Each week we try to take a different angle with our Dallas Cowboys 7-round mock draft scenarios and this week is no different. I’ve been shying away from the offensive tackle position most of this offseason, preferring to focus on defense early and often, while also having faith in Tyron Smith and La’el Collins’ ability to bounce back.
But after watching the best team on the planet get destroyed in the Super Bowl, all because they had terrible O-line play, I am entertaining the idea of an OT more. Especially since we still know very little about La’el Collins’ injury situation and recovery. And the general worry became so loud his agent felt compelled to go on Twitter and assure everyone his client DID NOT retire.
Since the Dallas Cowboys’ primary replacements at OT ranked 76th and 78th (out of 79) last season in their play, the concern is real. None of this says the Dallas Cowboys should reach at Pick 10, either. If it’s not the best player on the board, then by all means, wait.
In the scenario here, the best player on the board was a WR (by a pretty wide margin) but I had a hard time justifying the pick so I moved to my next highest graded player (both top CBs were gone as well as Sewell).
Note: as always we run through The Draft Network’s Mock Draft Simulator to make sure we stick to realistic possibilities. For scouting we use a mix of Senior Bowl footage, game tape, and TDN analysis.
Round 1, Pick 10
Rashawn Slater, OT
The logic behind the pick is mostly stated above and in the related story linked below. If there’s any doubt either of the Dallas Cowboys starting tackles won’t be able to play next year, the Dallas Cowboys MUST address it early in the draft. The Cowboys are designed to score points and if they can’t protect their QB, they can’t score points.
In other words, what you could lose as an offense, far outweigh what you could gain in defense with this pick. Free agency should be used for DT since the interior linemen this year aren’t great and DT’s historically take forever to groom anyway. Going OT in Round 1 and then focusing on defense after is not a dangerous strategy at all.
You can find starting CBs in Round 2 and 3. You can find starting safeties in Rounds 3 and 4. You can find starting linebackers in Round 3 and 4 too. You really can’t find starting tackles outside the top-40.
If everything goes well, Collins and Smith are back in 2021 and starting. Slater can move to guard and upgrade Connor Williams’ spot. Williams is a free agent next year and will likely command $10M or more per year when you look at comparable players on the market (and some people say he stinks).
Slater would fill an immediate need and give plenty of long-term options open down the road, depending how OT went for the veterans.