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Cowboys 2021 draft: Caleb Farley thinks back surgery won’t be an issue for him, or NFL teams

A potential draft prospect for the Cowboys details his injury and surgery.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 12 Rhode Island at Virginia Tech Photo by Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It wasn’t that long ago this offseason that the name of Caleb Farley was being thrown around as a possible pick for the Cowboys at number ten. The Cowboys could certainly use a top-notch cornerback, and Farley was considered one of the top two with Patrick Surtain II. In fact, draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah had Farley as his top corner and a top five prospect at the outset of the offseason.

Things have changed. Not only has Farley fallen behind Surtain in most estimations, fast-rising Jaycee Horn seems to have nudged his way into the second spot among corners, knocking Farley down to third. The problem for Farley is that a back injury happened at an inopportune time, right before his pro day.

Farley opted out of the 2020 season, so NFL evaluators only had his superb 2019 season of game tape to go on. Everyone wanted to see how he would perform at his pro day. When that didn’t happen, combined with the fact that back surgery would keep him out of action until closer to training camp, he started to drop.

Farley took the opportunity to set the record straight on his injury and what it means going forward.

“When the teams look at the imaging and get the real information I don’t think it will be an issue,” Farley said. “I accepted my draft invite so I’ll be in Cleveland. If a team wants the best corner in the draft, they’ll come find me.”

Farley went into detail about his injury.

Farley explained the injury in great detail, saying it originally occurred during a deadlift exercise. He injured his lumbosacral joint — which connects the L5 and S1 discs — but previously elected for a procedure to repair only the L5 disc. For a year, Farley wasn’t limited physically, although he did experience some sciatica symptoms. A little over a month ago, Farley’s S1 disc flared up. With the constant training Farley needed to do, his options were to take considerable time off to let the S1 heal on its own or undergo a microdiscectomy procedure.

He elected for the procedure, which put him out of his pro day. Although has raised medical concerns, Farley said this isn’t something that will limit him at the next level.

“I did a great job managing over a year but that bulge is still in my S1 and unfortunately I irritated it a month ago, which caused me to pull back on my training,” Farley said. “I was trying to cut back and manage the inflammation to come out here on pro day and put up some crazy numbers. But after talking to Dr. (Robert) Watkins, getting the MRI and getting things looked at, we were advised it would be best to go ahead and fix this problem so I will be ready for training camp and ready for the season. It was not a recurring disc or anything like that. What I had previously worked on is still intact. It was great news. I’m actually excited about this.”

When the Cowboys are on the clock at pick number ten, it’s seems like a reasonable assumption that either Surtain or Horn will be available to them. Farley may not be on their radar for that pick at ten, but we obviously don’t know everything going on the Star. Even if Farley isn’t on the radar at ten, if the Cowboys decide to trade back, he could resurface as an option.

At that point, he may even be a bargain considering where he was ranked previous to the injury.