Are the Cowboys preparing for life post-Tyron Smith
The Dallas Cowboys are very much in a position where they can snag one of the top two offensive tackles in this class in Penei Sewell and Rashawn Slater.
Tyron Smith has still performed at an elite level when on the field, but the problem lies in the fact he hasn’t played a full 16 games since 2015. Smith is scheduled to count $7.5 million against the cap this year and $17 million against the cap in 2022 and 2023.
On the surface, selecting a tackle may not be the optimal move for Dallas after witnessing how bad the defense struggled in 2020. However, it’s not out the realm of possibility one of these premium slides inside to guard.
Connor Williams is entering his final year of his deal, so the Cowboys would be filling an area of need early. Not only do you begin reconstruction of your offensive line, but you have a plan in place if you are without Tyron Smith in the future.
Filling an early void at DE
Currently, DeMarcus Lawrence and Bradlee Anae are the only two defensive ends contracted past this upcoming season.
Michigan edge rusher Kwity Paye, who is overwhelmingly regarded as the top rusher in this draft, has quietly been mocked to Dallas at 10 in a few mock drafts. We know with the hiring of Dan Quinn, his system needs bonafied edge rushers.
Though the potential is there with Randy Gregory, there aren’t many proven commodities outside of Lawrence. The Cowboys will have the opportunity to take the best pass rusher in this draft and solidify their pass rush for a few more years.
Is this Michael Gallup’s final year?
If you are a believer that Michael Gallup can be a bonafied number two receiver in this league then there are surely multiple teams across the league, with more cap space than Dallas, willing to ink Gallup to that type of contract.
It’s hard to envision a scenario where Gallup is back with Dallas after next season, which could lead to him being an expendable trade piece on draft night in hopes of trading up to nab former Florida Tight End Kyle Pitts.
Gallup was 157 yards away from having back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons – and that’s with the addition of CeeDee Lamb and the loss of Dak Prescott. So if Gallup has truly out priced himself from resigning with the team then they could see what his value is now in order to get his replacement.
New role for Jaylon Smith?
Among the list of complaints about this Dallas defense in 2020 was the play of Jaylon Smith and the health of Leighton Vander Esch. Smith’s contract is guaranteed for this year and Dallas will soon have to make a decision on whether to pick up Vander Esch’s fifth-year option.
LVE hasn’t had a fully healthy season since his rookie year. It has become commonplace for Smith to often be out of position, take bad angles and display a lack of hustle.
Enter Micah Parson, who enjoyed a dynamic pro day. At his height, weight, and speed he is perfect in today’s league where he will be asked to carry tight ends in coverage as well as defend the run in traditional defensive looks. Parsons’ size, explosiveness, and pass rush ability as a blitzer all make him an intriguing draft prospect this year.
Smith has been long rumored to be tried out at rushing the quarterback. Not becoming a primary defensive end, but be used more in blitzing and pass rush scenarios. The new role would leave plenty opportunities for Parsons to touch the field if Dallas decides to move in that direction.
Do the Cowboys believe they’re better than pick 10?
In 2016, when the Dallas Cowboys sat at fourth overall in the draft, there was an understanding that the Cowboys were not like your traditional top-five draft team. An injury to Tony Romo in 2015 derailed their season, which landed them as the fourth worst team in the league. It’s the reason why mock drafts couldn’t exactly predict who Dallas would go with because their biggest addition that year was going to be the return of Romo. It’s why they were able to draft a running back that high and spend a second-round pick on a player (Jaylon Smith) who was not going to play that year.
This year, though the team had only one win under Dak Prescott, is fair to assume Dallas would have at least won the division with Prescott at the helm. Will we again see them go best player available? Or is this team closer to being a bottom 10 team than a Super Bowl contender?