Draft Preview: Dallas Cowboys draft strategy
The phrase “there are no musts” was a trend that was repeated during the pre-draft press conference on Tuesday in Dallas. Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones, Executive Vice President Stephen Jones, and Head Coach Mike McCarthy all reiterated that although the Cowboys are not in a state of panic to find sure fire picks, they do acknowledge that “needs” can be filled. Two positions were identified, but again, Jerry Jones says the word “must” is not the case. Having the 24th overall pick might have allowed the Cowboys to have a more patient approach to this draft. The Cowboys have identified 15 players with first-round grades. The Cowboys are in the market to fill a hole in the offensive line, and more specifically the guard position. With the 24th pick drafting Zion Johnson (G) from Boston College would fill an offensive need, and might edge out drafting a wide receiver since it is imperative to protect QB Dak Prescott on every down. Adding depth is another key to the offseason for the Dallas Cowboys. With injuries being very unpredictable, it is essential for Cowboys to have a depth chart that can compete with any first team offense in the NFL. In the second round, Cowboys have the 56 pick, and will potentially draft Jaquan Brisker (S) Penn State. Brisker was given a late first round grade, and scouts say he has the best “instinctive and speed” at the safety position. Round 3 (88 overall) will give Dak another weapon offensively. If they decide to go wide receiver.
With current TE Dalton Schultz contract not being extended, it would make sense to draft Jelani Woods (TE) from Virginia. With the loss of edge rusher Randy Gregory, the Cowboys have another “need” at the defensive end position. Taking Dominique Robinson (DE) from Miami (Ohio) at 129 in the 4th round would add depth at this position with newly signed Dante Fowler, who is coming off of two subpar seasons.
If the Cowboys have not taken a wide receiver prior to the 5th round, it would be time for the Cowboys to draft Justyn Ross (WR) from Clemson. Ross is a 6’4”, 210-pound speedster that catches everything. This would be a great threat on the opposite side of Ceedee Lamb. Owner Jerry Jones was correct in terms of the value that can be added in round 3 through 5. In the 5th round, Dallas Cowboys can find tremendous value in drafting James Houston (LB) from Jackson State at 167th overall and Austin Deculus (OT) from LSU with the 176th overall pick. Closing out the 5th round the Cowboys can bolster their defensive line by drafting Eyioma Uwazurike (DT) from Iowa State with the 178th overall pick. Uwazurike is a run blocker and stayed healthy playing for the Cyclones last year.
Cowboys’ fans are hoping this is the year that Zeke can have an all-pro type of season. Many say, it would be a great help to Dak and the offensive line, but mostly it is expected to live up to the contract that has been given to him. In the 6th round, Dallas can find some depth to a backfield that has Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard. With the 193rd overall pick, Cowboys will draft Malik Davis (RB) from Florida. Davis rushed for 487 yards with 5 touchdowns on 92 attempts. More importantly, Davis had 23 receptions for 217 yards and 2 touchdowns. He can help Dak on check-down reads and add to the struggling yards after catch that the Cowboys had an issue with in 2021.