Would The Cowboys Sacrifice Their Defensive Needs To Select One Of The Top Receivers In The First Round?

Logan Lockhart
BarnBurner Sports Writer


Tuesday, April 14, 2020

When the Cowboys were on the clock with the 16th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, thousands crowded in AT&T Stadium in Arlington to look upon what was happening at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, hoping for the selection of one player--Johnny Manziel. It was the popular pick, but the Jones’ did not bite--instead Zack Martin was the selection, a selection no one would complain about today. 


In 2020, similar parallels may be on the rise when it comes to the decision Dallas will have to make.


This year’s wide receiver class is being discussed as one of the best in NFL history, but the Cowboys have needs defensively, and may face the proposition of having to choose to go with the rational pick, or the popular pick.


The Cowboys currently sit at 17th overall, and own seven picks overall in the upcoming draft, one that will be done virtually amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, Henry Ruggs and Justin Jefferson are amongst the names that may make any team sacrifice their immediate needs at other positions.


For a Cowboys team in 2019 that struggled to force turnovers, as well as facing issues with missed tackles on the defensive side of the ball, it is clear where their immediate needs are.


The defensive needs may be sacrificed in order to take advantage of a strong wide receiver class in 2020.


“If I’m sitting in there with Jerry Jones, I’m pounding the table and taking one of those receivers,” said Mario Rizzi from The Goat House on BarnBurner Network’s NFL BLITZ last Wednesday. “Those guys are top-tier.” 


It is unlikely Jeudy will fall to where Dallas is picking, but the glimmer of hope that Dallas fans have that Lamb will be available is still there. 


Lamb has spent his college career playing for Oklahoma, where he caught passes from Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts in each of his three years. 


The Cowboys offence under new head coach Mike McCarthy will look to build upon a career-year from Dak Prescott, and with the subtraction of Randalll Cobb on the roster, taking a top-end receiver in the first round of the upcoming draft would not be the craziest decision Jones’ have made. 


“For McCarthy’s offence, he has only succeeded at the highest level when the receiver room was full,” said Rizzi. “To help Dak out even more, when he’s only improving and 26 years old, I think that (drafting a receiver) would help more than the defence. It’s an offensive league.”


The Cowboys did not own a first round pick in 2019, due to the price paid to the Raiders in the Amari Cooper trade. 


Dallas’ last five first round picks have been the aforementioned Martin, cornerback Byron Jones, running back Ezekiel Elliot, defensive end Taco Charlton, and linebacker Leighton Vander Esch.