Dallas Cowboys Complete Mock Draft: Big Guys and Big Trades

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

The NFL season concluded last week with a rather one-sided Super Bowl, meaning all 32 teams are turning their heads towards the NFL offseason. The Dallas Cowboys have ten picks in the 2021 NFL Draft and roughly $28 million in projected cap space to reload a team that displayed a stunning lack of depth defensively.

We are in the middle of February. Fans are starting to familiarize themselves with prospects in the 2021 cycle likely through mock drafts all in the name of hoping their favorite teams get better. That is why mock draft articles get good viewership and I MAY be using that to my advantage while writing this one.

In this Dallas Cowboys Complete Mock Draft, we rebuild the roster through trades

NFL Draft season for Cowboys fans started in January after the team lost to the New York Giants in Week 17. From early January to late April, several thousand mock drafts will be published. Most of them will likely select the same players for the first three rounds as many believe the draft ends after pick 100. In order to keep things fresh and avoid redundancy, I elected to select players that would be fun to see in a Dallas Cowboys uniform while trying to trade picks as much as possible.

So with that explanation, that I’m sure most of you will read, out of the way, with the 15th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys will select…

1st Round, Pick 15

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

Traded 10th pick to NE for 15 and Picks 96

Caleb Farley, Rashawn Slater, and Trey Lance were all available at this pick but once again selecting Farley at 10 could build up false hope with the Denver Broncos selecting pick one pick earlier. Slater will be well-liked by front offices but he currently isn’t higher than my OT3. I considered Trey Lance but not as much as I want the front office to re-sign QB Dak Prescott to a multi-year contract.

With Patrick Surtain II also off the board, I decided it made the most sense to trade back, accumulate another third-round pick, and then draft an athletic linebacker who has the athletic ability and range to play as an overhand safety. The team currently has a lot invested in the linebacker room, which was precisely why I didn’t select the available Micah Parsons, so I figured if I were to grab someone who plays linebacker he needed to do a little more. Enter Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.

The redshirt junior was a converted safety and has started at linebacker each of the last two seasons. In 25 career games, he’s produced 142 total tackles, 96 solo tackles, 24.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks, seven pass deflections, and an interception. The fighting Irishman (?) certainly does not lack production compared to other prospects who have great athletic ability.

But as someone who recognizes the value of linebacker in the present-day NFL, why do I have the team grabbing another one three years after the team selected Leighton Vander-Esch in the first round? Because the team was ready to grab one last year if it weren’t for the availability of CeeDee Lamb.

Last year, Mike Nolan’s defense commanded a SAM/designated pass rusher rush from a 2-point stance in odd-man fronts. This year, even though Dallas is back to running “exclusively” an even man front, linebackers in Dan Quinn’s scheme are required to be athletic so they can cover hook zones and even deep middle 1/3rds of the field.

Leighton Vander Esch does show the ability to cover shallow zones well while teams love throwing towards Jaylon Smith when he drops in zone because he doesn’t have the lateral quickness and change of direction to overlap routes. Drafting Owusu-Koramoah allows the team to play zone while in base looks allowing Jaylon Smith to rush the passer more often getting the most out of the linebacker personnel.

The one big knock on the redshirt junior is he isn’t confident filling run-fits, but this issue can be minimized with some of the later picks I make in this draft.