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Cowboys potentially passing on tight end Michael Mayer named ‘worst-case’ draft scenario

The Cowboys potentially passing on the talented tight end could be a big mistake.

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Boston College v Notre Dame Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

It’s almost a guarantee that the Dallas Cowboys will select a tight end in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Cowboys let last year’s starter, Dalton Schultz, walk in free agency and will need to bring in a pass-catcher to replenish the ranks. Schultz caught 57 passes for 577 yards last season, good for the second-most receptions and receiving yards on the team.

The Cowboys have been connected with all the top tight ends, but Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer has been the name linked most to Dallas in the last week through mock drafts. Dane Brugler of The Athletic had the Cowboys selecting Mayer with their first-round pick in his seven-round mock draft. Brugler cited one source that stated he “can’t see Dallas passing” on the talented tight end.

Brugler went on to say that he believes there is a very good chance Dallas will select the tight end if he is still on the board at pick 26.

“The Cowboys are looking for a tight end who can hold his own as a blocker but also move the sticks as a receiving threat. If Mayer makes it this far, it’s a good bet he will have a star on his helmet.”

Based on draft value, Mayer would be a solid selection at pick 26, but what would the reception be if the talented tight end is still available and the Cowboys pass on him? Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report explored this possibility in an article this week and labeled Dallas potentially passing on Mayer as one of his “worst-case” draft scenarios for the Cowboys.

Here’s what Ballentine had to say about why passing on Mayer would be a huge mistake.

The Dallas Cowboys need another high-quality target for Dak Prescott. They also need a tight end. Those two players don’t necessarily have to be the same person, but if Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer is on the board, it could be.

The Cowboys didn’t get a great season out of Dalton Schultz and let him walk in free agency. Taking a slot receiver in the first round shouldn’t be out of the equation, either. They would do well to add a credible threat to the receiver group which now includes CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup and Brandin Cooks.

Mayer is the No. 1 tight end on B/R’s big board, but he’s been falling in mock drafts recently. Early in the draft cycle, it was hard to find many mocks that didn’t include Mayer in the mid-to-early first round. Now, he seems to have lost some ground to Dalton Kincaid and even Darnell Washington. The Cowboys shouldn’t let him slide past No. 26, though.

First-round tight ends are usually a luxury, but Mayer has the skill set to take this offense to the next level. His potential as an every-down tight end who could be an elite receiving option and good blocker makes him a perfect fit for Dallas. Letting him slip by would be a mistake.

There is no doubt Mayer would be a great fit in Dallas’ offense. Drafting Mayer would give Dallas a true weapon at the tight end position and would solidify the group as a whole. The 21-year-old is much more polished than some other tight ends in this draft, like Georgia’s Darnell Washington, and could provide the most immediate impact to the Cowboys out of any tight end in the draft.

Mayer, Jake Ferguson, and Peyton Hendershot would be a very solid tight end trio and would give Dallas three legit pass-catching options at the position.

Passing on a talented player with big-time upside like Mayer would be a mistake, unless another top prospect slips and falls right into Dallas’ lap at 26.

How would you feel if Mayer was available and the Cowboys passed on him? Do you think he is the best selection for Dallas in the first round? Let us know in the comments section.

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