The Dallas Cowboys are really good at picking players on Day 1. Unless your name starts with a popular Mexican food, the selections have been rather delectable over the years. In fact, since 2010, nine of the team’s 11 first-round selections have gone on to earn All-Pro and/or Pro Bowl honors. And that number jumps to 10/12 if you throw in Amari Cooper.
Suffice to say, the Cowboys have a strong reputation for pulling a rabbit out of their hat in the first round of the draft, so it shouldn’t be surprising that once again expectations are raised.
But like any team, the Cowboys are fallible and not exempt from completely whiffing from time to time. Five years ago this team notoriously picked Taco Charlton late in the first round, and five years before that they traded up to select Morris Claiborne. What if the draft wizardry hourglass is once again empty and the moment has arrived for the Cowboys to make a bad selection? What player would make you lose your mind if the Cowboys called his name at pick 24?
On this week’s episode of The Star Seminar, Tony Thompson joined me and that was one of several topics we talked about. Make sure to subscribe to the Blogging The Boys podcast network wherever you get your podcasts so you don’t miss any of our shows! Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.
What player at 24 would make you absolutely livid?
OT Tyler Smith, Tulsa
There should be so many great options available at 24 that it almost seems impossible for the Cowboys to mess it up. One way to do that is to place too much emphasis on need. It’s no secret the Cowboys need help along the offensive line, and while most expect them to take one of the top guards from this draft class, what if the Cowboys decide to go tackle? And since the premier tackles are projected to come off the board early, would the Cowboys dare settle for what they believe is the next best one?
Some people think that’s a possibility which is why Tulsa’s Tyler Smith’s name has come up as the Cowboys selection a few times in some recent mocks. CBS’s Will Brinson just mocked Smith to Dallas a few days ago.
The intriguing part about Smith is that he almost teases you that he could be the next Tyron Smith. Besides having similar-sounding names, they also have similar traits. Their frame, the agility, the violent hands. And it just so happens that like Tyron before him, Tyler will be entering the NFL at a very young 21 years of age. Would the Cowboys dare replace one aging Smith with a fresh new one? Don’t look now, but Smith is gradually climbing the draft ranks and is currently sitting at 44th overall (graph courtesy of NFL mock draft database).
This still indicates it would be a super reach for the Cowboys to take him that early, but some teams are going to make these “reaches.” While Smith is a good player, the downside to selecting him this early is that he’s still incredibly raw. Yes, the upside is there, but this would be a risky move. I love Smith at 56 but would cringe at 24.
EDGE, David Ojabo, Michigan
Another way the Cowboys might try to get cute is to go after the injured David Ojabo. After tearing his Achilles at his pro day workout, Ojabo’s draft stock has gone from somewhere in the 10-15 range to near the bottom of the first round (graph courtesy of NFL mock draft database).
Usually, the Cowboys have employed the second round to take risks, but picking this late in the first round, would they pull the trigger a little early? The Cowboys lost Randy Gregory in that whole contract back-out snafu, so adding a high upside edge rusher might sound enticing if they are patient enough to wait for him to get healthy. That might seem absurd, but NFL.com’s Rhett Lewis just mocked Ojabo to the Cowboys last week. Similar to Tyler Smith, I’m perfectly content with taking him at 56, but want no part of him at 24.
What player would make you lose your mind if the Cowboys selected him with the 24th overall pick? Let us know in the comments.