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    Keep an Open Mind with the Dallas Cowboys’ First Pick in the 2021 NFL Draft

    It's easy to get locked into one position or one side of the football when you're looking at the . Given the needs on the defensive side of the football for the , it's understandable why so many are looking to take a defensive player with the 10th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

    The Cowboys have needs at , , , , and 1-technique defensive . The Cowboys have a host of directions they could go in the first round. Several of the positions the Cowboys could use may be available for them to select with their top 10 pick. Players like Patrick Surtain and could be available for the Cowboys to help solidify the . A linebacker like or Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah could put the Cowboys on the right track to transition from and in the next couple of years.

    At , Christian Barmore could make sense if the new defensive staff feels like they need to upgrade from Trysten Hill or Neville Gallimore.

    And while there will be several options for the Cowboys at 10 to upgrade the talent on the defensive side of the ball, the Cowboys shouldn't pigeonhole themselves into picking defense at 10.

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    It's projected that as many as four quarterbacks could be selected in the first nine picks. Suppose that is the case, that leaves players like , DeVonta Smith, , , and as offensive options that could be available for the Cowboys when they go on the clock at number 10. And if Mac Jones somehow finds himself picked in the first nine picks, then the Cowboys will have a tough decision to make.

    Of course, having these elite offensive prospects fall to them could encourage a team behind them to up to 10, where the Cowboys could pick up another second-round pick or, at worst, a third-round pick in a trade back.

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    If the Cowboys were to forgo selecting one of the top defensive players at 10, they would still have options available in the second round. Players like Greg Newsome at cornerback or Richie Grant at safety could be in play for the Cowboys, helping their secondary. Someone like Alim McNeil would help their .

    The point being, though the Cowboys will likely spend quite a few of their draft picks in April on the defensive side of the ball, one shouldn't rule out using a draft pick on the offensive side of the ball. Sure, the Cowboys have invested a ton on the offensive side of the ball over the last decade, especially in the draft, but for the most part, that's worked.

    Considering who they've drafted in the first, they haven't had a miss when spending a first-round pick on the offensive side of the ball. , , Zack Martin, , , and have made huge impacts on the Cowboys. Each has made a Pro Bowl aside from Lamb, but his time is coming.

    The defensive side of the ball hasn't been as kind to the Cowboys. First-round selections on defense include Leighton Vander Esch, , , and . Only Byron Jones could be considered a hit, and yet the Cowboys didn't think enough of him to offer him a second contract.

    Despite the offensive talent that will probably be available for the Cowboys, it remains likely that they'll add a defensive player to solidify that side of the ball. However, it wouldn't be wise for them to go into the draft and not consider taking a player like Kyle Pitts, Jaylen Waddle, or any of the other non- options. With the expected departure of in the , the Cowboys could begin integrating one of these top offensive players in 2021.

    It's always important to keep all options on the table when you go into the draft because you never know how a draft might play out. That's exactly how CeeDee Lamb became a Dallas Cowboy, and I think everyone's still happy about that selection.

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    John Williams
    John Williamshttps://anchor.fm/inside-the-cowboys
    Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could. Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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    9 COMMENTS

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    GhostProtocol

    Only problem I have with trading back, which by the way looks like is the best setup in many scenarios, is that IMO Dallas frequently takes too small a return in their trades backwards. Giving up on player like Sewell, Parsons, or Pitts for the ability to acquire just a 3rd rounder is far too little compensation and a no-brainer for the team getting the option.

    Mario

    I agree with this analysis, there are many ways this will pan out. Defence needs a lot of help but someone like Penei Sewell would be immediate upgrade at left guard and future left tackle. The linebackers will be okay but won’t help immediately, same with a receiver or TE but it will be a good future investment.

    sparkman

    If you have a top 10 pick you should come away with a future probowler regardless of the position. Go get the very best player.

    ThrowuptheX88

    I’ve come around to your strategy Sparkman , our D actually wasn’t that awful during the latter half of the season (It sucked early on historically speaking) if we can build off the latter half D with a much better DC and with some decent players in draft on D , we’ll be significantly better

    , and adding someone like Pitts or i ain’t even ruling out Waddle at 10 , we’ll be a hell of a team next year, i think we’re gonna be in a good spot for next season

    Mike

    I would only trade back a few spots only because you still might get a top OF lineman or lB or CB. If they feel that anyone of those positions are still there then move back a few spots. If not and Pitts falls to you grab him.

    G. D. Smith

    Best Player Available is going to win 9 out of 10 times. Once in a while you have to go for need, but that isn’t the case with the depth of this year’s draft. If one of the stud OT’s falls to the Cowboys, or if Kyle Pitts is there, you should see the ‘Boys rep running to the commissioner’s table to turn in that name. If Sewell, Slater and Pitts are gone by #10, Surtain or Horn at CB would be the smart pick.

    Coby Hale

    I love the moves cuz this draft is so deep now that we can hit every spot instead of being stuck with 10 pics now you can spread out and go after what you want and not have to reach or go after the best player on the board because now you can attack any and every need you want