For the first time since 2010, the Dallas Cowboys have a new head coach. How will that impact their roster-building strategy heading into the 2020 NFL Draft?
The Dallas Cowboys have long operated their franchise at a reality TV-esque pace and the 2020 season should be no different.
Out is Jason Garrett, who spent the previous decade at the helm of the Cowboys. In is Mike McCarthy, the former Packers coach who oversaw the development in one of the league’s brightest stars in Aaron Rodgers.
Add a dash of “no contract extension for their franchise quarterback” and limited long-term financial flexibility, and you have the recipe of must-watch NFL drama.
It can sometimes be difficult to pin down the direction of a team’s upcoming draft with a new coaching regime, but it’s a little less so in the Cowboys situation with Jerry Jones still in charge of personnel decisions.
With a number of pressing needs throughout the roster, it’s time to take some wild guesses at how the 2020 Cowboys draft class could shake up come April:
As much as Dallas would probably love to have a shot at adding a presence on the defensive interior like South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw, I’m not sure he’ll be there for them at 17. And as deep as the position is, it may make more sense to invest in a plug-and-play prospect in the secondary like Florida’s C.J. Henderson.
The Cowboys have already met with Henderson during the draft process and could fill a huge hole if Byron Jones elects to leave Dallas in free agency. Jones will solidly remain third in the contract extension priority list behind Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper, so the Cowboys will certainly do their homework on this year’s somewhat underwhelming cornerbacks class.
Henderson has ideal size (6-foot-1, 204 pounds) for the position and should be one of the best testers among the group at the NFL Combine. He’s an explosive athlete and has excellent fluidity in his hips to allow him to stay in step with opposing wide receivers.
If the Cowboys are patient and trusting in the development of 2019 second-rounder Trysten Hill, I think there’s a good chance they address the secondary early in 2020. Also keep an eye on names like TCU’s Ross Blacklock and Jeff Gladney, LSU’s Grant Delpit and Alabama’s Xavier McKinney at this spot.