Cowboys 2021 NFL Draft: 5 first-round scenarios to ponder

Dallas Cowboys Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Cowboys Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /
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La’el Collins (71) with tackle Tyron Smith (77) Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /

Make the Selection – #2 Overall Pick

Getting the second overall selection is much like the first but the return should be more earthly than the astronomical deals some of these quarterback-needy teams have made in the past. A quarterback-needy team could jump here but the fallback could be too much for Dallas.

If Dallas doesn’t make a deal there are three players that I believe could be the pick here. The first is in my opinion the best defensive prospect but also plays a position of need. Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II is a big long-limbed shutdown cornerback that would pair beautifully across from Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs.

Penei Sewell is a prototypical left tackle with the brute force of a right tackle. Drafting him would give the Cowboys an elite offensive line again. I would be tempted to move right tackle La’el Collins to left guard and play Sewell at right tackle until Tyron Smith is ready to hang it up.

The third player that would be tempting to draft is somewhere out of left field but BYU quarterback Zach Wilson is someone I would definitely attempt to start a franchise with. Keep an eye on this sleeper if he decided to enter the draft but he will shoot up draft boards if he hasn’t already.

If I am pressed to make a selection here, Penei Sewell would be my selection and I would keep the strength of the team strong. Sewell playing left guard next to Smith would once again push Dallas’ line to stardom and the prime beneficiaries would be Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott.

Trade the Pick

Trading out of the second pick makes sense if you can stay within striking distance of the elite defenders and it doesn’t include a division rival. The New York Giants and the Washington Football team both need quarterbacks and could have an eye out for Wilson or Ohio State signal-caller Justin Fields.

Jacksonville would be the primary target as they have a need at quarterback and are also on a top-five pick trajectory. Trading with them would keep the player out of your division and the return would likely end up being another premium pick as Jacksonville looks to rebuild.

Trading away the selection and ending up outside of the top ten would likely infuriate the fanbase as they are ready for the next great Dallas defender to arrive.

The Verdict

Netting the second overall selection feels like it would put the Cowboys in an awkward position. Draft pundits might call on Surtain’s selection at number two is too high while drafting the second-best quarterback to replace Prescott as ludicrous.

Sewell feels right but might force a previous commitment in Collins to switch positions. Playing Sewell at guard feels like filling a small need with massive resources. Trading the selection is the best bet for Dallas in this scenario.