With the 138th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected tackle Josh Ball from Marshall. The Cowboys had gone all defense in the 2021 draft so far, but they finally help the offense. The team was looking for a developmental tackle, and they got one. With Tyron Smith’s health in doubt, they will be looking for someone to bring along for the future.
Former four-star recruit who initially signed and played with Florida State before a 2018 suspension for dating violence started the process of his departure from the school. While the character will need to be vetted thoroughly, the football potential is clear to see on tape. Ball has just about all of the physical and athletic traits teams could want out of a left tackle, and he brings a finisher’s demeanor. He plays with consistent bend and strong hands, but needs to consistently center up on the block to prevent defenders from sliding away. Ball has foot quickness to handle speed rushers and a stiff, jarring punch that can slow the rush plan way down. He needs to mix up his hand attacks and eliminate the leaning and over-setting or he will get countered all day long. From a football-only standpoint, Ball could become an early swing tackle as he acclimates to a jump in competition, but could become a future starter at left tackle.
Josh Ball aligned at left tackle for the Thundering Herd offense. He displays good overall athleticism and body control in his pass sets. Ball also displays good initial quickness out of his stance and plays with good knee bend, helping him with leverage as such a big-bodied blocker up front. His excellent length and range on the edge make it challenging for rushers to bend and turn the corner on him when he gets good depth in his set. He has good flexibility in his ankles, which helps him anchor and handle the bull rush effectively if defenders try to roll through his frame. Ball demonstrates the lateral agility to redirect on counters and hard inside moves. Although Ball has moments of getting his feet in the neutral zone through leg drive, he’s not a consistent vertical mover in the run game. He may be a little under-bulked but appears to have the frame to add mass as NFL teams feel would be necessary to unlock further potential. Ball could certainly afford to get stronger so that he can anchor better and get stronger with his initial punch. Most notably, he was dismissed from Florida State and the reasons for his departure must be researched throughout the process.
- Round 1, pick 12 - LB Micah Parsons
- Round 2, pick 44 - CB Kelvin Joseph
- Round 3, pick 75 - DT Osa Odighizuwa
- Round 3, pick 84 - EDGE Chauncey Gholston
- Round 3, pick 99 - CB Nahshon Wright
- Round 4, pick 115 - LB Jabril Cox
- Round 4, pick 138 - OT Josh Ball
- Round 5, pick 179
- Round 6, pick 192
- Round 6, pick 227
- Round 7, pick 238
CB - It’s the most popular position for the Cowboys to use their #10 pick on. Chidobe Awuzie departed in free agency from a group that wasn’t very strong to begin with. Trevon Diggs is a piece to build on, but the Cowboys need help. OL - Injury and age are catching up to various pieces of the Cowboys once-vaunted offensive line. Tyron Smith has an uncertain long-term future, and the middle of the line still has question marks. DL - The Cowboys could use an infusion of talent at both defensive tackle and defensive end. Expect both positions to be among the picks this weekend. LB - Sean Lee retired, Joe Thomas left in free agency, and the Cowboys are undecided on Leighton Vander Esch’s fifth-year option. This is a need that has been building this offseason.
S - The Cowboys signed a few free agents to go with Donovan Wilson, but they were mostly one-year contracts. The long-term stability of the position is in doubt, and the small sample size of Wilson’s work only adds to that.