The Dallas Cowboys love their draft capital. Whether it’s compensatory picks or bonus selections from trades, the front office behaves like a malnourished orphan pleading for another helping of gruel, “please sir, I want some more.”
This is not any groundbreaking information. We know this about the Cowboys. That is why it is a little puzzling to see a few names show up on the Cowboys' list of 30 visits. Specifically, the names highlighted below.
Of all the names on the list, three of them don’t quite fit because they are projected to go way before the Cowboys are on the clock at pick 24 - OT Charles Cross, DT Jordan Davis, and WR Drake London. Are the Cowboys just preparing themselves for another draft gem to fall into their lap? We’ve seen some big surprises in the past and more surprises will certainly come in the future, but isn't it being a little too optimistic to expect these guys to slide that far?
So, why would the Cowboys use one of their 30 visit spots on a player if they weren’t being considered as a potential target? They wouldn’t. For one reason or another, the Cowboys have envisioned a scenario where selecting them is a legit possibility.
To help wrap our minds around such a scenario, we are going to explore what it would take for these players to be in the mix for the Cowboys.
OT CHARLES CROSS, Mississippi State
Current draft position: 8th
There is so much to love about Charles Cross as he checks off so many boxes of what you’d want in an offensive tackle. He’s super smart in recognizing what’s coming at him and his footwork and hand usage are so harmonious that watching him block is like listening to a symphony. It’s easy to believe that both Ikem Ekwonu and Evan Neal will be drafted before Cross, but it would take a Jeremy Tunsil gas mask-like incident for Cross to fall into the later part of the first round. According to mock drafts collected by NFL Mock Draft Database, the lowest he could fall is pick 19.
If somehow Cross makes it out of the top 10, then we could imagine a scenario where he falls to pick 16. That’s because of the teams picking 10 through 15, only the Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens have needs at offensive tackle, and maybe the Texans already took one with their no. 3 overall pick? Cross won’t get any farther though because both the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Chargers have needs at OT.
If the Cowboys are legitimately serious about going after Cross, they better be willing to call up their old pal, the Philadelphia Eagles, and swing a deal. Making such a move would require the Cowboys to give Philly their second-round pick to move up nine spots to get ahead of the Saints and Chargers.
Cross has elite skills, but that seems a bit steep for my taste. Not to mention, who wants to give the Eagles even more draft capital?
DT JORDAN DAVIS, Georgia
Current draft position: 14th
The Cowboys have not been a big spender in terms of draft capital when it comes to big-bodied nose tackles, but Georgia’s Jordan Davis isn’t just your run-of-the-mill nose tackle. His colossal frame and unexpected nimbleness make him one of the unique players in this draft. He’s not the premier pass rusher teams would love to have which is why he won’t be valued quite as high, but this guy will immediately bolster any team’s run defense. His pros and cons create a larger range of outcomes than many of the other first-round prospects.
The Cowboys could hold their breath and see what happens as it’s not impossible that he makes it to 24 (unlike it is with Cross). There are a couple of teams with interior defensive line needs in front of Dallas (New England and Green Bay), so if the Cowboys love Davis, they might want to jump in front of them. They could find a trade partner with another Pennsylvania team in the Pittsburgh Steelers and move up from 24 to 20, costing them their third-round pick.
As much as it would be a huge boost to add a player like Davis to the Cowboys' defensive line, trading away some key draft capital doesn’t seem worth it when so many other good players will be available at 24.
WR DRAKE LONDON, USC
Current draft position: 13th
Starting as earlier as pick 8 from the Atlanta Falcons, we should see a lot of wide receiver-needy teams pick ahead of the Cowboys. Luckily, there are a handful of quality receivers available and who knows how many or even which players will be available when Dallas is up. What does that mean for Drake London?
The big question that remains to be answered is who is the Cowboys' top-ranked WR and when will he be selected? Maybe that guy is London or maybe it’s Ohio State’s Chris Olave who is another one of the Cowboys' 30 visits (projected 17th).
One theory is to just let the chips fall where they may and if the guy they want is there, great! If not, try again next round. While trading away extra draft capital for a wide receiver seems negligent, it’s not a bad idea to visit with a couple of guys just in case their guy slides. We saw it happen with CeeDee Lamb with a similar talent pool of wide receivers, so you never know.
Would you make a move for any of these three players? If so, what would you be willing to give up to land him?