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The Dallas Cowboys have missed the playoffs two seasons in a row, which makes the No. 10 overall pick in this year’s NFL draft that much more important. Team owner and general manager Jerry Jones will have plenty of options when Dallas finds itself on the clock this Thursday night, but Cowboys legend Darren Woodson is petitioning him to target the defensive backfield early in the draft.

The Cowboys have options at No. 10 overall in the NFL draft

The Dallas Cowboys have the No. 10 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, and Darren Woodson knows exactly how Jerry Jones should use it.
Ricardo Guadalupe, Darren Woodson and Jerry Jones pose for a photo at AT&T Stadium | Cooper Neill/Getty Images for Hublot

After a 6-10 season littered with injuries, the Cowboys earned the 10th overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. It obviously wasn’t the season Dallas fans expected heading into the year, but the team will be able to snag an elite prospect this Thursday night as a result.

Many fans and media pundits are pointing toward Patrick Surtain II, the talented cornerback out of Alabama. Dallas badly needs help in pass coverage, and Surtain is considered the best CB prospect in this class. Jaycee Horn, the physical corner out of South Carolina, is another player who’s been consistently mocked to the Cowboys in the first round.

But Jones might be thinking bigger. The GM is reportedly “infatuated” with Florida tight end Kyle Pitts (who isn’t?). Don’t be surprised if he makes a move up to the front of the first round to grab the generational pass-catcher.

Either way Jones plays it, the Cowboys will be able to add a blue-chip prospect in the first round who can start from day one. That’s exactly what they need to do.

Jerry Jones receives a stern message from Cowboys legend Darren Woodson

Jones most likely has a million voices in his ear telling him how to handle the 10th overall pick in the upcoming draft. One of those voices just happens to be Cowboys legend Darren Woodson.

Woodson, who won three Super Bowls in Dallas and made five Pro Bowls as the team’s star safety, has a predictable wish for the Cowboys’ first-round pick.

“I think if you want a safety and you feel like you need to fill the void of playmaker in that position, then you probably have to get one a little early,” Woodson said during a recent appearance with K&C Masterpiece on 105.3 The Fan. “If you’re looking for a playmaker, go get one early instead of thinking through the process of, ‘I can turn a special-teams player into safety,’ or ‘I can go in the fourth, fifth round and find a guy that’s serviceable to play that position. If you want a big-time playmaker, it’s just part of it. You roll the dice and go early and hopefully, you get a playmaker.”

Woodson recalled when the Cowboys selected Roy Williams with the eighth overall pick in the 2002 NFL draft. Williams went on to make five Pro Bowls in his seven years with the team.

“[Williams] gave you one of the hardest-hitting players ever to play the game,” Woodson continued. “He was a turnover factory for the team. So, you want to get a playmaker? You got to go get them early. It’s no different than any other position. If you want to fill the quarterback position, it would behoove you to go early in the draft and find that that spot. Exactly the same thing for any other position.”

Will the Cowboys address the defensive backfield in the first round?

Surtain II and Horn are the main names popping up for the Cowboys at No. 10, but there are plenty of prospects who could help fill Dallas’ holes in the defensive backfield. The bottom line? Dallas needs a playmaker who can fly around the field and take the ball away in a variety of ways.

Just ask Woodson.

“When you look at some of the guys over the years, specifically at the free safety position, the guy who can really turn the ball over, you’re looking for the Ed Reeds, phenomenal players that have ball-hawking skills and they don’t come a dime a dozen,” Woodson said. “I’m a big believer in, if there is a guy at the position, safety or cornerback, and you know you need help on a different side of the ball, there’s a difference-maker, you go get them.”

Trevon Moehrig, the ball-hawking safety out of TCU, fits the mold Woodson described perfectly. He loves to cause havoc in the passing game and can flip the momentum of a game with one play.

Woodson would be thrilled if his former team added one of his own this Thursday.


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