I get the pleasure of being the guest GM for this 2023 NFL Draft. And Dallas Cowboys fans hopefully will appreciate my take on their team and what can help them get to the next level! Dallas made a strong push this year but they just needed a little extra to get to the big game.
They don’t have any cap space currently to play with, they are -25+ million according to Spotrac. Dallas did rework Zeke’s deal but has a bunch of free agents (potentially), and a Dak deal that takes up over 21% of their cap as it stands today. So with all that being said, here are my take on their needs and my mock draft!
Dallas Cowboys: Team Needs
- Safety (Both safety spots)
- Depth at Cornerback (and nickel back)
- Edge depth (with future starting potential)
- Linebacker (They have Jabril Cox and Damone Clark but need more)
- Offensive line depth (with starting potential)
- Defensive Tackle(s)
- Wide receiver depth
- Running back depth
- Tight end (starter if Schultz leaves, if not another developmental piece)
Dallas Cowboys: The Pick is In…
1-26: Bryan Bresee, DL, Clemson
2-58: Will McDonald IV, EDGE, Iowa State
3-90: Jordan Battle, S, Alabama
4-129: Jaxson Kirkland, IOL, Washington
5-163: Sean Tucker, RB, Syracuse
5-170: Jay Ward, S, LSU
5-176: Ivan Pace Jr., LB, Cincinnati
6-212: Jacob Copeland, WR, Maryland
7-246: Max Duggan, QB, TCU
I have no idea how Bryan Bresee was there at 26 but I ran the card up for that pick. I really was planning to look at safety with pick 26 but to add a force in the middle of that defensive line is too hard to pass up. Bresee (pronounced bruh-ZEE), didn’t have the production most expected but the traits are on the tape. He can be a penetrating defender, get them sacks, and play well against the run.
Will McDonald IV will be a starter within the next few seasons, and could easily be a nice rotational piece for the Cowboys now. You hear everyone say, you can’t have enough pass rushers and Dallas is no different. I could see him pushing for more reps as the season goes on and proving that he can produce against big-time talent in the Big 12.
I finally addressed the biggest need with Jordan Battle. He may not be the flashiest in the safety group but I’d argue he’s one of the more high-IQ safeties in this class and could start from day 1. With the uncertainty at the moment for Dallas, a young safety with his level of experience could be huge.
Rounds 4-7 land some BIG potential!
I didn’t get the best grade for Jaxson Kirkland but I like his versatility and experience. He may never be more than a backup but I think for a team like Dallas, he could be a good fit at either tackle or guard. Sean Tucker is a solid depth with a ton of future potential to be an impact rusher. He is one of my favorite backs in this class due to his explosiveness and aggression as a runner. If we see more from him in the passing game, I’d argue he’s a nice mix of both Zeke and Pollard (but I can’t say that for sure today).
I went back to the safety with my next choice and grabbed one of my favorite sleeper safeties in LSU’s Jay Ward. Ward has shown some nice skills in zone coverage, giving them a ballhawk that they need to pair with a guy like Battle. With great size and solid athletic ability, I see Ward as a guy that could turn into your other starting safety with the proper coaching.
Ivan Pace Jr is my favorite late-round safety. A transfer to Cincinnati that stepped in and looked great in that Bearcat defense. I know he’s undersized but a fierce tackler that should have no problem being great depth and a special teamer to start. I don’t know that he develops into a starter but I think he has shown that he should get a chance, given his work ethic.
Jacob Copeland is more of a fun sleeper option, that showed out pretty well at the combine. Running a 4.42 looking pretty good throughout the weekend, I could see a team taking him as depth. Max Duggan as the last pick was more so because I didn’t love what was there. Duggan, a local kid that has grit could be really appealing as a backup. I have seen others talk about the connection as I write this, and it makes sense to me as well! I expect Duggan to stick around as a backup because of his determination and leadership abilities.
Thanks for Stopping By!