The expectation is that the Cowboys will leave the first round with either one of the top two cornerback prospects in this class, Alabama's Patrick Surtain, or South Carolina's Jaycee Horn. Pairing either with 2020 second-round pick Trevon Diggs would give the Cowboys a formidable young duo at cornerback for the foreseeable future.
However, there's still the task of fixing the safety position. The Cowboys have had conversations with Oregon's Jevon Holland during the draft process, and according to Sports Illustrated's Mike Fisher, they're still doing their due diligence on him.
The former Duck recently interviewed with Bri Amaranthus of CowboysSI and mentioned how becoming a Cowboy would be right up his alley.
“I'd love to be a Cowboy, always wanted to walk around like Clint Walker,” Holland said.
Holland opted out of the 2020 season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic to prepare for the NFL Draft. Understandable, but before he was a spectator he was arguably the top choice at safety coming out of college.
He played in 13 games with two starts as a true freshman in 2018 and amassed 42 tackles, five interceptions, and six passes defended. A year later, he was excellent once again with 66 tackles (4.5 tackles for loss), four interceptions (returned one for a touchdown), and four passes defended.
Holland may be listed as a safety but he has a plethora of skills. At Oregon, he lined up at free safety, box safety, and slot corner. He has a nice combination of size (6'1) and speed (ran a 4.46 in the 40-yard dash). His instincts are second to none and he diagnoses plays quickly. Holland played wide receiver in high school which gives him excellent ball skills. He challenges receivers throughout their routes, is aggressive at the catch point, a willing defender against the run, and an aggressive tackler. Also, he provides special teams value with his 14.4 yards per carry average returning punts for the Ducks.
Bringing Holland on board would give the Cowboys a playmaking safety to play opposite Donovan Wilson who showed that same ability in 2020 as he registered two interceptions, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.
The Cowboys added some pieces at safety in free agency. They brought in safeties Keanu Neal and Damontae Kazee who were teammates with the Atlanta Falcons. The former will likely play more linebacker under Dan Quinn and the latter currently has the leg up on starting duties at free safety. Also, they signed Jayron Kearse as a depth piece and special teams contributor.
Although that's quite a few new bodies at the safety position, they're all on one-year deals which means the Cowboys don't have any long-term commitment to any of them, so there's still room for more talent.
There's no guarantee Holland will be available at 44, but if he is and the Cowboys haven't addressed the safety position, they shouldn't hesitate to select him.