Nothing seems to pick up spirits after disappointing season more than the potential free agency and the NFL Draft brings each offseason. This especially rings true for the Dallas Cowboys.
The Dallas Cowboys had a disastrous 2020 season. Early injuries and poor play pretty much doomed them from the get-go and unfortunately they were never able to recover. But, a new year brings new hope and 2021 is full of possibilities.
Free agency and the 2021 NFL Draft will weigh heavily on how this team plays next season. The Dallas Cowboys have a lot of holes to fill on their roster and how they go about plugging those holes will determine their future success.
With that in mind, I thought we had some fun today and use The Draft Network's mock draft simulator to attempt to upgrade Dallas' roster. According to TDN, the Cowboys will have 10 draft picks to work with in each of the seven rounds.
Continue reading below to see how things turned out…
Round 1 (10th overall)
CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
Caleb Farley is a popular player being linked to the Dallas Cowboys right now with the 10th overall pick. As far as what NFL teams look for in a CB he checks all of the boxes as far as size, speed, and athleticism are concerned. Because of that he may be off the board already by the time Dallas is on the clock. If he still available though the Cowboys shouldn't waste any time writing his name on the draft card or turning it in.
Round 2 (42nd overall)
OT Alex Leatherwood, Alabama
The Dallas Cowboys sadly can no longer depend on Tyron Smith staying healthy. No one really knows how he's going to recuperate from neck surgery. Dallas needs to seriously consider finding Smith's replacement sooner than later. Alex Leatherwood could very well be that player. He's gone up against the best of the best in the SEC and come out on top more times than not. Making the transition to the NFL should be relatively easy for him.
Round 3 (74th overall)
LB Chazz Surratte, North Carolina
Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch are both coming off disappointing 2020 seasons and depth behind them is virtually nonexistent. The Dallas Cowboys would be wise to invest in LB help early and Chazz Surratte is an intriguing option. The former QB turned LB is one of the more interesting players in the entire draft and has all the intangibles/tools needed to contribute early, possibly start as a rookie. He's just so happens to be one of my favorite LBs in the entire draft class.
Round 3 (99th overall)
S Andre Cisco, Syracuse
With Donovan Wilson all but locked in as the starting strong safety next year the Dallas Cowboys can shift their focus to finding his counterpart at free safety. Andre Cisco should be that player in my opinion. He has elite ball production skills and led the ACC in interceptions in both 2018 and 2019. Unfortunately his 2020 season was cut short due to a season-ending ACL injury, but he should be fully recuperated by the time the draft evaluation process gets underway.
Round 4 (111th overall)
QB Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati
The Dallas Cowboys had serious in-depth conversations about Jalen Hurts last year, which leads me to believe they wouldn't hesitate selecting a QB they like at some point in the draft. Desmond Ridder could be such a QB. He has dual threat ability just like Dak Prescott and a live arm to make all the throws in the NFL. His value as a backup and potential trade asset down the road outweighs what a veteran would bring in experience in my opinion. Plus, the offense wouldn't need to change much if Prescott had to miss time for whatever reason.
Round 4 (136th overall)
DT Tedarrell Slaton, Florida
The Dallas Cowboys need to upgrade their defensive line in the worst way. They finished dead last in the league in 2020 stopping the run for a reason. Tedarrell Slaton has the potential to step in and immediately help in that area from Day 1. He is the big bodied, space eating DT this defense has missed for years now. His addition would help keep the LBs clean to make plays behind him and free up the Cowboys pass rushers as well. His ability to clog up the middle would be a huge asset.
Round 5 (174th overall)
EDGE Patrick Johnson, Tulane
At this point in the draft I'm looking for players with starting potential who can play special teams and provide depth while they develop. Patrick Johnson is a player who has all of that and more. During his time at Tulane he was used as an off-ball LB, an edge rusher, and even played on the interior of the defensive line as well. He is a developmental prospect with upside who should excel on special teams, which only adds to his value in my opinion.
Round 6 (185th overall)
C Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa
The Dallas Cowboys have found their starting center of the future in Tyler Biadasz, but with Joe Looney possibly leaving in free agency they could use some depth behind him. Tyler Linderbaum is a formal defensive tackle turned center who is tapped full potential. Like a lot of Iowa offensive lineman he is well coached and has a background in wrestling and it shows up on tape. He's naturally still little raw, however, I believe he has starting potential down the road.
Round 6 (219th overall)
DT Bobby Brown III, Texas A&M
I decided to double dip at DT in this mock draft in order to hopefully upgrade the Dallas Cowboys defensive line. Bobby Brown is another big bodied, space eating DT who has proven he's more than capable of holding the point of attack against some of the best offensive lineman in the SEC. His motor runs a little hot and cold at times, but I believe he would do really well in a rotational role with the previously mentioned Tedarrell Slaton with the Dallas Cowboys.
Round 7 (231st overall)
CB Josh Jobe, Alabama
I personally have Josh Jobe ranked much higher than this, but the Dallas Cowboys would be getting a steal if he still available at this point in the draft. He's a big physical CB who took over Trevon Diggs' starting job in Alabama in 2020. He is a little tight hipped and will probably struggle with shifty/speedy WRs in the NFL, which is why I believe his future may be at safety. It just happens the Cowboys could use depth at both positions. Plus, is an outstanding special teams player.