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Opinion: Dallas Cowboys would be wise to trade No. 10 overall NFL Draft pick

The Dallas Cowboys have one of the top picks in the NFL Draft to fill a need, but they could also take advantage of that position and benefit from a trade.

DALLAS — The Dallas Cowboys are in a unique position at No. 10 overall in Round 1 of the 2021 NFL draft.

They have their quarterback of the future in Dak Prescott. Running back is already sealed with Ezekiel Elliott. The tackles are ostensibly solidified for the next few seasons with Tyron Smith and La'el Collins. They have one of the best receiving trios in the league with Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb.

The defense has its war daddy in defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and its "war uncle" in defensive end Randy Gregory. Linebacker is also locked down for the next two seasons with Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch, whose fifth-year option is still to be exercised. 

Safety is a position that has never had a first-round pick used on it since 2002 with Roy Williams; it must be an unwritten rule that Dallas won't use a first-round pick on a safety.

That leaves tight end, defensive tackle, cornerback, and possibly center-guard as the positions Dallas should use for No. 10 overall.

According to Pro Football Focus' big board of 300 college prospects, former Florida tight end Kyle Pitts falls in at No. 9 — meaning he could be there when Dallas picks. Another intriguing pick at No. 10 would be ex-Alabama defensive tackle Christian Barmore.

Defensive interior may not be a big position of interest for Dallas as they have not taken anything close to an interior defensive lineman in the first round since Marcus Spears in 2005, and he was playing 3-4 defensive end at that.

Is it really going to come down to Pitts, a tight end, or a highly rated cornerback, such as Alabama's Patrick Surtain II or South Carolina's Jaycee Horn? Given the way the Cowboys have drafted since the departure of Bill Parcells at the end of the 2007 season, those are the only two positions of "need."

What Dallas should consider is moving down or out of their first-round pick and dropping further in the draft, either to collect more capital for 2021 or stock up for 2022.

In terms of value, Pitts would be the only logical choice at No. 10 overall. Surtain is considered the 16th-best player in PFF's rankings, and Horn is the 24th overall. In terms of value, the Cowboys would be overpaying if the draft order corresponds with the rankings.

Typically, the draft has its own rhythm that goes off the draft prognosticators' scripts — that's how Dallas ended up with Lamb after all. The quarterbacks may start falling, or there could be a run on cornerbacks, which then makes Horn or Surtain more valuable than they were before.

Should the Cowboys trade back, it wouldn't mean that they are giving up on any particular prospect. History has shown that the Cowboys can move back and still get their guy. In 2002, they were able to land Williams when they started with the No. 6 overall pick and swapped with the Kansas City Chiefs, going down to No. 8 overall, where they took the standout Oklahoma safety.

In 2007, Dallas backed out of No. 22 overall, collecting a 2008 first-round pick in the process so the Cleveland Browns could move up and take quarterback Brady Quinn. The Cowboys then managed to move back into the first round later in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles to grab defensive end Anthony Spencer at 26th overall.

The Cowboys may have a player they like in the first round, but they should also look to take advantage of the position neediness of certain teams and not overpay for their guy.

Do you agree that the Cowboys should trade down and accrue more draft capital? Share your opinion with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.


Marcus Mosher and Landon McCool are talking all about draft options for the Cowboys in this episode of Locked On Cowboys.

Is trading back into the first round more likely now than ever? Who would Dallas target at the end of Round 1?

 They also discuss if Oregon FS Jevon Holland is a lock to be picked by the team at pick No. 44 and debate if he will be available to them in the second round.

Marcus and Landon also reveal their "pet cats" of the 2021 NFL Draft and relive their favorite draft memories involving the Dallas Cowboys.

SUBSCRIBE: The Locked On Cowboys podcast is on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and wherever you listen to podcasts