The Dallas Cowboys left the 2022 NFL Draft with a solid haul of talent and potential. What’s there left to do this offseason except for the final wave of free agency? How about taking a way-too-early shot at what the 2023 NFL Draft could look like for the Cowboys?
Yes, I know, I’m wasting my time writing this article because there’s no way this will happen because the draft landscape changes drastically throughout the year. Remember when Spencer Rattler and Sam Howell were supposed to battle it out for the No. 1 pick before last season? Now, one transferred to a different school and the other was drafted in the fourth round. Things change, huh?
Regardless, I’m going to try my hand at it because it’s enjoyable for us all to fantasize about what America’s Team could add from the collegiate levels to help raise a Lombardi Trophy. I will be doing this in a three-round structure using Pro Football Focus’s Mock Draft Simulator. I took into consideration the team’s 2023 free agents, contract outs, and player performance.
A three-round way-too-early Dallas Cowboys 2023 mock draft
Note: The draft order was automatically set by PFF, based on strength-of-schedule, giving the Cowboys picks 26, 58, and 90.
Round 1, Pick 26: S Jordan Battle, Alabama
What better way to start off a mock than with the ‘Boys going off-script. Yes, they take a safety here at the end of the first round in Alabama’s Jordan Battle.
Battle is the selection here for a couple of reasons. First, let’s start with his talent. At 6-1, 210 pounds, the hard-hitting safety had a very good junior season, recording 85 tackles, three pass deflections, and three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. He also graded very well according to PFF, grading 4th among safeties in defense (88.0), and 5th in coverage (89.7).
Coming up next offseason, the front office may need to think about making an upgrade at the free safety position. Current starting free safety Malik Hooker was just re-signed to a two-year deal this off-season, so he’s getting his shot at a long-term deal. However, even last season, he did just decent. He had 44 tackles and one interception while grading fairly well in run defense (75.8), and not so well in coverage (65.5).
Meanwhile, backup Donovan Wilson is set to hit the market next offseason as well. Adding the college star would shore up the safety position for years and provide a scary duo with Jayron Kearse which may make quarterbacks think twice about throwing deep.