4 dream prospects the Cowboys should draft in first round, but won't

Dallas Cowboys Introduce Head Coach Mike McCarthy
Dallas Cowboys Introduce Head Coach Mike McCarthy / Tom Pennington/GettyImages
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The NFL Draft is right around the corner, folks. To say there's pressure on the Dallas Cowboys to come away with a great class is an understatement. Not only did the Cowboys get zero production from last year's draft class, but they've hardly plugged any holes during free agency.

Mike McCarthy has said the Cowboys will be in the post-June 1 cut market, but whom they target will hinge on what positions they lock in on during the draft. The expectation is that Dallas will come away with as many as two offensive linemen, a running back and a linebacker. The rest of the draft is open for interpretation.

The first round will obviously set the stage for the rest of the draft. Slated at No. 24 overall, the Cowboys will have their pick of the prospect litter. The team's draft intentions have become obvious over the years, so there might be some dream prospects (and fits) that Dallas will foolishly pass on in round one.

4. Cooper DeJean, DB, Iowa

It doesn't seem like the Cowboys want Stephon Gilmore back. They re-signed Jourdan Lewis, who shined down the stretch in 2023, but the CB options behind Trevon Diggs, DaRon Bland and Lewis don't inspire much confidence.

Enter Cooper DeJean. Scouts aren't sure whether DeJean will play outside corner, safety or nickel cornerback in the NFL, but that's because he can make an impact at all three positions. DeJean is a special athlete, posting a 9.89 relative athletic score after his Iowa pro day.

DeJean has elite footwork, ball skills and football IQ. A former quarterback in high school, DeJean has a great understanding of route concepts. That, paired with his explosive athleticism, makes him a prime candidate to produce a handful of turnovers every season.

DeJean is also a stud in run defense and he has an All-Pro ceiling as a punt returner. He could fill a variety of roles in Mike Zimmer's defense and his ability to play safety in a punch would come in clutch being that Malik Hooker and Donovan Wilson are free agents after the 2025 season.