It’s been an argument between readers on our site, Dallas Cowboys fans, and general sports fans alike: Should your team draft for need or for talent? According to a poll conducted by The Landry Hat two months ago, 64% of our readers believed the team should draft to fill a need. But according to Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones, drafting solely on need can get you in hot water:
“Well, I think you get in a lot of trouble if you focus on one spot. I’m mean, you start targeting something and drafting for need. We all know that will get you in trouble. So, I don’t think it’s to anyone’s surprise that it’d be nice to come out of the draft, at some point, with a defensive front guy, defensive lineman or two. But no, I don’t think we can just say ‘Hey, we’re going to take the first two picks and that’s got to be defensive lineman.’ No. I think you get in trouble that way.”
The true answer is probably somewhere in-between need and talent. And it’s always a gut-wrenching decision either way. But with limited options in this mock at #16, I think the Cowboys have to simply close the door to need and draft the most talented player available. Even if that player is added to a position that the team considers already full.
In my fourth post-combine mock draft, I have tried my best to anticipate the selections by each club based on need, reviewing several different mock drafts and my general feel for each team. Here’s my newest first round mock draft plus my detailed explanation of the Cowboys pick. I’ve also included a quick analysis on the top ten picks as well.