The Dallas Cowboys will make the playoffs, so the 2024 NFL draft has been an afterthought among fans. That said, folks have been critical of the Cowboys' 2023 draft, as they've essentially gotten nothing from their first three picks.
Granted, third-round pick DeMarvion Overshown suffered a torn ACL in preseason, but it's suboptimal that a win-now team like Dallas -- a team with an exemplary track record in the draft -- has seen minimal immediate returns from an entire class of draftees.
While a half-season shouldn't determine the success of any particular draft, we at least saw immediate results from the 2022 class. The production, or lack thereof, from this year's class is concerning and puts increased pressure on the Cowboys to hit a home run in the 2024 showcase.
If Dallas mirrors Pro Football Focus' new mock draft, though, they could be headed down a similar path to what we've seen thus far in 2023.
Cowboys make questionable pick in PFF's new 2023 mock draft
PFF's Trevor Sikkema mocked Florida State edge rusher Jared Verse to the Cowboys, who own the No. 21 overall pick. Verse is currently No. 14 on PFF's big board and was No. 1 on PFF's edge rusher rankings before the 2023 season.
You can never have too many pass rushers in the NFL, but drafting Verse could pit Dallas in a similar predicament to their current Luke Schoonmaker problem. They selected Schoonmaker in the second round in April when it was clear to almost everyone that 2022 fourth-round pick Jake Ferguson would step in and flourish as TE1.
Sure enough, Ferguson is breaking out in year two and is well on his way to establishing himself as one of the best TEs in the league. Essentially, the Cowboys drafted a backup tight end with their second-round pick.
Drafting Verse would cause a similar headache. While Dante Fowler and Dorance Armstrong are free agents after the season, Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence form one of the best DE tandems in the NFL and Sam Williams is seemingly poised to break out once Dan Quinn gives him more snaps.
Williams only played 12 defensive snaps against the Eagles in Week 9, but he notched three pressures and a strip sack of Jalen Hurts.
We're not opposed to Dallas adding another DE in April, but not with their first-round pick. That selection needs to be used on an offensive linemen, preferably a tackle given Tyron Smith is a free agent and hasn't been able to stay healthy, and Terence Steele has experienced significant regression post-ACL surgery.
Even a wide receiver would make sense depending on who's available.
The Cowboys drafted Williams knowing he'd have to wait his turn. He's showed oodles of potential in a limited opportunities. In 2024, it's finally time to let him feast. Drafting another pass rusher to stunt his development when there are other positions on the roster in need of an upgrade would be unforgivable.