Dallas Cowboys: Power ranking five first round options

Dallas Cowboys NFL Draft (Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys NFL Draft (Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Rashawn Slater, Northwestern Wildcats
Rashawn Slater, Northwestern Wildcats, (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

3. Rashawn Slater

Gone is the proverbial second great wall of Dallas. Former All-Pro center Travis Frederick is retired and All-Pro tackle Tyron Smith hasn’t played a full 16 game season in a half-decade. Meanwhile, All-Pro guard Zack Martin and tackle La’el Collins both dealt with their own rash of injuries last season.

There are two offensive linemen in this year’s draft who are clearly worthy of a top 10 pick. The first is Oregon Ducks’ Penei Sewell. He’s easily one of the three to five best players in the entire draft, but there is very little chance he is going to be available when Dallas picks in the first round.

The other is Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater, who absolutely could be in play for the team when they go to hand in their draft card. Slater has played like an elite tackle on both sides of the line and has the athleticism to suggest he could probably slot in at guard if he was asked.

Drafting someone like Rashawn Slater is an investment in the future in a way that few other picks would be. While he could certainly make an immediate impact right away for whichever team drafts him, the Cowboys’ hope would be that Smith and Collins both come back and stay healthy, meaning that Slater doesn’t need to see the field for at least a year.

The Dallas Cowboys spent a ton of money locking up quarterback Dak Prescott this offseason. Sure there are other positions that have a more immediate need than the offensive line- at least 10 of them are on the defensive side of the ball- but what good is locking up your franchise quarterback if you can’t protect him?