The week of the NFL draft is here, and with it comes new excitement from all 32 fanbases about the players they may land for football Christmas. The draft is as much about immediately improving a roster as it is for looking ahead down the line, and the Dallas Cowboys are in a good position to do both this year. Their aggressive offseason moves of trading for Brandin Cooks and Stephon Gilmore suggest the Cowboys want immediate impact players in the draft to further build a contender, but also have many veteran players and big contracts to consider drafting future replacements for.
The wide receiver position falls firmly in the immediate need category again for the Cowboys this year, a position group they’ve been rebuilding on the fly for some time now. The outlook at the position changed a bit when Mike McCarthy replaced Kellen Moore as the team’s play-caller. While McCarthy’s long-term status with the team is still unknown, the Cowboys are doing everything they can to set him up for a deeper playoff run, while also turning to a cornerstone franchise player to help improve the offense.
A year after Dak Prescott reportedly had some input in the team drafting South Alabama WR Jalen Tolbert in the third round, Prescott told the media on Saturday that he’s working through film on the receivers the Cowboys are interested in again this year.
The team’s official list of pre-draft 30 visits is a good place to start here, with 11 receivers coming through The Star, all with a wide range of projected rounds to hear their name called.
What will Dak Prescott do this weekend?— David Moore (@DavidMooreDMN) April 22, 2023
Cowboys gave him tape of a couple of WRs team may draft. QB will review tape & likely reach out to players to chat.
“Maybe we take one, maybe we don’t,” Prescott said.
“It does feel good to have input & know it’s listened to.” pic.twitter.com/CodXzSOhar
Prescott and Tolbert’s reported pre-draft connection didn’t manifest on the field, with the two putting in extra work at the Dak Yard to improve on a rookie season that saw Tolbert catch just two passes for twelve yards. Prescott also threw to new WR Brandin Cooks for the first time recently, noting the speed that Dallas has been lacking out wide.
Names like Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Zay Flowers, Jalin Hyatt, and Josh Downs from the Cowboys 30 visits show they could be looking for more speed to pair with Cooks and CeeDee Lamb. This is certainly something Prescott would welcome, as he also has a more dynamic pass catcher in the backfield currently with Tony Pollard stepping into the lead role.
With the Cowboys still working on a potential Dak Prescott extension that gets ahead of the huge contract Jalen Hurts already landed, and other QBs like Justin Herbert are expected to command, it’s encouraging to see that his input is still valued in personnel decisions.
The Cowboys could address wide receiver as early as the 26th overall pick, or find that pick better spent helping Prescott stay upright with another offensive lineman, but by all indications help is on the way for a new-look offense that has more room to support an already stellar Dan Quinn defense.