Cowboys 2023 Draft: Early look at potential candidates for No. 26 pick

Dallas Cowboys, NFL Draft (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys, NFL Draft (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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Christian Gonzalez, Oregon Ducks. (Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images) /

Christian Gonzalez – CB – Oregon

Height: 6’2

Weight: 200lbs

Career Stat Line: 128 total tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 4 interceptions, 17 passes defended

Evaluation: After the loss of Anthony Brown this season, the Cowboys struggled to find someone who could fill in opposite Trevon Diggs. If the Cowboys were to go after a cornerback, Gonzalez would be someone worth keeping an eye on thanks to his size and production on the field. He has fluid hips which allow him to open his stance and run with receivers downfield and with his ball skills and speed he’s able to make plays on the football.

He has the ability to play either press man coverage or zone coverage but does seem to play better when plays in man coverage. The Cowboys feel good about Diggs and the rookie cornerback Daron Bland but they need to figure out who that third cornerback is going to be, Gonzalez could be that cornerback if he’s available at 26.

Siaki Ika – DT – Baylor

Height: 6’4

Weight: 350lbs

Career Stat Line: 70 total tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 3 passes defended

Evaluation: We saw just how effective a big-bodied defensive tackle in the middle of this Cowboys defense can be in the running game, so why not draft one this time? Ika is one of the biggest defensive tackles in this draft but what separates him from the rest is you can’t block him one on one. His ability to beat single-man blocks forces teams to double him, but he’s also strong enough to hold the point of attack allowing linebackers and safeties to come in behind him and make plays in the backfield.

The Cowboys have done a nice job finding players off the street and in the draft when they’ve actually done the research on a player. If they do it on Ika, it’s going to be hard for them to pass up a player that could very well have the same impact on a game as the Eagles’ first-round pick in Jordan Davis last year.

Eli Ricks – CB – Alabama

Height: 6’2

Weight: 196lbs

Career Stat Line: 44 total tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 5 interceptions, 10 passes defended

Evaluation: We’ve been disappointed whenever we believed the Cowboys were going to take a cornerback only to see them pass on the opportunity or see a team swoop in and take them ahead of the Cowboys. The good thing for the Cowboys is that once again this year’s class at cornerback is deep and Ricks is a player who most definitely will be on their radar. They’ve had success taking one Nick Saban cornerback so why not do it again by taking Ricks who will bring his instincts and attitude to the Cowboys secondary.

During his time at Alabama Ricks turned into one of the best cornerbacks with his wing span and ability to accelerate and keep up with some of the fastest receivers in the nation. The Cowboys need another alpha mentality in that secondary to go with Diggs and Bland, who have established themselves on this football team. Ricks if given the chance could give the Cowboys a third if around at 26.