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2021 NFL Mock Draft: Dallas Cowboys Trade Down to Select…

Way too early first-round 2021 NFL mock draft.

With the Dallas Cowboys on their bye week and nearly all of the rest of the NFL heading into Week 10, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to do a way to early first-round 2021 NFL mock draft. After all, the Cowboys currently hold the third overall pick. Why not go ahead and take a look to see what they could do with that?

There are number of different directions the Dallas Cowboys could go with their pick, but their insistence on sticking with Dak Prescott as their quarterback for the foreseeable future excludes that position for me right now. With that in mind, let’s take a look to see what other direction they could go.

  • Teams are slotted to pick based on the current NFL standings

1. New York Jets – QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

With no ties to Sam Darnold General Manager Joe Douglas decides to start his Jets rebuild with Trevor Lawrence.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars – QB Justin Fields, Ohio State

Jake Luton was an actually bad in Week 9, but it likely wasn’t enough to sway the Jaguars from drafting Justin Fields to be there QB for the foreseeable future.

3. Cincinnati Bengals (Trade) – OT Penei Sewell, Oregon

After investing the No. 1 pick in QB Joe Burrow last year the Bengals decide to trade up to take the best LT in the 2021 draft to protect their investment.

4. New York Giants – WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU

Instead of moving on from the turnover prone QB, Daniel Jones, the Giants decide to give him another weapon.

5. Washington Football Team – QB Zach Wilson, BYU

Dwanye Haskins is already out the door and Alex Smith is 37. There’s a lot to like about Zach Wilson and Ron Rivera belief so to making him a surprise Top 5 pick.

6. Los Angeles Chargers – EDGE Gregory Rousseau, Miami

With Melvin Ingram set to hit free agency the Chargers decide to add a new counterpart for Joey Bosa in Gregory Rousseau.

7. Miami Dolphins – WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama

Reunited and it feels so good. Miami gives their new young QB Tua Tagovailoa a weapon he already knows how to utilize in Jaylen Waddle.

8. Dallas Cowboys (Trade) – CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama

Patrick Surtain II
Alabama Crimson Tide CB Patrick Surtain II

Trading down from 3 to 8 with the Bengals should not only net them an extra 2nd and 3rd-round draft picks, but it also lands them the top-ranked CB in the 2021 draft class. Reuniting Patrick Surtain with Trevon Diggs should give them two of the most athletic and lengthy cornerbacks in the entire NFL.

9. Carolina Panthers – LB Micah Parsons, Penn State

Micah Parsons is a true blue-chip prospect and arguably one of the best players in the draft. He is a do it all LB the Panthers can deploy in a number of ways.

10. Atlanta Falcons – EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan

The Falcons recently gave up on former first-round pick Takk McKinley but don’t wait long to find his replacement in Kwity Paye.

11. Detroit Lions – QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State

Trey Lance might benefit from sitting a season by Matt Stafford, but if the Lions choose to move on from there bettering QB this offseason Lance could start right away as well.

12. Minnesota Vikings – IOL Wyatt Davis, Ohio State

The Vikings choose to make Dalvin Cook’s job even easier by upgrading their interior offensive line with Wyatt Davis.

13. New England Patriots – TE Kyle Pitts, Florida

Although the Patriots QB position is probably unsettled heading into 2021, they decide to upgrade their passing game with the supertalented TE Kyle Pitts.

14. Denver Broncos – CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech

Von Miller’s future may be in doubt a bit in Denver, but I don’t think the Broncos could pass up a chance to upgrade their secondary with a ball hawking type of CB like Caleb Farley.

15. San Francisco 49ers – CB Shaun Wade, Ohio State

The 49ers biggest weakness right now is arguably the QB position, but their secondary probably comes in second. Shaun Wade’s inside/out ability can help with that.

16. Chicago Bears – OT Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame

The Bears desperately need to upgrade their OL and Notre Dame as a rich first-round history of helping teams do just that. Liam Eichenberg should keep the tradition alive.

17. Cleveland Browns – EDGE Joseph Ossai, Texas

The Browns at another Texas made EDGE rusher in Joseph Ossai to pair with Myles Garrett (Texas A&M) to upgrade their pass rush.

18. Indianapolis Colts – WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama

DeVonta Smith would be a perfect fit in Frank Reich’s West Coast offense. His fearless caring his routes anywhere on the field.

19. Philadelphia Eagles – IOL Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma

The Eagles probably need more help on the defensive side of the ball, but protecting either Carson Wentz or Jalen Hurts might just be more of a already.

20. Arizona Cardinals – RB Travis Etienne, Clemson

Kenyan Drake and Chase Edmonds aren’t really get the job done in the running game, so the Cardinals decided to continue adding talent around Kyler Murray in Travis Etienne.

21. Miami Dolphins – LB Dylan Moses, Alabama

Miami upgraded their offense earlier with one Alabama player (Jaylen Waddle) and decide to do so again on the defensive side of the ball with Dylan Moses.

22. Jacksonville Jaguars – OT Samuel Cosmi, Texas

After taking Justin Fields earlier the Jaguars decide to upgrade their offensive line by drafting a new blindside protector in Samuel Cosmi.

23. Las Vegas Raiders – OL Trey Smith, Tennessee

The Raiders like a nasty, physical streak in their offensive lineman and Trey Smith carries just such a demeanor.

24. Tennessee Titans – IDL Jordan Davis, Georgia

Tennessee could use a pass rusher to replace the underwhelming Jadeveon Clowney, inside a 6’6″, 330 pound DT upgrades their defensive front just as well.

25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – DT Christian Barmore, Alabama

With Ndamukong Suh set to hit free agency the Buccaneers draft his replacement in Christian Barmore to help their defensive line.

26. New York Jets – WR Rashad Bateman, Minnesota

Joe Douglas decides to surround his new QB Trevor Lawrence with as much talent as possible and get some another weapon in the passing game Rashad Bateman.

27. Baltimore Ravens – TE Pat Freiermuth, Penn State

Baltimore could no doubt look to add more WR help for Lamar Jackson, but they do love their TEs and Pat Freiermuth is a do it all weapon they can definitely utilize in a number of ways.

28. Buffalo Bills – LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame

With questions surrounding Matt Milano the Bills decide to draft one of the most athletically gifted LBs and the entire draft, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.

29. Green Bay Packers – WR Terrace Marshall Jr., LSU

Aaron Rodgers’ time in Green Bay might be running short, but the Packers finally get him some WR help in the 6’3″, 200 pound Terrace Marshall Jr.

30. Kansas City Chiefs – OL Alex Leatherwood, Alabama

Kansas City needs to do their best to protect their high-priced QB and Alex Leatherwood’s guard/tackle versatility would do just that.

31. New Orleans Saints – QB Mac Jones, Alabama

The future of the QB position with the Saints is in question after the 2020 season, but Mac Jones could settle any uneasiness in New Orleans.

32. Pittsburgh Steelers – CB Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State

Asante Samuel Jr. is an instinctive, twitchy CB with NFL bloodlines who would thrive in the slot for the Steelers.

What do you think?


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. Brian, nice trade down and mock overall. This is the best case scenario for the Cowboys in my opinion. We need to stay in that top 3 slot of the draft so that we can be a prime trade back spot for a team looking for Sewell or another QB. We need all the top 50-80 picks we can get in this draft in order to bolster our defense. Even though I’m not thrilled about giving Dak $40M+ a year in a potential new deal, I think Jerry and Co are dead set on keeping him in Dallas longterm. I’ve seen other mocks giving us Parsons or even Pitts in the 1st and I think that’s absolutely ridiculous. Both are excellent prospects, but you don’t take someone that early who doesn’t play one of the “money positions.” CB is a huge need for us as well with the potential loss of Awuzie and Lewis after this year.

    Curious: How do you compare Surtain vs Farley from VT? Those seem to be the top 2 corners this year, with some arguing Jaycee Horn from South Carolina should also be in the discussion. Hard to compare the first two this year with Farley opting out. Think Farley has better speed and overall athleticism, but can’t argue with Surtain covering SEC receivers each week, along with his pedigree.

    • Right now I have Surtain and Farley ranked pretty similar. I think I like the Alabama CB just a little better because he doesn’t have the injury history Farley does. I tend to shy away from players with an injury history with high draft picks.

  2. Always confuses when fans say they don’t want to sign Dak to a big contract after watching football the last few weeks.

  3. ZACH- All due respect but I would have no problem drafting LB Micah Parsons from Penn St. He is considered by many to be the best defensive player in the draft. Great playmaker who is great in coverage against the run and as a pass rusher. We need a multi purpose game wrecker like him who can impact the game in many ways. That sounds like a money player to me. I don’t think anyone expects LVE to stay healthy and J Smith is terrible.

    ADAM- I agree the last several games has proven how absolutely important Dak is to this team. Not just from a production standpoint but from a leadership standpoint as well. This team is sorely lacking in leadership and Dak provided that in spades. I don’t think the problem is doubting his worth, but more that this team has multiple holes to fill and if we sign him for 40 mil that will be difficult though not impossible to do. We could resign him and rebuild thru the draft or we could seek out a young QB in the draft ( always an iffy proposition) and hope he develops, while using the money saved to rebuild the defense.

    If we can get either Lawrence or Fields I would go that route. If not I would trade down in the draft to get more picks and resign Dak. We could find a draft partner desperate enuf to move up to get one of the QBs even from the 2nd tier (Lance/Wilson) that would give us multiple extra picks. It all depends on our draft position and how the draft board falls. All these options come with risk.

  4. Adam, exactly how many wins did Prescott lead us to this year. That would be ONE, a GIFT WRAPPED AND HANDED TO US, WIN over a pretty hapless Falcons team. His gaudy stats this year were a byproduct of teams playing prevent defense after building HUGE leads.

    We just saw QB Garrett Gilbert, A GUY THAT WAS JUST SIGNED DAYS EARLIER, almost lead us to a victory over an UNDEFEATED (and ref helped) Steeler team. This fascination by some with Prescott is mindboggling. He is an overrated QB that thinks he is worthy of Mahomes money. Holding our team back from retaining and/or acquiring key players to make this team competitive again.

    Back to the article, great job Brian of putting together a fine first round. My two cents, if we trade down, I would opt for M Parsons or Z Wilson. I think a QB on a rookie contract is beneficial for our overall future considering the alternative, and maybe the best defensive player in the draft would take priority over a CB.

  5. We can’t afford 40MM for Dak, and in My opinion his is not q Top5 QB to deserve that money Even after his terrible injury.
    If we have a top 3, QB (if Dak is not resign long term contract or draft Sewel, if not trade to go below in The draft.

  6. I don’t agree Dak is overrated, maybe in relation to his contract demands he is. I don’t think him being greedy makes him an overrated QB. U can make more of a case that he isn’t quite worth the money he is asking, or that it’s not the right decision to sign him at all the expense of the rest of the team, but again that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s not a really good QB.

    Again I would be hesitant to burn a high pick on Wilson. Looking at his resume, he’s padding his stats on weak competition. Not sure what people are basing the high opinion of him on. I wouldn’t draft him top 5, maybe in the top 10? though some QB desperate team will likely overdraft him. Best case scenario if we can’t get the top 2 QBs is a team desperate to move up gives us a king’s ransom. But M Parsons is the guy I really want if we can’t get Lawrence or Fields.

  7. Hey Gary b, let me try to clarify my above comment. I believe Prescott is overrated in relation to his money demands. I guess I can agree with you that he is a good QB. However, he wants to be paid as a great QB. I will assume that you and I can agree he is not great.

    At the risk of being redundant, my main issue with Prescott is his inability to produce wins, and his personal stats just do not corelate with team success. Outside of his rookie season, his record is fairly pedestrian.
    The other issue is the salary cap and money distribution to other team mates that have already hurt the team and will in the future if front office caves in.

    Roger Staubach never really had the big, gaudy stats. But he was clutch in the biggest games He was a great leader and a winner. In his 11 years with DC, he went to 5 Super Bowls.

    BTW, I agree with Parsons if not a QB. He could be a game changer. But I truly hope we can snag one of the top two or even three.

  8. Keeping Dak is crazy and the stupidest decision JJ would make in a huge list of stupid decisions he has made in the past. Dak asking for $40 mill or more is way too much for a QB that does not win the big games. Yes he puts up great stats but they are always against rubbish teams or are garbage TD’s. When was the last time Dak beat a good team? And JJ wants to waste $40mill plus on him, its stupidity.

    We are currently third and our team is dire, the only reason we looked good against the Steelers is because of the amount of players they were missing. Which is our issue also, what if the Jags win a game, and we have the second overall pick. Do you think JJ even as stupid as the guy is when deciding things will pass on Fields or possibly Lawrence (we all know how badly the Jets are at choosing draft picks).

    I suggest the one the Jets pick will mean the other guy is the right one to pick. Fields looks way better than Dak, like a stronger faster version and more accurate. He is going to save the Cowboys a fortune for cap space. Even if we don’t get the first two perhaps trading down to just above the Patriots and choosing the next guy Trey Lance who is also a potential great QB. Dak has had a bad injury, we don’t know how he will be going forward try to get a draft pick for him and get rid. Stats do not win ball games.

  9. What are these people thinking about when they say we should take Micah Parsons…. You guys do realize what other player he’s being compared to right…. Jaylon Smith!! Yeah, they were both very good at all things in college until Jaylon got hurt!! Those 2 are pretty much the exact same player, just different names!! No thanks, I’ll pass!! And another thing is that at the end of the season we’re only gonna have Diggs, Brown and Wilson in our secondary…. We’re gonna need to draft at least 2 corners and a safety just so we can have enough players to start for us next season!! Not to mention the fact that we still need a number 1 corner…. A shut down corner…. A Byron Jones type corner!! So in my opinion, there’s no better option for us in the 1st round than Patrick Surtain….
    And you people have lost your minds talking about us not needing Dak!! Idk if you people haven’t noticed, but this team fell apart when we lost Dak!! We couldn’t even score more than 9 points in a game since he’s been gone…. Until Garrett Gilbert came in, and even then he couldn’t even get us to 20 points and only scored 1 touchdown!! And for the people saying Dak couldn’t win us any games…. Idk if you haven’t noticed but we had the worst defense in NFL history while Dak was playing, so if our defense can’t stop anybody from scoring it’ll kinda hard to win anything!! And then you wanna talk about drafting a QB, like that’s gonna help us!! But the time this rookie QB gets used to playing in the NFL and finally gets to winning games, it’ll be time to pay him his big contract!! So it’ll be stupid to draft a new QB, when we have one that’s already a top 5 or 10 at least in the NFL!! I really don’t care what you people think or say, anybody that actually knows how to evaluate a player will tell you Dak is one of the best QBs in the NFL!! I think I’d rather stay with him than to start over again with a rookie QB they may or may not be a bust!!
    Now my last statement…. I liked this draft, I liked the player you chose for us and all of that, but one thing I didn’t understand is how you think we could trade down that far and not get an extra 1st round pick?? If we’re trading down 5 spots, we’re gonna get an extra first round pick guaranteed!! Getting just a 2nd and 3rd isn’t quite enough to move down that far!! I know it don’t seem like it’s that far down, but it is!! The last team that moved that far down ended up getting the original pick, plus the other team had to give up 2 extra 1st round picks and two 2nd round picks plus a 3rd!! There’s no way Jerry is gonna move down that far just to trade 1st round picks with the team and only get an extra 2nd and 3rd round pick, that’s just not gonna happen!! But again, I really do like the player you chose for us, in my opinion he should be the only option for us in the 1st round!! The only other player I’d consider in the 1st round is Caleb Farley!! Either way we need to use our top pick on a corner!!

  10. Cowboys need defensive tackle from Oregon don’t pass up on him we don’t need another quarterback we need a backup quarterback as we can see if that go down when I ain’t got nobody

  11. Hey, this mock draft is not realistic. Cowboys will win the division. Dak will be back by playoffs and everything could happen. 32 pick is a possibility.

  12. What’s your opinion of Texas qb Sam E!? & don’t give me this “he’s just a Big 12 guy” Sam leads all the world in most every qb stay!! Big, fast and better at passing every year!!! JJ still has his Arkansas brain working and that’s dangerous for the Boys!! He’s proven that by passing up on several game changing db from Tex!!! Michael Huff, A Ross(both have SB rings now) edge rusher J Assie (?), or qb Sam E.

  13. SMR- Ur right stats don’t win games TEAMS do. QBs fairly or not are held accountable for wins/losses, while the other 52 players on the roster are rarely called out when it comes to that. Personally I thought Dak was just entering his prime and his best yrs were ahead of him. I’m also not blind to the implications of signing him to a huge contract and what that does to our rebuilding efforts, and yes we are rebuilding. Unfortunately we have an inept GM/OWNER that makes bad personnel decisions and overpays for the wrong players. Other teams sign their QB and are still able to construct a competitive team around them, but Jerry has shown an inability to do that. Incidentally there is a good chance we won’t be in a position to draft Lawrence or Fields, so then what? What would be ur move if that happens?

    VAM- We can agree to disagree on what Dak’s worth is to this team. I like him as our QB but not at all cost. I want what is best for the team. If we can get Lawrence or Fields that’s a no brainier for me. But if we can’t then it gets murkier. Again Wilson was terrible for BYU last yr so we are assessing him on 5 games this yr against really really weak competition. Physically he looks talented but how do we really know? Lance to me same boat as Wilson and he may even be more of a project. With that said though my guess all four of those QBs go in the top 10 as again QBs are such a precious commodity. So if we can’t get the top two would u burn a top 5 pick on Wilson or Lance? Doubt we could trade down and still get one of them.

    Adding playmakers to this atrocious defense is priority #1 this off season. Dak put up the 3rd most pts in the NFL in the games he started, but it still wasn’t enuf. We HAVE to get a game changer type star with that projected top 5 pick and then continue to prioritize defense with the rest of our picks. Parsons is that guy for me , a multi purpose game changer. Surtain I would be ok with but again we need to get the best player at their position with our top pick. Besides the two top QBs P Sewell is the only offensive player I would consider with a top 5 pick. T Smith is shot and we can’t rely on him anymore at that all important position. LTs like Sewell don’t come along very often.

    But again all these decisions are predicated on what our draft position is and how the draft board falls as well as whether we could find a trade partner that we could fleece if we moved down.

  14. Cowboys fan- All due respect but LB Micah Parsons is considered the best defensive player in the draft. He is a multi purpose game wrecker that fits perfectly with what the cowboys need. He’s great against the run and pass both. Some think he could be an elite edge rusher too if they use him in that manner. He checks alot of important boxes. We know LVE won’t stay healthy and J Smith is not good, so it’s definitely a position of need. We need playmakers on this defense and there aren’t many out there. I agree Surtain looks like a good one as well and he would fill a need as well.

  15. Cowboys fan- All due respect but LB Micah Parsons is considered the best defensive player in the draft. He is great against both the run and pass. He is also a great edge rusher. Three of our biggest weaknesses on D are stopping the run, coverage on RBs/TE and rushing the passer. He checks all those boxes the cowboys are lacking. We desperately need a game changer like him on D.

    Surtain I would be okay with. Not sure he is the game changer Parsons would be, but he’s the best CB in college and he fills a need. Besides those two I’m not sure any other defensive players jump out at me.

  16. For all you Dak haters don’t be surprised when Jerry , Stephen and, McCarthy all have big smiles at Dak press conference, signing him long term. The cat out of the bag, when you have HOF Staubach and Aikman supporting Dak @ quarterback for the Cowboys, game over.

  17. If the Cowboys were smart, They would trade back to the 8th or 9th spot. They would gain another 2 rounder. They could also use their two 4th and 5th round picks to get back into the 3rd round and draft some studs. They could easily have 7 of the top 118 picks. Talk about making an impact on their defense! This is the solution to a lot of their deficiencies on defense. You could easily get 5 starters on defense and one on offense. Alaric Jackson from Iowa would be nice addition on the offense line. 6-5 320 pound stud.
    Pick #8 Patrick Surtain CB (1400)
    Pick # 36 Alaric Jackson OT (540)
    Pick # 42 Jayson Oweh DE (480)
    Pick # 67 Jay Tufele DT (255)
    Pick # 100 Donovan Stiner S (100)
    Pick # 105 (84) Trade Pick #105 and Pick #145 for Pick # 96. Shaka Toney OLB
    Pick # 131 (41) Trade pick # 131 and Pick # 178 for Pick # 118 DJ Daniel CB
    Pick # 145 (33)
    Pick # 178 (20)
    Pick # 216 (13) Trey Ragas RB Louisiana- Lafayette

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