NFL Draft Tracker: Cowboys Take Surtain - Or Trade Down From No. 10?

Cowboys Mock Draft Tracker for 2021: Check back often as we keep you up-to-date on Cowboys Mock Drafts from all over the internet, including the ones we do here at CowboysSI.com
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FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys have the No. 10 pick in the April NFL Draft ... and we've got your Cowboys Mock Draft Tracker for 2021: Check back often as we keep you up-to-date on Cowboys Mock Drafts from all over the internet, including the ones we do here at CowboysSI.com ...

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


Jan 17 - BLOWING THE HORN: South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn was the pick in the most recent NFL mock draft put together by nbcsports.com’s Glynn Morgan.

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.


Jan 16 - TAKING FARLEY: Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley made another appearance with the Cowboys in a 2021 NFL mock draft, this time with CBSSports.com analyst Chris Trapasso.

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.

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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.

READ MORE: NFL Coach Tracker: Cowboys Ex 'Favored' for Top Lions Job


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. 

Alabama CB Patrick Surtain II

Alabama CB Patrick Surtain II

Jan. 7 — SURTAIN: CBSSports.com’s Chris Trapasso filed a one-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft and had the Dallas Cowboys taking Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II with the No. 10 pick overall.

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.