Perfect Picks: Dallas Cowboys

With the NFL Draft approaching we will be looking at each team and evaluating where they need to improve. In this particular series we will run a seven round mock using the Draft Network Mock machine and find the ‘Perfect Picks’ for each franchise.

We will highlight four players that could help each team. This will feature picks 1 and 2, a mid round gem and a late round sleeper. 

The Cowboys were many peoples favourites for a Super Bowl berth in 2020. They were 1-3 when Dak Prescott suffered his season ending ankle injury. Whether Prescott’s health would have changed the fortunes of the ‘Boys will never be known.

What is certain is that the Cowboys must now draft well if they are to build around the mega contract they handed Dak this offseason. This year could be the last before Jerry Jones and co have to make significant financial decisions.

Round 1 - Pick 10- Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

The Patrick Surtain II pick to Dallas has become a staple of mock drafts. It makes a lot of sense but there is also a feeling that with Jerry Jones at the helm, anything could happen. In terms of fit, pairing Surtain with college teammate Trevon Diggs gives the Cowboys a chance to cement the position for the long term. While Diggs took his lumps in Year 1, you can expect him to settle in as he gains experience.

In Surtain, the Cowboys are taking the most pro-ready cornerback in the draft. Ultra smooth in coverage, his athleticism is almost hidden by his technical refinement. Surtain doesn’t have to show exceptional make up speed or make crazy adjustments, why? Well, because he has an excellent read on the game and more often than not he is in the right spot at the right time. He may not be the flashiest but he has the hallmarks of an NFL lockdown corner, something not easy to come by.

Round 2 - Pick 44 - Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky

Jamin Davis wasn’t flagged as a lynchpin of the Kentucky Wildcats defense heading into 2020 but that is what he became. The 6’3 linebacker became a full time starter and took advantage of his opportunity. He is high cut, reminiscent of the Texans’ Zach Cunningham. The surprise is in the athletic ability. A forty time somewhere in the low 4.4’s confirms the sideline to sideline range Davis shows on tape. 

With Dak Prescott’s monster contract now finalized it could have repercussions on the linebacker slot. The Cowboys have decisions to make when it comes to current starters Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. Dan Quinn brought in Keanu Neal to take some pressure away from that duo but Jones could see the athleticism of Davis as a cheaper option at the position going forward.

Mid Round Gem - Pick 75 - Caden Sterns, S, Texas

The safety position and Dallas have been a talking point for too long at this point. Since rumours emerged of the ‘Boys being keen to land Earl Thomas a few years back, free agency and draft talk has always linked Dallas to a new safety. Donovan Wilson was an effective thumper but there is still scope to add a rangy, free safety to the mix. 

They don’t have to leave the state with this pick, grabbing Texas Longhorn Caden Sterns. Sterns was a regular pick in ‘way too early’ mock drafts since his stellar freshman campaign in 2018. Since then he has been dogged by niggling injuries and perhaps an eye on the future. That said, he still displays great speed, solid tackling and good leadership on tape. Healthy and motivated we could see the old Caden Sterns return.

Late Round Sleeper - Pick 179 - Chauncey Golston, Edge, Iowa

Randy Gregory has stabilised his career that threatened to head off the rails. That said depending on him being productive opposite DeMarcus Lawrence is a stretch. Even if Gregory performs, the Cowboys need to add depth on the defensive front. Iowa’s Chauncey Golston is a versatile option in the later rounds.

Golston became a starter in his junior season. As a team captain in 2020 he contributed 5.5 sacks in the Hawkeyes 8 games. While his get-off and speed as an edge rusher don’t flash on tape, his willing and hand fighting ability do. Golston has a knack of working off blocks, whether it be with a swim move or brute strength. He offers versatility as a base end or interior guy and is the solid depth you look for in later rounds.

Draft In Full:

10. Patrick Surtain II, Alabama (CB)

44. Jamin Davis, Kentucky (LB)

75. Caden Sterns, Texas (S)

99. James Hudson, Cincinnati (OT)

115. Jaelon Darden, North Texas (WR)

138. DJ Daniel, Georgia (CB)

179. Chauncey Golston, Iowa (Edge)

192. Larry Borom, Missouri (iOL)

227. Noah Gray, Duke (TE)

238. Ta’Quon Graham, Texas (DT)

Mock Draft

Rory-Joe Daniels

Cfb contributor

formerly writing for the inside zone, rory will be breaking down college tape and keeping you up-to-date with all things CFB for the touchdown. an avid bengals fan, you can also find some of rory’s work at