Round 1 – Da’Ron Payne – DT – Alabama
If I had my dream scenario, linebacker Roquan Smith would be the pick here but it is unlikely he falls to the Cowboys. So the next best option, in my opinion, is Defensive Tackle Da’Ron Payne from Alabama.
In Payne’s 3 years at Alabama, he had 102 total tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, and an interception. He was an All-SEC First Team selection and Defensive MVP in the National Championship. On College Football’s biggest stage, Payne really shined as he was in the backfield disrupting Georgia’s offense on almost every play.
What makes Payne such an attractive pick for the Cowboys is his impact in the run game. Teams were running all over the Cowboys in 2017 and continually gashing them for long runs. Payne would be a great step to get back to the 2015 level of play where Dallas was 1st in run defense.
Da’Ron Payne would also add another quality pass-rusher to the improving defensive line. He excelled at pressuring the quarterback with his block-shedding and pure strength. As the Cowboys know all too well, having a pass rush could be the difference between winning and losing a game. Adding Da’Ron Payne to the group including DeMarcus Lawrence, David Irving, and Maliek Collins and they could become a force for years to come.