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Dallas Cowboys final seven-round mock draft: Defensive heavy with offensive help

The pick is in...

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 16 Florida at Missouri

It’s draft day ladies and gentlemen. After what feels like the longest offseason of all time, draft day is here. The Cowboys front office, scouts, and coaches have finished putting the final touches on their draft board, as the draft will soon begin.

In this mock draft, we’ll be using The Draft Network simulator to give us a realistic simulation of what COULD happen on draft weekend. We will be drafting based on what we think the Cowboys will do, (based on rumors, sources, and information we’ve gathered over the last few months and years), not what we would do in each round.

Today we’re going to do a final seven-round mock draft, incorporating realistic scenarios where the Cowboys could go using their 10 selections in the 2021 NFL Draft. Let’s get going.

Round 1, 10th Overall

With the 10th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select....

Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

Players still available: Jaycee Horn, Rashawn Slater, Caleb Farley, Micah Parsons
CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T - Ohio State v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Depending on who you talk to, it sounds like the Cowboys ideal scenario would having the pick of the litter between Patrick Surtain II and Jaycee Horn. While it sounds like the organization would be thrilled with either, the more people I talk to, the more it seems like Patrick Surtain II would be the selection. Surtain is an extremely intelligent, technically sound cornerback with man and zone coverage experience. Surtain fits the height, length, weight, and speed prototypes the Cowboys look for in their corners, and played at a big school in Alabama, something Will McClay values in his early-round selections. At the end of the day, the Cowboys really can’t go wrong with either Patrick Surtain II or Jaycee Horn, but what Surtain offers may fit Dan Quinn’s system a bit more, with how much Cover-3 he likes to run.

Round 2, 44th Overall

With the 44th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select...

Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri

Players still available: Payton Turner, Joseph Ossai, Levi Onwuzurike, Richie Grant
Missouri v Arkansas Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Breaking news: The Cowboys are hunting linebackers. Whether it’s because they have yet to extend Leighton Vander Esch’s fifth-year option, or the fact they could actually be preparing to move on from Jaylon Smith sooner rather than later, over the last few weeks the Cowboys are heavily hunting linebackers in the top 100. Nick Bolton, once viewed as a lock first-rounder, has the best tape out of any linebacker in this draft class, and has the instincts the current Cowboys linebackers lack in order to be successful. Bolton would immediately make an impact for the Cowboys as a MIKE or WILL linebacker, and would allow Jaylon Smith to play the SAM linebacker position for a higher percentage of snaps. Bolton is a really, really good football player, and is going to be undervalued because of his lack of ideal size and elite athleticism at the position.

Round 2, 57th Overall

TRADE: Cowboys trade the 75th overall pick, 179th overall pick, the 227th overall pick and a 2022 4th-round pick to the Los Angeles Rams for the 57th overall pick

With the 57th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select...

Richie Grant, DS, Central Florida

Players still available: Elijah Molden, Brady Christensen, Jamar Johnson, Davyion Nixon
NCAA Football: Central Florida at Connecticut David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve heard some rumors about the Cowboys wanting to be aggressive moving around in this draft. Whether it’s trading down from 10 and accumulating picks, or up from 44 or 75 to grab a player slipping a bit, it seems inevitable at this point that the Cowboys are going to make some sort of a move in the first two days of the draft. In this scenario, the Cowboys move up to grab free safety Richie Grant. Around the league, it seems like Richie Grant’s projection is all over the place. Some view him as a first-round player, some view him as a third-round player, in reality, he’ll probably end up going somewhere between 44 and 60. With the Rams only holding six draft picks in the 2021 draft, two of which come in the top 100 (57th and 88th), this could be a situation where they’ll look to add a few more picks in this draft (and one next year), to have more darts to throw at their offensive line and defense. Grant is the ideal free safety prospect for the Cowboys, possessing elite coverage skills, ball skills, and ability to play multiple roles in Dan Quinn’s defense. If the Cowboys don’t pick a safety in the top 50, there’s a really good chance they could look to move up for one of the day two guys at the end of the second round.

Round 3, 99th Overall

With the 99th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select...

Marvin Wilson, DL, Florida State

Players still available: Alim McNeill, D’Ante Smith, Cameron McGrone
Georgia Tech v Florida State Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

If I had told you a year ago that the Cowboys would be able to land Marvin Wilson in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft, most of Cowboys Nation would be doing backflips, but as it stands today, there are still a lot of questions regarding Wilson and the impact he’ll make in the NFL. In 2020, Wilson was one of the most disappointing players in all of college football, playing sloppy, overweight, and lacking the explosion that he showed off earlier in his career at Florida State. But the Cowboys do like him, and they have interest in the player. For me, the pick would be Alim McNeill, and there would be absolutely zero hesitation turning in that card, but we’re trying to predict what the Cowboys are actually going to do, and according to a source, there has been no contact between McNeill and the Cowboys at all since he declared for the draft. While Wilson’s inconsistencies are concerning, the glimpses of elite talented from 2018-2019 make you excited about his potential if he’s healthy and locked into the task at hand. There’s a bit of a boom-or-bust tag attached to Wilson’s name, and it’ll be up to him if he wants to make a difference in the NFL.

Round 4, 115th Overall

With the 115th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select...

Cameron Sample, EDGE, Tulane

Players still available: Andre Cisco, Olajiah Griffin, James Wiggins, Aaron Banks
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 04 Armed Forces Bowl - Southern Miss v Tulane Photo by John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

You could say that Cameron Sample is my pet cat in this draft class. Coming out of Tulane, Sample isn’t garnering the hype he deserves after a successful career, and having an impressive Senior Bowl week earlier in this offseason. Sample, a 6-3, 270-lb defensive linemen has “Tyrone Crawford” type of ability, as he can play both EDGE and interior defensive line when needed. Sample is high-effort pass rusher, with good use of power, explosiveness, and athleticism when rushing from both defensive end and defensive tackle. Sample’s versatility, arm length, and high-motor would be an ideal candidate to replace the recently retired Tyrone Crawford.

Round 4, 138th Overall

With the 138th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select...

Walker Little, OT, Stanford

Players still available: Charles Snowden, David Moore, Ambry Thomas, Dazz Newsome
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 27 Washington State at Stanford Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s so tough to evaluate Walker Little, and that’s one of the main reasons he slips into the fourth round. Having little game reps in the last two seasons, and coming of an ACL injury in 2019, Little has given scouts around the league little to evaluate in the last two years at Stanford. But for the Cowboys, this is the perfect lottery ticket selection in the fourth round of the draft. With Tyron Smith and La’el Collins looking back to health, the Cowboys are more so looking to elevate the depth behind them, while also looking for guys who have some position flexibility. Walker is an impressive physical and athletic specimen, standing a towering 6-7, 315-lbs. Walker had impressive tape at Stanford as a freshman and has prototypical left tackle size, length, and athleticism for the position. While Little is more of projection than a sure-thing, the risk is well worth the reward in the fourth round.

Round 6, 192nd Overall

With the 192nd pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select...

Cornell Powell, WR, Clemson

Players still available: Darrick Forest, Justin Hilliard, Avery Willams, Jaelon Darden
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 28 CFP Semifinal at the Fiesta Bowl - Clemson v Ohio State Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With the uncertain future surrounding Michael Gallup, adding a receiver in a class as deep as this one is an absolute no-brainer for the Cowboys. And what better way to (possibly) replace Michael Gallup, than with Michael Gallup-lite. Powell is an extremely cut-up outside receiver that plays with solid size and athleticism on the boundary for the Tigers. While he didn’t break-out until 2020, Powell has a ton of upside with his nuanced route-running ability (just ask Shaun Wade), and his dynamic ability to create after the catch. While it’s wise for the Cowboys to keep Michael Gallup for the 2021 season, adding Powell would give the Cowboys one of the most talented, and deepest, wide receiver rooms in the NFL with Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, Cedrick Wilson, Noah Brown, and Cornell Powell.

Round 7, 238th Overall

With the 238th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select...

Tay Gowan, CB, Central Florida

Players still available: Sam Ehlinger, Lorenzo Neal, K.J. Britt, Tre Norwood
Stanford v Central Florida Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

This late in the draft, teams should be looking for the following:

  • high-upside athletes
  • impact special teamers
  • ideal scheme fits

Tay Gowan is a combination of the three, which is why it was a no-brainer selection with their final pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. Tay Gowan is an ideal fit for the Cowboys Cover-3 heavy scheme, showing good feel for his zone drops and exciting traits as a man cover corner as well. In the seventh round, the Cowboys are adding a guy who has a really good chance to make the final roster, fits Dan Quinn’s system to a T, and can contribute on special teams for John Fassel. What more could you want out of a seventh-rounder?