NFL Draft: The Only Way the Dallas Cowboys Can Mess Up the 10th Overall Pick

    Heading into the 2021 , the have needs at nearly every position aside from . With the 10th pick, it could be reasonable to see the spend the pick on either side of the football and at several positions.

    They could use the pick on an offensive who could plug in at . They could use it at with in the final year of his deal. They could go with the , arguably the best non-quarterback in the draft. We’ve talked a lot about the position and that’s the most obvious fit for the 10th pick. We’re there a or that fit the bill in the top 10, that could work too.

    However, there’s one spot that’s been talked about a lot that makes very little sense with the 10th overall pick. And that’s linebacker.

    That isn’t to say the Cowboys couldn’t use a linebacker. With the decline in play over the last couple of seasons from and the issues that have mounted for , there’s no position that has as much uncertainty beyond 2021 as the linebacker spot.

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    The Cowboys held onto Smith though they could have found a way out of his deal with a June 1st designation to a . The Cowboys probably won’t pick up Vander Esch’s fifth-year option because of the injuries. The Cowboys are hoping a return to the type of scheme ran under in 2018 and some better defensive tackle play will raise their play in 2022.

    But hope isn’t a plan. And using the 10th overall pick on a linebacker isn’t a good plan either.

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    Sure, there are some very interesting prospects at the top of the draft like or Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, but linebacker has proven to be one of those positions where you can find starter level play and better in the second-round and beyond.

    The Cowboys themselves have found quality linebacker play later with players like and who have been key figures for the . The found one of the better linebackers in the NFL in Fred Warner in the .

    If the Cowboys were to back in the first and take a linebacker or trade up from 44, that would make a bit more sense. But at 10, it would be a mistake to take a linebacker when you could potentially find your next middle linebacker at 44 or beyond.

    But taking a linebacker at 10 would be a mistake when there’s likely going to be players available at more valuable positions. , wide receiver or pass catcher (Kyle Pitts), cornerback, rusher, and quarterback are considered the “money five” positions. When need and value matchup as well as it does for the Dallas Cowboys, you stick to taking the player at the more valuable positions.

    When the Dallas Cowboys go on the clock with the 10th overall pick, they’ll have options to add a really good player in the draft. There could be as many as five quarterbacks taken in the first nine picks, which would leave several options available for the Cowboys. Going with a linebacker when they’ll have the choice between an offensive tackle, cornerback, or pass catcher would be a huge mistake and really the only way the Cowboys could mess up the 10th overall pick.

    John Williams
    John Williams
    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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    Shaun Gonzales

    What are you Talking about!!! You can say that about every position! ITS BEST PLAYER AVAILABLE NOT MATTER WHAT! If the dude is a stud and you believe he’s going to help your team regardless of position you take him, outlier is quarterback! We have holes everywhere defense needs to be addressed the most obviously but I believe never reach for a player! BPA end of story!

    Stephen Gregory

    Aside from punter or kicker, I would say all positions are open for drafting a player at #10. Every position should have open competition and let the best player, not the highest paid, play. Take the best player available, regardless of position, for every pick this draft.


    The speed at every positión is a value. Vander Esch ihas not been a premier LB. Last season at many games rhey were playing with 2 LB. Barmore, Surtain and Parsons could be a great pick. If you want to talk about mistale it will be WR and TE.

    Glen Damico

    If Micah Parson is there I would take him if Pitts, Sewell, or Slater are not. My preference is Pitts or Sewell. Pitts is another Randy Moss like player. I think Tyron Smith is done so we need Sewell. If Parson or Surtain ll are not there then go with Slater. Saying “Take the best player” really translates to we have no idea who is the best pick! Your getting a Lamb or a Taco! No one truly knows. Trevor Lawrence could be the next Ryan Leaf or Dwayne Haskins.

    Gary b

    I see ur logic John and ordinarily I would say don’t draft a LB that high. But two factors- the first being that LB is a bigger need then we think, and we could very well cut ties with both LVE and Smith after next year – not to mention we’re relying on those two guys next year?

    Second I think Parsons is a special talent that is worthy of that #10 pick. LBs hold more value in this modern day NFL and I think Parsons is the prototypical guy that teams are looking for. Don’t think we should limit ourselves or discount certain positions, especially on defense.


    I agree with you.
    I don’t think any linebacker, including Parsons, is worth the pick at 10, but neither is a defensive lineman.
    Position does make difference. For example, wouldn’t make sense to draft a quarterback at 10 since Dak is now signed no matter if best player available was a quarterback.
    The exception to this rule would be if Pitts miraculously dropped to 10 then it is a little more problematic as he seems to be a generational talent.
    I think otherwise, Cowboys should draft the best defensive player available as their defense was pathetic. It’s debatable which position is most deficient as whole defense was very bad.
    I think Surtain is the guy. He is arguably the best defensive player in the draft. He is SEC tested, durable and would be a great complement as cornerback to his former Alabama teammate, Diggs.
    Hopefully, he will still be available at 10.

    Roy Chambers

    We can debate about
    all of the different positions of need it doesn’t matter at the end of the day our defense couldn’t stop any one of our local high school football team you ladies and gentlemen are intelligent people you guys figure out from here

    Reginald D Starks

    Our biggest need is dt cb safety we need to take the best cb available at 10 the best safety at 44 and the best dt with our third. I don’t understand how everyone is down on Jayson Smith he had 160 tackles and he played out of position. Lve is trash Bernard need to replace lve and draft a lb with our 4th.i would like to see us double dip at dt by taking wilson from Florida st and the 350 pounder from LSU

    Jamil Hunter

    Ok BPA now lets really think about this one
    LB at 10 why not just trade back and get Parsons.
    BPA makes sense in this case if we are talking about an OL for Zeke Lamb Cooper Gallup and oh Dak Priority. Going into last year’s draft our OL was looking good so we could afford to take lamb we are also in need of an Edge Rusher to Help Lawrence and company. Community effort on the other side of the ball they need help bad. Parsons can provide some much needed help trading back to get em is the best available way of going about that one and in return we pick up and extra top 125 pick or something like that


    QB is widely considered the most important player on a football team. And what player on the defensive side is considered QB like. That would be the middle LB. IMO, middle LB position is the heart of the defense, literally and figuratively. I don’t give it lesser importance then the other positions mentioned. Agree with Gary b, Smith and LVE have big question marks sitting above their heads, AND there is not much proven depth there, with J Thomas gone.

    Also, there are good players at the other positions that can be had in the second round, same as with LB position. Sure you can find a middle LB in second round, but it won’t be Parsons, who is considered the best D player in the draft. Hate to see WFT or Giants snag Parsons and strengthen their already better defenses.

    Chances of Pitts being there at 10 are slim to none and slim is out of town. We got lucky with CeeDee last draft, hard for lightening to strike twice for us again.

    Amos Longstreet

    When LVE went down for the neck surgery Jason Garrett and the Jones’ stated to the media that they were going to do right by LVE, not picking up his fifth year option is not taking care of LVE, Leighton could have decided to play thru the injury but he elected to have surgery to fix the problem at that time and I am sure he was influenced by reaffirmation from Cowboys brass that he would be taken care of. He has the ability to be a good jacket, now that he is healthy let’s hope he has another year like his rookie year. What if they decline his fifth year option and then he has a monster year? Why all this talk of trading Gallup? We have an out in Amari’s contract next year with a minimal hit and we can resign Gallup for less than 100 million that Amari got. Resign Gallup, Lamb is on a rookie deal with his fifth year being picked up and sign a veteran #2 or slot receiver and move Lamb outside, trade or release Jarwin which was the dumbest signing I’ve seen as of late, draft Pitts best player available then look to round 2 for a CB and round 3 we have two picks for a OT and a DT or Edge that can move inside if need be. I like Togai’s brute strength for a late round DT. I am hoping Sewell falls but fat chance, Surtain would be my pick or even Jaycee Horn and trading up for Trevon Moerig. Secondary fixed.

    James Madison

    This is a lazy, and completely wrong take. LBs are gaining more relevance the last few years, and these high prospect LBs have changed their defenses around immensely. Look no further than Tampa, that defense was mediocre when White was out. They were great when he was in. Looking at a draft board, Parsons is just the better football player at ten as opposed to Horn. Parsons needs to be the pick in that situation. He’s the best athlete on the team probably immediately, and easily on the defense. He’s an attitude changer and an ultra high IQ defender with room to grow.

    Anytime you go into a pick saying “don’t take this position”, you’ve already lost entirely.

    Unless its a ST guy or maybe a running back.


    Reginald you really need to watch the tape he has become such a liability especially on passing downs it’s ridiculous part of not seeing things is the problem you don’t see how his knee makes it virtually impossible for him to turn his hips and then follow someone past him . His leg is not allowing this to happen he has problems shedding blocks . Then you see him with 100 tackles and say what’s the problem the problem is when he is making tackles offense is averaging6.5 yds per play when he is in so when a Rob is running you need to be making tackles near the line and hopefully some in the backfield you can’t be tackling rbs 6-7 yds plus past the line he can’t get there. He has people run by him. And again in the passing game he needs to come out on 90 percent of the plays now. The only good thing is if he does get his hands on you, you are going down as his 4.4 missed tackle ratewen he gets his hands on you you is very good
    Then vanderesh he had a great rookie yr followed up by 2 horrible yrs . He can keep up with you in coverage which helps but takes lots of wrong angles and like his buddy does not shed blockers well the one thing about him and this is pretty astonishing but where I said Smith pretty much makes every tackle as I said he has a 4.4 missed tackle rate which isReally good ,Lve avg of missed tackles After he gets a hand on you is 18.4% again which is astonishing ridiculous and any other thing you want to add into that so he basically Misses a quarter of his tackles clearly near the bottom in fact in that category every single linebacker in football has a lower percentage than that so you were talking about second string linebackers who even average a lower rate than that


    If Lawrence Taylor fell to #10, you’d pick elsewhere? By virtue of that alone, you can’t even suggest that LB is never a viable 1st Round selection. Taylor is extreme, but there so are many others who also warrant that call. I’m not saying Parsons is LT-lite, but he is a stud by all accounts. He solidifies the middle of the defense (where we have questions). I will give you that no other LB in this draft should be in consideration for the pick though …



    I wouldn’t even be mad at us picking WR at 10 like Waddle if the boys have a good idea that Gallup is gonna move on after this year

    LB Parsons should most certainly be in convo for 10th pick , here’s what Bucky Brooks on NFL Mock Draft Live said about Parsons , Lance Zierlien did a mock with Parsons going to Pats at 15 , here’s what Bucky said

    “If he falls to 15 he’s absolutely a steal and you talk about the Pats try and bring back the Dynasty , they can bring back the Dynasty with Micah Parsons in the middle , this is a tremendously talented player who does a great job of not only rushing the passer but making plays sideline to sideline , you put him in that defense , LOOK OUT IN NE ”

    I agree 100% with Bucky here ,he’s got the ability to be one of the best LBs in the NFL imo , he’s that good , I get the depth aspect at LB , but there’s a reason why Parsons has been the top LB prospect by far with no competition ( Maybe Koramoah ) and if it wasn’t for the off the field issues , he’d probably go before we even pick at 10

    So yes Parsons is in that convo at 10

    Roy Chambers

    You make a validate point however if you invoke the philosophy of taking the best player available I can’t recall a defensive tackle nor a offensive tackle breakup a 30 yard touchdown pass attempt.