The Dallas Cowboys came into the 2020 NFL season with high hopes. Following a disappointing 8-8 campaign in 2019, Jerry Jones chose not to bring back head coach Jason Garrett and replaced him with Mike McCarthy, the longtime coach of the Green Bay Packers that helped Aaron Rodgers win his only ring.
But Garrett wasn’t the only headset-wearing member of the staff not to return as Jones cleaned house and only retained offensive coordinator Kellen Moore for the 2020 season. But Moore’s job got a lot tougher when Dak Prescott went down with an injury in Week 5, which essentially killed any chance the Cowboys had to make the postseason. But even had Prescott stayed healthy, it’s not as if Dallas was a lock for the playoffs as the defense was absolutely horrendous.
In the end, the Cowboys finished 6-10 but were oddly still in the postseason mix up until the final week of the season given how horrible the NFC East was as a whole.
With the 2021 NFL draft right around the corner, Dallas clearly needs to improve in a number of areas, particularly on defense. So let’s take a look and see exactly how many picks the Dallas Cowboys have over the course of the draft and which problems need to be addressed.
(This article has been updated to include the trade between the Cowboys and Eagles in the first round.)
The Dallas Cowboys currently have 11 picks in the 2021 NFL draft
As of this writing, the Cowboys currently have 11 picks in the 2021 NFL draft, the first round of which takes place Thursday night. Rounds two and three will be on Friday with rounds four, five, six, and seven on Saturday. Here’s a quick look at every pick the Cowboys have right now.
- Round 1: No. 12
- Round 2: No. 44
- Round 3: No. 75
- Round 3: No. 84
- Round 3: No. 99
- Round 4: No. 115
- Round 4: No. 138
- Round 5: No. 179
- Round 6: No. 192
- Round 6: No. 227
- Round 7: No. 238
Dallas doesn’t need a ton of help on offense outside the O-line
As far as the Dallas offense is concerned, the only major need is on the offensive line as the skill positions are set. Dak Prescott finally got the monster deal he’s been waiting for and should be ready to go when the season gets started. Ezekiel Elliott certainly didn’t have his best year but is still solid. And if he’s not cutting it, Tony Pollard has proven he’s able to step up and handle more touches.
Prescott has plenty of weapons to throw to in Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, Blake Jarwin, and Dalton Schultz. So that’s not an issue, although Jerry Jones is apparently in love with Florida Gators tight end Kyle Pitts, a selection that would be a mistake.
Where Dallas could improve on offense in the NFL draft is on the offensive line. The Cowboys had a number of key injuries on the O-line in 2020 and it would serve the team well to get some new blood in there even if the core group is “healthy” to start the year.
The Cowboys must use this NFL draft to improve the defense
The Cowboys’ defense was absolutely atrocious in 2020 and at one point was on pace to be the worst in NFL history. Jones addressed the problem following the season by firing defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and replacing him with Dan Quinn. But even the best defensive minds in the world can’t be effective without players and Dallas certainly needs to use this NFL draft to load up, starting with that No. 10 overall pick. South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn has been a name that’s been thrown around a bit and that would certainly be a good start.
But the Cowboys also need help — well — just about everywhere. We’re talking defensive ends, tackles, safeties, linebackers — you name it, Dallas needs it.
2021 NFL draft order courtesy of NFL.com