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2023 Cowboys mock draft: Dallas trades pick No. 26, moves back into second round

Predicting the Cowboys draft picks in the 2023 NFL Draft.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 29 TCU at West Virginia Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys are free to select the best player available (BPA) in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft.

Through trades, outside additions, and re-signing their own they have pretty much filled all their glaring needs as far as roster construction is concerned. They can now sit back and let the draft play out without having to target a specific position.

It is important to remember though that both Stephon Gilmore and Brandin Cooks could be nothing more than one-year rentals. In no way should their additions keep the Cowboys from drafting a cornerback or wide receiver early if that’s the way their board falls when they are on the clock. Now, with all that in mind, let’s draft!

Today we will be using Pro Football Focus’ draft simulator for our mock draft exercise.

1.26 – TRADE

Seattle Seahawks v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images

2.37 - WR Josh Downs, North Carolina

ACC Championship - Clemson v North Carolina Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images

The rich get richer! Adding Brandin Cooks to the mix with CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup gives the Dallas Cowboys arguably one of the best, if not the best wide receiver trios in the entire league, but the depth behind them leaves much to be desired. In Josh Downs they are bringing in someone unlike anyone else they currently have on the roster. He is one the smoothest and best route-running receivers in the entire 2023 draft class and should be able to carve out an important role as a rookie despite being WR4 on the depth chart.

2.58 – OG/C Steve Avila, TCU

TCU v Kansas State

One of the few things the Cowboys have yet to do is replace Connor McGovern at left guard, although they did sign Chuma Edoga on Tuesday for depth along the line. While Tyler Smith may start at LG early on, he will more than likely have to kick outside due to Tyron Smith’s inability to remain healthy. Steve Avila is a plug-and-play guard who can also serve as the primary backup for Tyler Biadasz, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract. Avila’s versatility to potentially start at either OG/C could prove to be invaluable, especially as it pertains to a contract extension for Biadasz next year.

3.85 - CB Eli Ricks, Alabama

Alabama v LSU Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

What Eli Ricks lacks in experience, he makes up for in size and athleticism. He checks nearly every box Dan Quinn looks for in a prototypical outside cornerback, but unfortunately he just hasn’t been able to further develop his skill set at either LSU or Alabama. He should benefit from sitting behind a player like Stephon Gilmore for a year before potentially taking over the starting job opposite Trevon Diggs in Year 2. In the meantime, he would provide much-needed depth while he continues to develop.

3.90 – RB Kendre Miller, TCU

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 31 Semifinal Game Fiesta Bowl Photo by Zac BonDurant/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Kendre Miller as a local prospect who the Dallas Cowboys are rumored to be interested in, and for good reason. Although he’s been somewhat forgotten so far in the draft process while he recovers from a knee injury he sustained late in the season in TCU’s journey to the national championship, he is one of the few complete backs in the 2023 class. The 5’11”, 215-pound running back is surprisingly twitched up and agile for a player his size and checks all of the boxes the Cowboys look for in a RB1.

4.129 - LB Dorian Williams, Tulane

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 02 Goodyear Cotton Bowl Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Re-signing Leighton Vander Esch was huge for the Dallas Cowboys linebacker position heading into the 2023 season. In LVE and Damone Clark defensive coordinator Dan Quinn likely has a starting linebackers, but the need for more depth behind them with Anthony Barr and Luke Gifford both likely leaving via free agency (Gifford is obviously already gone) must be addressed. Dorian Williams is someone who can provide just that. He is an instinctive player with good sideline to sideline range, but may need a year or two of seasoning before being considered worthy of starting.

5.169 - DT Brodric Martin, Western Kentucky Boca Raton Bowl - Western Kentucky v Appalachian State Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

One of the few areas the Dallas Cowboys have yet to address is the interior of their defensive line with both Jonathan Hankins and Carlos Watkins potentially leaving via free agency. They could definitely use another big-bodied, space-eating defensive tackle to insert in the middle of their defensive front and Brodric Martin is an intriguing option. The 6’4”, 337-pound DT would be a 1-tech in Dan Quinn’s scheme and is an immovable force who is capable of carving out a rotational role as a rookie.

6.212 – EDGE/LB Tyrus Wheat, Mississippi State

Arkansas v Mississippi State Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Linebacker or EDGE? Tyrus Wheat was both during his time at Mississippi State, racking up 21 quarterbacks sacks in three seasons as a hybrid defender. At 6’2”, 260-pounds he possesses the size, speed, and athleticism to play a similar role at the next level as well. A player with his kind of position flex could be of interest to the Dallas Cowboys who could use more depth at both positions. Early on though his roster spot will be dependent on his contributions on special teams value, an area he should flourish at.

7.237 – QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA

UCLA v California Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys seem to be interested in adding a developmental quarterback prospect at some point in the 2023 NFL Draft and Dorian Thompson-Robinson is an intriguing option. Even though he’s built more like a wide receiver at 6’2”, 203-pounds, Thompson-Robinson possesses the athleticism and arm strength to become at the very worst a career backup in the NFL. Sitting behind both Dak Prescott and Cooper Rush while he continues to develop his skill set could make Dallas an ideal landing spot for him.

7.244 - K Jake Moody, Michigan

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 31 Semifinal Game Fiesta Bowl Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys once again find themselves in need of a kicker. They tried to go the rookie route last year, but unfortunately that didn’t pan out. However, that shouldn’t stop them from trying to do so once again and Jake Moody is someone they could have their eye on. He recently put on a show at his Pro Day making 12 of 13 of his kicks with a long of 63, missing only a 57-yarder. His leg strength and consistency can very well make him Brett Maher’s replacement in 2023.

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