As part of USN’s 2021 NFL Draft Coverage, we will be breaking down team needs for all 32 NFL teams. My personal background includes a lot of work writing about the Dallas Cowboys so naturally, I will start with them. Talk about a team in flux, the offensive line that was once the foundation of the team broke down as LT Tyron Smith, RT La’el Collins, and RG Zack Martin all ended the season on IR. The defense began the year playing at an all-time bad level and facing several injuries of its own. Star QB Dak Prescott was lost for the year with a gruesome ankle injury before signing a new contract, leading to speculation on his future. The running game was inconsistent at best. Simply put this team has more questions than it has answers at this point. Let’s start with the elephant in the room.
The Quarterback question
Dak Prescott isn’t going anywhere. If you can here to read an article about potential replacements for the current Cowboys’ signal-caller then you are certainly going to be disappointed. Before suffering the ankle injury, Prescott was on pace for over 6,000 passing yards and was the driving force keeping Dallas competitive. The team isn’t in the position to land Trevor Lawrence and the rest of the prospects at this position are not in Prescott’s stratosphere. It had to be addressed, it’s been addressed. Will the Cowboys have anyone not named Dak Prescott starting for them in 2021 if he’s healthy? No way…No how…
Now for the Cowboys three biggest needs going into the 2021 NFL Draft.
This one feels disappointing, almost painful to type out, considering the considerable resources that the Cowboys have put into the position over the last few years with a second-round pick on Jaylon Smith and a first on Leighton Vander Esch. Over the last two seasons, Smith has been less and less effective and LVE has been more and more injured, there is hope, given their collective talent, but until that talent produces results, this will remain an area of need.
Potential Early Round Target(s): Micah Parsons, Dylan Moses
2) Offensive Tackle
I’ll get some pushback for this one because the team has the future Hall of Famer Tyron Smith and pro-bowler La’el Collins at tackle, but here’s the thing, both went on injured reserve very early and Dallas was left with undrafted free agents to protect its franchise player.
At least that should be the attitude in the Dallas front office.
Potential Early Round Target(s): Penei Sewell, Samuel Cosmi, Alex Leatherwood
Here we are in 2021, with the same big need we had in 2008. Trevon Diggs was excellent as a rookie but fellow outside corner Chidobe Awuzie so is underused slot corner Jourdan Lewis. It’s unlikely that both return. It’s much more likely they are both gone. Both could be improved upon in any case.
Potential Early Round Target(s): Patrick Surtain II, Caleb Farley, Jaycee Horn, Asante Samuel Jr.