NFL execs rave about Cowboys’ NFL Draft class

By Matt Johnson
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys went into the virtual 2020 NFL Draft with everyone expecting Jerry Jones to screw it up. Instead, the Dallas Cowboys pulled off one of their most impressive draft hauls in years.

Fans in Dallas weren’t the only ones celebrating the Cowboys’ pick, executives from around the NFL loved what Jerry Jones did, too.

Cowboys land a draft steal with CeeDee Lamb

The Cowboys certainly didn’t expect to spend a first-round pick on a wide receiver. Jones knew the team had more pressing needs at cornerback and edge rusher, but he couldn’t pass on an opportunity to draft the top receiver in the 2020 draft class. When Lamb slid to the Cowboys at No. 17, Dallas didn’t hesitate and it instantly became one of the biggest winners in the first round.

Jones received universal praise from the NFL world for taking Lamb. Suddenly, one of the NFL’s best offenses added a playmaker to surround Dak Prescott with one of the league’s best supporting casts. NFL executives loved the move just as much as the fans did, per The Athletic’s Mike Sando.

“Dallas had no intention of taking a receiver,” an NFL executive said, via The Athletic. “Then the receiver who was arguably the top one in the class (CeeDee Lamb) falls to them. OK, they are going to be in 11 personnel a lot. It makes sense, them taking him.”

Lamb developed quite the reputation in college football for making absurd plays after the catch and for a plethora of stunning grabs. The Cowboys love everything Lamb would bring to their offense and Jones is so excited with him that the rookie will be wearing an iconic number in Dallas.

Dallas finds great value in Trevon Diggs

Jerry Jones admitted after the NFL Draft that Diggs shouldn’t have been available at the No. 51 pick. Yet, the talented cornerback slipped down the board and right to the Cowboys. Just like with Lamb, the team didn’t waste a moment before grabbing the young corner.

Many around the NFL were surprised Diggs fell that far. Once considered a potential first-round pick, Diggs’ length, athleticism and instincts will allow him to be an instant contributor in a secondary that desperately needs one. It’s exactly why the pick received praise around the league.

“I would have put money on the same thing,” another NFL executive said, via The Athletic. “Very, very unlikely, especially with Damon Arnette going at 19 and Noah Igbinoghene going at the bottom of the first.”

Just two picks into the 2020 NFL Draft and the Cowboys came away with two great players, both that weren’t expected even to be available for Dallas to take. Fortunately for Jones, the draft board fell perfectly and the Cowboys came out of it smiling.

Cowboys become a playoff team in 2020

The Cowboys already turned in a strong offseason by hiring Mike McCarthy as head coach and bolstering their front seven with Aldon Smith, Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe. Coming out of the 2020 NFL Draft with one of the best classes in the league just made things even better.

“The only thing you can say about them is, a lot of guys they took are super talented,” a third NFL executive said, via The Athletic, “Diggs was probably the third-best corner on the board. If you get the best out of him, you hit a grand slam. This draft to me is probably one of the best ones. When your owner is also the GM, you can take some risks.”

Dallas will take the field in 2020 with an electrifying offense, a tremendous coaching staff and a defense capable of creating pressure. Put it all together and it’s easy to see the Cowboys being a playoff team next season with the possibility to accomplish even more.