5 players the Cowboys should draft in the first round

BLACKSBURG, VA – NOVEMBER 23: Offensive lineman Christian Darrisaw #77 of the Virginia Tech Hokies blocks linebacker Phil Campbell III #24 of the Pittsburgh Panthers in the second half at Lane Stadium on November 23, 2019 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)

Which position should Jerry Jones address with pick 10?

Last offseason, Mike McCarthy was hired to replace Jason Garrett as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. After 10 rather uneventful (in this case, uneventful means not winning a Super Bowl) seasons as the head coach of perhaps the most prominent organization in the NFL, Garrett was relieved of his duties.

Jerry Jones looked at his roster full of talent, specifically accrued via the draft, and decided changes were needed.

McCarthy inherited a solid roster. Although, a roster that was leaning towards a down tilt at some key positions. Primarily the offensive line.

After a great draft that netted rookies CeeDee Lamb and Trevon Diggs, all eyes were set on the Super Bowl for Dallas. Dak Prescott was back playing with an uncertain future with the team after contract talks led to nothing. But, even with that, the team looked primed to contend in the NFC.

Well, that was unfortunately not the case for the Cowboys. Defensively, this side of the ball was a mess. They allowed the fifth-most points in the league with 473 and early in the season allowed opponents to score 34+ in five of the team’s first six games.

All of that was pushed aside when the biggest blow to the team’s season occurred in Week 5 against the New York Giants. Prescott had to leave this game with a gruesome injury that would sideline him for the remainder of the year.

Once Prescott went down, that seemed to lead to other misfortunes for the club. Zack Martin played in just 10 games, Tyron Smith appeared in two, La’el Collins missed the entire season, and Ezekiel Elliott seemed lost without help.

The team’s 6-10 record landed them at pick 10 in the first round. Assuming Prescott returns (very lightly assumed), what position should the front office address in round-one?

5. Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

As stated above, the offensive line for the Cowboys was absolutely slammed with injuries in 2020. Just one season prior, Collins, Smith and Martin combined to start 40+ games. Missing those three, specifically the Pro Bowl/All-Pros Smith and Martin, was devastating.

Also, long-time center Travis Frederick retired after 2019. Meaning the Cowboys played most of the 2020 campaign without three multi-time Pro Bowlers and All-Pros on the line. Not ideal.

Therefore, the offensive line should get quite a bit of attention when Jerry Jones and his front office are on the clock at pick 10. A player who could hear his name called is Christian Darrisaw.

Darrisaw played three seasons in the ACC for Virginia Tech. He started 34 games for the Hokies and played as a true freshman to begin his collegiate career in 2018.

According to his Virginia Tech bio page, Darrisaw stands 6-foot 5. He is a big tackle who has the size to be dominant in the NFL.

Right now, Darrisaw may be a little raw with his technique. However, the skillset seems to be there, and his size should play well at the next level. He projects as a starting left tackle. Of course, that position is currently occupied by the seven-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro Smith.

Smith is creeping towards the back end of his career, and injuries have derailed his past few seasons. He has not started a full 16 game season since 2015. Getting Darrisaw in the room to learn behind Smith would be ideal as he could take over if and when Smith departs, or if the veteran gets hurt again.

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