The Dallas Cowboys went all-in on addressing their defensive woes in the 2021 NFL Draft, making some terrific picks to turn it around.
The Cowboys may have been thwarted at every turn in their pursuit for defensive backs, but Dallas still managed to make the most of their picks in 2021.
Jerry Jones and company targeted key areas of need with their 11 selections.
Which moves warrant the most praise?
Picking great linebackers
When life hands you lemons, make lemonades. Or if you’re the Cowboys, recover from having your top cornerback targets taken ahead of you by hitting home runs at linebacker instead.
Dallas salvaged their first round in a huge way by trading back and then landing Micah Parsons at No. 12. The linebacker was arguably a Top 5 talent, so getting him where they did was a steal, especially since they picked up a third-rounder in the process.
Parsons could come in straight away and replace Sean Lee, who just retired, while providing some insurance for injury-prone linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch.
They weren’t done at linebacker either. Landing Jabril Cox in the fourth round might be the value pick of the whole draft. Pro Football Focus graded Cox as a Top 50 player thanks to his elite coverage skilled. Dallas got him at No. 115 overall.
The LSU captain transferred in from the FCS level and quickly proved the SEC wasn’t too big for him. He had 58 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, a sack, three interceptions and five pass breakups in 2020.