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2020 NFL Draft: Who Should the Cowboys Select?

At the start of the 2019 season, the defense for the Dallas Cowboys was supposed to propel them to an easy playoff run and a possible Super Bowl appearance. Although, after a season of lackluster defensive play, the Cowboys sit at the number 17 spot in the draft looking to make a move to sure up their letdown of a defense.

The good thing for Dallas is that there is no shortage of star power on the defensive side of the ball in this year’s draft. Also, with Dallas drafting around the middle of the pack, they are in prime position to land a stud as many teams above them need quarterback or offensive line help. Three quarterbacks have the possibility of getting picked before the 17th overall pick and teams like the Jets and Browns need to draft offensive linemen to protect their quarterbacks.

A team can never have too much talent on the defensive line. Games are won and lost in the trenches and the Cowboys had a distinct lack of production in this area during the 2019 season. Drafting a guy like A.J. Epenesa would be a much-needed injection of energy into a defensive line that looked lethargic at times during the season. Epenesa, a junior out of Iowa, was named first-team All-Big Ten in each of his last two seasons playing for the Hawkeyes; he also earned Freshman All-Big Ten honors in 2017. Epenesa is able to terrorize quarterbacks by utilizing his hands in a brilliant fashion, batting away opposing linemen’s hands and overpowering them on his way to the quarterback. While Epenesa would be a great pick, this draft will ultimately come down to who Jerry Jones decides to bring back to the team. So, if Robert Quinn (11.5 sacks in 2019) is brought back, we will probably see the Cowboys go in a different direction.

With the Cowboys mainly focused on resigning two of their most important pieces on offense: Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper, they are likely going to let their one-time Pro Bowl cornerback Byron Jones test out the free agent market. Due to Jones’ expected departure, the Cowboys will probably look to draft a player in the secondary with the 17th overall pick. Thankfully, there is no shortage of secondary talent in the draft. Players like Jeffrey Okudah (CB, Ohio St.), CJ Henderson (CB, Florida), and Kristian Fulton (CB, LSU) could all make contributions for the Cowboys from day one. Of the three players listed, only Okudah is expected to go in the top ten of the draft; and the teams after that drafting before Dallas are not really that needy at cornerback. This leaves the Cowboys with a lot of opportunity to sign a real star in the secondary. With Okudah most-likely out of the picture by the time the 17th pick rolls around, CJ Henderson looks to be the best option for Dallas. Henderson does a great job sticking to people he is covering, not letting them gain a step on him. He is also six feet one inch tall, this allows him to guard red-zone threats in clutch situations. His tackling could use some work, but the Cowboys should be happy if he is available when they are on the clock.



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