With the Super Bowl officially over, it is never too early to think about where the Dallas Cowboys might go with their first-round selection.
The 2023 NFL Draft will officially start on Thursday, April 27, and continue until Saturday, April 29. The Cowboys’ first pick will come 26th overall after making it to the Divisional Round and finishing with a regular season record of 12-5.
The Cowboys, as of now, will have a total of six picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, one selection in every round but in the sixth. They could also gain compensatory picks for the loss of Randy Gregory, Connor Williams, and Cedrick Wilson Jr.
Dallas will look to continue their first-round hits with the 26th selection this offseason. The Cowboys have drafted Tyler Smith, Micah Parsons, and CeeDee Lamb over the past three years in the first round and that early pick success goes back even further than that.
Since 2013, the Cowboys have drafted a Pro Bowler with seven of their past nine first-round selections — Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, Byron Jones, Ezekiel Elliott, Leighton Vander Esch, Lamb, and Parsons.
Only Taco Charlton and Smith have not made a Pro Bowl in their careers, but the latter had an impressive rookie season and showed a ton of promise in his first year.
There’s no doubt that the Cowboys have had a ton of success drafting in the first round. This year, Dallas could choose to go a lot of different routes with the 26th overall pick: cornerback, wide receiver, defensive tackle, or even offensive lineman.
3 draft prospects that the Cowboys could target in first round
Feb 4, 2023; Mobile, AL, USA; American offensive lineman O’Cyrus Torrence of Florida (56) looks to block National defensive lineman Karl Brooks of Bowling Green (13) during the second half of the Senior Bowl college football game at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports
3. O’Cyrus Torrence, OG
For the past decade-plus, the Cowboys have placed an emphasis on bolstering their offensive line. First-round selections of Smith, Martin, Frederick, and Tyron Smith show just that.
But don’t think taking one in the first round is out of the question for the Cowboys, especially if a player like O’Cyrus Torrence is staring them in the face at 26th overall.
Torrence played three seasons at Louisiana before transferring to Florida in his final college season. At Florida, he was widely regarded as one of the best guards in the nation, especially in the run game.
According to PFF, Torrence finished the season with a 91.7 run-blocking grade. That grade ranked number one amongst all guards in Power 5 conferences — ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, and Pac 12.
The Cowboys love taking offensive linemen early and he might perfectly fit their scheme, a team that loves to establish the run.
Even with the Cowboys changing things offensively, their new offensive linemen coach (Mike Solari) has a history of creating great run-blocking schemes for big plays. At 6-foot-5, 347 pounds, Torrence would be a great fit.
ESPN ranks Torrence as the best guard in the 2023 class.
Dec 3, 2022; Atlanta, GA, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Malik Nabers (8) is hit after his reception by Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Kelee Ringo (5) during the first quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
2. Kelee Ringo, CB
Since Dan Quinn joined the Cowboys’ coaching staff as the defensive coordinator, the team has selected a specific cornerback type; a player who has speed and length on the outside.
Kelee Ringo out of Georgia matches that profile for the Cowboys in this draft. Ringo is a physical corner that stands at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, and he can match up with any big receiver on the outside.
The former five-star recruit had four interceptions and 15 passes deflected in his two seasons at Georgia, including seven pass breakups and two interceptions this past year.
It’ll be interesting to see how Ringo performs at the NFL Combine. His speed and length alone should make him an interesting choice for the Cowboys if he is still there at 26. The Georgia cornerback was once a world-class junior sprinter in the 100 and 200-meter dashes in Arizona.
The Cowboys desperately need another cornerback on the outside opposite of Trevon Diggs. DaRon Bland was solid in his rookie season and should see more playing time next season. Jourdan Lewis is also set to return following his season-ending injury.
But Dallas can’t rely on its cornerback depth as it stands now. Anthony Brown is set to become a free agent and Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright still need a lot of work to improve their games.
Ringo would be a nice addition to the Cowboys’ cornerback room and with his size and speed, the team might have him high on their draft board.
Nov 26, 2022; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Boston College Eagles wide receiver Zay Flowers (4) runs against the Syracuse Orange during the second quarter at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
1. Zay Flowers, WR
If last year showed anything about the Cowboys, it’s that they missed Amari Cooper. Outside of CeeDee Lamb, Dallas lacked another option for quarterback Dak Prescott.
With their first-round selection, there’s a good chance that Dallas chooses to cash in on a stud, wideout receiver to compliment Lamb in the passing game. Zay Flowers could be that deep-threat option that the team needed a season ago.
The Cowboys ranked in the bottom half of the league in big passing plays during the season, so adding a guy like Flowers could really help them stretch the field. He isn’t the biggest guy at 5-foot-10, but he did a lot of solid things at Boston College in four years.
In his senior season, he had 78 catches for 1077 yards and 12 touchdowns and was also a threat in the run game. In four years, Flowers ran the ball 57 times for 345 times with two touchdowns.
The Cowboys didn’t get much help from Michael Gallup or Jalen Tolbert last season, so grabbing a player like Flowers can really help space the field.
The Boston College wideout is extremely comparable to Deebo Samuel. Both players are incredible at yards after the catch and can do it all in the passing or running game. Like Samuel, if Flowers gets the ball in space, he is extremely dangerous.