Cowboys controversial draft pick proving doubters wrong

Dallas Cowboys cornerback Nahshon Wright (40) (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys cornerback Nahshon Wright (40) (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports) /

Everyone loves a good underdog story, and that includes the Dallas Cowboys

The 2021 NFL Draft was an important one for the Dallas Cowboys. They headed into the draft with ten draft picks (would later become 11) after one of the more disappointing seasons in recent history.

While most of the attention was surrounding the team’s first-round pick, the third-round garnered its fair share since Dallas had three selections. The most controversial of the three was the 99th overall pick, Nahshon Wright.

Many (including myself) considered that to be the team’s worst selection in the draft by a long shot. That’s because Wright projected to be a late-round pick or possibly an undrafted free agent. analyst Lance Zierlein was one of the many with that projection.

Cornerback was a glaring need for the team, so drafting one was not the issue. The unbelievably long reach and the available prospects on the board are what make the selection a head-scratcher.

Michigan’s Ambry Thomas, who I listed as a great option at pick No. 138, was on the board. The surge of corners taken in the third round brought up his value, and he got selected three spots later. Either way, reaching 30 picks earlier is better than 100.

Considering what new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn wants to implement, drafting Nahshon does make sense, just maybe not that high. Despite that, the rookie has been one of the hottest names during OTAs and minicamp for the Dallas Cowboys.

The competition

The second-round corner, Kelvin Joseph, was penciled in by many as the number two corner on the Cowboys. Unfortunately for him, he missed some time due to Covid-19 protocols, allowing Wright to shine. He did so by grabbing some interceptions and knocking down a couple of passes.

Dallas’ 2016 sixth-rounder Anthony Brown is the favorite to start Week 1 as the CB2 due to his experience. He has been a rotational piece since his rookie season, with his peak performance coming in 2017. He made 56 tackles while intercepting two passes and knocking down 11 of them.

With the starting spot next to 2020 star boy Trevon Diggs up for grabs, Nahshon Wright thrust his name into the competition. That’s a big first step for someone that was considered a late-rounder.

In terms of fitting Quinn’s scheme, Wright is the favorite to play as the Dallas Cowboys’ CB2 because of his frame alone. Favoring big cornerbacks, a five-foot 11-inch frame won’t cut it. We will need to wait until the pads are on in Oxnard, California, and the preseason to find out where he stands regarding the level of play. That’s too early to tell.

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If he continues his impressive play through the preseason, Nahshon Wright may work his way into being one of the starting corners. While I think that would still be early to put him in, the ball is in his hands.