The Dallas Cowboys had 11 picks in the 2021 NFL Draft.
All NFL teams think they drafted the best class, and the Cowboys are no exception.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) May 1, 2021
Here are three of the best moves the Cowboys made in the 2021 NFL Draft.
1. Traded Picks With The Philadelphia Eagles
Ordinarily, coordinating anything with an NFC East rival would be a no-no, but this plan actually worked.
The Cowboys traded their 10th overall pick to the Eagles.
In return, they got the Eagles 12th overall pick and the 84th pick.
The Eagles wanted to leapfrog over the Giants picking 11th overall because they believed the Giants would draft Heisman Trophy winning wide receiver DeVonta Smith.
Since the Cowboys were not in the market for a wide receiver in the first round, this was a win-win for them.
They gained a draft pick for moving down two places and ended up with the same player.
2. Got Micah Parsons In The First Round And Stayed With The Defensive Theme
The Cowboys selected Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons with the 12th pick.
This was an excellent choice given Sean Lee‘s recent retirement and the fact that Parsons will likely be on the field in Week 1.
He is definitely NFL ready.
Cowboys’ new LB Micah Parsons: 94.8 run-defense grade in 2019.
Highest by a LB since 2014. pic.twitter.com/3WuP22F9bf
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 30, 2021
After getting Parsons, the Cowboys stayed with defensive selections.
That was of utmost importance given the poor performance of the Cowboys defense in 2020; they gave up 473 points in 16 games last season.
The Cowboys have a new defensive coordinator in 2021; he is former Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn.
Expectations for a quick turnaround are set, and the draft picks reflect it.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones reflected on the defensive haul the Cowboys made at the draft.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t need to send any message. It was pretty well known where we might need to be doing some addressing. It wasn’t designed to send any interpretation of how we felt about things.”
The defensive players selected average over 6’3″ tall.
“The bigger, the faster, the longer that we can play, the more aggressive we will be. Because we like to play certainly in a bold style. So, having guys with length and speed and run-and-hit factor—that’s a big part of it.”
3. Drafted An Interesting Wide Receiver In The 5th Round
Buttoning up the defense was important, but giving the newly minted franchise quarterback, Dak Prescott, a potential playmaker also happened with the 179th pick.
His name is Simi Fehoko from Stanford, and he brings more speed to the Cowboys offense.
He ran a 4.42 40.
In 3 seasons at Stanford, he caught 9 touchdown passes and amassed 1,146 yards.
This huge opportunity is not lost on Fehoko, a life-long Cowboys fan who once wore Troy Aikman‘s jersey for Halloween when he was very young.
— Simi Fehoko (@Simi_Fehoko) May 1, 2021
“I’m still raw. I’m undeveloped. I really need one person to learn from, and I think that with my God-given abilities and gifts, there’s no reason that I can’t be the best WR in this draft class, if not the league.”
“I’m speechless. I’m absolutely speechless. …It’s such a surreal moment. I’ve worked really hard for this moment, and I’m really happy to be a Cowboy. I’m proud, and I’m ready to roll.”
Time will tell if the Dallas Cowboys draft choices will make successful NFL players.
Nobody knows for sure until they hit the field.