Dallas Cowboys Seven Round Mock Draft

February 27, 2022

The Let Down

With the conclusion of the Super-Bowl, we can finally look towards the offseason. For Cowboys fans like myself, we were let down yet again in the playoffs after such a promising season. Dallas, led by Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs, led the NFL in takeaways on the defensive side of the ball.

Additionally, the Cowboys led the league in yards and points per game. Many thanks to guys like Dak Prescott, Ceedee Lamb, Amari Cooper, Tony Pollard, and others. After the upsetting loss to the 49ers in this year’s playoffs, I thought the team’s window to make the Super-Bowl may have been over. 

The Pleasant Surprise

Both Dan Quinn and Kellen Moore were top head-coaching candidates in this year’s cycle. However, Quinn put a screeching halt to his interview process, stating he wanted to finish what he started in Dallas. Potentially the biggest cog in the whole Cowboys operation stays home for at least another year. 

Additionally, Kellen Moore ended up not getting hired as the Dolphins head coach after being a finalist. Arguably the league’s most innovative offensive mind is also staying. With Quinn and Moore (who I thought would both leave) back into the fold, the Cowboys’ window of opportunity to make the big game is still wide open. This brings us to the off-season and most notably, the draft. 

What Will Dallas Do This Offseason?

There are multiple things Dallas has to consider going into the offseason. Will Michael Gallup and Cedrick Wilson both leave for expanded roles elsewhere? Will they be able to retain Randy Gregory? What will they do with Amari Cooper and Demarcus Lawrence and their big contracts? 

The Dallas Cowboys are currently projected to be in the negative cap space-wise this off-season. However, if the Cowboys re-structured Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Dexter Lawrence, and Ezekiel Elliot’s contracts this offseason, they’d free up a whopping 48.77 million dollars. That would put them 27.32 million under the cap without losing a core player. 

Kicking the can down the road and going “all-in” like the Rams this past season would be an ideal scenario in my eyes. The NFL draft is a good place to fill the potential holes this team might have after some offseason movement. Additionally, the draft is a good tool to use to improve on some of the weaknesses the team has. This leads us to the whole point of this article. Who should Dallas target with all of their picks in this year’s draft? 

Round One (24): Sean Rhyan, OL

Connor Williams, the Cowboys starting left guard last season, is headed to the open market this offseason. Although he’s a free agent, I don’t think the Cowboys would even take a look at bringing him back. Even if Dallas were in a good spot salary cap-wise, Williams was amongst the most penalized offensive lineman in all of football last season. 

I think moving La’el Collins back to left guard where he started his career and allowing Terrence Steele to start at right tackle is a legit option for Dallas. However, I think they’ll still have to target the offensive line position with one of their first picks. Rhyan seems to have an early second-round grade by many. However, I wouldn’t be shocked in the least bit if he went in the first round to teams like Dallas or Cincinnati. 

He played primarily as a left tackle for the Bruins in his career, starting as a true freshman. Although he has the experience on the outside of the line, I think Rhyan is better suited to be a left guard at the next level due to the lack of length he offers. The 6’5”, 320 pound Rhyan could be an immediate plug-and-play left guard for Dallas. Additionally, Rhyan could also be a developmental Left Tackle replacement for Tyron Smith. Dallas will love his size, play strength, underrated mobility, and competitive toughness in the run game. 

Round Two (56) Calvin Austin III, WR

There may never be another Tyreek Hill, but there’s definitely never been another prospect as close as Calvin Austin. The 5’9”, 162 pound Memphis product has tallied 137 receptions, 2,202 yards, and 19 touchdowns his last two seasons. Including 74 receptions for 1,149 yards and eight scores this past season. Additionally, he raised eyebrows with his performance at the Senior Bowl.

Austin could have the fastest 40 time in the draft class (said he’s expecting a 4.30 time). He also brings versatility to work out of the slot and an underrated YAC ability. Austin very well could be the “next Tyreek Hill”.

Round Three (88): Chad Muma, LB

Leighton Vander Esch is set to be a free agent this off-season. Additionally, I don’t see Dallas wanting to retain him, especially with their salary cap situation. In comes Wyoming’s Chad Muma who can replace Vander Esch as the team’s Will linebacker. Muma led the nation in tackles last season with 142 total (85 solo). He also registered 1.5 sacks and three interceptions. 

Muma is also very instinctive (you can’t lead the nation in tackles without that uncanny instinctive ability). Muma can stuff out the run game, rarely missing tackles in open space. Coming into college as a safety, Muma also showcases good coverage ability at the Linebacker position. 

He has the proper speed and athleticism to be able to handle running backs and tight ends at the next level, especially with some added refinement. He didn’t play a high level of competition in college and can improve in certain areas. However, Muma offers the ability to be a three-down linebacker at the next level. The addition of Muma with Vander Esch’s departure allows Dallas to continue to use Micah Parsons in a variety of different ways, primarily as a pass rusher. 

Round Four (127): Matthew Butler, IDL

Many would say that the Cowboy’s biggest need is an improved run defense. That all starts with the interior of the defensive line. Matthew Butler took advantage of a another year of eligibility and finally put together a complete season on tape. Registering career highs in total tackles (47), sacks (five), and tackles for loss (8.5), Butler firmly put himself on the draft radar. 

 Not only did his production this season allow him to be in a good position to get drafted, but his impressive frame and physical foundation he offers does as well. Standing in at 6’4”, 295 pounds, Butler offers excellent length, athleticism and explosiveness for a defensive tackle. Those intangibles not only allow him to successfully get to the quarterback but stuff the run as well. 

Although there’s a solid foundation, Butler tends to play a little too high at times. That leads to a lot of wasted movement out of his stance with some inconsistent hand placement  at times as well. But those are fixable things. Butler’s physical tools are things you can’t teach. Butler should pair well with Neville Gallimore, Osa Odighizuwa and Quinton Bohanna. Dallas would be able to form a young but talented defensive tackle rotation. 

Round Five (166): Jelani Woods, TE

Like Cedrick Wilson, tight end Dalton Schultz is 100% gone this offseason, as both players played themselves into a bigger payday than Dallas can afford. Woods came to Oklahoma State as a quarterback but transitioned to the tight end position. He transferred to Virginia to have an expanded role within the offense and boy did he ever.

The 6’7”, 265 pound Woods produced 44 receptions for 598 yards and eight touchdowns this past season. New to the position, Woods is a raw route runner. However, his height and wingspan gives him that “open when he’s covered” advantage. 

He’s a mismatch down the seam and in the slot. Additionally, the Cowboys will love his temperament as a run blocker (was primarily used as a blocking TE for Oklahoma State). If Woods can refine some parts of his game with more experience at the position, he has the upside to be one of the best TE’s in this year’s draft.

Round Five (175): Bubba Bolden, S

With Bolden missing a majority of last season with a shoulder injury and a 2019 Achilles injury, he falls to the fifth round. However, in between those seasons, Bolden posted a breakout campaign in 2020. He finished with 74 total tackles, a sack, an interception, and four forced fumbles. 

What’s noticeable about Bolden right away is his impressive 6’3”, 204-pound frame. Along with his size, Bolden has good deep speed that allows him to cover tight ends and operate in the slot. Although he’s known to take take inconsistent angles, Bolden is a willing downhill tackler. He has the potential to be really good in that department with some refinement thanks to his size and speed. 

Bolden’s lack of interceptions in college was a head-scratcher as well, considering the range he offers at the free safety position. Additionally, his athleticism and size should allow him to high point the ball with ease. Development will be needed, but Dan Quinn will absolutely love Bolden’s foundation to work with. If you just look at Bolden’s upside and take everything else out of account, he’s a second or third round pick. 

Round Six (200): Christopher Allen, Edge

Christopher Allen tore his ACL during the fall camp of 2018. Additionally, he suffered a foot fracture during his strip-sack of D’Eriq King in the first game of the season against Miami. That foot fracture required him to miss the rest of the season. 

Due to those two injuries, Christopher Allen will likely be a late-round selection. However, in 2020 Allen led the SEC in tackles for loss with 13 (six of which were sacks). Allen is worth the risk here late in the draft and could develop into being Dan Quinn’s signature “Leo” pass rusher.

Who do you think Dallas drafts with their first pick? Comment below and join the discussion!

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