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2021 Cowboys mock draft 3.0

With all of the media hype surrounding Jerry Jones’ comments about Kyle Pitts, it’s easy to overlook the fact that the Cowboys are set to land a bigtime athlete to their historically inept defense. In order to keep the 24-hour media cycle up and running, commentators have jumped on the possibility of Dallas giving up substantial draft capital to land the Florida tight end. I don’t believe it’s going out on too much of a limb to say that there is zero chance that this will happen. Instead the focus should be on which defender will still be available to them at the 10th pick.

In our Dallas Cowboys mock draft 3.0, we project them to land Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II.

Although Micah Parsons is certainly an option here, we believe he will be drafted by the Dolphins with the 6thpick. In this scenario, Dallas gets the 2nd defender off the board and arguably the best corner in this draft to play opposite Trevon Diggs. Although they would be passing up on Penei Sewell, it’s tough to not address defense, and in particular the secondary, as they look to make a run deep into the playoffs. 

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As I’ve argued before in previous mock draft versions, Patrick Surtain II may the most polished and tested corner in the history of the draft thanks to all of the first-round receivers he has battled against in games and in practice. Names like Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle, and DeVonta Smith, are just some of those frequent matchups. He should stand up well against division matchups such as Kenny Golladay, Jaelan Raegor, and Terry McLaurin. Suddenly the defense with one of the worst secondaries in history would now possess quite possibly the best young cornerback tandems in the league. The Cowboys should be on a mission this offseason to help their defense to match their offense and Surtain II is certainly a big step towards achieving that outcome. 

With the 44th overall pick in our Cowboys mock draft 3.0, we project them to draft edge rusher Joe Tryon out of Washington.

Although it was tempting to follow up defense with offense and select center Creed Humphrey as the replacement to Travis Frederick, the availability of Tryon here was too good to pass up. 

As it appears that Aldon Smith’s tenure with the Cowboys has come to an end, we discussed how he was dreadfully overused last season. He finished with the third highest snap count on the defense last season. He hadn’t played in over five seasons and was brought in to be a situational pass rusher, but thanks to a complete lack of depth, Smith was stuck out there in clear non-passing situations. He started off the season strong; however, his legs couldn’t keep up with his overuse and his play in the second half took a bit of a nose dive. If the Cowboys want to help out their secondary, they need a rotation of guys upfront to help bring constant pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Using rotations of edge rushers help to take advantage of tiring offensive linemen in the second half of games and in the later parts of the season. Adding Tryon to the mix with Randy Gregory and Demarcus Lawrence is a good start to building out true depth. 

With the first two picks in our Cowboys mock draft 3.0, we see Dallas beginning to construct a talented and deep defense by adding the best cornerback in the draft in Patrick Surtain II and a talented edge rusher in Joe Tryon to add in the mix. New defensive coordinator Dan Quinn can help to breathe life into the play of some guys like Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch due to scheme and use changes, but ultimately, he will not be able to make up for a lack of talent and depth. If they’re serious about having a defense to match their offense, then they need to have defensive talent to match their offensive talent. This mock draft has them adding day 1 impact players to help them turn around what was a historically bad defense in 2020.

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