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Monday Morning Mock Draft: Dallas Cowboys Load up on Top 100 Picks

Trades land Dallas Cowboys multiple picks in the Top 100.

The 2021 NFL Draft is almost here and drawing closer by the day. While we still have no idea how things will play out on Draft Day, we can still have fun trying to figure out which prospect goes where and when. That’s what we’re going to do today for the Dallas .

Using Draft Network’s mock draft simulator I decided to take a somewhat aggressive approach for the Dallas Cowboys. There’s no way of knowing if that’s the mindset they will have as well for the big event in the , but we can’t rule it out either.

With that in mind, below is how I decided to use the Dallas Cowboys original 10 picks:

The first nine first-round picks…

(1) Jacksonville Jaguars – QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
(2) – QB , BYU
(3) – QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
(4) – TE Kyle Pitts, Florida
(5) Cincinnati Bengals – OT Penei Sewell, Oregon
(6) – WR Ja’Marr Chase,
(7) Detroit Lions – WR Jaylon Waddle, Alabama
(8) – CB II, Alabama
(9)  Denver Broncos – OT , Northwestern

Decisions… Decisions… With both the top-ranked offensive tackles and arguably the best cornerback in the class gone the Dallas Cowboys find themselves both disappointed and giddy with the remaining options on the board. They could stand pat and draft CB to fill the void opposite in their secondary or they could shop the 10th overall pick to QB “needy” teams willing to move up for either Justin Fields or Mac Jones.

After fielding offers I decided it was in their best interest to trade down and I’d be surprised if the Dallas Cowboys didn’t feel the same. In this scenario New England was my preferred trade down partner and I think I worked out a trade that was mutually beneficial for both organizations. The Cowboys basically trade down five spots while also picking up two extra draft picks in the Top 100.

*TRADE* Patriots send 1.15, 2.46, 3.96 to Cowboys for 1.10, 4.115, 5.179

The next five picks…

(10) – QB Justin Fields, Ohio State
(11) – WR Devonta Smith, Alabama
(12) Philadelphia Eagles – CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina
(13) Los Angeles Chargers – OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech
(14) – OG Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC

I was hoping Jaycee Horn would somehow slide all the way to #15, but the Eagles swooped in and ruined that plan. Not all is lost though. Mac Jones is still on the board and the Chicago Bears want to move up to make him their future QB. So, Dallas moves down five more spots to #20 and picks up another Top 100 pick and an extra fifth-rounder.

*TRADE* Chicago send 1.20, 3.83, 5.164 to Cowboys for 1.15

After trading down twice in the first-round the Dallas Cowboys now have seven picks in the Top 100 and 12 overall…20444675839699138164192227, and 238. Now, let’s get to drafting…


Round 1, Pick 20 – CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech

Injuries are definitely a concern for ’s long-term future. But, at #20 instead of #10 gambling on arguably the most physically gifted CB in the entire draft class is something the Dallas Cowboys might be willing to risk.

“Farley might have some rough patches early on and his past injuries are a strong concern, but he has outstanding physical tools with natural instincts and ball skills to consistently stay in phase and make plays on the ball. He projects as a press-man starter with Pro Bowl upside if healthy.” – Dane Brugler –


Round 2, Pick 44 – S Javon Holland, Oregon

Javon Holland played mostly out of the nickel and as a split during his time at Oregon, but could be Dallas’ long-term solution at . He could compete for the starting job as a or at the very least be a valuable chess piece in the secondary early on.

“Holland needs to mature areas of his game in both coverage and , but he is highly competitive with the natural ball skills and versatility to be a matchup defender with starting potential at nickel safety.” – Dane Brugler –


Round 2, Pick 46 – CB Ifeatu Melifonwu, Syracuse

With the extra second-round pick from the Patriots I decided it was in the best interest of the Cowboys to double dip at CB to not only add more depth to the position, but also an insurance policy if Caleb Farley’s back problems become an issue. Melifowu’s combination of size, speed, and length make him intriguing prospect, one in which could challenge for starting job as a rookie.

“Melifonwu is more reactive than instinctive and needs to improve his anticipation, but he has rare physical gifts (length, speed, fluidity) to become an NFL starter. He projects best in press-man or Cover 3 schemes.” – Dane Brugler – 


Round 3, Pick 75 – LB Pete Werner, Ohio State

With the long-term futures of Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch the Cowboys need to both upgrade the depth at LB and find another potential starter. Pete Werner has the skill set to be such a player and the versatility to possibly play all three LB positions.

“Werner needs to clean up some inconsistent tendencies, but he has outstanding lateral range and his sights are always on the football. He projects as a versatile linebacker with four-down potential.” – Dane Brugler –


Round 3, Pick 83 – EDGE Payton Turner, Houston

The Dallas Cowboys could definitely use more depth behind DeMarcus Lawrence and and Payton Turner would definitely provide that. From a size and skill set standpoint he’s a player who compares favorably to Chandler Jones.

“Turner needs to cultivate his sequence, but he has outstanding length, foot quickness and competitive energy. He projects as an eventual NFL starter with inside/outside versatility.” – Dane Brugler –


Round 3, Pick 96 – OT James Hudson, Cincinnati

It’s probably time for the Dallas Cowboys to start preparing for a future without and James Hudson is just the developmental prospect they could target to be his eventual replacement. The former DT turned LT has the skill set to be just that person. He just needs to put it all together.

“Hudson requires continued technical refinement to match up in the NFL, but his light feet, strong hands and natural balance are an intriguing starter pack at left . He would fit best in a zone scheme where he can develop into an above-average starter.” – Dane Brugler –


Round 3, Pick 99 – DT Alim McNeill, NC State

Alim McNeill is just the player who can help upgrade the Dallas Cowboys defensive line from an embarrassment a season ago to a solid unit in 2021. He is a stout run defender who consistently sets and resets the line of scrimmage and also provides a little juice as a pass rusher as well from the 1-technique.

“McNeill is not yet a sum of his parts and he needs to turn the flashes into better production, but his moldable raw traits are unique. He projects as a one-gap tackle with Javon Hargrave-like upside.” – Dane Brugler –


*TRADE* Cowboys send 4.138, 5.192, 2022 4th-rounder to Jaguars for 4.106

Round 4, Pick 106 – QB Kyle Trask, Florida

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if and the Cowboys come out of the 2021 draft with a new QB2 to backup Dak Prescott. Because of that I decided to put together a package to move up to the first pick in the fourth-round for Kyle Trask, a talented QB prospect with starting potential.

“Trask is a well-built, smart and tough competitor with natural touch as a passer, but his inconsistent mechanics and below-average mobility cap his ceiling as an NFL . He projects as a carbon copy Mason Rudolph.” – Dane Brugler –


Round 5, Pick 164 – S Caden Sterns, Texas

Despite drafting Javon Holland earlier having Caden Sterns available at this point in the draft was too good a value to pass up. The Cowboys could definitely use more depth at the safety position and Sterns is a player who could not only provide that, but also become an eventual starter as well.

“Sterns as functional range with efficient footwork to gather and go, but he struggles to anticipate, lacks grit and doesn’t have the tape of a playmaker. He projects as an overly conservative deep safety with durability concerns.” – Dane Brugler –


*TRADE* Cowboys send 6.227, 7.238 to Rams for 6.209

Round 6, Pick 209 – WR Jaelon Darden, North Texas

For whatever reason the wanted the Cowboys final two draft picks and I was more than willing to make the trade. While Darden may have still been available according to TDN’s simulator with Dallas’ original picks I didn’t want to take the chance. He could be another type of weapon out of the slot for Dak and the primary punt returner as well.

“Darden is obviously undersized, which will limit his potential role in the NFL, but his foot quickness and home run gear will leave defenders in the dust. He projects similar to Jakeem Grant when he was coming out of Texas Tech.” – Dane Brugler –

What do you think?

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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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52 Comments

  1. Enough taking chances in injury prone guys , no matter the upside . We need defence NOW. Defence wins championships! We are in a position to take surtain. TAKE HIM !! We have 10 picks in this draft . That’s plenty . There is no need to trade back . Let’s get this shit underway

  2. Cowboys must do their medical due diligence on Farley. If they think he is healthy, SECOND round may be a good spot. However, there are other very good CB prospects without medical risks, so why not just go with one of them? Tough decision!

    • Farley might be at risk at 20, but that’s one of the reasons I went ahead and double dipped at CB with Melifonwu. That way the Cowboys are covered if injuries continue to be a problem and turn the CB position into a possible strength as well.

  3. I like the trades down and i like the picks other than Trask, he is very talented but not movil at all. As far as Farley at 20, not bad, i heard he is almost ready and ran in the 4.20’s. If he doesn’t you got it covered with your other pick and we still got Robinson.

  4. I like your picks. I would be happy if the draft fell that way. I understand the injury concerns of drafting Farley.i would have drafted Barmore f he were available. What do you think?

    • Honestly, as much as I like Barmore I don’t think he’s worthy of a first-round pick. He still really raw as a prospect. However, considering how weak the DT draft class is I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s about where he gets drafted.

  5. Not opposed to trading back to add more value. JMHO

    Why not Greg Newsome or Trevon Morning (sp) at #20

    Not sure Aim McNeil falls to 99

    Watched Caden Sterns for the last 3 years (big TEXAS fan). . . wouldn’t touch him, locker room cancer, played worse each year. . . . can’t tackle to save his life. Great athlete . . .looks like Tarzan plays like Jane.

    Not a fan of Trask at all. . . . Davis Mills of Stanford is a legit NFL prospect

    Again, just my 2 cents

    • Newsome and Moehrig both went off the board right before 20. That’s who I was originally targeting. I kinda doubt McNeill falls to 99 either, but he did according to the simulator. And I’ve never heard anything bad about Sterns. That’s news to me. If true you’re right. I wouldn’t touch him either.

  6. Dallas needs to rebuild it’s Offense Line. As far as priorities go, it’s number one, even compared to the defensive priority. Any success Dallas has had over the past decade, was thanks to it’s O-line, now Travis Frederick (best center in the game) is gone and Tyron Smith (once thought of as the best lineman in the game), is older and broken down physically……Zack Martin needs help. As the O-line goes, so to will the Cowboys.

  7. I just did a 7 round mock draft of my own on PFN

    10th pick : Rashawn Slater OT (both Surtain and Horn were gone before I picked , and Pitts was gone too , Could’ve went Parsons here though)

    44th pick : Caleb Farley CB (shows how volatile his draft stock could be)

    75th pick : Jevon Holland S

    I traded the 99th and 179th pick to Lions for 101st and 153rd pick

    101st pick : Deonte Brown OG

    115th pick : Patrick Jones DE

    138th pick : Keith Taylor CB

    153rd pick : Monty Rice LB

    192nd pick : Jordon Scott DT

    227th pick : Robert Jones OG

    238th pick : Tedarell Slaton DT

    Overall I love my draft , I get a replacement for T Smith in Slater if and when he’s done , who can also play Guard

    I get great value in Farley in 2nd round , something I just can’t pass on even with his Injury history

    I get a very talented safety in Holland

    2 big Guards that will help us at least in run game ( NO EXCUSES ZEKE )

    a talented DE in Jones

    a solid CB prospect in Taylor who can null Farley’s injury concerns going forward

    a fast LB who can cover in Rice

    and 2 big DTs that can help in run D

  8. I understand the Farley risk. I also know that medicals haven’t been released, and everything we read about him now is from media and not teams. I also completely understand him waiting to try to avoid the recent surgery and it wasn’t an ill-planned happenstance. I had the same surgery in my late-40’s and haven’t had a single problem since … certainly with his youth and physical traits, he too will be fine. He looks to be the only CB in this draft with any true “shutdown” traits. He can be called a gamble at No.10 and I can respect that, but from #15 and beyond he’s gold. But again, if Parsons is still on the board, he might be my pick there.

  9. What if …. you then also package Nos. 44 and 46 to move back up and get Moehrig? I’d be a happy camper with coming out with the No.1 safety, and arguably the No.1 CB.

    • Moehrig was gone by 20 in this particular mock draft. I probably should a shared the picks 15-20 as well. Otherwise he probably would’ve been my pick for the Cowboys at 20.

  10. Brian, I have toyed with a similar scenario, trading back and drafting Farley. I did it by trading back with JAX at 25. Jax ends up with their QB and a top tier WR, Dallas gets 25 and 33, taking Farley at 25.

    • Jeff, I probably could’ve traded back again from 20, but I thought that might’ve been overkill for this mock draft. Making three first-round trades is probably a little unrealistic, which is why I went ahead took Farley and 20.

  11. Agree with Ethan that the nasty responses are unnecessary. I understand ur reasoning behind taking a chance on Farley Brian. However I think Jerry has been bitten in the rump too often recently when drafting talented players who are injury risks, such as LVE and J Smith. I think he get overrode on that one. But its Jerry we’re talking about so who knows.

    I love draft time. Anything can happen and often does. Cmon April 29th.

    • I think there’s a difference between Farley and LVE and Jaylon Smith though. LB is a much more physical position to play in the NFL than CB is. I worry less about reoccurring injuries with Farley right now than I did with either of the two LBs when the Cowboys drafted them.

  12. Hypothetically, I love trade downs especially when monkeying with a simulator to try and get all of your pet cats. But all of these mid round picks smack of 2009. And the one “blue chip” haul is an injured corner back who didnt play last year. I’m not a fan of medical redshirts especially at cornerback (see Sidney Jones). We don’t need a cornerback next year or midway through the season or two seasons from now we need one now. This years draft is trickier than most, what with the limited college season, opt outs, etc. I guess it comes down to philosophy with so many unknowns, do you take the surest thing with your blue chip pick? Or do you do you trade your sure shot for buckshot and hope a few of the pellets hit. If it’s me, this year I’m trading up out of the mids and trying to hit on the sure thing. Trade a second and third for a first, and a third and a two fourths for a second. Grab the corner, the defensive lineman, and the safety you want and need. Gamble with the leftovers.

  13. Also a trade up for QB in 4th ? I’m not against drafting a QB , but I wouldn’t trade up for one , I’d go corner or Guard in 4th or that 5th you traded to get QB , someone like Trill Williams CB or Kendrick Green OG

  14. I am actually a fan of trading back and hoarding top 100 picks. I think the trade with NE should have kept one of the other picks, probably the 4th round, especially in a bidding war like you eluded to. I’m not a fan of the Farley pick but can overlook it. Holland looks more of a nickel corner instead of a safety so I’d like to see a Richie Grant at 44 or a Jamar Johnson at 75. I know the Cowboys are high on Werner but I think the position value will be more in the 4-6th rounds, but I can’t really argue. McNeil should go in the second, but you may be able to swap that pick with Marvin Wilson or Tyler Shelvin. You lost me on the Trask pick. I know McCarthy is a Ted Thompson disciple and may want to draft a qb every year but I hope they stay pat with Gilbert or sign a veteran instead of a rookie that would be lucky to get a second contract in the league. Personally I’m hoping for Anthony Schwartz from Auburn for WR depth/return ability but can’t fault on a local guy too much. Although I’d like to see them let the draft come to them that late unless they are just so sure on a prospect and have added darts to throw at the board…maybe another LB or 1T Khyris Tonga.

    • I was originally targeting Newsome, but he went off the board at 16. And if you’re concerned with Farley’s injury history Newsome carries the same “red flag”. He never played an entire season at Northwestern.

  15. Respectfully, I disagree with taking Farley in the FIRST round. There is an injury question there, so IMO, you don’t push that envelope with other healthy good prospects available. Cant draft an injury question mark in the first round. Prime example, is LVE, who now is having trouble staying on the field. Also, we were burned with 2nd rounder, LB Smith and his injury. His quickness is obviously diminished. Players can run right around him, even with him having depth on them. Besides that, is Farley exponentially better than Surtain or Horn and maybe one or two other “healthy” CBs.

    That said, I like most of your other picks.

    • I was originally targeting Greg Newsome or Trevon Moehrig, but both were gone at 20. I understand the risk involved in drafting Caleb Farley, however, I think his upside is worth the gamble. If not for his most recent back surgery that’s supposed to alleviate his back pain, he likely would have been a Top 10 pick.

  16. First…. in response to some of the nasty replies – I think there is a respectful way that one can disagree and not be really, really nasty. That aside, I really do hate moving down. I want to see the team go get the best CB, FS, and DT-1 tech they can land. To me that is the primary purpose of this draft. Then, go after LB, DE, double dip at CB, OT, and a McCarthy annual QB project. The defense must have an infusion of speed and talent (DAWG kind of struttin’ hard hitting attitude game-changers) at all 3 levels of the defense.

  17. This doesn’t make much sense If moving back means we miss out on the two top corners and the top oline prospects. Also, no way we should be drafting an injury prone CB with out first pick. Sorry but this mock just doesn’t make sense.

    • How does it not make sense? Instead of drafting one starting caliber CB (Horn) the Cowboys got two (Farley, Melifonwu) and a starting caliber DE as well by trading down. As far as Farley is concerned it’s a risk, but one probably worth taking if his medicals check out which seems to be the case from what I’m hearing.

    • So who would you have taken that 10 in this scenario? Jaycee Horn? By trading back I picked up not one, but two starting caliber CBs and a starting caliber DE.

  18. Very interesting read Brian. No doubt a lot of things can happen during draft day, and that is why it is so exciting. I am still too concerned about drafting Farley. Health reasons are my concern.

    • I definitely share those concerns, but everything I’ve been reading suggests Farley’s medicals should check out. If that’s the case I’d be willing to take the risk, however, I don’t know if the Cowboys would do the same.

  19. I am for the trade back, but not for the value received. We should be acquiring premium picks if we’re assisting a team in their future QB at pick 10 and this didn’t get that. If NE wants their QB we can easily acquire a first next year which is huge.
    Farley was a guy I was high on, but we can’t afford to take that massive of a risk on a guy with the sad state of our defense. The back injury is just so risky.
    For what it’s worth I was very happy with 44&46 and then Hudson and Mcniel were awesome value as well.

    • In a real-life scenario the Cowboys could probably ask for more trade compensation, but as far as the draft network mock simulator is concerned that’s about as of the deal is I can make with the Patriots. And in all honesty, I think it’s a pretty fair trade value wise to move down five spots. Unless there’s a bidding war for #10 that could be close to what the Cowboys would receive by trading down.

  20. If your scenario in R1 plays out I would take Feilds if no good trade down opportunities came and no it’s not to replace Dak although I’m not too impressed with him it would be for trade bait later QB is the most important position in a sport that has 100 percent injury and someone will want him later scared of Fairy in R1 he’s a injury waiting to happen and the teams training room stays full now your scenario would be the start of a terrible draft but it certainly could turn out this way I would take Parsons before Farley

    • If Justin Fields is still there I think there will be a bidding war between teams trying to move up for him. And yes Farley is a risk, but he has tremendous upside. By double dipping at CB a little later I not only provided an insurance policy if Farley continues to struggle with back problems, but also added some much-needed depth to the position.

  21. Some of the picks are okay, the Farley pick was terrible. But those trades were all atrocious. Why would we also give back in the NE trade, we’d have to gain an extra first next year to even begin the convo.

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