As the Dallas Cowboys build their draft board, it’s important they keep things in the proper perspective. I think we can all agree, making the best decision for today, is not always the best decision for tomorrow. When making draft decisions, it’s important to weigh all possible variables in order to come to the best possible final decision.
Sometimes that works out and sometimes it doesn’t. What’s important is you do everything within your power to make the smartest move possible. With a top-10 pick, the stakes are high. The Dallas Cowboys first pick in the draft is their best shot at adding cornerstones talent to the franchise. They can’t afford to be short-sighted or they may come to regret it sooner, rather than later.
The Dallas Cowboys may have to choose between Michael Gallup and the top player on their board.
The way the first round in the 2021 NFL Draft is shaping up, the top player on the Cowboys board at Pick 10 is going to be an offensive player. Chances are good so will the second, and maybe even the third. The draft this year is an offense-rich top-15. That’s great for a team looking to add offensive firepower, but not so great to a team like the Dallas Cowboys who desperately need defensive talent.
Assuming Dak Prescott is back, the Cowboys are returning arguably the best offense in the NFL. Their defense, on the other hand, is operating at the other end of the spectrum. The Dallas D needs interior defensive line help (at both spots) linebacker help (at both primary spots) at outside cornerback, and at free safety.
At the end of the day, the Dallas Cowboys need at least four defensive starters this offseason and chances are all of them will have to come via the 2021 NFL Draft.
The Problem at Hand
If Dallas opts to use their top pick in the draft on defense, there’s a good chance they’ll be reaching for need. That should scare everyone because Dallas doesn’t have the greatest track record at drafting defense as it is. If you ask them to start reaching on top of it? Yikes.
Contrary to popular opinion, the Dallas Cowboys haven’t been neglecting defense at all. In fact, they’ve invested considerably more of their top picks on defense than they have on offense. The problem is they pick the wrong players. Whether they are drafting primarily for need (like Taco and Trysten), or drafting low value positions (like Jaylon and LVE), or just miscasting players into ill-fitting roles (Chido and Lewis), the Dallas Cowboys have botched their defensive picks.
What does this have to do with Michael Gallup?
There’s a chance one of the top three WRs in this class makes it to Dallas at Pick 10. But with all the top WR spots filled on the Cowboys, the temptation will be to pass over the position and reach for defense.
The problem with that logic is 2021 will be Michael Gallup’s last year under contract with the Dallas Cowboys. With CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper, and Blake Jarwin all locked in for at least the next three years, it’s highly unlikely Dallas re-signs Gallup. Sure, they could cut Amari and re-sign Gallup next year, but after Amari’s brilliant season in 2020, I think that’s pretty unlikely.
So by potentially passing over WR this year, we’re letting a very short term situation dictate the long term health of the franchise.
The Dallas Cowboys have a tough decision to make. Do they ignore their biggest needs so they can add the best player or should they ignore the best player(s) and draft a position they need right now? Keep in mind, the smart answer today may not be the smart answer the next 2-10 years.
Dallas isn’t just drafting players to fill holes this season, but they are drafting players to build around for the next decade. That’s especially true for a top-10 pick. Unless you think the 6-10 Dallas Cowboys just one piece away, you may not want to mortgage the future by reaching for need.
Don’t forget to factor in the fact Dallas is extremely good at drafting offensive players and pretty abysmal at drafting defense.
That’s why Michael Gallup trade rumors make so much sense right now. If Dallas needs to improve their defense, they should do it via trade and free agency. If the draft happens to fall in their favor or if they can trade back to accumulate more picks – then great. But they can’t roll into the 2021 NFL Draft committed to drafting defense. That’s how mistakes are made.
A guy who’s in his last season shouldn’t have any influence over the Dallas Cowboys draft day decisions. They need to think about the next 10-years and not just the next 10 months.
I want the Dallas Cowboys to draft defense as often and early as anyone, but I’m not going to pass over a player who’s clearly better and/or who plays a more valuable position to do so. What do you think?