It’s officially “Draft SZN” for the Dallas Cowboys after being eliminated from the playoffs by the San Francisco 49ers. And that means a lot, A LOT, of mock drafts, are coming your way.
And up first is one that will piss off Cowboys fans even if it’s just January.
In ESPN’s NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper’s latest NFL mock draft, the Cowboys use the 26th overall pick in… wait for it… running back, Bijan Robinson from Texas.
Oh, how I wish we were previewing the NFC Championship instead of discussing the possibility of the Cowboys drafting a running back in the first round. But let’s break it down.
Let’s start with Kiper’s analysis of the mock pick:
“This just makes sense, right? Team owner Jerry Jones loves star running backs, going back to his days of drafting Emmitt Smith in Round 1 in 1990, and he repeatedly has said Ezekiel Elliott is the Cowboys’ most important player. Well, Elliott could be a salary-cap casualty this offseason, and Tony Pollard — who made the Pro Bowl this season — broke his left leg in the divisional round and is a free agent.” – Mel Kiper
To be clear, I think Bijan Robinson is a great running back prospect. The Texas player has all the makings of an NFL back with a clear balance between speed and power while looking like a guy who just will impose his will on gameday.
But right now, in the midst of Ezekiel Elliott’s contract aftermath, I have a hard time buying into the idea that another running back is what the Cowboys need.
This team must change its focus and get rid of the idea that they need to “establish the run” to win. This passing offense struggled to be consistent this season in part because of Dak Prescott’s interceptions. But not all of them were on Dak in the first place.
Beyond CeeDee Lamb, the Cowboys wide receivers were unable to generate separation consistently. And when Pollard and Elliott’s yards per rush started to decline, it was mostly because of the offensive line.
And sure, the “best player available” strategy is the best way to go when it comes to the NFL Draft. But it feels like this team should have better options in terms of positional value that cater to their team needs like offensive line, cornerback, and yes, wide receiver.
Let’s not pick a running back in the first round, y’all.
Featured image via Gary Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports