The Dallas Cowboys did well during free agency to add depth to a roster most figured would be ravaged by the open market.
Picking up starting defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe was a boon. Signing HaHa Clinton-Dix put a band-aid on the safety position, too.
Despite this, owner Jerry Jones and Co. have a ton of holes to fill heading into the 2020 NFL Draft later this month. Here, we give you a full seven-round mock draft with a big trade in Round 1.
First-round, 30th pick: Xavier McKinney, safety, Alabama
Note: Acquired from Packers for 17th pick. Cowboys pick up second and third rounders in exchange.
Dallas decided to take advantage of the Packers’ need for a wide receiver by moving down 13 spots and picking up two additional Day 2 selections. In doing so, the Cowboys add a do-everything defensive back in McKinney.
The Alabama product is touted as a single-high safety with the best range in the draft class. He can play both safety spots and in the slot at cornerback. That type of flexibility is needed with Xavier Woods and HaHa Clinton-Dix slated to start at safety this coming season. Both are pretty much specific to their positions.
Second-round, 51st pick: Michael Pittman Jr., wide receiver, USC
Despite retaining Amari Cooper on a lucrative five-year deal and boasting stud youngster Michael Gallup, the Cowboys are in need of more receiving help. The loss of Randall Cobb in free agency adds yet another layer to that belief.
In selecting the 6-foot-4 Pittman, the Cowboys would be adding a physical freak who dominated PAC-12 competition during his time with the Trojans. He’s seen as a physical force who can defeat defenses at all three levels, including underneath. A trio of Cooper, Gallup and Pittman would be hard for opposing teams to scheme against. That’s for sure.
Second-round, 62nd pick: Stanford Samuels III, cornerback, Florida State
The loss of Pro Bowl corner Byron Jones makes this position a major need for Dallas. The good news here is that cornerback is seen as pretty darn deep heading into the 2020 NFL Draft. Samuels would also be a perfect fit in defensive coordinator Mike Nolan’s scheme.
The former Seminoles star boasts a solid 6-foot-1 frame and just ran a 4.65 40-yard dash as the NFL Scouting Combine. He already boasts plus-level ball tracking and coverage skills. Samuels could very well produce at a high clip early in his career, too.
Third-round, 82nd pick: Lloyd Cushenberry, center, LSU
The retirement of star center Travis Frederick at the young age of 29 surprised the masses back in March. He was the one figure that held together the interior of Dallas’ offensive line. With him out of the mix, veteran backup Joe Looney will be thrown into a starting role.
Needless to say, Dallas must find a long-term replacement. It does so in a player in Cushenberry who can be a Day 1 starter due to both his functional strength and surprising athleticism. At worst, he could back up at all three interior line positions to start his career.
Third-round, 94th pick: Brycen Hopkins, tight end, Purdue
Dallas likes what it has in young tight end Blake Jarwin. But following the departure of Jason Witten to Las Vegas in free agency, this position is certainly a need. At issue here is a perceived lack of deep talent at tight end in the 2020 class.
Enter into the equation a player in Hopkins who will benefit from the lack of true tight end talent. The 6-foot-5 former Boilermaker caught 61 passes for 830 yards against elite Big 10 competition and without a legit quarterback under center for Purdue. He’d immediately become TE2 in Dallas.
Fourth-round, 123rd pick: Troy Dye, linebacker, Oregon
Dallas has core starters Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith returning next season. Veteran Sean Lee will also return as a backup. The issue here is Vander Esch’s neck injury that cost him seven games in 2019. Can Dallas rely on him to be 100% moving forward? I am not too sure. In Dye, the Cowboys would be adding a core special teams player who could step into a starting role. The 6-foot-4 linebacker recorded 84 tackles, 2.5 sacks and two interceptions for Oregon last season.
Fifth-round, 164th pick: Tyler Johnson, wide receiver, Minnesota
Production. That’s the best way to describe this talented 6-foot-2 receiver. Johnson caught a combined 164 passes for nearly 2,500 yards with 25 touchdowns in his final two seasons with the Golden Gophers. He boasts a huge catch radius and strong hands. Even after adding Pittman Jr. to the mix earlier in the draft, there’s no reason to believe Dallas won’t double down at this position.
Fifth-round, 179th pick: Chauncey Rivers, edge, Mississippi State
Dallas was smart not to match the Bears’ ridiculous offer for Robert Quinn in free agency. Though, this does leave a bit of a hole behind Demarcus Lawrence and Dorance Armstrong out on the edge. Selecting a productive player in Rivers in Round 5 makes a whole lot of sense. He recorded eight tackles for loss and five sacks for the Bulldogs last season.
Seventh-round, 231st pick: Malcolm Roach, defensive line, Texas
Even after picking up Dontari Poe and Gerald McCoy to anchor the interior of their line, the Cowboys need more depth at defensive tackle. That’s where a highly-talented project in that of Roach makes sense. The 290-pound defensive lineman recorded nine tackles for loss and three sacks for the Longhorns last season.