn and in both cases the trade partner is the Patriots moving up to grab a quarterback.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Jaycee Horn CB
The Cowboys trade down and still get arguably the best cornerback in this class. And they get an extra pick out of it for their troubles. TRADE DETAILS: Patriots trade up from No. 15 to No. 10; Cowboys get picks No. 15, No. 46.
Dallas, previously in the Surtain sweepstakes, gets the second-best cornerback in the draft in Horn, who boasts a 91st percentile athleticism score and has college-to-pro comps that include Marshon Lattimore and Aqib Talib. The trade-back also allows them to build up their defense, which was the team’s Achilles’ heel last year.
In both of these mocks, the Cowboys moving down results in Surtain going to the Eagles. We earlier noted how that was a curious wrinkle in this year’s trade-back scenarios.
And finally, we leave you with the wild card mock draft. The fantastical scenario that seems unlikely, but would be a CeeDee Lamb redux. (Although Kyle Pitts might be a better example).
10. Dallas Cowboys
Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon (6-5, 325 pounds)
The Cowboys should be thinking offensive lineman or cornerback with this pick should the temptation of Pitts not be there. Sewell dropping would be a welcome surprise, much like wide receiver CeeDee Lamb a little later in 2020. Sewell could start on the right side or inside for them and make a big impact at first while he gets lined up to succeed aging left tackle Tyron Smith as a rock-solid run blocker and agile pass protector in a few seasons.