2023 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys were 12-5 during the regular season and just advanced to the Divisional Round by embarrassing Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Yet somehow, I have a longer list of needs for Dallas than I have for any team yet. If the Cowboys choose not to re-sign Donovan Wilson, they will have a hole at safety. Same idea with Dalton Schultz and the tight end position. Leighton Vander Esch and Anthony Barr are expected to hit free agency and the Cowboys will have decisions to make at linebacker as well.
Has Cooper Rush earned himself a chance to start elsewhere? If so, Dallas needs to ink a backup quarterback behind Dak, though I expect this would happen in free agency. Depth at wide receiver and along the interior defensive line are also directions I could foresee. But I’ve kept the needs list for all other teams to the top three so for the sake of consistency, I will do the same here.
Top Draft Needs: CB, RB, IOL
On top of potentially needing to replace Donovan Wilson at safety, the Cowboys need to nab a cornerback early in April’s draft. While Trevon Diggs is viewed by some to be among the league’s elite, Dallas needs to find someone to lock down the other side. It’s become crystal clear that Kelvin Joseph is not that guy for the long-term. For an opportunistic defense that pressures the QB and preys on the their mistakes, shoring up the other side has to be on the radar.
On offense, this is a team that likes to run the ball early and often, leaning on an ascending Tony Pollard and a regressing Ezekiel Elliott. Pollard has been excellent over the past two seasons, this year accumulating nearly 1,400 yards from scrimmage in a timeshare role. He is set for free agency and it remains to be seen if Dallas intends to bring him back. I believe most fans would love to see Pollard return and Elliott as the odd man out, but Elliott’s contract complicates matters. If Dallas can’t find a way to have this duo back in 2023, they will look to the draft to find a back in the Pollard mold, a player with burst, balance, and soft hands.
The Cowboys also need to prioritize their interior offensive line. While he’s played relatively well in 2022, Connor McGovern is set to be a free agent and Dallas may feel they can upgrade the left guard spot via the NFL Draft. If Tyler Smith is the left tackle of the future in Dallas, finding another young, top-end guy to play next to him on the left side could keep this running game rolling for years to come.