The Dallas Cowboys have had a very lackluster season.
At 3-8, the team sits in last place of a notoriously weak NFC East this season.
However, they sit in an interesting position where they have two choices: sit back and go for a high draft pick or fight for a playoff spot.
After an abysmal 41-16 loss to division rival Washington, the outlook for the Cowboys is looking grim.
Every step of the way this season they haven’t been able to step up and put something together.
The Cowboys do have the fourth easiest schedule remaining, which could set up a winner-takes-all game against the Giants in Week 17.
While winning the division is a goal for each team every season, it also means a major drop in the draft order.
This could end up being the difference between the playoffs, and a top-five pick.
As December begins, a look at the current 2021 NFL Draft order:
1. Jets: 0-11
2. Jaguars: 1-10
3. Bengals: 2-8-1
4. Cowboys: 3-8
5. Chargers: 3-8
6. Eagles: 3-7-1
7. Panthers: 4-8
8. Washington: 4-7
9. Lions: 4-7
10. Falcons: 4-7
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) December 1, 2020
Assuming the team doesn’t make the playoffs, there are a variety of players they should target for the upcoming draft.
Filling Needs for the Cowboys
This season, the Cowboys have had noticeable holes all around the field.
The most obvious may be in their secondary.
They’ve lacked much success between their safeties and corners this season, which has hurt the team’s defense
On top of this, four members of their secondary are entering free agency.
However, if they get a high enough pick, they may go for a bigger splash and pick up a QB.
They could also use a good presence on their offensive line.
With this in mind, here are three players the team should target in the 2021 NFL Draft.
1. Patrick Surtain II, Cornerback, University of Alabama
Scouts have raved about Surtain’s abilities on the field.
Highest-graded CBs heading into Wk13
1⃣ Patrick Surtain II, Alabama – 87.9
2⃣ Tykee Smith, WVU – 85.3
3⃣ Shemar Jean-Charles, App St – 83.8
4⃣ Marcus Jones, Houston – 83.7 pic.twitter.com/fOJSIj7EDt
— PFF College (@PFF_College) November 27, 2020
He has grown as an isolation-corner, and has a prototypical, 6-foot-2 frame at the cornerback position.
With a 4.5 40-yard dash, he has the speed to stick with most wide receivers.
He has also stood out with his ability to predict and run routes, showing similarities to wide receivers themselves.
His father, Patrick Surtain Sr., was also an NFL All-Pro CB, so the family lineage is there as well.
Some mock drafts currently have Surtain going fourth overall to the Cowboys.
If that is where the team ends up on draft day, they will be more than ecstatic to pick up Surtain.
He instantly fills into the secondary where he could quickly become an impact player.
2. Caleb Farley, Cornerback, Virginia Tech
If the Cowboys get the third pick, or don’t like Surtain, they may elect to trade down.
They may choose to drop lower in the top ten, say around pick nine, and collect more assets while still being able to draft a suitable cornerback.
In this situation, they would likely look for CB Caleb Farely.
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) November 16, 2019
Farley is a big and athletic corner, standing at 6-foot-2.
He is a similar player to Surtain, as both are dominant in man-to-man coverage at the collegiate level.
However, Farley still has raw talent due to him being relatively new at the position.
He also decided to opt-out of this college season, so he has just been preparing for the draft rather than playing.
They arguably wouldn’t be losing much if they were able to land Farley instead.
On top of that, a trade down would net them other picks or players that could help the team in other ways.
3. Trevon Moehrig, Safety, TCU
Moving into the second round of the draft, the Cowboys will look to address another aspect of their defense.
The safety position will be another area of emphasis for the Cowboys in the draft.
Moehrig has stood out as an athletic safety who performs well with attacking the ball on passes.
Few things can happen on a football field that are sweeter then a Safety making a booming hit to force a fumble. That’s exactly what Trevon Moehrig (@TheReal_Tre7) does here. He sniffs out the play and aims right for the football knocking it loose, really great play…#WNSFilm pic.twitter.com/HoBxTGalsr
— Mark (@HeaneyNFLDraft) November 27, 2019
For a second-round pick, he could prove to be a key pickup for the team.
While it would be fun to imagine a scenario where the Cowboys make a surprising move with their first-round pick, it would be surprising for them to not go with a CB.
If they don’t make the playoffs, look for them to land either Surtain or Farley.
Either way, the Cowboys are looking to pick up some players that can make a difference on the field at the next level.