Mike Fanelli | March 30th, 2020
Entering free agency everything for the Dallas Cowboys centered around Dak Prescott. To no one’s surprised, the Cowboys placed the franchise tag on Dak as they try to work out a long term deal. However, with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement put in place, the Cowboys were no longer able to also transition tag Amari Cooper. Luckily for the Cowboys, despite a strong push from the Washington Redskins, Cooper never wanted to leave Dallas and re-signed on a five-year deal.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Cowboys lost several players, especially along the front four. Robert Quinn signed a massive deal with the Chicago Bears, while Maliek Collins joined the Oakland Raiders. However, the Cowboys were smart and signed a pair of former Carolina Panthers defensive linemen, Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe, to build back up their interior defensive line depth. The Cowboys don’t have a sixth-round pick but do have a late fifth-round compensatory pick. In total they have seven picks, starting with 17th overall.
To help with this mock draft, I used the Fanspeak mock draft simulator.
Make sure to check out all of our other NFL team mock drafts here.
Round 1, Pick 17: K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
While the Cowboys have high hopes for former 2018 fourth-round pick Dorance Armstrong and last year’s fifth-round pick Joe Jackson, the loss of Quinn needs to be addressed early in the draft. Quinn had 11 sacks last year while DeMarcus Lawrence had five. Without Quinn, teams will be able to focus even more on stopping Lawrence. The duo of Armstrong and Jackson combined for just two sacks last year while Chaisson had 6.5 sacks in his last year at LSU. Chaisson’s quick first step off the line of scrimmage and his ability to get around the edge should transition into early success in the NFL.
K’Lavon Chaisson’s cornering ability is ELITE.
Super close to a sack here. pic.twitter.com/5ueXOZMbKp
— Carter Donnick (@CDonnick3) January 14, 2020
Round 2, Pick 51: Antoine Winfield Jr., SAF, Minnesota
In several pre free agency mock drafts, including my own, had the Cowboys taking a safety in round one. However, with the signing of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the Cowboys no longer need to draft for need, but Winfield is a steal in the second round. Clinton-Dix is signed to just a one year deal, while the other starting safety, Xavier Woods, is entering the final year of his rookie contract. Adding Winfield would not only give the Cowboys options with Clinton-Dix and Woods this time next year but also give them a long term starter in the secondary.
Round 3, Pick 82: Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State
Byron Jones is now a member of the Miami Dolphins and while the Cowboys were able to re-sign Anthony Brown, the cornerback position still needs help. Both Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis are scheduled to be free agents after the 2020 season and given where the Cowboys could be cap wise next offseason, both could be playing elsewhere. Arnette got overshadowed at Ohio State by Jeffrey Okudah and Shaun Wade, but he is getting more hype as we get closer to the draft. With Jones out of the picture, Arnette could push for a starting role as a rookie.
Round 4, Pick 123: Tyler Biadasz, iOL, Wisconsin
The Cowboys were starting to look like offseason winners, then Travis Frederick decided to retire at the age of 29. Given what he’s battled through the last couple of years, Cowboy fans should be understanding and happy with his decision. However, the Cowboys need to address the center position. They re-signed Joe Looney to a one year deal and have last year’s third-round pick, Connor McGovern, both of which will have a shot at starting at center. However, adding Biadasz would give the Cowboys another starting option or at worse, depth along the interior of the offensive line. Many considered Biadasz a first-round pick when he almost declared last year, so for the Cowboys to get him in the fourth round is nothing short of a major steal.
Round 5, Pick 164: Harrison Bryant, TE, Florida Atlantic
Jason Witten came out of retirement for one last ride and it didn’t go according to plan. Now he is a member of the Oakland Raiders. While they did re-sign Blake Jarwin to a solid sized contract, he shouldn’t be unchallenged for the starting spot. Former fourth-round pick Dalton Schultz has 13 career receptions and his roster spot is in jeopardy. Bryant is a bit raw but can be a “move tight end” early in his NFL career as he works on his blocking ability. He may not be on the field a lot, especially on early downs, but he has strong hands and can line up in several spots.
Round 5, Pick 179: Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR, Liberty
Even though Cooper is back and Michael Gallup took a major step forward last season, the Cowboys lack depth at wide receiver. Randall Cobb got a boatload of money in free agency from the Houston Texans (I wonder if they regret trading DeAndre Hopkins yet?), while Tavon Austin is still an unsigned free agent. Despite coming from a smaller school, Gandy-Golden had a great Senior Bowl week and held his own against top competition. Coming off back-to-back seasons with over 70 catches, over 1,000 receiving yards, and 10 touchdowns, Gandy-Golden would be the favorite to secure the Cowboys’ third wide receiver role as a rookie.
Round 7, Pick 231: Alex Taylor, OT, South Carolina State
To close out this mock draft, the Cowboys return to the offensive line, adding a developmental tackle. There are rumors that the Cowboys are open to moving Tyron Smith. While trading him would be idiotic, Smith will turn 30 years old during the 2020 season and has struggled to stay healthy over the last few years. With swing tackle Cameron Fleming now a member of the New York Giants, the depth at offensive tackle is gone. Despite coming from a small school, Taylor had a strong showing at the Senior Bowl. With their last pick, the Cowboys would be smart to add a developmental tackle and build up their offensive line depth.
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