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2020 Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft: Another 1st-round Offensive Lineman?

Another first-round offensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys?

The 2020 NFL Draft is drawing closer by the day and while we may not know the prospects the Dallas Cowboys could be targeting this year, we do have a pretty good idea of their “team needs”. With Travis Frederick’s unexpected retirement, finding his replacement could be at the top of the list.

The Dallas Cowboys may have seen this coming, which is why they have some solid options currently on the roster to step into Frederick’s now vacated spot. They re-signed Joe Looney, who started in his place in 2018, but they also have last year’s third-round pick Connor McGovern to compete for the job. But is it enough?

It’s hard to say right now what the new coaching staff thinks of their current options to replace Travis Frederick. That’s the mindset I entered into this seven-round mock draft and the mindset the Dallas Cowboys may have come Draft Day in a few weeks time. Will they draft another offensive lineman in the first-round of the 2020 NFL Draft?

Let’s take a look at how things could play out…

Round 1, Pick 22 – Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan

TRADE: Dallas Cowboys send 17 to Minnesota Vikings for 22 and 89

Cesar Ruiz
Former Michigan Wolverines C Cesar Ruiz

In 2013 the Dallas Cowboys traded down from 17 to draft Travis Frederick and I think history could repeat itself in 2020. Cesar Ruiz is head and shoulders the best center prospect in this year’s draft class and a plug-and-play Day 1 starter for the Cowboys. Forget about Joe Looney and Connor McGovern competing for the job, just insert Ruiz in Frederick’s vacant spot and prosper.

Round 2, Pick 51 – Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame

Julian Okwara
Former Notre Dame Fighting Irish DE Julian Okwara

Julian Okwara is an underrated EDGE prospect in this year’s draft class. I think he his every bit as talented as K’Lavon Chaisson, who the Dallas Cowboys would’ve considered at 17 if still available. In Okwara the Cowboys get an insurance policy if Aldon Smith or Randy Gregory struggle if/when reinstated or if Tyrone Crawford has any lingering effects from last season’s hip surgery.

Round 3, Pick 82 – Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia

Bryce Hall
Former Virginia Cavaliers CB Bryce Hall

If not for a gruesome ankle injury in 2019, Bryce Hall would likely be a first-round fringe draft prospect. All signs point to him making a full recovery, which is perfect for the Dallas Cowboys. Hall would add some much-needed size/length to the Cowboys secondary and could potentially be a Day 1 starter. He is at his best playing in zone, but is more than capable in man coverage as well.

Round 3, Pick 89 – Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame

Chase Claypool
Former Notre Dame fighting Irish WR Chase Claypool

Chase Claypool is one of my “pet cats” in this year’s draft class and I absolutely love all the different ways he could be utilized in the Dallas Cowboys offensive scheme. He could step in and take over for Randall Cobb in the slot, play as a traditional X WR, or be used as a move TE when/if needed. He also adds some much-needed size to the position and becomes an immediate red zone weapon.

Round 4, Pick 123 – Jordan Elliott, DT, Missouri

Jordan Elliott
Former Missouri Tigers DT Jordan Elliott

I highly doubt Jordan Elliott lasts until the fourth-round, but if he does he’s a no-brainer for the Dallas Cowboys. He can play any position on the defensive line and has the makings of a future star in the NFL. If he’s not available though, Leki Fotu (Utah) wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize here instead. He would add even more beef to the middle of the Cowboys DL.

Round 5, Pick 164 – J.R. Reed, S, Georgia

J.R. Reed
Former Georgia Bulldogs S J.R. Reed

The value at safety simply wasn’t there earlier in the first four rounds for the Dallas Cowboys, but that’s okay because J.R. Reed makes up for it here in the fifth. Unlike the other safeties currently under contract with the Cowboys, Reed is more of a traditional SS who excels around the line of scrimmage. He is no slouch in coverage though and could challenge for starting job as a rookie.

Round 5, Pick 179 – Dalton Keene, TE, Virginia Tech

Dalton Keene
Former Virginia Tech Hokies TE Dalton Keene

I like the fact the Cowboys extended Blake Jarwin’s contract and plan on making him the starter, but in no way do I believe the TE position doesn’t still need to be upgraded. Dalton Keene is an underrated TE prospect this year’s draft class. He has the prototypical size the Cowboys look for and the ability to be an every down player. He could challenge to be the TE2 as a rookie.

Round 7, Pick 231 – Jeff Thomas, WR, Miami

Jeff Thomas
Former Miami Hurricanes WR Jeff Thomas

The only reason Jeff Thomas is still available this late in the draft is due to some character concerns that could scratch him off a lot of teams draft boards. Make no mistake, he’s worth the gamble here because he can challenge all three levels of the field from the slot and be the Cowboys primary punt and kick returner as a rookie. He could stand to improve as a route runner though.

Well there you have it. What would you have done differently?

What do you think?

Brian Martin

Written by Brian Martin

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.


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  1. I don’t know why Cowboy mock drafts have Claypool as either a 3rd or 4th Rd pick he is a 2nd Rd pick based on the fact that his career was way better than his former teammate miles boykin and did even better than boykin at the combine and boykin was drafted in the 3rd Rd

    • The depth of the WR position this year likely pushes him into the third in my opinion. I could be completely wrong though.

    • Thanks John! It’s not exactly the direction I would go for the Cowboys, but it does cover a lot of their “team needs”.

  2. I would be happy if the draft shook out this way! I like these players a lot. We may even be able to trade back again from 22 to 26 or 27 and still get ruiz and another 3rd. But if Henderson is there at 19, I wouldn’t be apposed to that too.

    • Odds are, the Cowboys could trade down even further and still get Cesar Ruiz plus additional picks. If that’s who they’re targeting in a trade back though. I’d have no problem taking him in the mid-20s.

  3. I would like to get opinions on what you guys think about the contracts that players are demanding across the NFL ! It just seems to me that the pay they receive for playing a game is getting out of hand! How much money does a person really need? Being a retired firefighter living off of less than 60,000 dollars a year and not really wanting for anything (thanks to GOD) it looks like to me these guys can live off of the Millions that they make!

    • Like it or not, it’s just the nature of the business. As the revenue continues to grow for the NFL, so will players salaries.

  4. Don’t know about the DEs in this class. I like the pick there though. I would think LB could be a pick at bottom of 1st or mid 2nd. Gay, Jr and maybe go C in the 3rd – the Wisconsin guy seems like a decent pick there.

    • The EDGE draft class isn’t the best, but there are some players in the first three rounds or so who would be good rotational/backup players for the Cowboys. This also isn’t the best LB draft class either. I think the only way they draft an LB early is if they are worried about Leighton Vander Esch’s long-term health.

    • Special teams will be better just because of John Fassel. You can find undrafted free agents who can help in that area. I wouldn’t draft just for ST in the later rounds. Might miss out on a hidden gem like Xavier Woods.

  5. Why Ruiz in the 1st round, probably there in 2nd. Why a TE? Keene comps to Blake Bell, who we got thru FA, which gives us three, which is enough. Cowboys always seem to pick more TEs than necessary. Okwara is a good player, but a little light and not a true Edge guy. The rest of the picks look fine.
    1 K’Lavon Chaisson DE, LSU
    2 Cesar Ruiz C, Michigan
    3 Ashtyn Davis S, Cal
    4 Troy Pride Jr CB, Notre Dame
    5 Quartney Davis WR, Texas A&M
    6 McTelvin Agim DT, Ark
    7 David Woodward LB, Utah St

    • Don’t be surprised if Ruiz gets drafted in the latter part of the first-round. Keene is an upgrade over Schultz and probably challenges Blake Bell for TE2. Okwara is actually bigger and has better length than Chaisson. Both have a similar skill set as well.

      • Hey Brian, you may be right about Okwara. After I posted, I saw somewhere that he goes over 250 lbs. Previously saw him at 240. Somehow these things are not uniform. Still think Ruiz goes in the 2nd, guess we will find out in couple weeks. It seems these mocks change almost daily.

        • Ruiz is somebody I think sneaks into the back end of the first-round, but you’re right he could very well go in the second.

  6. Imo, a defensive playmaker will be the Dal first pick but they will definitely try and trade back to pick up more picks. Speed and playmaking ability please, take it back to the Jimmy Johnson way. Loved Byron but it’s time for some ballhawks back there…

    • The moves the Cowboys and made in free agency should allow them to take the best player available, whether it’s on the offensive or defensive side of the ball.

  7. Im ok with most of those picks, but I REALLY want the kid out of Kentucky Lynn Bowden! Hes gonna be a star in his first year

  8. I believe that we better start looking for a replacement for TS on the O line! He has a few more plays left in him but it seems that he staying injured a lot the last few seasons ! I wonder if there is anymore Eric Williams out there? In my opinion he was the best pass blocker the Cowboys has ever had!

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