FRISCO, Texas — The NFL Draft is less than a week away. The Cowboys were quite busy in free agency, re-signing many of their own players, adding a few others and then made some significant trades that should bolster the roster.
But the questions now center on the draft. Just what will the Cowboys do with the 26th overall pick, which begins April 27 in Kansas City?
So as we conclude the inaugural edition of "Fast Forward", let's look at the linebacker position.
Until the Cowboys officially switch Micah Parsons' position from linebacker to defensive end – something that will probably never happen – then No. 11 will be included in all discussions that involve linebacker.
Parsons did rush the passer quite a bit in 2022 and was rather effective again, recording 13.5 sacks, a slight jump from his 13.0 as a rookie in 2021. Parsons is one of just 10 players in NFL history to surpass 25 sacks in his first two seasons in the league and the first player to achieve that since Von Miller, J.J. Watt and Aldon Smith all did it in 2011-12.
But figuring out how much linebacker Parsons is going to play will affect what the rest of the position looks like. Getting Leighton Vander Esch to re-sign on a two-year deal was a big get for the Cowboys. LVE was healthy for most of the regular season and finished with 100 tackles. Jabril Cox, Damone Clark and Devin Harper are three more young linebackers on the squad but this is a position that could stand to use even more depth. It's one that could be addressed in the first two rounds, perhaps even first round as long as the linebacker has some pass-rushing ability as well.
Top 2023 Prospects:
Drew Sanders (Arkansas) – Another player who visited the Cowboys on a 30 visit, Sanders is a local product from Denton. He spent just one year at Arkansas, where he was a unanimous All-American. Sanders rushed the passer at times and also played off-the-ball but still had 9.5 sacks. He originally went to Alabama before transferring to play at Arkansas for one season.
Trenton Simpson (Clemson) – Simpson has met with the Cowboys at The Star as well. He has the ability to pursue the ball sideline to sideline, showcasing his speed. He might not be the pick at No. 26 but could be in play with a trade-back scenario or if he's around in the second round.
DeMarvion Overshown (Texas) – A former safety, he's got the speed to run all over the field, but he uses it well to knife into the backfield. Overshown has over 30 tackles for loss in his career, including 10 last year.
Isaiah Land (Florida A&M) – The Cowboys have a tendency to draft players from the Senior Bowl and Land was a standout in Mobile back in late January. He's got a big frame at 6-3, 236 but has pass-rushing capability evident by his 26.5 sacks the past two seasons at FAMU.
Dee Winters (TCU) – The Cowboys should know all about him considering he was a standout here at TCU. But he was performing on the big stage as well as the Fiesta Bowl Defensive MVP against Michigan. Winters lives in the opponent's backfield, recording 14.5 tackles for loss last season.