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2021 NFL Draft: Way-too-Early 1st-round Favorites for the Dallas Cowboys

As things stand right now through the first half of the season the 2-6 currently hold a Top 5 first-round draft pick (5th overall) in the upcoming . Anything of course can happen between now and the completion of the . The Cowboys could move even higher in the pecking order or even slide down a bit, but are they should have a Top 10 pick by the way they've played this year.

With that in mind, how many of you are excited about the Dallas Cowboys potentially having such a high draft pick and have already started to look at potential targets? I don't know where you stand, but since there's not much else to look forward to in the second half of the season I've already started to look at potential draft targets for the Cowboys. I know it's way-too-early considering a lot can change between now and then, but I just can't help myself.

Today, I thought I'd share with you some of the first-round favorites I believe could be in play for the Dallas Cowboys if they indeed hold onto a Top 5 pick in the upcoming 2021 . Please remember this is without knowing if is retained or not or what potential moves the Cowboys could make in . The players below are the ones I believe are worthy of a Top 5 selection based on potential “needs” as things stand right now.

Without further ado, let's get started…

QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

Trevor Lawrence
Clemson Tigers QB

Surpassing the for the No. 1 overall draft pick seems unreasonable, but it's not completely out of the realm of possibility the way the Dallas Cowboys are playing this season. If that indeed happens drafting Trevor Lawrence is a no-brainer. With the saved money of having a starting QB on a rookie contract the Cowboys can then re-tool and restock the roster through both the draft and free agency. Don't get your hopes up of seeing Trevor Lawrence in a Cowboys uniform though. The Jets are unlikely to win a single game this season.

QB Justin Fields, Ohio State

Justin Fields
QB Justin Fields

Some may view Justin Fields as a consolation prize behind Trevor Lawrence, I believe he's just as talented with just as high a ceiling. For the Dallas Cowboys to have a shot at the Ohio State QB they will likely have to be slotted in the Top 3. Again, that's not completely impossible the way they've played this season. Drafting Fields would be another no-brainer for me. His talent and skill set alone are very similar to Dak Prescott, so the would basically stay the same. It would be somewhat of a lateral move, but the money saved on a rookie contract may be worth it.

OT Penei Sewell, Oregon

Penei Sewell
Oregon Ducks OT

With 's inability to remain healthy and his long-term health now in jeopardy after having neck surgery, the Dallas Cowboys would be wise to consider finding his heir apparent now rather than later. Penei Sewell without a doubt checks all of the boxes NFL teams look for in a blindside protector. He's already an accomplished run blocker and pass protector, but he's only going to get better as he ages and matures. At just 20 years old, he could anchor the Cowboys for the next decade, almost like Tyron Smith has.

LB Micah Parsons, Penn State

Michael Parsons

Micah Parsons is arguably the cleanest prospect in the entire class. He is a superb athlete with special instincts who is equally as good as an off-ball LB or coming off the as a pass rusher. I would personally be hard-pressed not to draft him if I were the Dallas Cowboys, even with and Leighton Vander Esch already in the fold. Parsons is no doubt an upgrade over either and should definitely still be in play considering Smith's decline in play since his 2019 season and LVE's inability to stay healthy.

EDGE Gregory Rousseau, Miami

Gregory Rousseau
Miami Hurricanes EDGE Gregory Rousseau

, , Dorance Armstrong, , and quite possibly (if re-signed) gives the Dallas Cowboys a solid group of pass rushers next season. However, that doesn't mean Gregory Rousseau won't still be in play for them. He has exceptional size (6'5″, 260) and length, and better yet, he knows how to use them to his advantage. He's still developing the technical aspects of his game, but he possesses all of the physical traits to be a difference making type of edge player in the NFL.

CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama

Patrick Surtain II

With a Top 5 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft the Dallas Cowboys should be able to pick and choose from amongst the top rated cornerbacks in the draft class. , Shaun Wade, and II are all competing to be the top CB this year, but the latter is the consensus CB1 right now. He possesses the ideal height/weight/length combination for a player at his position and comes from NFL bloodlines. With the Cowboys he would reunite with his former teammate, , and give them a pair of the most talented they've had in quite some time, possibly ever.

Do you have a first-round favorite in 2021 for the Dallas Cowboys right now?

Brian Martin
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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Erick English

Like you said in the article, Trevor would be a no brainer for the Cowboys at 1. The question is, would they draft Fields at 3 or 4? I definitely would, Dak would be a huge question mark, and also the financial aspect makes sense for the Cowboys to move on from him. This will he an interesting off season if they hv a top 3 pick


Maybe you have never heard of Mel Renfro and Herb Adderley?
The Cowboys must make this a defensive draft. DT has been a problem for years.
But, if there isn’t one that measures commensurately with our draft slot, then CB Patrick Surain
would be my choice. DBs in today’s passing league are a must. Patriots know this.

Michael J Dewitt

If you can’t get one of the 2 Qbs I really like Patrick Surtain II get him back with Diggs!!!

Ruben Trevino

First, you need to remove those players that dont fit on Defense scheme!! Trade those players for draft picks!! Reload on Defense!! If a good offensive lineman falls to your pick ! Rebuild that Offensive Line!!! You have recievers, tight ends ,running backs!!! Rebuilt that Offensive Line!!

Gary b

Without a doubt u draft Lawrence or Fields if given the opportunity. That’s absolute best scenario for the cowboys. But if we can’t which is very possible, I go for the highest rated available DE or LB. I disagree LB isn’t a need as J Smith isn’t any good and LVE is likely to wash out of the league due to injuries. Added bonus Parsons is considered a good pass rushers as well. It’s unlikely we’ll try to outbid other teams for A Smith next yr so DE will be a big priority.

Agree with Brian that a top 5 pick is too high for a DT, plus there are none that are considered studly enuf to snatch one that high. But with that said I know we really need one so I wouldn’t be opposed to one in rd 2 depending how the draft board falls in relation to our team needs. We also need to find T Smith successor. Knight looks solid but I’m not sure he’s the long range solution at that all important
LT position.

Our team needs are (in no particular order) DE/DT/LB/CB/S/OL. We have an abundance of compensatory picks as well so we should come away with some quality players. With 3 starters out of this last draft and the potential for 3-4 more, if we can nail this next draft that will provide a good nucleus of talented young players moving forward.

Hopefully Jerry pushes the right buttons along the way. Alot of important decisions to be made personnel wise. I wish I had more confidence that Jerry was up to the task.

Cowboys fan

I agree with a lot of people in the comments, it would be hard to pass on Lawrence or Fields!! But if we can’t get either of them, I think Patrick Surtain should be the obvious choice!! I don’t agree that we need a LB or DE, just because LVE stays injured all the time and Smith hasn’t played as good lately that doesn’t mean we need a LB, in case y’all have forgotten we do have other capable LBs on the roster, so that is NOT a need!! And as far as DE goes we have plenty of them too, even if we don’t keep Aldon Smith!! There are guys that’s not even getting any playing time right now cause we have so many of them!! But we’re not gonna lose Aldon Smith, if Jerry says Smith is in the future plans, I believe he’ll find a way to keep him on the team!! Idk how anybody could choose anything with such a high draft pick on anything other than a DB with how bad our secondary is, not to mention the fact that every one of them will be free agents after this season!! The only starters we’ll have left on the team after the season is Trevon Diggs and Anthony Brown, and safety Donovan Wilson…. If you consider him a starter!! And everybody else will be gone!! Idk about all you other people saying that LB and DE are bigger needs, but it looks to me like CB and safety are the biggest needs!! I can understand if a DT is on the team needs, but there’s not a single one in this draft worth taking that high in the 1st round!! So the only obvious choice is to get the best CB in the draft and go from there!! The only way I wouldn’t choose a CB is if for some reason we can’t get a high enough pick to get Lawrence or Fields, and maybe even Penei Sewell!! And unless Caleb Farley jumps Patrick Surtain for the best CB in the draft, those are the only players I would choose over Patrick Surtain!!


Trey Lance is better than both Lawrence and fields if they draft a QB that’s who the pick should be

Michelangelo Merino

If the cowboys get the #1 they have to consider trading back (still within the top 8) and collecting extra draft picks. Cowboys scouts draft well and this could be their biggest draft capital hall since the Walker trade. They could easily get 3 firsts and 3 seconds from a team the package would have to be bigger than what the ram and eagles paid for Goff and Wentz respectively. An example would be DAL @1, NYJ @2, JAX @3 say JAX or NY want to secure picking Lawerence see what they’d be willing to give up. If JAX saddles up to pay the kings ransom take it trade back to the 3rd and draft the OT Sewell from Oregon.
Or Dallas could keep the pick Draft Lawrence and trade Dak to A team that’s literally a QB away from being dangerous CHI, IND, NE, SF, ATL, CLE, could all be willing to give up a 1st or 2nd for Dak.
But with no trade involved or #1 my preferred Prospects are OT Sewell, CB Surtain II, CB Farley,


If the cowboys have the 5th pick. Would it be the kiss of death to spend draft capital to move up a few spots to get fields at 2-4 or even to 1 to get Lawrence? Sacrifice some good picks to land your (hopefully) future QB not named dak Prescott? I’ve always pulled for dak even from day 1. But it’s been proven time and time again when you dish out top QB money that it hurts your ability to sign high caliber players at other crucial spots.
Financially it just wouldn’t be smart to sign dak longterm esp after the injury. 5 yrs out of Lawrence or fields on their rookie deal and build the defense and I believe the cowboys wouldn’t have to spend a few yrs rebuilding.


If a good enough NT is available in Round 2 that would be a good place to go. Our DTs are consistently pushed into our LBs laps. Such a pick would make for a better evaluation of the future of Smith and LVE at LB. It would also give us a player that fits into both a 3-4 and 4-3 defense, particularly if Nolan is kept by the Cowboys.

krishna deo

I’m really not a huge fan of Dak. He is a good, not great QB. I think the Cowboys need to draft Fields, fire McCarthy and Nolan, hire Urban Meyers and be ready to win Super Bowls!! Meyers can bring in Luke Fickle as DC.

Jasper J

The LB Parsons or the OT Sewell would meet the best player/greatest need sweet spot. However, if Dallas is picking 1 or 2 and assuming a healthy Prescott would fetch a top ten trade partner, then draft the QB and trade Prescott. I like Fields over Lawrence but either is a high probability success.
Track record of CB taken in top ten is not greater than lower round CBS often turn into all pros.

I think, if healthy, Prescott is great and can lead to a SuperBowl but the value of the rookie star balanced against the cap realities do unfortunately taking the QB rather than the best player/need.


No mention of trading the 1st, 2nd pick, or Dak??? If you can get multiple picks for the 1st or 2nd why not do that. Or if your sold on one of the QBs, trade Dak. Dak will get franchised for around 37 million so I don’t think is unreasonable a team can take on that salary if they have no current reliable QB. And he would at least garner a 1st round pick and possibly a decent player with a higher salary to complete the trade. Me personally I try to trade back at 1 or 2, sign Dak and go from there. Dak proved he is a leader and a top 5 qb this year. Rookie QBs are risky for a team with a win now mentality

Ryan A Gura

Without a doubt swell would be pick at 3 collins moves in to LG where he started tyron can move to rt. The. O line would be the best again and tyron gets hurt again Connor goes in at rt or back at LG n Collins goes to rt tons of flexibility

Kirby Newton

Draft a offensive line in 1 round


Interesting to see how more and more folks are thinking about Prescott as being trade bait, and drafting an elite QB to take over to save cap money to retain and/or acquire key players to build a SOLID TEAM. Some commented about this some time ago.

What is the worst position on the team right now, not including injured players. QB. So one can make a strong case for drafting a QB in 1st rd. Too many questions surrounding Prescott, now with the injury, and the never ending contract drama. Is he going to finally sign a long term deal, or will he be franchise tagged again, or will he be the same player after the injury, or is he good enough to take us to a championship?. IMHO, this merry-go-round has gone on long enough. So if Lawrence or Fields are there, it is a no brainer. Start fresh, save the money and rebuild other lacking key positions. I think, at this juncture, this is best path for our team to move forward, in time, to a much higher level.

All the other players mentioned are worthy of consideration. If those QBs are off the board, and considering our presumed draft position, then Sewell, Parsons, Surtain or Farley. Drafting down is also an option. Of course, we are in need of a run stopping DT or two. Tedarrall Slaton, Tyler Shelvin, or Jordan Davis would work there.

Jasper J

Good discussion all around. In my mind, the discussion of trading Prescott is not a matter of him not being elite, but rather that he is high value by any NFL parameter and would garner lots of picks while saving lots of money. He is too good to not franchise because another team would snatch him in an instant. However, it is also clear that he is not the best QB in the NFL and the Cowboys did not want to make him the highest paid QB. The injury of course clouds everything further. There is no guarantee that either Fields or Lawrence will be better than Prescott or “elite” – it is just that the value may be better given the potential. If Prescott is healthy, is under contract of some sort and could be traded for round 1 pick and/or multiple picks then perhaps it would be worth it. If the Cowboys do not pick 1 or 2 and have a shot at Fields or Lawrence then no way do they trade Prescott. Lance is really a toss up, similar to Jordan Love, as Martin says, only draft him to sit behind a starter to develop and for future.

If not picking top two then definitely keep Prescott and aim for best available matched to need – Defensive Interior (DT, LB, S). At the moment, it doesn’t seem that a DT or Safety are top five worthy so that leaves LB with the second most important position, LT, as the other option.

I really hope that they work the draft to pick an impact safety in the top three rounds. Very undervalued by everyone except the Cowboys it seems. Solid, smart, aggressive safeties are critical to communication on defense and covering for teammates in both run and pass defense. I really believe that the Dallas current top four corners (Diggs, Awuzie, Brown, Lewis) are not horrendous, though the backups have been poor. The real secondary deficiency has been the lack of an exceptional, team leader safety to solidify the group and keep them on the same page and make impact plays.

Gary b

If we can’t get Lawrence or Fields…I would take either Micah Parsons or Penei Sewell. Sewell is thought by some to be the best LT prospect in the last 10 yrs. A beast like him instantly improves the running and passing game…and fills a need…since we can’t rely on T Smith anymore. Parsons is a Big athletic LB who could make plays all over the field and also has big upside as a pass rusher…another big need for the cowboys. And yes LB is a need….as J Smith is a liability and nobody expects LVE to stay healthy.

2nd rd and beyond …should address one of the above
and DE…CB…DT…SAFETY. Should probably double up on a few of those as we have an abundance of picks. Lot of pressure on the front off to nail this draft . This draft and the success of our last one will go a long way towards determining our future.

Amber Orick

If we end up with a top 3 pick i would trade back to acquire multiple picks…but I would not trade out of the top 5 or 6 I do believe P. surtain II would b a great pickup.We do not need another Ezekiel elliot type draft pick this year,shoulda drafted Jalen Ramsey.

Victor Gardner

If OT Sewell, LB Parsons, and Edge Rosseau are
gone at 5. Then we go best CB between Surtain, Wade and Farley.


Obviously, this all depends on where we are slotted in next year’s draft. The Cowboys have many holes to fill. Offensively and defensively. We can NOT trade Dak as he will be a free agent unless Jerry does a really dumb thing and signs him to a ridiculous contract. Don’t see Stephen letting Dad do that.

Are the Jets firmly behind getting rid of Sam Darnold?? He is pretty good, but playing behind a terrible OL and no weapons at all. The Jets need to trade out of that spot to get the big OL Sewell. If we sit at number 3 that means that Lawrence is most likely gone at number 1 and we will have the pick of Fields, Sewell, Parsons among a few others. I don’t know where I stand on Fields. I know he’s a good player, but is he an NFL elite player…..? He certainly could be a Pro Bowl caliber QB. If we have a shot at the #1 pick in the 2021 Draft it is a NO-Brainer to select Lawrence. I’ve always wondered what it would have been like to have Andrew Luck instead of Morris Claiborne at #6. Stephen Gilmore went at #10. UGH! I would have given two first rounders and two third rounders for Luck. He was a perfect fit for the Cowboys. Oh well….could have selected that little QB from Wisconsin in the third round. He isn’t bad for the Seahawks. Way off topic!!!!!

I really like the LB M. Parsons. He could be a Von Miller type LB. I realize those comparisons should be kept at bay. Jaylon just looks lost out there this year. Always late filling a hole, taking bad angles and getting torched by most receiving threats. With his injury, I’m really astonished that he made it to the NFL and is starting. He is a good person and very hard worker. LVE is hurt all the time. Availability is of upmost importance along with talent. I know we need DT, CBs and Ss. There are a lot of holes on this team.

Edmund Williams

We already have a QB. Draft Surtain or find a trade partner. We don’t need Trevor nor Fields.


I did a mock draft yesterday. The Cowboys took Surtain at 5 and got DT Christian Barmore with the 2nd round pick. Personally I don’t like it. If Trevor Fields Sewell are somehow available they are immediately the pick. I like Trey Lance too but not at 5. I’d trade down if the big 3 are off the board.

Gary b

Hindsight is always 20-20 especially with the draft. It’s a crapshoot and u never know which players will evolve into keepers. This especially applies to the QB position which is by far the most difficult position to master. To be a contender u absolutely have to have a quality QB, and there is no way around that.

I like Fields but alot of people liked D. Haskins when he came out of the same school, and he is a borderline bust. They look like similar prospects to me. I would still draft him, but I wouldn’t say it’s a slam dunk. Lawrence on the other hand looks like the real deal.

More then anything else we need playmakers on defense. This should be priority #1 but picking as high as we will be and having a surplus of compensatory picks we should be able to address several of our needs. We need to hit on this draft in similar fashion to last yr where all 7 draft picks made the roster and produced 3 starters, in addition to 3-4 more potential starters. Potentially pickings in the top #5 every rd and having 10 picks we should be able to surpass last yrs quality draft.

Gary b

Plus I’ll add that many times these QBs come from powerhouse schools with talent at every position, including a great OL and running game with weapons all over the field. You have to decipher did the talent around them make them look better than they really are?

They will be drafted to the worst team in the league where the talent level will not be as pronounced. Can they elevate a bad team? Do they have the moxy to withstand a few difficult yrs? All things to consider.

Jasper J

Agree with Gary B.


I don’t think we should try to draft a qb at our 1st pick. We should save our cap space for Dak Prescott because he has clearly proven that he is the glue to this offense. I think we should sign Dak ( or franchise tag him) and use the remaining cap space on defense. Then we should draft a Defensive Back to cover up the absence of Byron Jones and the other defensive backs that might leave in free agency and take a lineman in the 2nd round.

Chad Proehl

We have a QB “IF” he gets signed to the right price tag. We simply can NOT pay Dak $40M/yr and have a competitive team going forward. We have one of the highest paid OT, OG, RB, DE and LB in the league and yet were 8-8 last year and were trending that way this year. If he continues to want that price I have no problem letting him try to find a suiter. Who is going to pay him that kind of money?? Who? Now with that said I do like him as a QB and he seems like a good leader. He needs a D behind him and an OL in front of him. We simply can not ride him to the Super Bowl without some major help. We need to get those two WALLS solidified before we dish out all that cash.

Now if you somehow pull off the first pick in the draft, you must select Lawrence and not think twice. Kid is a once in a generation talent. Your eyes tell you that every time he takes the field. He will make us better not only by his superior talent but by getting a rookie 5 year deal so we can go get the talent we need to get this team right again. After thinking about it for a couple days, I agree with a few of you regarding Fields. He is really good, but maybe not a generational game changer like TL or a Top 5 pick. I obviously could be wrong on Fields, but I believe he is in the mold of Dak.

If we can not get TL then depending where we’re picking in the Top 5 we would still want to go with OT Sewell, LB Parsons or the best cover corner coming out.

I don’t see us winning another game this year with who we have out on the field right now. IF the Jets can somehow win a couple games we may have a shot at #1, but it’s pretty slim watching them.

Mark Weeden

I wouldn’t be surprised to see them take Sewell. And if they do the offense should be really good next year.


LVE and Jaylon Smith are not good LB whether they are healthy or not. Neither one fill the whole with aggression or make many TFL. They are not instinctive, reacts slow to run plays and are not good tacklers in the open field.

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