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2021 NFL Draft: “Pet Cats” by Position for the Dallas Cowboys

“Pet cats” for the Dallas Cowboys in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Everybody has their own favorite prospects or “pet cats” who they’d like to see the Dallas Cowboys draft at some point in the 2021 NFL Draft. With just a little over a month to go until the big event of the offseason I thought I’d share with you one player from each position who I’d absolutely love to join America’s Team.

I really tried to be as realistic as possible with my selections. I tried to base each of the players I picked on the Dallas Cowboys needs, where they are slotted to pick in each round, where they might realistically target a particular position in each round, and where each player is projected to get drafted.

For example, I don’t see the Dallas Cowboys targeting a running back or tight end for that matter very early in the draft. Because of that my “pet cats” for those positions I targeted in the later rounds, whereas positions of greater need like cornerback I targeted earlier. Keep that in mind as you take a look at some of my current “pet cats” for the Cowboys.

QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State

Trey Lance
North Dakota State Bison QB Trey Lance

The Dallas Cowboys won’t need another QB if they can reach long-term extension with Dak Prescott. But, if worse comes to worse and that doesn’t happen Trey Lance is the player I’d love to be his eventual replacement. Lance’s arm strength and athleticism gives him the highest ceiling of any QB in the 2021 draft class in my opinion. His dual threat ability would give the Cowboys a weapon at QB similar to what the Baltimore Ravens have an Lamar Jackson.

Draft projection: Early 1st-round

RB Chris Evans, Michigan

Chris Evans
Michigan Wolverines RB Chris Evans

The Dallas Cowboys don’t need to invest much, if any, draft capital in the running back position with both Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard locked in as their RB1 and RB2. Adding a late-round RB to the mix though in the 2021 NFL Draft isn’t out of the question, making Chris Evans someone I think they could be interested in. I love his vision, contact balance, and cutting ability. I think he’s capable of being in every-down back in the NFL and a potential starter in the not so distant future.

Draft projection: 6th-UFDA

WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Iowa

Ihmir Smith-Marsette
Iowa Hawkeyes WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette

In Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb the Dallas Cowboys have their Top 3 WRs set for the 2021 season. The depth behind them though is a bit concerning. That’s where Ihmir Smith-Marsette comes in. He is a versatile WR capable playing outside or in the slot and an excellent special teams player in the return game as well. He’s a very similar player to DeVonta Smith in my opinion and he’ll likely be a Top 10 selection this year.

Draft projection: 6th-round

TE Shaun Beyer, Iowa

Shaun Beyer
Iowa Hawkeyes TE Shaun Beyer

The Dallas Cowboys don’t necessarily need another tight end with Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz in the mix for the 2021 season, but upgrading the depth behind them wouldn’t be a bad idea. Shaun Beyer does just that in my opinion. He was buried on the depth chart and rarely utilized at Iowa, but I believe he has appealing traits as both a blocker and receiver. I think he’s similar to Schultz, who he could replace as the Cowboys TE2 as soon as next season when he becomes a free agent.

Draft projection: 6th-UFDA

IOL Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC

Alijah Vera-Tucker
USC Trojans OL Alijah Vera-Tucker

Alijah Vera-Tucker is my favorite offensive lineman in the entire 2021 draft class and someone I would absolutely love to see join the Dallas Cowboys. I believe he is a plug-and-play starter at either guard or left tackle in the NFL and has Pro Bowl potential as a rookie. The Cowboys offensive line isn’t getting any younger and injuries are starting become a problem. In Vera-Tucker they’d have a versatile player who could play multiple positions at a high level.

Draft projection: mid-1st round

OT James Hudson, Cincinnati

James Hudson
Cincinnati Bearcats OT James Hudson

All signs point to Tyron Smith and La’el Collins both making a full recovery from their season-ending injuries last year, but that shouldn’t stop the Dallas Cowboys from upgrading the depth behind them. James Hudson is a former DT turned OT who I’d like to see Dallas add to the mix. He’s still a little raw as a LT prospect, but his blend of size, length, mobility, power, and aggressiveness make him moldable piece of clay worth developing. I think he could be Tyron Smith’s eventual replacement.

Draft projection: 2nd-3rd round

EDGE Ronnie Perkins, Oklahoma

Ronnie Perkins
Oklahoma Sooners EDGE Ronnie Perkins

The Dallas Cowboys should have a really good duo at DE in DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory and a solid backup in Dorance Armstrong in 2021, but not much beyond that. They could really use an influx of youth and athleticism at the position and Ronnie Perkins offers just that. I absolutely love the intangibles he brings to the table. His length, bend, flexibility, relentlessness, and powerful hands would make him an excellent fit as both a run and pass defender with the Cowboys.

Draft projection: 2nd round

IDL Alim McNeill, NC State

Alim McNeill
NC State IDL Alim McNeill

Antwaun Woods has been solid and both Trysten Hill and Neville Gallimore have shown flashes, but none have been good enough to the point where the Dallas Cowboys shouldn’t try to upgrade the position. Alim McNeill is a powerful interior defensive lineman who could do just that. At 6’2″, 315 pounds he’s shown he’s more than capable of controlling and resetting the line of scrimmage and has the upside as a penetrating/disruptive force against the run or pass as well.

Draft projection: 2nd-3rd round

LB Jamin Davis, Kentucky

Jamin Davis
Kentucky Wildcats LB Jamin Davis

There’s reason to be concerned with the Dallas Cowboys linebackers heading into 2021. Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch are both coming off disappointing seasons and the depth behind them is unproven and close to nonexistent. They need LB help and I believe Jamin Davis can provide just that. He can play MLB or WILL, although he projects best at the latter. He is a long, twitchy LB with good sideline to sideline speed who reminds me of Darius Leonard.

Draft projection: 2nd-3rd round

CB Ifeatu Melifonwu, Syracuse

Ifeatu Melifonwu
Syracuse Orange CB Ifeatu Melifonwu

The Dallas Cowboys will be looking for another tall, lengthy corner to pair with last year’s second-round pick Trevon Diggs at some point in the 2021 NFL Draft and Ifeatu Melifonwu fits those parameters perfectly. At 6’2″, 215 pounds, he is exactly what Dan Quinn likes in his outside CBs. Melifonwu is a physical, fluid moving CB who excels in press-man coverage. I believe he is a perfect fit in Quinn’s heavy Cover 1-3 coverage scheme and would pair nicely with Diggs.

Draft projection: Late 1st-early 2nd round

SS Talanoa Hufanga, USC

Talanoa Hufanga
USC Trojans SS Talanoa Hufanga

Donovan Wilson’s play last season has earned him the right to start at strong safety for the Dallas Cowboys in 2021, but that doesn’t mean he should go unchallenged. Not only could Talanoa Hufanga push him for the starting gig as a rookie, but he could be a better fit in Dan Quinn’s system. Hufanga is a difference maker in and around the line of scrimmage as a box safety due to his violent tackling ability and effectiveness as a blitzer. He could be the next Kam Chancellor for Dan Quinn.

Draft projection: 3rd-4th rounds

FS Andre Cisco, Syracuse

Andre Cisco
Syracuse Orange FS Andre Cisco

The Dallas Cowboys need to find a true centerfield type free safety to patrol the backend of their defense for Dan Quinn’s heavy Cover 1-3 scheme. Andre Cisco is such a player with proven production (13 INT’s and 14 passes defensed in 24 games) at the college level that will hopefully carry over to the NFL. He’s a bit of a freelancer and has a tendency to blow coverages because of it, but if he can clean that up he’s exactly the type of ball hawking, single-high FS the Cowboys need.

Draft projection: 3rd-round

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. Interesting choices. I could just give you the list of my favorite players, but that wouldn’t be realistic because most of them will be gone by the end of Round 2!! So, here are the guys I think will be available when the Cowboys are on the clock (including compensatory picks) thru the end of Round 5.

    CB Caleb Farley, LB Jabril Cox, RB Najee Harris, S Hamsah Nasirildeen, TE Brevin Jordan, DI Jay Tufele, WR Amari Rogers

  2. You about to pay Big-Time $$$ to Quarterback! You need to protect your him and open running lanes,!! Need to draft protection for your Quarterback!! The draft should be Offensive Line!

  3. PS, would you add your take on their round projections? The USC OT and ‘Cuse CB are 1st/high 2nd projections by many.

    • I think Vera-Tucker would be a good trade back target in the 1st and I think Melifonwu could still be there in the 2nd-round for the Cowboys.

  4. Agreed with the Trey Lance part dak asking for too much with the decreased salary cap so non-exclusive franchise tag for dak woulld be best for dallas and draft trey lance with the 10th pick

  5. Trey lance would be good bc dak asking too much with decreased salary cap so use the non-exclusive tag on dak and get the 2 first round picks in compensation and draft lance with the 10th pick

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