The 2020 NFL Draft will officially be my sixth year covering the Dallas Cowboys. I’ve watched the big event prior to that on numerous occasions, but never have I been more confused and excited than I am this year. Due to the entire Coronavirus/COVID 19 pandemic, this year’s draft will be like nothing we have ever seen before.
The entire draft process after the NFL Scouting Combine was pretty much nonexistent. No private workouts, very few pro days, zero 30 pre-draft visits, and no Dallas Day means we don’t have the same kind of information about potential prospects the Cowboys could be targeting as we’ve had in years past. Because of that, we have absolutely no idea what the Cowboys plan is.
The amount of thoughts running through my head right now are endless. There’s still so many unanswered questions prior to the kickoff of the first-round of the draft tonight. With that in mind, I thought I would share with you some the things I can’t quite seem to get out of my head.
One: The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the Dallas Cowboys and the 2020 NFL Draft is Mike McCarthy and his new coaching staff. What kind of role will they have in the draft process? How much power will they be given? We’ve seen coaches in the past like Rod Marinelli pass up on more talented players because they didn’t fit into the mold he wanted for his defense (TJ Watt/Taco Charlton), will this year be any different? It’s definitely something to keep an eye on once the draft gets underway.
Two: Let’s stick with this train of thought a little longer. Mike McCarthy has said that he Dallas Cowboys are sticking with the 4-3 defensive scheme, but new DC Mike Nolan will incorporate some 3-4 principles. What exactly does that mean as far as drafting defensive players is concerned? We’ve already seen them take a different approach at defensive tackle by beefing up the interior with Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe, but what other changes could we see? More athletic, scheme diverse pass rushers? It’s been discussed, but will they follow through?
Three: Travis Frederick’s retirement caught a lot of us around Cowboys Nation offguard, but I’m not quite sure the Dallas Cowboys weren’t preparing for that possibility. Bringing back at Joe Looney was a big indication of that and drafting Connor McGovern a year ago makes a little more since now as well. They say they are comfortable sticking with status quo, but what they say and do in the draft could paint a different picture. I don’t know about you, but I will be keeping a close eye on potential Travis Frederick replacements throughout the draft.
Four: One of the biggest headlines for the Dallas Cowboys throughout the draft process has been how they plan on replacing Byron Jones and upgrading their secondary. They re-signed Anthony Brown and added free agent Maurice Canaday, but what’s next? Do they feel comfortable enough with what they currently have on the roster to not draft a cornerback early? Is the starting trio of Chidobe Awuzie, Anthony Brown, Jourdan Lewis good enough for Mike Nolan’s defense? Will they be looking for a plug-and-play starter or developmental CB?
*This way of thinking applies to the safety position as well.
Five: Lastly, let’s talk about the unknown surrounding the Dallas Cowboys first-round draft pick (No. 17). In any other year we would have a pretty good idea of who the Cowboys would be targeting, but that’s not the case this year. We don’t even know what position. I think we can safely say quarterback and running back are off the table, but everything else is probably in play. That should give the Cowboys plenty of options to choose from. The most interesting thing here though is whether or not they want to make a move by trading up or down. Personally, I’m team trade down.