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Way-too-early 2023 mock draft has the Cowboys getting help on defense

Already looking forward to the draft for the Cowboys in 2023.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 10 CFP National Championship Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Did you think mock drafts would stop just because the real thing just happened? Of course not. So here we have a Todd McShay way-too-early mock draft for 2023. There are always two points of interest in these type of mocks. One is the player picked. But the other is where the Cowboys are placed in the mock. Projections have to be made and it gives us an early feel of how the team is being perceived.

In this case, ESPN used the Super Bowl odds from Caesars Sportsbook to make their draft order and the Cowboys ended up at pick number 24. Not bad odds considering the unsettling offseason, but all it really says is they expect the team to win the NFC Est again. Anything beyond that doesn’t behave strong support. (Philadelphia was at pick 19, Washington was at 10, and New York was at pick 8).

As for the actual player projected to the Cowboys? Well, it might be a little controversial.

24. Dallas Cowboys

Henry To’oTo’o, ILB, Alabama

The Cowboys just used a fifth-rounder on linebacker Damone Clark, who will miss 2022 because of a back injury but should be ready to roll in 2023. Even so, adding another top-flight linebacker could help free up Micah Parsons in a more versatile role in which he thrives. To’oTo’o made 106 tackles last season.

There is no problem with the player. Henry To’o To’o may or may not have the kind of year that would put him in contention for a first-round pick. But he’s an off-ball linebacker. Would the Cowboys go back to that well in the first round. Not every linebacker is going to be Micah Parsons. It’s a position that has been downgraded on the value charts.

It is true that Leighton Vander Esch is on a one-year deal, and the depth behind him is thin. But by this time next year, the Cowboys could be enjoying a breakout year from Jabril Cox and be looking at a fully healthy Damone Clark along with a returning Parsons.