Should the Cowboys still consider picking Caleb Farley?

Virginia Tech Hokies defensive back Caleb Farley (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)
Virginia Tech Hokies defensive back Caleb Farley (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Dallas Cowboys headed into this offseason with a plethora of needs that were heavily skewed towards the defensive side of the ball. Particularly, in their secondary. The unit was one of only seven that allowed opposing passers to throw for a passer rating of 100 or better last year.

Needless to say, the team headed into this offseason in dire need of help in their secondary, both at the safety and cornerback position. After the team signed safety Damontae Kazee, who led the league in interceptions with seven back in 2018, the need for a starting safety was alleviated a little bit. The organization also signed safety Jayron Kearse to add depth to the position.

However, the team has done embarrassingly little thus far to address its need at the cornerback position. The team re-signed cornerback Jourdan Lewis but saw another one of its free-agent cornerbacks, Chidobe Awuzie, get picked up by the Cincinnati Bengals.

Obviously, there is still time for the Cowboys to address this need either during the remainder of free agency or through the NFL Draft. Fortunately, this year’s draft class has a relatively strong cornerback class that should allow the team to potentially nab a starting-caliber player at the position in the opening rounds.

Dallas currently owns a whopping 10 picks in the upcoming NFL Draft, starting with the tenth overall pick. Given the organizations’ desperate need for a cornerback, it makes sense to assume that the team will likely use that pick on a player at this position (though they could potentially trade down in order to do that).

The biggest debate currently consuming fans of America’s Team has, naturally, been which cornerback prospect should the organization take at ten. Currently, that debate has seemingly been (mostly) narrowed down to two players, Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II and South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn.

Previously, the debate had largely been confined to Surtain and another top prospect, Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley. The 22-year old opted out of the 2020 season but had previously established himself as one of the top corners in college football.

The Virginia Tech product managed to haul in an impressive six interceptions during his two-year collegiate career. His best statistical season came back in 2019 when he finished the year with the second-most interceptions (4) and pass deflections (12) in the ACC.

The six-foot-two, 207-pound prospect is, like both Surtain and Horn, an oversized player at the position who excels at man-coverage. However, the biggest knock against Farley is his troubling and extensive injury history. That concern was only exacerbated by the announcement that he would be undergoing back surgery to address underlying back ailments.

The question that NFL teams, including Dallas, will have to wrestle with is how to balance this concern with the incredible talent of Farley, who is arguably the best cornerback in this draft class.

Given the Virginia Tech products’ extraordinary talent and his ability to force turnovers, it is hard to imagine he will be available to the Dallas Cowboys when they pick in the second round. That means that the organization will likely only have one shot to nab him in the draft.

Obviously, if Surtain II is available when America’s Team goes to pick at ten then it would be hard to argue with the logic of picking a player who is similarly talented minus the injury history. However, if another team takes Surtain off the board before ten and the organization is faced with the choice of taking Farley, Horn, or a player at another position then the team should seriously consider either trading down or taking him at ten.

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The Dallas Cowboys are in dire need of help at the cornerback position. Caleb Farley is arguably the most talented cornerback in the upcoming draft. That combination should warrant him at least some consideration from America’s Team, even given his injury history, especially if Surtain is off the board.