Will the Quarantine Affect the Way the Dallas Cowboys Draft?

AT&T Stadium, where the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
AT&T Stadium, where the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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The quarantine has made the draft virtual, but the affect it has on the draft itself is deeper than just not having it in person. This is how it might affect the Dallas Cowboys.

The Dallas Cowboys at this point in the offseason have had most of their pre-draft meetings, had their local visits, and have run through physicals and psych evals. They would normally be getting the last few interviews done and making their final changes to their “big board.” Normally, is the key word here, but one thing about 2020, it hasn’t been normal.

So does the quarantine actually change anything? Well, it is hard to say, as we have never been here before. However, we can assume that it will. It may not be some huge change that everyone will see like turning it to virtual, it may change more than that. How teams plan their boards, how they rank players, feel the draft might fall, maybe even who they choose will be different than other years.

Let’s use the Dallas Cowboys as an example as to how it could potentially change. The Dallas Cowboys need a cornerback, it seems pretty straight forward. However, what if one of the corners they like did poorly on the Wonderlick test. In a normal year they would meet with them and get a better picture. Maybe the corner was sick, had the jitters, or really just isn’t the player they intially thought. Instead, they could pass on a player because they didn’t get to meet with them.

What if there is another La’el Collins type incident and the teams don’t get to meet with him. They can’t get the full story, hear it from the player. Off-field issues are not always released to the press, we don’t hear all the stories. Perhaps this year someone dropping could signal something we don’t know and teams are afraid of.

This seems fairly small, so let’s take it a little bigger. It is the seventeenth pick and Javon Kinlaw and K’Lavon Chaisson are both sitting there. Kinlaw has a knee issue that the Cowboys’ team doctor wasn’t able to evaluate himself due to the quarantine. It is entirely possible Kinlaw isn’t even considered. This goes for any player who had an injury, this was just an example.

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So psychological and physical evaluation can’t be done in the way it was done in the past. Sure, there are scouts, outside doctors, web meetings, and other ways to get information. But owners see players as an investment, and many of them are old school businessmen. They want to see what they are investing in, it could change the draft. One slight change could send a ripple for a few rounds.

It could move players up as well. Say there are two players at a position within ten spots of each other on the draft board. However, one played at a school the scouts went to once, but the other went to a local school. They could go with what they are more familiar with. Perhaps they see the second player differently from college tape than they would have seen in-person and move them up or down due to it.

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This is a strange year to say the least. The quarantine has had an impact on everyone and shut down sports until further notice. But it is impacting other things that we don’t even consider in sports, the draft and how teams evaluate is just one such way. The end of April should be exciting, but it might be unexpected as well.

  • Published on 04/07/2020 at 12:30 PM
  • Last updated at 04/07/2020 at 11:55 AM