In this 7-round mock draft the Dallas Cowboys embark on a massive defensive reload, netting what is likely five future starters and two immediate contributors.
The good thing about having a ton of needs is that it keeps options wide open when the NFL Draft comes along. The Dallas Cowboys have done an admirable job of making dire needs go away. They’ve done what they always do: Sign bargain players who can fill a role, if needed. They are good enough to get the job done, but not so good their presence prevents you from drafting their replacement.
Clearly there are some positions that jump out above the rest. Cornerback and defensive end are two which took a big step back this offseason. Byron Jones (unquestionably the Dallas Cowboys’ top cornerback) and Robert Quinn (last season’s leading sacker) were lost in free agency.
Dallas did basically nothing to replace Jones and they’re hoping and praying the currently-suspended Randy Gregory picks up the slack at right defensive end. They can’t feel great about either spot.
So while I’m vehemently against altering draft boards because of short-term roster weaknesses, I understand the Dallas Cowboys aren’t so convicted to best player available beliefs. They’ve also proven they draft according to depth in the draft and aren’t afraid to reach at a position if they think it’s their only shot (another practice I don’t endorse).
Luckily for us, there’s a good chance the draft unfolds advantageously for Dallas and they can give into their urges without reaching on too many questionable players. So we start in the first round (as you do) and the Cowboys sees the last defensive player with a first round grade fall to them at Pick 17