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Cowboys Draft: Three Ideal, But Realistic Scenarios For 17th Overall

We are now less than a week away from the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. AKA the last live sporting event until…

Well, who knows.

The Cowboys’ options with the 17th overall pick may end up being limited, as they hit the tough part of the draft where most first round graded players are gone but it’s too early to reach on the later grades.

Still, there’s a chance the Cowboys could come up with a huge win in the first round. Especially if one of these three players are left on the board.

Florida CB CJ Henderson

CJ Henderson might be my favorite of these three prospects, as he fills an immediate need for the Cowboys 2020 roster and offers them incredible upside over time. The 6’1″ 204 pound Florida prospect is the best non-Okudah corner in this class, and would bring that dog mentality to the back end of the Cowboys defense.

Henderson could start on the perimeter from week one, allowing the other cornerbacks to fall into place where best seen fit. A nickel group including Henderson, Chidobe Awuzie, and Jourdan Lewis would be a heck of a sight for Cowboys Nation in 2020.

LSU EDGE K’lavon ChaissonCowboys Draft: Will LSU EDGE K'Lavon Chaisson Be The Pick at 17?

While I think everyone loves CJ Henderson, LSU’s K’lavon Chaisson brings up some mixed emotions among Cowboys fans. Largely due to the fact he might be a high-end “project.”

To me – Chaisson is an explosive and dynamic edge rusher who would compliment DeMarcus Lawrence excellently at defensive end. His college production has been cited as a legit concern and he has a ton of room to grow as a football player if he is to make a consistent pass rushing impact at the next level, but..he’s 20 years old!

This guy has all the tools to develop into the explosive “RDE War Daddy” Jerry Jones has been craving for years. When he improves upon his technique and pass rush moves, Chaisson will be dangerous.

Alabama Safety Xavier McKinney

Analyzing Chris Trapasso's 7-round Mock Draft for the Dallas Cowboys
Dec 29, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Xavier McKinney (15) reacts against the Oklahoma Sooners in the 2018 Orange Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Possibly the most glaring hole on the Cowboys entire roster is the safety position. No questions about it.

As much as we all like Xavier Woods, the safety spot as a whole has not gotten it done in recent years. And the front office hasn’t exactly made a concerted effort to improve the roster talent, either.

If the Cowboys aren’t going to trade their first round pick in a package for Jets safety Jamal Adams, then I see Alabama’s Xavier McKinney as a strong option 17th overall. The Draft Network’s Benjamin Solak called McKinney Alabama’s “next Minkah Fitzpatrick,” and his versatility is obvious on film.

McKinney is just an awesome football player, with the type of leadership qualities coaches swoon over. He’s a top 10 prospect in my mind, and would be a steal with the 17th overall selection.

What do you think?

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Kevin Brady

Written by Kevin Brady

Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.


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  1. The only player I don’t like out of the 3 is Chaisson!! The other 2 are players we actually need!! And out of all 3 of them Xavier Mckinney is my favorite!! And he’s the only one I hope we draft in the 1st round!!

    • I would draft Henderson or McKinney in the 1st rd. We need secondary help desperately. We hv to draft in the secondary before all else unless a guy like Kinlaw falls to us.

      • If Kinlaw is there at 17, I’d be really tempted to pull that trigger. He’s a stud, but I don’t see him as a realistic shot in the same way I look at these three.

    • McKinney is the best of the three in my opinion, and fills a position of need immediately. I do like Chaisson a lot, though. I think he can become a dangerous pass rusher.

    • I would swap the edge rusher for Ruiz at C I miss our o line dominating like it has in years past and I’m willing to gamble on Smith or Gregory paying off this season

    • Edge is a BIG need for Dallas and has a bigger impact on pass defense than the secondary.

      Having said that, could live with any of the 3. . .if any of the 3 falls to us. Hope that someone like NO/NE wants to move up to tab someone like love or another pet cat. Pick up their 3rd and 4th rounders.

      Take someone like Braun/Moss or McKinney or the CB either TCU or Utah kid.

      Come out of the draft with some combo of 3 DBs, 2 Edge, DT, TE, C and punter in the 7th.

  2. Zac Baun #17. Most versatile in multiple scheme defense Dallas is moving to. Although a sideline-to-sideline coverage-capable LB, Baun is a great EDGE with 12.5 sacks last season.

    How might he be used? Think LVE neck, same disease ended Michael Irvin’s career – it is degenerative. What if issue resurfaces? What if Lee loses a step because of age? Conversely what if reclamation projects – Gregory/Smith – don’t pan out? You will still have a beast at EDGE. On the other hand, suppose Gregory/Smith perform as hoped and LBs are healthy. You will have another rush beast to line up in the box on passing downs.

  3. Focus on Dak? Okay, then maybe we should draft Jalen Hurts in the 2nd Rd, develop him this year, then cut bait with Dak in 2021. Same or possible better player on the cheap for the next 3-4 years.

    Paying Dak over a $100mil for his, lets face it, AVERAGE arm talent is too much! He’s a great guy, but you need more than that in today’s NFL…#Mahomes.

  4. Here is run down on your mock draft. Chassion is a one trick pony . But he is young with a lot of talent. Maybe with some coaching he might get better. But now with Gregory and Smith on outside looking in due to rule infringement. Don’t know when they will be back for sure. Then you don’t know how long it will take them to be game ready.
    McKinney is same type of Safty as Clinton Dix and Wood which is a free Safty. That will still be a hole in back end. You still will need a strong Safty type. I think you draft Davis in 2nd he will be a Strong Safty.
    Now CJ Henderson is a solid player. He will fill the hole were you lost in free agency.

  5. Focus on Dak is what we can get for him. Sign and trade. Stop watching your fantasy football scores and actually watch a game… even the media only shows his rare good throws. For every good throw he has 3 times as bad. Every and I mean every crossing route is behind the receiver. Still holds on to the ball too long and inaccurate deep ball. We are going no where with Dak and 4 or 5 year deal with him ensures JJ never sees the Lombardi again
    Trade down grab Cesar in first and Delphit and Jefferson in second. Hurts in third as interim. Should draft low round QB every year until we find great one not good one. Mccarthy west coast needs QB who can put the ball out in front of receiver Dak can’t do it. Although I’m not a fan Brady best I’ve ever seen. 5 yard pass 20 yd YAC

  6. I’m really hoping we get Cj henderson, even if we have to move up a few spots. None of our cb’s have proven they can stay with a number 1 receiver. Both of our safeties are starting quality, and I’d like to see how much donovan Wilson developed from last year. If cj is gone then take McKinney or delpit, or trade back. Klavon seems a little undersized at 250lbs to be an effective starting caliber de. Maybe he puts on 20lbs… maybe then. But I think we need someone to make an impact this year. And it should be in the secondary preferably cornerback.

  7. Best player available is the way to go but who know who that is . We cannot draft for need in the first couple rounds we need to draft a guy with great character and athleticism. I take Xavier over the other two. Chaisson scares me cuz or the bust on taco charlton . He might be good but i dont want to find out . I want Laviska Shanult jr. for a slot so i hope we trade down take mckinney and a slot wife reciever

  8. You got to be able to get to the quarterback! It does not matter who you put in your secondary, if you cannot get to the quarterback your secondary will get Lit Up. An edge rusher that complements D-Law Is the Cowboys biggest need.

  9. Also klavon has already had a knee surgery? I would like to get Kyle dugger in the 2nd round. He may be able to be a return man as well. Really hoping for hoping some of these mock draft are wrong about Henderson being gone before our pick.

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