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Cowboys draft 2023: Dallas was reportedly ‘closely watching’ Mississippi State CB Emmanuel Forbes

The Cowboys apparently had their eye on a top corner.

Arkansas v Mississippi State Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys draft haul includes a cornerback, one that they seemed to covet greatly. Many were shocked when Dallas traded into the top of the sixth round in the name of securing Eric Scott Jr. as a part of their group. While some analysts had Scott as an undrafted free agent target, the Cowboys, who hosted him on a 30 visit, felt the need to make a bit of an aggressive move.

Time will tell if the Scott pick winds up working out or not (our own Danny Phantom recently expanded on it here) but one question is where he is going to fit in with this cornerback group. Trevon Diggs, Stephon Gilmore and DaRon Bland are the easy locks. Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright figure to be safe (barring horrible camps) based on recent draft pedigree and Jourdan Lewis is a valued veteran presence. We are already up to six.

Perhaps the Cowboys don’t feel as confident in all of those names. We can discern this partly based off of the trade up for Scott, but also due to their reported interest elsewhere.

The Cowboys were reportedly ‘closely watching’ Mississippi State CB Emmanuel Forbes

It was hardly fun watching names trickle off the board during the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, but such are the cons of being a playoff team the previous season.

Player after player went, ones we would have certainly liked to see put a star on their helmet, and the Cowboys held firm ultimately walking away with Mazi Smith. While activity from their war room has indicated that the only player they really debated against Mazi there was Syracuse offensive lineman Matthew Bergeron it appears that they certainly had eyes elsewhere on that fateful Thursday night.

ESPN dropped several draft-related nuggets on Monday, what they described as “key intel”, and here is what they had to say about the Cowboys.

Dallas Cowboys

The Dan Quinn effect is a real thing in Dallas. The Cowboys have one of the NFL’s deepest defenses yet still spent their first- and third-round picks on defensive help. When their defensive coordinator has a vision for a player, the Cowboys typically see that through by selecting him if available. That was the case with Michigan defensive tackle Mazi Smith and Texas linebacker DeMarvion Overshown.

The Cowboys were closely watching Mississippi State corner Emmanuel Forbes, who went No. 16 overall to Washington. At 26, with tight end Dalton Kincaid off the board, Dallas was deciding between Smith and Syracuse offensive tackle Matt Bergeron. It opted for defense, believing an interior run defender with the ability to push the pocket could be a missing piece. And don’t sleep on Overshown’s ability to play early. He’s a well-known hitter, but Dallas thinks he can develop into an all-down linebacker because of his speed.

Jeremy Fowler notes that the Cowboys were “closely watching” Mississippi State cornerback Emmanuel Forbes, the player who the Washington Commanders ultimately selected with the 16th overall pick. Forbes is a very talented player and someone who could certainly shine in the NFL, but the positional need (which Will McClay talked about in the aforementioned war room sequence) may not have made as much sense for Dallas.

For what it is worth, the Cowboys did not have the chance to debate between Smith and Forbes, but they did select the former over Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr.. Still though, why would the Cowboys have been monitoring Forbes’ status specifically?

Obviously it is not a shock that an NFL team would monitor the state of a very good player in the draft but again it seems like the cornerback room is a bit full, no? Are the Cowboys prepared to move on from one of Joseph, Wright and/or Lewis? Will that make room for someone like Eric Scott Jr. who they valued enough to send future draft capital in order to acquire?

We will see.

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