Draft capital is important to roster development, and the Dallas Cowboys are determined to improve. A disappointing end to a promising 2022 campaign caused the front office to evaluate the state of the franchise. Competition in the NFC East continues to rise, leaving the team with the fewest resources left to fight for their lives. As the NFL Draft countdown comes to an end, what can we expect Dallas to do with their first-round pick?
The NFL draft is scheduled for April 27, and owners are completing their final deliberations. Blockbuster transactions shifted the dynamic of divisions, reshuffling the NFL’s food chain. Near the top of the chain are the Dallas Cowboys. They finished with a 12-5 record in 2022 – ranking 7th in overall record. Their resilience during the regular season resulted in a playoff berth. Dallas defeated the Buccaneers (31-14) before losing to the 49ers (19-12).
Dallas Cowboys use the off-season to reshuffle the roster?
A winning record covered the Cowboys’ blunders last season. Role players failed to produce, causing the next an up to make the most of an opportunity. Tony Pollard was a beneficiary of more playing time. He was the Cowboys leading rusher (1,007) and tied for 10th in total rushing touchdowns when ranked against other backs. Pollard also recorded 39 receptions, equating to 371 yards receiving.
Impressive stats from their second-string running back convinced Dallas’ front office to invest in the future. In March, the Cowboys placed a franchise tag on Tony Pollard with an opportunity to sign a multi-year deal by July 17. Interest in No.20 took the focus off of Dallas’ former first pick. Ezekiel Elliott was outshined for a consecutive season – resulting in a release at the beginning of the off-season.
The future is bright for Tony Pollard, but will the Cowboys rely on him as the sole contributor in the ground attack? A dual-threat rushing attack complimented Dak Prescott’s skill set, and a change would shift the offensive scheme. With other positions to fill in on the roster, how will Dallas fill their running back needs?
Will the Cowboys spend their first-round pick on an RB?
The draft could provide the Cowboys with their next franchise back. Dallas holds the No. 26 pick, with a chance to land some of the draft class’s best prospects. Bijan Robinson (Texas) is considered the best running back available – accumulating 3,410 yards and 41 touchdowns from scrimmage in a three-year collegiate career In 2022, he finished first in the Big 12 in rushing yards (1580) and first in touchdowns from scrimmage (20). His talent stands out and could become a first-round pick for any franchise willing to place their bid.
Drafting a running back would show a lack of commitment to Tony Pollard – and the Cowboys seem to be pretty invested. If Bijan Robinson is not on the front office’s radar, Michael Mayer should be (Notre Dame). His 6’4″ frame provides help in the run blocking – helping the Cowboys develop a scheme for Pollard this season. Mayer is also a great option to have in the passing attack. He recorded 2099 yards receiving and 18 touchdowns at Notre Dame. He’s a playmaker in both aspects of offense and could be a steal for a developing franchise.
The Cowboys are in a position to make strides toward clinching a divisional title. Off-season improvements should pay off in the long run. Making a first-round pick is tough, but with patience, the Cowboys can make a dynasty-building selection.