FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys Draft Tracker for 2021: Check back often as we keep you up-to-date on Cowboys info from here inside The Star ...
MAY 14: COWBOYS OPEN CAMP, SIGN 4 The Cowboys plan to have their collection of rookies -- 11 draft picks and 13 undrafted free agents in the building here at The Star all weekend for a three-day rookie minicamp.
READ MORE: Cowboys NFL Minicamp Schedule
That group is scheduled to also feature a pair of workout QBs - Ohio State product TJ Barnett, who has been on NFL practice squads but is still eligible for this camp, and Illinois State rookie Brady Davis.
READ MORE: Dallas Cowboys Invite 2 QBs To Camp
And it will also feature four rookie draft picks who have signed: receiver Simi Fehoko (Stanford, fifth round), defensive tackle Quinton Bohanna (Kentucky, sixth), DB Israel Mukuamu (South Carolina, sixth) and O-lineman Matt Farniok (Nebraska, seventh).
MAY 1: UDFA's Rolling In The Cowboys have begun to load up with undrafted free agents, including multiple prospects at the wide receiver position. Key names:
Brenden Knox, RB, Marshall
Osirus Mitchell, WR, Mississippi State
Tyler Coyle, S, Purdue
Artayvious Lynn, TE, TCU
JaQuan Hardy, RB, Tiffin
Brandon Smith, WR, Iowa
Anthony Hines III, LB, Texas A&M
Brennan Eagles, WR, Texas
TJ Vasher, WR, Texas Tech
Braylon Jones, OL, Houston
Nick Ralston, FB, Louisiana
Nick Eubanks, TE, Michigan
THE FULL GROUP: Lucky 13? Dallas Cowboys Sign Offense With UDFA Chase
MAY 1: FINAL PICK In Round 7, with their final pick, No. 238 overall, the Cowboys chose Nebraska OL Matt Farniok, a two-year captain.
MAY 1: BIG CB The Cowboys' Round 6 pick is Israel Mukuamu ... a cornerback who is 6-4. With a 81-inch wingspan. He was the 'other' CB at South Carolina, alongside Jaycee Horn.
Betcha college coach Will Muschamp - besties with Dan Quinn - recommended Mukuamu to Quinn, too.
And by the way: The two tallest corners in this draft class are now Cowboys, at 6-4, "The Next Sherm' Nahshon Wright being the other.
MAY 1: SAM EHLINGER TO COLTS: At one point, former Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger talked about the 'dream' of joining the Dallas Cowboys. Well, that dream ended in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft when the Indianapolis Colts took the Texas native and former Longhorns captain.
MAY 1: JABRIL COX REACTS TO COWBOYS CALL: The Cowboys' newest linebacker, LSU's Jabril Cox, posted his reaction to getting his 'Cowboys Call' on Twitter on Saturday.
MAY 1: GOOD AND BAD ON BALL On the one hand, Josh Ball - the Dallas Cowboys selection, and their first offensive player in the 2021 NFL Draft, with the No. 138 pick in the fourth round - is a "get.'' Our guy Dane Brugler says the 6-7, 310-pound Marshall product is a "top-100'' talent.
He was allegedly involved in a series of domestic violence incidents against a girlfriend that caused him to get suspended at Florida State in 2018. Ball was never charged, but he transferred to Butler Community College in Kansas before finishing at Marshall.
As our Mike Fisher writes: "The Cowboys' in-house faith in their 'Second-Chance Valley Ranch' ability to deal with guys with 'character issues' - justified or not - is unbending.''
MAY 1: SAINTS TAKE IAN BOOK: With the retirement of Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saints may have made their first foray into finding a 'quarterback of the future' in taking Notre Dame's Ian Book in the fourth round. Book was also the first quarterback off the board on Day 3 of the NFL Draft.
MAY 1: COWBOYS 'STEAL' COX: A Source tells CowboysSI.com that Dallas had a second-round grade On Jabril Cox - and they just picked the LSU linebacker in Round 4. Read the Cox scouting report here.
MAY 1: EAGLES, WFT MAKE FOURTH-ROUND PICKS: After the Philadelphia Eagles selected Texas Tech cornerback Zeck McPhearson at No. 123 overall, the Washington Football Team took Boise State tight end John Bates with the No. 124 overall pick.
The selections were the first on Saturday for the Cowboys' NFC East rivals. Earlier in the fourth round, the New York Giants took UNI pass rusher Elerson Smith, and the Cowboys took LSU LB Jabril Cox. The Cowboys have another selection in the fourth round at No.
MAY 1: GIANTS TAKE SMITH: The New York Giants selected Northern Iowa defensive end Elerson Smith with the No. 116 pick, right after the Dallas Cowboys took North Dakota State linebacker Jabril Cox at No. 115.
The Giants are looking to improve from a 6-10 season, their first without quarterback Eli Manning, who retired after the 2019 season. On Day 1 the Giants started addressing their offense by selecting Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney. Then, on Day 2 the Giants went defensive by taking Georiga linebacker Azeez Ojulari in the second round and UCF cornerback Aaron Robinson in the third round.
The Giants have two remaining picks in the sixth round.
MAY 1: JAGS START DAY 3: The first selection of the third day of the 2021 NFL Draft was announced from London, England, as the Jacksonville Jaguars took USC defensive tackle Jay Tufele.
The Cowboys have the No. 115 pick in the fourth round.
APRIL 30: COWBOYS TAKE NAHSHON WRIGHT: The Dallas Cowboys wrapped up a productive second day of the NFL Draft by selecting Oregon State defensive back Nahshon Wright at No. 99 overall.
Wright played in 18 games overall for the Beavers, with 16 starts. He had 64 tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss, one sack, five interceptions and 11 pass deflections. He was a 2020 Coaches All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention.
Golston joins a 2021 Cowboys draft class that now features four other defensive players taken on Thursday and Friday — Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons, Kentucky cornerback Kelvin Joseph, UCLA defensive lineman Osa Odighizuwa, and Iowa defensive end Chauncey Golston.
APRIL 30: COWBOYS GRAB GOLSTON: The Dallas Cowboys selected Iowa defensive end Chauncey Golston with the No. 84 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on Friday. Below we provide our instant grade on the selection.
Golston, projected as a 3-4 defensive end by some scouts, was an honorable mention All-America selection, and an All-Big Ten First-Team pick by the Associated Press. Golston started all eight games, recording 24 solo tackles and 21 assists, along with 8.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble, one pass break-up and three pressures.
APRIL 30: OSA! Dallas used the first of its trio of third-round picks on UCLA Osa Odighizuwa. It is the No. 75 overall spot. Osa is 6-2, 280 and considered undersized by some.
Our man Jim Mora knows his family and knows Osa ...
Dallas is working toward two more picks in this round.
April 30, 8:46 p.m.: The Houston Texans became the final team to make a selection in the 2021 NFL Draft when they picked Stanford QB Davis Mills, which gives the Texans some insurance given the current situation with starting quarterback Deshaun Watson.
The Cowboys still have three selections in the third round.
April 30, 8:35 p.m.: The world champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers wrapped up a raucous second round of the 2021 NFL Draft by selected their quarterback of the future in Florida signal-caller Kyle Trask, the only quarterback taken in the second round.
The Cowboys are sitting on three draft picks in the third round — No. 75, No. 84 and No. 99.
April 30, 7:31 p.m.: The New York Giants, after trading back in the second round, added to their defensive talent by taking Georgia outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari. Ojulari had a great season for Georgia in 2020, but concerns about an injury history likely kept him out of the first round. But, as a pass-rushing outside linebacker, Ojulari can help the Giants' defense.
Meanwhile, the Washington Football Team took Texas offensive lineman Samuel Cosmi at No. 51, a second-team All-American.
APRIL 30: The Cowboys believed they'd secured pick No. 35 from Atlanta in trade to open Round 2. ... to jump from No. 44. However, it appears the Cowboys backed out ... at which time the Broncos jumped in and executed a similar deal.
'We said going into Round 2 that Dallas would be calling in the range of the Jets at No. 34, and that happened. We suggested the trade target might be TCU safety Trevon Moehrig.
As we write this, with Dallas' at 44 three picks away, Moehrig is among the many attractive players still available.
April 30, 6:40 p.m.: NFC East rival Philadelphia selected Alabama offensive lineman Landon Dickerson with its second-round pick on Friday, further fortifying its offense with former Crimson Tide players.
Dickerson joins his teammates, DeVonta Smith, the Crimson Tide wide receiver who joined the Eagles last night when he was taken No. 10 overall. The Eagles moved up to No. 10 in a trade with the Dallas Cowboys, who received the Eagles No. 12 pick and an additional third-round pick to move back.
Both will help out another former Crimson Tide player, quarterback Jalen Hurts, who is now the starter for the Eagles and finished his career with the Oklahoma Sooners.
April 30, 6:30 p.m.: The Denver Broncos executed the first trade of the second round, moving up to No. 35 in a deal with the Atlanta Falcons.
With the pick, the Broncos selected North Carolina running back Javonte Williams. The Falcons fell back to No. 40 overall. The two teams also swapped late-draft picks.
Does that help the Cowboys? Well, it pushes more defensive players the Cowboys' way at No. 44 overall. Plus, per our Mike Fisher and Bryan Broaddus of 105.3 The Fan, the Cowboys should be exploring ways to move up.
April 30, 3:45 p.m. CST: The Athletic's Dane Brugler put together a Round 2 and Round 3 NFL Mock Draft, based on the results of Round 1, and he had the Cowboys getting Oregon safety Jevon Holland. That would put Holland at No. 46 overall, assuming the Cowboys make no moves.
It would also connect Dallas with a safety that we've already put together. Read below ...
The Cowboys, with three third-round picks, could be on the move tonight. But, if they stand pat, Brugler had the Cowboys taking LA Tech defensive lineman Milton Williams at No. 75, Texas Tech cornerback Zech McPherson at No. 84, and Cincinnati offensive lineman James Hudson at No. 99.
April 29, 9:46 CST: The New York Giants wrapped up the NFC East selections in the first round (barring a trade) by taking Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney at No. 20, after they traded back from No. 11 in a deal with the Chicago Bears. This gives quarterback Daniel Jones another weapon to use in 2021.
One pick earlier, at No. 19, the Washington Football Team selected Kentucky linebacker Jamin Davis, a player that had been connected to WFT for a good portion of the draft process.
Earlier on Thursday, the Cowboys and the Eagles flipped first-round picks, with the Cowboys sliding back to No. 12. The Eagles used the Cowboys’ No. 10 overall pick to select Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith, while the Cowboys took Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons.
April 29, 8:37 p.m. CST: The Dallas Cowboys found a trade partner with their NFC East rival, the Philadelphia Eagles, on Thursday night, as the Cowboys decided to move down two selections to the Eagles' No. 12 overall pick. The Eagles used that No. 10 overall pick to select Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith.
The Cowboys received the Eagles' third-round pick tomorrow night, along with the Eagles' No. 12 selection. That means the Cowboys now have three third-round selections for Friday's session, giving them more ammunition to trade.
The trade makes sense, with Horn and Surtain gone, and with, among others O-lineman Rashawn Slater still on the board and available at 12.
April 29, 8:26 p.m. CST: The Dallas Cowboys missed out on another cornerback Alabama's Patrick Surtain II, when the Denver Broncos took him at No. 9 overall.
Surtain was considered a potential pick to help the Cowboys add talent at the cornerback position. With that selection, two of the Cowboys' cornerback targets went back-to-back and right before their selection at No. 10. South Carolina's Jaycee Horn went at No. 8 to Carolina.
April 29, 8:19 p.m. CST: The Dallas Cowboys lost another potential first-round target when the Carolina Panthers took South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn at No. 8 overall on Thursday night.
Horn not only became the first cornerback off the board, he was the first defensive player off the board, as the first seven selection were all on offense.
April 29, 7:50 CST: The ‘dreams’ of some Dallas Cowboys fans were dashed when the Atlanta Falcons selected Florida tight end Kyle Pitts No. 4 overall in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft on Thursday.
Pitts, considered one of the top players going into the draft, has been a name connected to the Cowboys during the pre-draft process. Earlier this week, Pitts’ father told our Mike Fisher that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had ‘something up his sleeve.’
Well, that wasn’t the case.
Had Pitts fallen to the Cowboys at No. 10, they might have had a decision to make, juxtaposed against some of the other players connected to the Cowboys, including Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II, South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn, Northwestern offensive lineman Rashawn Slater, and Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons.
Three quarterbacks were taken to start the draft — the Jacksonville Jaguars, not surprisingly, took Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence at No. 1 overall. The New York Jets, selecting No. 2, took BYU quarterback Zach Wilson. The San Francisco 49ers took North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance at No. 3.
APRIL 29: RODGERS TO BRONCOS? Aaron Rodgers reportedly told the Packers that he'd like to be traded to the Niners, Raiders or Broncos. Multiple reports say the Niners offered the No. 3 pick for him. But now comes a report from Denver radio saying Rodgers to the Broncos is "as close to a done deal as it can get.''
That report comes from player-turned media member Mark Schlereth on 104.3 The Fan ... and we say coming from the long-time player for the Washington Football Team and Denver Broncos, it has a ring of truth to it.
For Dallas, getting Rodgers out of the NFC comes years too late ... but the Cowboys would take it.
And as it relates in one more way to Dallas? Aaron Rodgers being involved in odd drama is something his old boss, now-Dallas coach Mike McCarthy, knows all too well.
APRIL 29: INSIDE THE TOP 10 A source close to the San Francisco situation tells us that the pick at No. 3 will be QB Trey Lance. We shall see ... but the buzz is about the Niners also investigating two other ideas.
NFL Network reports that the 49ers inquired about trading for Bay Area native Aaron Rodgers, but that the Packers turned them down cold.
But ... ESPN now chips in to say that Rodgers - who is forever embroiled in drama for reasons that escape most of us - wants out of Green Bay.
Meanwhile, NFL Network also reports that the Niners are "monitoring'' the Deshaun Watson situation in Houston.
If San Francisco somehow engineered a deal like that, there wouldn't be much need for Lance, though, right?
Meanwhile, the Falcons at No. 4 are not convinced the Niners are taking Lance ... and are hoping they don't take Mac Jones, the QB who they are debating about as opposed to their other top option, tight end Kyle Pitts.
We are reporting, in other top-10 news, that the Saints want to swap up while targeting a top-5 guy on their board (Penei Sewell?), that the Lions (7) and Panthers (8) are listening to trade-back offers (the Patriots calling Carolina), that Denver seems hopeful of a QB and that Dallas is "leaning'' toward Jaycee Horn but would be "ecstatic'' with Patrick Surtain.
APRIL 28: 105.3 The Fan's Bryan Broaddus Releases His Latest Seven-Round Mock
With the 2021 NFL Draft just hours away, 105.3 The Fan's Bryan Broaddus has released his most recent mock draft. He currently has Dallas standing pat with the 10th overall pick and taking Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain. We have discussed Surtain and his fit with the Cowboys extensively over the course of the last few weeks and we are not deviating from that with the draft set to get underway tomorrow.
Here is how Broaddus predicts the Cowboys will utilize their remaining eight picks:
44: Jevon Holland, S, Oregon
75: Alim McNeil, DT, North Carolina State
99: D’Ante Smith, OT, East Carolina
115: Derrick Barnes, LB, Purdue
138: Benjamin St-Juste, CB, Minnesota
179: Josh Palmer, WR, Tennessee
192: Patrick Johnson, DE/LB, Tulane
227: Zach Davidson, TE, Central Missouri
238: Jonathan Marshall, DT, Arkansas
You can read Broaddus' full breakdown here.
APRIL 28: TEDDY TRADED. OK, QB Teddy Bridgewater just got traded from Carolina to Denver. What does that have to do with Dallas?
Well, this ...
This NFL trade may send the Cowboys 'back to the drawing board' in the following ways:
1 - We know the Panthers (selecting at No. 8) love cornerback Jaycee Horn. Logic, though, suggests that they might seize this chance - with all due respect to Sam Darnold - to take a franchise QB. The Cowboys need the Panthers to take the QB. ... or they lose a serious-focus option in Horn at 10.
2) But, fine. Horn goes to Carolina. Here comes Denver (at No. 9) and they are in a similar circumstance: They've got Teddy (and Drew Lock). Does that take them out of the QB draft sweepstakes? What if the Broncos take Patrick Surtain?
3) If Surtain and Horn are gone - and we will assume Pitts and Sewell are long gone - Dallas, failing to get its wish that the QBs all go early, finds itself sitting there with the choices of a) O-lineman Rashawn Slater, b) linebacker Micah Parsons, c) a wide receiver and then a shopping effort to trade down, and d) a QB and then a shopping effort to trade down.
We've already covered the idea of the Eagles maybe moving up to steal Surtain. We might now need to gauge Dallas' relative love for the corners - and the Cowboys' own move up.
It's no "disaster.'' There would be nothing wrong with Slater, say, at 10. But it's imperfect. It's not the original plan. It's a "wrench'' thrown into the proceedings.
APRIL 25: BLOCKERS! The Cowboys have yet another "blocker'' in their pursuit of Horn vs. Surtain in the Panthers, who at No. 8 are rumored to be interested in one of the cornerbacks.
And yet I don't care.
This is a continuation of the same rumors/stories that have the Eagles and the Giants wishing to jump ahead of Dallas to take a corner. First, I am not at all convinced that the origins of these rumors know what the Giants and Eagles wish to do in terms of drafting for position. But additionally: Carolina picks two slots ahead of Dallas. All along existed the possibility of Carolina therefore choosing a player that Dallas also liked.
Do the math: Four or five QBs are going in the top nine. Pitts is going. Zero or one or two receivers are going. Zero or one or two O-linemen are going. Zero or one or two cornerbacks are going. But ... that's 12 guys. Only nine will go. That leaves Dallas with at least three handsome options at No. 10, without having to obsess about whether somebody they like is picked ahead of 10.
Because frankly, lots of guys they like will be picked ahead of 10.
Because that's how this works.
Let the Eagles and the Giants (and maybe the Panthers?) concern themselves with "blocking'' another team. Let the Cowboys be in their heads ... not the other way around. - Fish
APRIL 23: SMOKESCREEN Do this job long enough, and not only (hopefully) do you get good at gathering details to report ... you also get good as covering your butt in case the details turn out to be wrong.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is good at his job.
The Dallas Cowboys aren’t expected to trade up from 10th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, per Rapoport, who also smartly adds, "Smokescreens abound, but ...''
And here's an example of a "but'': While Rap focuses on moving/not moving from No. 10, with tight end Kyle Pitts as Jerry's "sugarplum,'' we have it on fairly good authority that Dallas and Detroit (at No. 7) have visited - with cornerback Patrick Surtain among the conversation pieces.
Do I think the Cowboys should move up? Nope; this draft will come to them if they allow it.
Do I think owner Jerry Jones will move up? Nope; there is too much similar talent that figures to be there at the 10 range to pay the extra freight for a move.
But do I think the Cowboys are leaving the move-up phone off the hook? They are absolutely not doing that. And that's no smokescreen. - Mike Fisher
APRIL 21: PAPER, ROCK, SCISSORS? Yes, the Cowboys took their sweet (sour) time deciding that Dak Prescott is their $40 Million Man. But at least they decided.
And now they have a franchise QB.
The rival Eagles? Our Mike Fisher stated, in wake of the Eagles' trade-back in the NFL Draft, that they looked "desperate, silly and lost'' in figuring out the QB position. Wentz? Nah. Foles? Nah. Hurts? Yeah ... but now ...
1) There are rumors that Philly, having traded out of a premium spot, might want to trade back into one, in search of a QB, and
2) There is a report that the new Eagles coach is playing "Paper, Rock, Scissors'' with potential draftees to measure their "competitiveness.''
Wentz? Nah. Foles? Nah. Hurts? Yeah. Or Nah. Draft a QB? Yeah. Or Nah. "Desperate, Silly and Lost''? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
APRIL 19: RANKING THE DTs We have written in this space about the possibility of Dallas trading back up into the first round to chase Christian Barmore ...
And we’ve written about the somewhat controversial view on how highly-regarded Marvin Wilson might be by Dallas. ...
What does the scouting eye of our buddy 105.3 The Fan's Jeff Cavanaugh's think? Here’s JC’s top 10 defensive tackles of the 2021 class.
1. Christian Barmore - Alabama
2. Marvin Wilson - Florida State
3. Alim McNiel - NC State
4. Levi Onwuzurike - Washington
5. Marlon Tuipulotu - USC
6. Tommy Togiai - Ohio State
7. Dayo Odeyingbo - Vanderbilt
8. Milton Williams - Louisiana Tech
9. Tyler Shelvin - LSU
T- 10. Daviyon Nixon - Iowa, Bobby Brown - Texas A&M, Jay Tufele - USC, Osa Odighizuma - UCLA
APRIL 15: COWBOYS TRADE-BACK RUMOR The astute reader - that's you - has probably noticed the difference in the way we frame certain stories. There are "exclusives,'' and "news,'' and "reports,'' and then, usually at the bottom of the food chain ...
That doesn't mean "rumors'' lack value, or are lacking in providing fun. But it is important to try to determine which headline is which.
And Tony Pauline saying "that the Cowboys are very open to the idea of trading down from the No. 10 overall pick and the Bears are a very realistic trade partner'' is ... rumor.
We have no indication that the Cowboys have, at this early stage, put down the groundwork to trade back to the Bears' spot at No. 20. The report, ... er, rumor ... skips over the most important part of such a trade: Who is the target?
Dallas, like every other team, is set to have conversations like this with most every team. But to pinpoint Chicago at 20 at this still-early stage? This does not pass the "Story Smell Test.''
So we'll put it down at the bottom of the food chain, in the "fun'' and "rumors'' category.
APRIL 14: A GM'S TAKE ON NO. 10: The Athletic's Mike Sando went to several general managers and high-ranking executive and asked them to project each of the Top 10 picks, so that means they had ideas on what the Cowboys would do at No. 10.
The GMs Sando spoke to projected that the Cowboys would take South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn. That GM also thought offensive tackle Rashawn Slater of Northwestern was a possibility. The GM's take?
"Nobody really talks about their offensive line being an issue, but the left tackle (Tyron Smith) has missed games (26 over the last five seasons). I don't really see a defensive lineman worth taking that early. Maybe they take Horn. Their people were at that workout. I think it's either Horn or the Northwestern tackle. I think it will be Horn."
Not exactly a ringing endorsement.
APRIL 13: IDEAL IDEAS? The game played here by NFL.com - "ideal first-two picks for each team'' - is especially fun when your team's picks garner starters. Their picks:
Round 1: No. 10 overall -- Patrick Surtain II CB, Alabama
Round 2: No. 44 overall -- Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
That figures as "one starter'' - as good a prospect as Mayfield may be.
NFL.com, by the way, says Mayfield, "could line up at right tackle or guard,'' meaning his selection in Round 2 "would make plenty of sense.'' Except ... on this team? He's not lining up at right tackle any time soon.
APRIL 13: The Cowboys seem to be content either sitting at No. 10 for a defensive name or trade up for Florida's Kyle Pitts. A trade back? That doesn't sound like Jerry Jones.
In ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.'s two-round mock draft, that's exactly what he has Dallas doing.
The New England Patriots, who could be looking for the full-time heir-apparent, trade up to the No. 10 spot, giving Dallas their 2022 first-round pick in return. They select Ohio State's Justin Fields, who will learn under Cam Newton for a season before taking over as the full-time starter.
As for Dallas, they move back to No. 15 and select a bonafide star cornerback in South Carolina's Jaycee Horn. According to Kiper, the former Gamecock is a "plug and play" starter for Dan Quinn's defense.
Dallas trades back five spots with New England, gains what would likely be a 2022 first-round pick and is able to plug a need at No. 15. The Cowboys' defense was dreadful last season, and they lost starting corner Chidobe Awuzie in free agency. They can pair Horn with 2020 second-round pick Trevon Diggs, who had a nice rookie season. The knock on Horn is that he had only two career interceptions, but that ball production should come in time.
With the No. 44, Dallas bolsters its defensive line by adding Washington's Joe Tyron. A hybrid defender of both outside linebacker and defensive end, the former Husky should pair well across DeMarcus Lawrence as a perfect 1-2 combination.
Takeaways: Overall, this wouldn't be the worst idea. Dallas would still land perhaps the top cornerback in the class while garnering a future first-rounder. Adding depth to the pass-rush is a must as well.
The big question is will Horn be on the board that late? Are the Cowboys content with Virginia Tech's Caleb Farley as a second option? Those are questions that must be asked and answered before doing business with Bill Belichick on Thursday evening.
The Cowboys have six selections in the first four rounds, so let's take a look at where the Lone Star State franchise goes.
10: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
44: Jalen Mayfield, T, Michigan
75: Marlon Tuipulotu, iDL, USC
99: Carlos Basham, DE, Wake Forest
115: John Bates, TE, Boise State
138: Kendrick Green, iOL, Illinois
Takeaways: Surtain remains — to me — the odds-on favorite to be the pick, if the Cowboys want to address the secondary. The rest of the first three rounds address areas of need.
Basham is a tremendous value pick with that third-round compensatory pick. I don't know why the Cowboys are taking yet another mid-round tight end when they have to productive tight ends under contract.
But hey, what do I know?
APRIL 9: THE FANS' CHOICE: What happens when you have a website with a mock draft simulator and more than one million fans that have used it? Then you have a pretty good idea what the fans want for the Dallas Cowboys at No. 10.
At least that's what Pro Football Focus thinks. PFF compiled all of its mock draft simulator data and came to a conclusion on each team's 'fans choice pick.'
For the Cowboys, the fans' choice is Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr.
As PFF put it:
The Cowboys' leaky secondary has been a major weak point for the team of late, and their fans choose to add Surtain, the No. 1 cornerback prospect. He is the most technically advanced and consistent cornerback in this draft class.
It's not real surprise that Surtain would be a part of the conversation, given his skill and the Cowboys' need in the secondary.
APRIL 7: CB MEETINGS The Dallas Cowboys have conducted pre-Draft meetings with the top two cornerbacks, Jaycee Horn and Patrick Surtain.
Horn posted great numbers at his South Carolina Pro Day, assuring he'd be in the competition alongside Alabama's Surtain. Those side-by-side numbers:
Horn is 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds. He posted a 41.5-inch vertical leap, a broad jump of 11-foot-1 and a 40-yard dash time of 4.39 seconds.
Surtain is 6-foot-2, 208 pounds. He posted a 39-inch vertical and 10-foot, 11-inch broad jump and a 40 times of 4.42.
We think Dallas likes Surtain - maybe the more "polished'' player - a bit better. But virtual meetings with both candidates (among the handful of others) suggests that the Cowboys like both on some level.
APRIL 6: A B Pro Football Focus has doubled its pleasure by releasing a three-round mock draft for every team in the NFC East, including the Cowboys' four picks ... and then by giving itself - er, Dallas - a fine grade.
It's Patrick Surtain II at cornerback in the first. In the second round it's Alim McNeill, the 320-pound defensive tackle from North Carolina State. Then come the two third-rounders, Houston’s Payton Turner, a 6-foot-5, 270-pound defensive lineman, and tight end Tommy Tremble from Notre Dame.
What does PFF think of its haul for Dallas? A grade of "B'' is given. We don't know how happy the Cowboys would be with this foursome, but PFF sure seems pleased.
APRIL 4: SPEED KILLS? The Cowboys don't "need'' a receiver. But everybody needs a 4.2 sprinter, right?
The Cowboys have reportedly met with Auburn speeder Anthony Schwartz, though it is worth mentioning that it seems half the teams in the NFL have done so.
Schwartz, 6-0 and 186, did not put up huge stats as a three-year contributor for the Tigers, as he totaled 1,433 yards and six touchdowns on 117 catches in 33 games. Maybe that's why he's a mid-round projection.
But his reported 4.26 40 time is impossible to ignore. The Eye Test might wonder why he wasn't more productive. The stopwatch will have teams - even ones who already have plenty of receivers - salivating.
APRIL 3: McSHAY MOCK: How about two SEC stars to fix the Dallas defense in the first two picks?
That's the idea in Todd McShay latest two-round mock draft in which he forecasts the Cowboys to add two big-time helpers: South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn as the first-rounder at No. 10, and Alabama’s defensive tackle Christian Barmore at No. 44 in the second round.
What does Horn think of Dallas?
“It would definitely be big to be drafted by the Cowboys,’ Horn said. ‘A team with a lot of history.
And what might Dallas think of Barmore?
He's 6-foot-5 and 310 pounds and maybe underachieved at bit at 'Bama. But that's a big body who might be able to play both the 1-Tech and the 3-Tech, ideally eventually jumping ahead of Neville Gallimore and Trysten Hill in the Dallas D-line rotation.
APRIL 1: PUSH FOR PITTS: Florida tight end Kyle Pitts put on a Pro Day show this week. Everything about him jumps off the page ...
From his 40 to his Megatron measurables ...
Check 'em out. Pitts - who you already know can play, well beyond the measurables - is 6'5" and 245 pounds and was timed at 4.44 in the 40-yard dash. His broad jump was 10'9" and he had a vertical leap of 33.5 inches.
Oh, and he has a more than 83-inch wingspan, longer than any other wide receiver or tight end measured at the Combine in the last 20 years.
As it relates to the Cowboys? You already know what our Mike Fisher thinks ...
And, according to one NFL insider, Michael Lombardi, the Cowboys should "sprint" to pick him if he's still available when they make the 10th overall selection.
Fish's argument: Dallas doesn't "need'' a tight end - but Pitts is so good, he supersedes need.
MARCH 31: A FULL 7-ROUND MOCK: Some people, like our own Matthew Postins, do 7-round mock drafts for specific teams like the Dallas Cowboys. But CBSSports.com’s Chris Trapasso did it for the entire draft. Yep, all 253 picks.
In his mock, here’s how the Cowboys do:
First Round (No. 10): Tulsa LB Zaven Collins (lending some credence to what Ric Serritella wrote at NFL Draft Bible ... despite our protests.
Second Round (No. 44): Washington CB Elijah Molden, which helps the secondary (which has gotten some significant help in free agency).
Third Round (No. 75): Pitt DL Jaylen Twyman, who adds beef to the interior defensive line.
Third Round (No. 99): Notre Dame OL Aaron Banks, who is a road-grader at 330 pounds.
Fourth Round (No. 110): UCF DB Richie Grant, who would be long-term help in the secondary. (We'd be shocked if he last that long.)
Fourth Round (No. 139): SMU TE Kylen Granson, because you know the Cowboys are going to take one.
Fifth Round (No. 179): Illinois WR Josh Imatorbhebhe, who I am ashamed to say I know nothing about.
Sixth Round (No. 194): TCU LB Garret Wallow, who is underrated linebacker help this late in the draft.
Seventh Round (No. 238): Stanford C Drew Dalman, who I’m guessing the Cowboys see as a swing interior lineman.
MARCH 31: A LINEBACKER AT 10? Our buddy Ric Serritella at NFL Draft Bible cites sources connecting Dallas to a pair of linebackers, Kentucky's Jamin Davis and Tulsa's Zaven Collins.
Yes? No? Maybe?
Old pal Dane Brugler of The Athletic ranks the linebackers like this: Penn State’s Micah Parsons, Notre Dame’s Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Tulsa’s Collins, Missouri’s Nick Bolton and then Kentucky's Davis.
All might be first-rounders. But ... the math of Davis/Collins at 10 doesn't seem to match up. It would - most likely - mean the third-to-fifth best linebacker leap-frogging above the likes of cornerbacks Surtain and Horn, above the likes of O-linemen Sewell and Slater, above the likes of tight end Pitts ... maybe even above a touted QB or two.
Oh, and they might have to leap-frog over Parsons, too.
We cannot find Dallas sources or even intel that leans this way. So we'll rely on a third friend, colleague Jeff Cavanaugh of 105.3 The Fan, who says simply of the idea of Jamin/Zaven at 10 ...
MARCH 29: COWBOYS AT MOND PRO DAY Texas A&M's pro day is today, and the Cowboys are among the handful of NFL teams with offensive staff personal on-site to watch Kellen Mond.
But why? Dak Prescott is signed, and also under contract are three other relatively young backups, including last year's late-round draftee Ben DiNucci.
Here's a reason why: The McCarthy influence.
Green Bay, especially under former GM Ron Wolf, made a habit of throwing darts at QBs in the NFL Draft. Lots of 'em. It didn't, and doesn't, matter that the Packers have long had Brett Favre and then Aaron Rodgers at the top of the depth chart. Finding more QBs, first-round, late-round, whatever, was always on the to-do list.
And now McCarthy is in Dallas.
And now the Cowboys are in College Station.
Lance Zierlein and a discussion of each player's strengths and weaknesses. Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond is rated at a 6.12 which falls into the classification of "good backup who could become starter".
Draft expert Lance Zierlein stated that in part that Mond can be "a good backup who could become a starter.''
Is that worth throwing a dart at the 6-3, 215-pound former Texas high-schooler, who most experts think will go between Rounds 2 and 4?
For now, it's certainly worth a road trip to College Station.
MARCH 28: WHAT DOES 'GENERATIONAL' MEAN? Our man at SI, Albert Breer, makes two great points here on the subject of “generational”:
One, he notes, "it is a term that’s being thrown around way too much these days - because it implies that guys are once-in-a-generation talent. I think Trevor Lawrence is one of those. Calvin Johnson was when he was coming out. Adrian Peterson and Julius Peppers, too. So I think maybe we should start by raising the bar for that word, generational, in trying to apply it properly.''
And two ... Kyle Pitts might be "generational.''
Breer says that Pitts might "run in the 4.4s at 6' 6" and 246 pounds,'' that he "will be gone in the first six picks or so,'' and that when he does - because it's been 49 years since a tight end went in the top five (Riley Odoms to Denver) - well, that'd be pretty generational.
From Breer: "Only Odoms and the great Mike Ditka have ever gone that high at the position. Only four tight ends (Vernon Davis in 2006, Eric Ebron in 2010, T.J. Hockenson in 2019 and Kellen Winslow in 2004) have even gone in the top 10 over the last 24 drafts.''
All of this is why I (Fish) have been touting Pitts for Dallas at No. 10, with the hope that teams in front of the Cowboys will be old-school in their thinking that he's "just a tight end,'' and in the hopes that Dallas recognizes that they shouldn't draft to fill a hole ...
They should draft to find a stud.
And Kyle Pitts - on paper and so far - is a stud. A, yes, "generational'' stud.''
MARCH 25: HORN'S TURN One day after the Cowboys were wowed by Patrick Surtain at his Alabama Pro Day, South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn did one of those "anything you can do, I can do better'' things.
"I feel I'm the best defensive player in the draft,'' Horn said.
Dallas might end up agreeing.
Cowboys VP of personnel Will McClay and defensive coordinator Dan Qunn were present to see Horn's standout workout at the Gamecocks Pro Day. The 21-year-old measured in at 6-foot and 205 pounds. His broad jump of 133 inches put him in the 96th percentile for a cornerback, and his 41.5 -inch vertical put him in the 96thth percentile.
As for his 40 yard dash time, Horn clocked a 4.39, just slightly better than Surtain's best time of 4.42.
The decision at 10 won't come down to just measurables. But based on the measurables? The decision at 10 just got harder.
MARCH 24: COWBOYS AT BAMA: The Cowboys staff swarmed all over the Alabama Pro Day on Tuesday, always a wise idea.
Was it just about having their eye on maybe taking cornerback Patrick Surtain II in the first round of next month’s NFL Draft? Of course not; if you play at 'Bama, and you are draft-eligible, every team should swarm.
But in Dallas' case? Head coach Mike McCarthy was there. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was there. Personnel boss Will McClay was there.
And yes ... Surtain caught everybody's eye.
Even the one measurable that people question worked out OK. Surtain's 40-yard dash time of 4.42 seconds was better than some expected.
Does he have enough speed to pair with fellow 'Bama product Trevon Diggs, Dallas' other prized corner? The Cowboys certainly had enough brainpower in Tuscaloosa on Tuesday to figure it out.
MARCH 23: HOW A PATS-COWBOYS TRADE COULD WORK: Even with Cam Newton under contract in New England, the Patriots are in 'Find the next Tom Brady' mode. Could a deal with the Dallas Cowboys help them out?
Tyler Sullivan explored that at CBSSports.com on Monday. In fact, he explored A LOT of trade-up scenarios for the Patriots. But the Cowboys, selecting at No. 10, were firmly in the mix.
To help, Sullivan used the Rich Hill Draft Value Chart, which is the 2.0 version of the Draft Value Chart that former Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson takes credit for from the 1990s to help his front office fleece the rest of the NFL. (As our Mike Fisher will tell you, it was actually a guy named Mike McCoy, a Jerry Jones oil-and-gas associate of Jerry Jones' who held a vice president with the Cowboys who invented the chart.) Sullivan dismissed the possibility that the Patriots might trade into the Top 3 selections.
But what would a Cowboys-Patriots deal look like?
Based purely on the value of the draft picks, the Patriots would have to ship the Cowboys their first-round pick (No. 15 overall), their third-round pick (No. 96 overall) and their fourth-round pick (No. 139 overall) just to move up to No. 10. It should be noted that the third-round and fourth-round picks are compensatory picks.
In that scenario, the Cowboys would only lose five spots in the first-round order and could still address their defensive needs. It would also give them seven selections in the Top 139 picks in the draft. That could be more than enough ammunition to address defensive needs, or to use some of those picks to vault up into the second or third round and pick another potential starter.
You can bet that plenty of those scenarios will be explored the next several weeks.
MARCH 23: BACK SURGERY FOR FARLEY One of the top three cornerbacks in this year’s NFL Draft - all three candidates to be taken by Dallas at No. 10 - is undergoing back surgery and will therefore miss his Pro Day, according to agent Drew Rosenhaus.
Caleb Farley will miss the workouts with other Virginia Tech as on Tuesday he will have a microdiscectomy. This is not considered a "major'' surgery, with the likely recovery time of six weeks. But that doesn't mean it is easy to predict how it might impact Farley's status as he is in the mix with Patrick Surtain and Jaycee Horn as the top corner in this class.
MARCH 22: COWBOYS CLARITY? New Denver GM George Paton has been a spender, especially as it regards the Broncos backfield. The investment in a trio of top-notch DBs totals over $63 million guaranteed, with cornerback Ronald Darby coming over from Washington, cornerback Kyle Fuller coming from Chicago and tagged safety Justin Simmons staying.
What does this have to do with Dallas (besides making Cowboys fans a bit envious)? The use of free agency to build the secondary lessens the likelihood that Denver, drafting at 9 - one slot ahead of Dallas - will take a cornerback.
The Cowboys have their eyes on the top three corners in the draft, Farley, Surtain and Horn. And surely Denver - which previously could've selected one of those three - will go another direction now.
Barring a Denver trade-down from 9, the Broncos' big-spender moves in free agency figure to offer Dallas some clarity when it comes to who will be available at 10.
MARCH 18: NOBODY KNOWS NOTHIN' We make this point about predictions regarding what Dallas will do with the 10th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft not to make fun of anybody (though we have our logical explanation below of why Caleb Farley might be the guy) ... but rather to point out that, at this early stage ...
Nobody knows nothin'. To wit: The Dallas Cowboys select:
— CB Caleb Farley (Virginia Tech)
— CB Patrick Surtain II (Alabama)
— CB Jaycee Horn (South Carolina)
— S Jevon Holland (Oregon)
Does Maurice Jones-Drew know even less than nothin'? That's our guess, yes.
The first-round pick was South Carolina's Jaycee Horn, who Herauf touts as a corner that can play in the slot or on the edge, giving him versatility that new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn may find useful. In the second round, he selected North Dakota State offensive lineman Dillon Radunz, who impressed scouts at the Senior Bowl and won national titles while with the Bison.
Check out the entire 7-round mock draft to see who else Herauf took for the Cowboys.
MARCH 9: A COLLEGE FOOTBALL WRITER'S TAKE: Bruce Feldman is one of the best when it comes to covering college football. The Athletic writer and Fox Sports sideline reporter has a unique vantage point to do a NFL mock draft because he can talk with college coaches about the players in his mock draft.
Based on Feldman's research and contacts, he thinks the Cowboys will take a familiar face — Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II.
Feldman had a 'coaching intel' take with each player, and that went for Surtain, too. The coaches Feldman talked to hit on three things with Surtain. First, his size and length will allow NFL coaches to do whatever they want with him. Second, in part because of that, Surtain could be a fit at safety, too. Third, at least one coach thinks he can be exposed in man-to-man coverage.
Now that the Cowboys have set Dak Prescott up with a new deal, odds are they'll turn their attention to defense in the first round. And Surtain is certainly an option. But ... as you'll read below, we do not believe that's the cornerback Dallas will eventually favor at 10.
MARCH 8: ANALYTIC SLIP? Most mocks have four or even five QBs off the board in the top nine or so picks, one analyst - using an “analytics formula” suggests that by near the end of the top nine, only two QBs will have gone.
NFL Network’s analytics expert Cynthia Frelund had Denver selecting the third QB off the board in Ohio State’s Justin Fields.
She’s got Trevor Lawrence to the Jags at No. 1 and a QB going off the board at pick 8 in BYU’s Zach Wilson to the Carolina Panthers ... and then Fields to Denver at pick 9.
That puts Fields in Dallas’ range at 10 - and also leaves the other two top QBs, Trey Lance and Mac Jones, available.
Frelund's strategy here, alas, is odd. The analytical formula she uses is based on adding players who will help the team improve and win the most games for the 2021 season, specifically.
And that’s not how this works.
Meanwhile, Dallas drafting a QB? Depending on what happens in the Dak Prescott talks, yes, we say it’s wise to cover this base.
MARCH 6: WHAT IF ... What if the Cowboys get to the No. 10 pick and every single defensive star is available to them?
That's the scenario painted in the latest mock draft from ESPN and Todd McShay, as he's got five QBs going high, along with Penei Sewell, Kyle Pitts, Ja’Marr Chase and DeVonta Smith - all offensive guys - also going off the board.
In this event, McShay has them taking cornerback Patrick Surtain of Alabama.
We're still not sure Dallas has Surtain above Caleb Farley or even above Jaycee Horn, the other top two corners. But that isn't the point of this exercise. The point is ... the Cowboys would, at 10, be able to grab the very best defensive player in the entire draft. A rare opportunity.
MARCH 5: 4 HELPERS IN 3 ROUNDS Draft analyst Matt Miller offers his Mock Draft 2.0 in which he predicts the first three rounds. His picks and then our thoughts ...
Round 1, Pick 10 – CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
Round 2, Pick 44 – OT James Hudson, Cincinnati
Round 3, Pick 75 – DT Marlon Tuipulotu, USC
Round 3, Pick 100 – EDGE Daelin Hayes, Notre Dame
Our quick thoughts: We need to figure out which of the three top CBs Dallas likes best ... Hudson would mean drafting a backup, assuming Tyron Smith is returning ... Tuipulotu is a name we do hear connected to Dallas ... Hayes is a "hybrid'' guy and therefore not exactly sure of fit here.
MARCH 4: FARLEY TOPS THREE-ROUND CBS MOCK: Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley has been a popular choice at No. 10 for the Dallas Cowboys. And CBSSports.com writer Josh Edwards installed Farley as the Cowboys' first-round selection in his new three-round mock draft.
Edwards called Farley the "start to rebuilding a respectable secondary."
From there, Edwards went to two other popular positions, and two new names to Cowboys watchers — Penn State tight end Pat Freiermuth in the second round and TCU safety Ar'Darius Washington in the third round.
Freiermuth caught just 23 passes for 310 years and a touchdown in a truncated 2020 season. But, in his three seasons in Happy Valley, the 6-foot-5, 258-pound junior had 16 career touchdown receptions.
Washington (5-foot-8, 178 pounds) had five interceptions for TCU in 2019, and 37 total tackles in 2020.
MARCH 1: HOW TO RANK THE CB's: It's anybody's guess ... but Bryan Broaddus' guess - when it comes to Cowboys thoughts and more - is better than most.
Broaddus, the former NFL exec and Cowboys scout now with 105.3 The Fan, isn't speaking for Dallas here. His ranking of the top three cornerbacks, all of whom could be in focus for Dallas at pick No. 10 - Caleb Farley first, Jaycee Horn second and Patrick Surtain third - might not be in lockstep with the rest of the experts, and might not reflect the thinking inside The Star.
But if it's coming from Broaddus? It's thinking with value.
FEB 26: FARLEY'S NUMBERS GIVE HIM AN EDGE AT NO. 10: USA Today's Doug Farrar filed his first mock draft of the 2021 NFL Draft season, and he had the Cowboys taking Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley.
Farley is a familiar name here. He's one of the cornerback associated with the Cowboys at No. 10, along with Alabama's Patrick Surtain II. Surtain went to Denver at No. 9.
Farrar made an analytical argument for the Cowboys taking Farley at No. 10, citing the Hokies' production in Blacksburg:
In 2019, Farley was a pain to target no matter the range of the throw — he gave up eight receptions on 12 targets of 0-9 air yards, one completion on 12 targets of 10-19 air yards, and four completions on 15 targets of 20 or more air yards. All told through two seasons, Farley allowed 50 catches on 104 targets for 720 yards, 244 yards after the catch, five touchdowns (four in 2018), six interceptions (four in 2019) and an opponent passer rating of 63.0. Farley is primed to succeed in the NFL right away.
As Farrar notes, the Cowboys could use something like that right now.
FEB 25: COWBOYS GET AN EDGE? The Cowboys do have a habit of collecting pass-rushers, and that's the prediction from Sporting News at No. 10.
Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami (6-6, 260 pounds)
Sporting News writes, "The Cowboys need to help DeMarcus Lawrence better up front especially with the likelihood of losing both Tyrone Crawford and Aldon Smith. Rousseau, who opted out of the Hurricanes season, didn't really need to play to boost his stock after posting 15.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss in his lone significant and final season under defensive-minded head coach Manny Diaz. He would be a great fit with new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.''
Our view? We've already predicted that Crawford might retire and that Aldon will be tougher to retain than many think. We frankly have no idea of Rousseau "fits'' into Quinn's scheme.
But the Cowboys do like to collect those ends.
FEB 24: NEW NAME You've seen all the cornerbacks mocked to Dallas at No. 10. You've seen two O-linemen mocked there as well.
Here's a familiar position ... but a new name.
The San Diego Union Tribune mocks offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw of Virginia Tech to the Cowboys.
Injuries and age are starting to erode what was once the Cowboys greatest strength, its offensive line. Darrisaw could definitely find his way into the top 10 if he tests as well as I believe he will during the draft process.
We can't argue with the general logic. Sewell and Slater would obviously have to be gone ... and then would start the debate about "reaching.''
FEB 22: 2 DBs AT THE TOP? Want to fix the Cowboys secondary, all in one weekend? Here's a way ...
Our friend Jon Machota at The Athletic mocks it this way:
First round, No. 10 overall: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
Second round, No. 44 overall: Richie Grant, S, UCF
That's two highly-though-of players at positions of need for Dallas. Worth noting: In Machota's previous mock, he gave the Cowboys Caleb Farley at No. 10 and Trevon Moehrig at 44.
That, too, is a cornerback and a safety, any way you slice it.
Machota's got a vision here. Maybe the Cowboys do as well.
FEB. 16: PITTS TO DALLAS It's not just the idea of the stellar tight end landing in the Cowboys lap; it's where the idea comes from.
That's an Eagles-heavy website based in Philly (featuring a reputable beat writer) and we don't dismiss the idea of Florida's Kyle Pitts to Dallas ... well, because, we're two months ahead of the NFL Draft. Why dismiss any ideas?
We're intrigued a bit here because of what Philly's view of Dallas might be. From the site:
The Cowboys should definitely think about OL help here but instead they opt for one of the best overall players in the draft. They can’t turn down the value and they get a great player at a position of need.
We'll disagree that Dallas views tight end as a "position of need.'' But we will not argue about the gifts of Kyle Pitts - or how tempting it would be to grab him, need or not.
FEB 11: CB VS. OL? "The Cowboys could go Rashawn Slater here or possibly a front-seven defender, but cornerback is currently a weak spot on the roster and Patrick Surtain would be a natural fit in Dan Quinn’s scheme,'' writes our buddy Dane Brugler in his latest mock at The Athletic. "With a Pro Bowl father, he was groomed to play the position at a high level would be an immediate starter in Dallas playing alongside his former Alabama teammate Trevon Diggs.''
Dane (writing here) makes a point we can build on: There is an educated opinion on Slater, as good as he is, that he might not be an immediate starter in Dallas. But Brugler says Surtain would be?
That might be the tiebreaker, assuming both are truly available at 10.
FEB 10: NEW MCSHAY MOCK PUTS FARLEY ON COWBOYS: ESPN.com's Todd McShay released his second 2021 mock draft during the late SportsCenter on Tuesday and it was a draft heavy on offense. But that enabled a familiar name to slide to the Cowboys at No. 10 — Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley.
Farley, along with Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II, have been the most popular defensive players attached to the Cowboys in first-round mocks since the offseason began. The most popular offensive player has been Northwestern offensive lineman Rashawn Slater. In fact, Mel Kiper's first mock draft, released earlier this week, had Slater going to the Cowboys at No. 10.
Why did Farley slide this far? McShay's mock had offensive players flying off the boards with the first eight selections. Then, at No. 9, he had the Broncos taking Surtain. So, it was an easy call for the Cowboys to take the next-ranked corner on the board at No. 10.
McShay said Farley was a 'ball hawk' who has an eye for making interceptions. And the Cowboys could use some of that.
FEB 7: A COWBOYS-NINERS DEAL FOR A 'NEW' CORNERBACK NAME: In his latest two-round mock draft at profootballnetwork.com, Dalton Miller proposed that the Cowboys and Niners make a deal to swap picks at No. 10 and No. 12. The Niners have their eye on a new QB, and Miller proposed that trading down just two spots might allow the Cowboys to take a cornerback, but a relatively new name to those following our tracker.
Miller wrote that the Niners want to move to No. 10 to grab North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance. The deal with the Cowboys allows that to happen, and they only have to cede two spots in the draft. With the No. 12 overall pick, the Cowboys would then take ... Syracuse cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu.
Miller admits this might be a high projection for Melifonwu. It also ignores the fact that while Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley is off the board, Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain isn't. But, as Miller wrote, it's about exploring scenarios. Miller wrote that, on his board, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Melifonwu is the third cornerback and that his style of play is a great fit for new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.
Surtain fell to Arizona at No. 16.
So what ELSE did Dallas get in this deal? Well, with their second-round pick, Miller has the Cowboys taking UCF safety Richie Grant. Since the Cowboys don't have an additional second-round pick, we can surmise that the Cowboys probably got a late-rounder from the Niners as a sweetener to moving back just two spots.
So, with this deal, Miller takes care of the Cowboys' needs at cornerback and at safety. It also brings a 'new' cornerback name to the table, as Farley and Surtain have been the corners most associated with the Cowboys' first-round pick since the offseason began.
FEB 5: NFL.com's BROOKS HAS COWBOYS TAKING FARLEY: NFL.com's Bucky Brooks is a former NFL player and scout, so his mock drafts carry the weight of someone who has 'been there, done that.' So when Brooks released his first mock draft earlier this week, the interest from Cowboys fans was to see who Brooks would take at No. 10.
It ended up being Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley, who along with Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II, has been a popular selection in Cowboys mock drafts the past month.
Brooks' draft unfolded with the Denver Broncos taking Surtain II at No. 9 overall, leaving Farley to drop to the Cowboys at No. 10. Given the Cowboys' need at cornerback, taking Farley was a pretty easy selection.
We think Dallas will end up ranking Surtain above Farley ... but it's interesting to see both fall right in the range of 10.
Brooks wrote that it gives the Cowboys a 'play-maker' on defense.
READ MORE: Slater as Cowboys 'default' first-rounder?
Earlier this week we wrote about Rashawn Slater, who seems to be the 'default' offensive player taken in Cowboys mocks when both Farley and Surtain are off the board. Well, in Brooks' mock, Slater went No. 13 to the Los Angeles Chargers.
FEB 3: BRUGLER HELPS 4 TO COWBOYS Defense. Defense. Defense. Defense.
Our pal Dane Brugler at The Athletic has a Top 100 draft board that we find valuable ... and our pal (yes, everybody is our pal!) Jon Machota uses it to mock some guys to the Cowboys in the coming NFL Draft. ...
Some guys who play defense.
The top four picks:
First round, No. 10 overall: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
Second round, No. 42 overall: Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
Third round, No. 74 overall: Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State
Third round, No. 99 overall: Rashad Weaver, DE, Pittsburgh
Defense. Defense. Defense. Defense
Feb. 1: FIRST POST-STAFFORD TRADE MOCK HAS COWBOYS GOING OFFENSE: USA Today's Mark Schofield filed a mock draft on Saturday afternoon — and then two hours later he had to change it after the Detroit Lions traded quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams for Jared Goff (and other assets).
That compelled Schofield to change the mock, and the Cowboys ended up with Northwestern offensive tackle Rashawn Slater at No. 10.
Slater has been the most popular offensive player in Cowboys mock drafts, but he usually BECOMES the pick IF two players are off the board before the Cowboys select — Alabama cornerback Partrick Surtain II and Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley. If both are off the board, mock drafters seem to default to Slater, who would help the Cowboys' offensive line. If only one is selected, mock drafters seem to default to the other corner.
It appears a pecking order has developed among those three players, at least among mock drafters. It also means that mock drafters aren't convinced that another corner that has slipped into the No. 10 spot, South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn, is worth the selection.
Is there a player who will now go at No. 7 (to the Lions) who is different than who might've gone pre-Stafford trade? Same goes for the Jets and the Dolphins at the top of the draft as they might joust for the services of Houston QB Deshaun Watson.
We've already reported in this space that Dallas would consider an O-lineman at 10 and might end up zeroing in on cornerbacks. Trades involving the top nine teams, ideally, will work in a way that pushes talent - at positions of interest - to the Cowboys.
Jan. 31: COWBOYSSI.com 7-ROUND MOCK DEBUTS: Our first 7-Round Cowboys Mock Draft debuted in our Sunday First-and-10 Piece, which is our weekly reader of Cowboys stories.
The mock, done by our Matthew Postins, was his first attempt at crafting what a 7-round Cowboys NFL Draft could look like, given the completion of the Senior Bowl.
The first-round selection was a familiar one — Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II. From there, Postins addressed several needs on defense, found a few players that fit the 'best available player' mold and added some significant depth on the defensive line.
Jan 28 COWBOYS SENIOR BOWL INTERVIEWS: Per a tweet by the NFL Network's Jane Slater, the Cowboys have interviewed these three players at the Senior Bowl: Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill, Houston defensive end Payton Turner, and Miami (FL) defensive end Quincy Roche.
The Cowboys have likely interviewed more players on both rosters, and this is the time of year for the Cowboys to do their due diligence, especially since the NFL Scouting Combine is now essentially virtual pro days.
Hill, 5-foot-11, 215 pounds, was an All-SEC First Team selection in 2019 after he led the Bulldogs with 242 carries, 1,350 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. For his three-year MSU career he amassed 2,535 rushing yards.
Turner, 6-foot-6, 270 pounds, was a 2020 American Athletic Conference Second Team selection who only played five games. But, he led Houston with 10.5 tackles for loss and five sacks.
Roche, 6-foot-3, 245 pounds, transferred to Miami (FL) before last season after a standout career at Temple. With the Owls, Roche had 137 total tackles, 39.5 tackles for loss and 26.0 sacks in three seasons, and in one season was the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
With the Hurricanes, Roche had 45 total tackles, including 14.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.
Jan 27 KIPER TAKES NORTHWESTERN OL SLATER: The buzz on Northwestern offensive lineman Rashawn Slater is growing, as far as the Dallas Cowboys are concerned, as Mel Kiper Jr. has the Cowboys taking the Wildcat at No. 10 overall in his first 2021 NFL Mock Draft.
While defensive backs and defensive linemen have been popular selections at No. 10, Slater seems to be the single offensive player that Cowboys mock drafts have focused on in January, as taking Slater would certainly help bolster the Cowboys' depth on the offensive line.
Kiper's logic? That the injuries up front exposed fissures in the Cowboys' depth on the offensive line, and Slater has position flex, as he can play both tackle and guard.
What was interesting in Kiper's mock was that he passed on Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II, who went two selections later. Surtain is one of two corner prospects — along with Virginia Tech's Caleb Farley — who have been popular in mock drafts so far.
Jan 26 TARRON JACKSON 1-ON-1: How about drafting a defensive end from the same hometown as DeMarcus Lawrence?
Our guys at NFLDraftBible.com are pumping out great 2021 NFL Draft content on a daily basis, and with it being Senior Bowl week, they're kicking it into overdrive.
A couple of days ago CowboysSI.com writer Matthew Postins pointed out Five Players to Watch at The Senior Bowl. Those five players were not picked out at random. They were picked out because they can potentially help the Dallas Cowboys in 2021 and beyond. One of the players posted highlighted was Coastal Carolina defensive end Tarron Jackson.
Plus, Jackson made his way into a Dallas Morning News 7-round mock draft compiled by John Owning, which we highlighted on Jan. 24. (See below.)
So, it's time to take a deep dive into Jackson, courtesy of NFLDraftBible.com. Get loads of info at that link, and then dig what the 6-2, 270-pound Jackson (who Owning projects to Dallas as a sixth-rounder) says about his college path:
"I am an Applied Mathematics Major and Actuarial Science minor. I don’t make excuses about things that happen in my life, I work through problems and find solutions. I always make a way, and this degree is living proof of that. I sacrificed and worked my butt off in every area of my life to ensure I secured a valuable degree and had a great season.''
And you have to love this quote from Jackson's head coach, Jamey Chadwell:
“He works every day like he’s trying to earn his spot like he’s trying to earn a scholarship and like he’s trying to prove himself to coaches every day and that epitomizes what you want your team to be about. I know he’s going to go at the next level and he’s going to get doubted there and he’ll end up proving himself there as well.” – Coastal Carolina Head Coach Jamey Chadwell
Jan 24 WADDLE-ING IN?: Our friend John Owning of The Dallas Morning News posts a 7-round Cowboys mock draft and has the Cowboys taking an Alabama wide receiver in the first round — Jaylen Waddle?
Not the one you were thinking of, was it?
Owning’s logic for taking Waddle with the first pick in his 7-round mock was that Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II and Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley would be off the board by No. 10 and Waddle represented the best player available. He also writes the selection would make Michael Gallup’s days ‘numbered’ in Dallas.
The problem, of course, is that the selection of Waddle (the 'Bama teammate of Heisman Trophy receiver DeVonta Smith) doesn’t address any of the pressing defensive needs for the Cowboys. But Owning takes care of that in successive rounds, grabbing Georgia cornerback Tyson Campbell, Washington defensive back Elijah Molden, Washington defensive tackle Levi Onwuzurike, Ohio State linebacker Baron Browning, Texas safety Caden Stearns and BYU nose tackle Khyiris Tonga with successive selections, including the Cowboys’ expected compensatory selections.
Owning comes back in the sixth round with an intriguing offensive selection — Buffalo’s Jaret Patterson, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards and 18 touchdowns in just eight games for the Bulls in 2020.
Owning wraps up his draft with Coastal Carolina defensive end Tarron Jackson and Appalachian State quarterback Zac Thomas. Jackson is a player we profiled in our Senior Bowl Players to Watch.
Jan 23 - DALLAS GETS THE TOP O-LINEMAN? Is Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell going to be available at No. 10?
From where we sit, that seems unlikely. But NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah paints a picture that has Sewell falling to the Cowboys at No. 10 overall, as he projects Cincinnati Bengals to select Northwestern offensive tackle Rashawn Slater to go ahead of him.
“Sewell could go as high as No. 3 overall to the Dolphins, but there's a chance he slips to the Cowboys," Jeremiah wrote. "They need to get younger and more talented along the offensive line."
We can't make an argument against Sewell; there isn't one.
We can make an argument about him being available at 10, given that our guy Dane Brugler views him as the second-best prospect in the entire draft. As Brugler writes: "For a blocker with his size and strength, Sewell (6-6, 330) is astonishingly efficient with his movement patterns due to his natural flexibility and footwork. Not only does he offer impressive physical traits, but his split-second reads and reflexes are also advanced for a player his age.''
At 10? Hard to buy. But lots to love.
Jan 20 - COWBOYS TRADE OUT: Matthew Valdovinos of profootballnetwork.com published his latest 2021 NFL Mock Draft, a three-round mock with the Cowboys trading out of the No. 10 pick and accumulating an additional second-round pick in the process.
The scenario allowed the Cowboys to pick up three defensive players in the first two rounds, two of which are familiar to Cowboys mock draft followers — South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn and TCU safety Trevon Moehrig.
In this scenario, both Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II and Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley are off the board. The trading partner is the Miami Dolphins, who take Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell at No. 3. The Dolphins package their No. 18 and No. 36 picks and ship them to Dallas so Miami can take Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith (a big assumption that Smith would even be available at No. 10).
But, with the trade, the Cowboys took Horn at No. 18 and Moehrig at No. 36, both of which would address some of the team’s glaring needs in the secondary.
Valdovinos then has the Cowboys taking Iowa defensive lineman Daviyon Nixon with their No. 44 selection. Nixon (6-foot-3, 305 pounds) was a unanimous All-American.
Then in the third round Valdovinos addressed the offensive line as he had the Cowboys taking Stanford offensive tackle Walker Little, who opted out of the 2020 season and declared for the NFL Draft.
Jan 18 - CERTAIN IT’S SURTAIN: Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II — who just declared for the 2021 NFL Draft — was back on the clock for the Dallas Cowboys at No. 10, according to the latest mock draft by RotoUnderworld’s Cody Carpentier.
Surtain just won a national championship with the Crimson Tide, and the Cowboys likely had their eyes on him during the game.
To this point, the cornerback position has been a popular position in NFL Mock Drafts, with Surtain’s name in heavy rotation with Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley and South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn.
Carpentier’s mock had the Jacksonville Jaguars taking Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence at No. 1 overall and the New York Jets taking Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields at No. 2 overall.
Our thoughts on Dallas at this early moment? There are some players the Cowboys might trade down from at 10. We bet they would not trade down from Surtain or Farley (or the offensive lineman Rashawn Slater. And what about the tight end Kyle Pitts? That could be a classic "draft-for-need'' issue. Dallas doesn't "need'' a tight end in the same way it "needs'' a corner like Surtain ... but doesn't every team need players who project to be perennial Pro Bowlers, which is what many talent people think of Pitts?
READ MORE: Cowboys Need a 'Heavy-D' NFL Draft
Horn would address the need the Cowboys have at cornerback, and he’s been one of three popular selections at the position in mock drafts around the internet.
In this case, Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley and Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II were already off the board, so Morgan took Horn for the Cowboys at No. 10 overall. Despite that, Morgan wrote that Horn would be a ‘fantastic option’ because ‘Horn is a press/cover corner, whose size, length and tenacity make him extremely difficult to separate from at the line of scrimmage.’
Horn was the SEC Defensive Player of the Week during the 2020 season after picking off two passes against Auburn. He opted out of the rest of the season shortly after that.
The interesting part of this mock is that just the week prior Trapasso had the Cowboys taking Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II. But this mock, done after the National Championship game, which Alabama won, saw Surtain go No. 4 overall to Atlanta.
Trapasso notes that the Cowboys ‘need to prioritize the secondary’ and that Farley is a ‘tall but athletic and instinctual corner.’
Farley was an All-ACC selection last year, but did not play in 2020 as he opted out of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jan 14 - PASS ON PITTS?: As you see below, Florida tight end Kyle Pitts was the Cowboys’ selection by New York Post NFL writer Steve Serby in his first 2021 NFL Mock Draft.
Pitts, considered the top tight end in the 2021 NFL Draft, is coming off a 2020 in which he caught 43 passes for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging nearly 18 yards per catch. Florida reached the SEC Championship game, losing to Alabama, before losing to Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl.
Some issues here, though.
One, with all due respect to the veteran writer, we're not sure he's especially connected with the NFL Draft, with Cowboys insights or with Cowboys needs. (Indeed, he suggests that Blake Jarwin's injury might be motivation here, but we have no indication that Jarwin will be anything less than 100 percent in 2021.)
Further, we'd suggest this: While Pitts seems a likely star at the next level - one scout tells our Mike Fisher that he's "like Kelce and Kittle except that he really could line up at receiver and beat corners'' - it is entirely possible that Dallas looks at this draft, sees the relatively shy number of guys with first-round grades, and trades down from 10.
The question will be, regardless of team need: If Pitts is the next Kelce/Kittle ... shouldn't ever team - Dallas included - be clamoring to take him?
Jan 12 — OL AND S HELP: Northwestern offensive tackle Rashawn Slater and TCU safety Trevon Moehrig were the Cowboys’ first two selection in the latest 2021 NFL Mock Draft by The Athletic’s Dane Brugler.
Brugler’s latest mock draft comes one day after the Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes in the FBS national championship game.
Slater, considered by many to be the No. 2 tackle in the draft behind Oregon’s Penei Sewell, goes against the grain of many other mocks, in that they have the Cowboys taking a defensive player with their first-round pick. Brugler acknowledges that in making the Slater selection, but also notes that the Cowboys’ ‘offensive line woes were a constant theme all season.’ He also points out that Slater has flexibility at tackle and at guard.
Brugler did a two-round mock this time, and with the second-round pick he had the Cowboys taking Moehrig, who was recently named the Jim Thorpe Award winner, given to the nation’s top defensive back. Brugler noted that the Cowboys haven’t taken a safety in the first two rounds since Roy Williams in 2002. He considered it to be an upgrade over current safety Xavier Woods.
Brugler slid Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith up to No. 3, as he noted that a selection there would reunite him with his former Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. He has the Jacksonville Jaguars taking Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence No. 1 overall.
Jan. 11 — HOKIE AT NO. 10: Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley was the Cowboys first-round selection in the latest 2021 NFL Mock Draft of NBCSports.com’s Josh Schrock.
Farley was a First-Team All-ACC selection as a redshirt sophomore in 2019. The Hokies converted him from wide receiver to defensive back and he had four interceptions in 2019. But, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Farley chose to opt out of the 2020 season and declare for the 2021 NFL Draft. At 6-foot-2, 207 pounds, Farley is considered one of the top cornerbacks in this draft, along with Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II, who has been a popular Cowboys Mock Draft connection early in the offseason.
Schrock noted that the departure of Byron Jones last offseason put the Cowboys in a position where they ended up with one of the worst-performing secondaries in the league. Schrock also referenced Farley’s physical play and his upside in the NFL as a “route-mirroring” cornerback.
The Cowboys have four impending free agents in the secondary, including cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis.
Jan. 9 — GOING PITTS?: Florida tight end Kyle Pitts was the Cowboys’ selection by New York Post NFL writer Steve Serby in his first 2021 NFL Mock Draft.
Pitts, considered the top tight end in the 2021 NFL Draft, is coming off a 2020 in which he caught 43 passes for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging nearly 18 yards per catch. Florida reached the SEC Championship game, losing to Alabama, before losing to Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl.
Serby’s justification for selecting Pitts at No. 10 revolved around the injury to Blake Jarwin — who should be back in 2021 — and the contract status of Dalton Schultz, who had a solid season in Jarwin’s place in 2020. Schultz is expected to be a free agent in 2022. He also noted that the Cowboys needed cornerback help. But, in Serby’s estimation, Pitts would be the best player available at No. 10.
Serby believes that, right now, the top two cornerbacks in the draft — Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II and Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley — will be off the board before the Cowboys get to pick.
CBSSports.com ranks Surtain as the No. 13 prospect overall and the No. 2 prospect at his position, and Trapasso writes that Surtain dropping to No. 10 would be ‘music to the ears’ of the Cowboys and that Surtain is the ‘most advanced outside press cornerback in the draft.’
The Cowboys certainly have a need at corner, with four impending free agents and second-round pick Trevon Diggs — also of Alabama — returning as one of the starters in 2021.
Trapasso had Jacksonville taking Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence at No. 1 and the New York Jets taking Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields No. 2.
Jan. 6 — O-LINEMAN?: FoxSports.com’s Jason McIntyre filed an updated 2021 NFL Mock Draft and selected Northwestern offensive lineman Rashawn Slater.
Slater (6-foot-3, 305 pounds) is an offensive tackle and is starting to push Oregon’s Penei Sewell as the No. 1 offensive tackle off the board in April’s draft.
Slater has Texas roots, as he’s from Sugar Land and played his high school football at Clements High School.
McIntyre wrote that a ‘beaten-up OL has hindered the run game.’ The Cowboys do expect to get all of their injured offensive linemen back for 2021 — Tyron Smith, La’el Collins and Zack Martin among them — but Smith is pushing 30 years old and has missed at least three games each of the past five seasons.
Jan. 5 — HORN IN: ProFootballNetwork.com’s Nick Farabaugh published a four-round mock draft shortly after the Dallas Cowboys had clinched the No. 10 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and he had the Cowboys taking South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn.
Farabaugh called Horn a “true junkyard dog,” citing the Gamecocks’ aggressiveness and skilled play for three seasons in Columbia, South Carolina. Farabaugh had the Cowboys taking Horn after the Broncos took Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley at No. 9. Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II, a popular mock draft target of the Cowboys, fell to No. 12 and San Francisco.
TheDraftNetwork.com’s Kyle Crabbs attached Horn to the Cowboys at No. 11 a couple of weeks ago, when it appeared they might end up selecting No. 11. Horn is the son of former New Orleans wide receiver Joe Horn.
Horn played most of 2020, but opted out of the rest of the season in mid-November when South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp was fired.
Farabaugh’s mock was a four-round mock, so he had selections for the Cowboys in the next three rounds. In the second round he had the Cowboys taking USC interior defensive lineman Jay Tufele at No. 44 overall. In the third round he had the Cowboys taking Pitt safety Paris Ford at No. 75 overall. And, in the fourth round, he had the Cowboys taking Oregon State edge rusher Hamilcar Rashed Jr. at No. 106 overall.
His mock draft didn’t include compensatory picks, and the Cowboys are expected to have some compensatory picks in this draft, perhaps as early as the third round.