NFL Draft: Cowboys 5 to Watch at Senior Bowl

The Dallas Cowboys are headed to Mobile for the Senior Bowl. In First and 10 this week, we look at five players worth tracking this week
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The Dallas Cowboys, along with the rest of the NFL, should descend on the Senior Bowl, still expected to be played on Jan. 30 in Mobile, Alabama. The run-up to the game will surely be different, in terms of COVID-19 protocols. But, the Cowboys are sending scouts and they’re expecting to get face time with dozens of players that could be potential draft picks in April.

In fact, with the NFL Scouting Combine now basically canceled, the Senior Bowl may be the last chance NFL scouts get to get real, in-person face time with dozens of potential draft picks in one place before the draft.

1) Cowboys 5 to Watch

The Cowboys have plenty of needs going into this draft. Here are five players to keep an eye on next week in Mobile. (And by the way, CowboysSI.com has virtual credentials to the Senior Bowl, so keep us dialed up here!)

DB Tre Brown, Oklahoma: The Cowboys have a huge need in the secondary, and Brown alone won’t fix it. In fact, Brown is not likely to be a first-round pick. But, as Anthony Brown proved, you can grab an effective player in the middle rounds. I’ve had the chance to see the Sooner in person several times throughout his college career, and his game has grown nicely during his time in Norman. But he showed a knack for making big plays at key times, especially in Big 12 Championship games. He wrapped up his OU career with a game-ending interception of Iowa State’s Brock Purdy.

 The Cowboys could use that kind of timing in the secondary. He’s on the small side (5-foot-10), but he has 4.5 speed and is considered a Top 20 corner in this draft, which means he could be had in the fourth round. That’s good value, especially if the Cowboys dip their toe into drafting one of the best corners in this draft early.

LB Jabril Cox, LSU: I saw Cox when he played at North Dakota State (he transferred to LSU before the 2020 season) and even then he was already primed for the NFL. At 6-foot-3, 229 pounds, he may be undersized, depending upon what defensive new coordinator Dan Quinn wants to play. But he proved this year at LSU that he can make plays at the Power 5 level, and I’m betting he can do the same in the NFL. He’ll probably cost a second-round pick.

DL Tarron Jackson, Coastal Carolina: The 6-foot-2, 260-pound edge rusher from the little-known Sun Belt Conference school impressed everyone this year while the Chanticleers were trying to worm their way into the College Football Playoff. The Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year had 8.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss in 2020. 

Some scouts will downgrade him for not playing at a Power 5 school. Watch the film. The guy can make plays. And he won’t cost you a first-round pick, either. The Cowboys can’t be shy about getting more pass rushers.

OL Alex Leatherwood, Alabama: Leatherwood projects as a Top 100 player in this draft, but he’s not going to end up going the first round. So, if the Cowboys are out to help add depth on the offensive line, with a player that can play guard or tackle, then taking Leatherwood in the third round doesn’t feel like a stretch. 

I haven’t seen him in person, but I’ve seen plenty of TV. He doesn’t attract a ton of attention, but his play is steady and consistent.

OL Quinn Meinerz, Wisconsin-Whitewater: A Division III prospect that I’ve seen in person a couple of times. Division III deferred its season to the spring, and the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference canceled football entirely, so that allowed Meinerz to prepare to impress scouts this week in Mobile. He’s still a developmental player at the NFL level, but he has all the raw materials you’re looking for to take a late-draft flier, or even snag as an undrafted free agent.

2) Cowboys Position-By-Position Breakdown - And New Expectations

In the long-awaited return of the "Best Coast Boys Pod", hosts Landon McCool and the Dallas Morning News’ John Owning take inventory on a lost season. ... with a position-by-position breakdown of the 2020 roster - and what it means going forward.

The “Best Coast Boys Pod" is a Cowboys-centric podcast that will delve into many other topics. Whether it is the NFL, Cowboys, movies, music, comics, food or Mixed Martial Arts, nothing is off limits on the “Best Coast Boys Pod.''

After a quick re-introduction, Landon and John go straight to work breaking down what happened last season. First they discuss their pre-COVID expectations versus the reality of what they saw from the Cowboys in 2020. After that they discuss the unique challenges the COVID protocols presented to the newly hired coaching staff.

READ MORE: NFL Draft Tracker: Dallas Cowboys Trade Down, Pick 2 DBs

READ MORE: Aikman EXCLUSIVE: Cowboys Will 'Sleep Well' If They Pay Dak

The guys then go position by position, reflecting on the 2020 season, and where each group looks as we move forward in 2021. Can Dallas' Dak Prescott-led offense also find balance in running back touches with Ezekiel Elliott and more? What is the Dallas offensive line going to look like in 2021? Can new coordinator Dan Quinn and the D improve its interior enough to finally lift the run defense over the famed "McMosher Line"? All these questions and more are explored in the Boys' triumphant return to the Pod! Listen here ...

3) Cowboys Mock Draft Tracker

It’s 2021 NFL Draft season. And CowboysSI.com has its Cowboys Mock Draft Tracker up and running. Throughout the ramp-up to the 2021 NFL Draft, we’ll be updating the tracker with mock drafts from around the Internet — ESPN, CBS, NFL.com, Fox Sports and all the others. You can find it all in one convenient place right here.

So click it, bookmark it and keep up with it. One of our most recent updates is a trade-down scenario that helps the Cowboys seriously address their defensive needs.

As for my CowboysSI.com mock draft? Well, I’ll be publishing mine at regular intervals starting the weekend of the Senior Bowl, right here in First and 10.

4) Roger Staubach Details Family’s Mental-Health Challenges

If you’re talking about Dallas Cowboys royalty, well, Roger Staubach may be the ‘King.’ But even ‘Kings’ have their real-life struggles.

Staubach shared one of those struggles with our Richie Whitt this week — the mental health struggles of Staubach’s daughter, Michelle. Turns out, Michelle Staubach Grimes has been dealing with depression since the fifth grade, and now that she’s stepping into the public eye to bring more awareness to the issue, she’s ‘nudging’ her father (as Richie puts it) into the spotlight, too.

This all comes on the heels of current Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott bringing light to his mental health issues, as he dealt with the death of his brother at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s an important story to read, and you can only find it at CowboysSI.com.

5) Cowboys Coach Tracker

Our Dallas Cowboys Coach Tracker .... keeping you informed as “America’s Team” makes coaching staff decisions. If you miss any coaching changes this past week, this is the place to click.

6) Michael Irvin on the Lottery and Strip Clubs

Yep, that’s what I wrote. That’s what Michael Irvin talked about during an appearance on 105.3 The Fan this week.

That’s all I really need to write to get you to read this, right?

Michael Irvin. The Lottery. Strip Clubs. That’s all.

7) The (Hall-of-Fame) Debate You’ve All Been Waiting For

Now that Philip Rivers has retired, he’s on the clock for the Hall of Fame. And, when you reflect on his numbers, he can make a compelling case.

That’s what the guys at Dallas Cowboys Blitzcast, Colby Sapp and Timm “IndyCarTim” Hamm, talk about this week. Their question is this — if Rivers has a compelling case, doesn’t Tony Romo have a similar case, too?

Find out what Sapp and Hamm had to say in their latest podcast.

As for my opinion, we will get to have that debate soon, because Romo is close to being on the clock.

8) True or False: Do the Cowboys and Dak Prescott get a long-term deal done?

That’s the question our Bri Amaranthus posed to the CowboysSI.com staff this week. A pretty simple question. We all had an answer. And we all had our reasons.

Give our roundtable a read. And then come to Twitter on whether you agree or disagree.

9) Whitt’s End: Do Cowboys Deserve A Presidential Pardon?

From our Richie Whitt:

Jerry Jones, evidence suggests, has his Republican leanings. Loyal donor to Donald Trump’s campaigns. But if history is any indication, the Dallas Cowboys’ owner should be thrilled to see this week’s transfer of Presidential party power at The White House. Because through their 61 seasons, America’s Team has won a higher percentage of games and more Super Bowls with a Democrat residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

From Eisenhower to Trump (1960-2020), the Cowboys have spanned 12 Presidents. Under seven Republicans, they have gone 294-235-2 (55.3%) with one Super Bowl; 267-191-4 (57.7%) and four Super Bowls under five Democrats. Bill Clinton’s 1993-2001 reign was by far their most lucrative, netting three Super Bowls and 84 wins.

Read more by clicking here.

10) Tweet Of The Week

Tom Landry’s wife has gone to Heaven.