The Dallas Cowboys have a lot of decisions to make in the 2021 offseason. The 2021 NFL Draft is only part of the solution.
The 2020 NFL season has not been very kind to the Dallas Cowboys. After an offseason in which the team made significant strides through free agency and the NFL draft, the team is now a shell of what it once was to start the season. Losing a starting offensive line and starting quarterback is tough, but as we’ve seen it is worse is not having a startable defense.
Considering the current state of this team, a top 10 draft pick feels imminent. While a top 10 draft pick gives the team a greater opportunity at finding good talent over the entire draft, that doesn’t mean they will select the best talent.
The perfect example of this is the 2016 Draft when the Dallas Cowboys selected Ezekiel Elliott with the 4th overall pick, Jaylon Smith with the 34th overall pick, Maliek Collins with the 67th overall pick, and Dak Prescott with the 135th pick.
This draft was the perfect example of how the best talent can exist later on in the draft and also how not every pick the Cowboys made found success in the league. Each pick the team made was at the top of each round compensatory picks excluded and only 4 of the 9 selections signed a second contract with the team. (I didn’t even include Anthony Brown who was a 6th round selection)
The Cowboys are expected to select fourth at the beginning of each round. With more compensatory picks coming their way the team will have more tickets to the lottery. For a team that needs a lot of defensive help, this is good news. Recognizing this, what should the expectations be for the team’s first round pick?