Death, taxes and the Dallas Cowboys selecting a tight end in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. It has started to feel that way, according to many mock drafts. Everywhere you look these days the Cowboys are being mocked a tight end in the first round. You get a mock with the Cowboys taking a tight end at 26, you get a mock with the Cowboys taking a tight end at 26, if I didn’t know any better I would suggest that Oprah Winfrey herself is the one who will be reading names off of the cards in Kansas City.
It is not hard to understand why people think this is going to happen. We have talked so much about how the Cowboys have positioned themselves well for the draft by what they have done in free agency, and yet the only real position where they have not even pretended to care is at tight end.
This does not mean that the Cowboys will be taking a tight end in the first round specifically; however, Jerry Jones and Co. could likely be holding their Friday night press conference with Dalton Schultz’s spot replaced in the room, so to speak.
If the Cowboys take a tight end early it will very likely be one of these names
Assuming the Cowboys spend a top 100 pick on a tight end then it feels like there is a list of names that we can whittle it down to, a list of five if we are being exact.
We spoke about the names in question in a recent video on the Blogging The Boys YouTube Channel. You can see our discussion right here, but make sure to subscribe to the channel (which you can do at this link) so that you do not miss any of our videos including all of the live coverage we will have throughout the draft itself.
The names in question are rather obvious and again cover rounds one, two and three. Odds seem to be high that one of Michael Mayer, Dalton Kincaid, Darnell Washington, Luke Musgrave or Sam LaPorta will have a star on their helmet.
This is part of the reality when we reach this point in the draft season. Enough data has been gleaned and enough top evaluators have essentially put all of the pieces in front of us, this is just a matter of putting the final puzzle together. These are easily the top five tight ends as indicated by the consensus big board.
The Cowboys hold the 26th overall pick so odds seem to be that only one tight end will be unavailable to them, and that it will very likely be Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer. The Dalton Kincaid enthusiasts (a group I am slowly becoming a member of myself) would be thrilled to see Kincaid still on the board when Dallas is on the clock.
On the subject of odds, our friends at DraftKings think the under is the play (-220) for tight ends taken in the first round at 2.5 (over is +170). Even if the Cowboys are the second team to take a tight end the under could still hit, although the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills have both been linked to the position as far as teams behind Dallas.
We are talking about the NFL draft, so nothing is impossible but it does seem rather unlikely that Jerry Jones is showing us a sheet on Friday night while proudly talking about a tight end that his team drafted that is not one of these five players. Truth be told the Cowboys offense would be better for having any one of these, although obviously the further down the rankings you go the lesser-valued the prospects are.
The tight end position and the value of it has probably been the biggest inflection point for Cowboys fans this offseason with some believing a player like Mayer or Kincaid is absolutely worth it, while others noting that tight ends rarely contribute their rookie season. After all, only one rookie tight end since 2000 has had over 1,000 receiving yards in their rookie season (Kyle Pitts, 2021) and while that is not the largest indicator of success it is certainly worth mentioning.