The Dallas Cowboys offensive needs pale in comparison to their defensive needs. That fact is undeniable, even to the staunchest believers in 40-Burger Nation. Not only are we comparing a top-3 offensive unit to a bottom 10 defensive unit, but the offseason has opened multiple vacancies in the latter’s starting lineup.
So as far as immediate need, it’s understandable that many believe defense is the only thing that makes sense with Pick 10. The only problem with that logic is it assumes this coming season is the only season the Dallas Cowboys should be concerned about.
It assumes the strengths of today won’t be the needs of tomorrow and that with just a little foresight we can see needs virtually everywhere. It also assumes the defense is a one-year project and the Dallas Cowboys are only a good defensive rookie or two away from fixing it this year.
I’m not saying those false assumptions are cause to just ignore the defense altogether, but there’s reason to think of draft decisions as a long-term investments rather than something that’s done to bring immediate returns.
If a top pass catcher falls to Pick 10, it makes good long-term sense for the Dallas Cowboys to pick him.
Which brings us to the 2021 NFL Draft. Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith, and Kyle Pitts are all elite pass-catching talents ranked between No. 2 and No. 9 in Dane Brugler’s most recent top-100. Looking at the different words and actions of the teams in the top-10, there’s a good chance one or even two of them slip through the cracks and slide to Dallas.
Cutting Cooper in 2022 would free up $16 million in cap savings for Dallas to spend …wait for it…on defense.
If one did fall to Dallas, it would be a certifiable steal for the Cowboys at Pick 10. If the Cowboys stayed honest and drafted according to value, selecting the best player available, the pick would be pass-catcher, even if a top defensive player was on board. But the question is – is there room on the offensive side of the ball for another pass-catcher?
With Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, and Blake Jarwin already on the roster, Dallas is rich in pass-catching talent. I’d go so far as to say they are top-2 in pass-catching talent entering this year. Adding another elite player to the group may put them over the top, but in a world where there’s only one ball, we’re likely to see diminishing returns with every target added.
But that’s right now. What if we look just a little bit down the road? Follow with us…