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Mailbag: More Names To Watch At Cornerback?


We hear so much about the top cornerbacks and the immediate need at that position. Assuming a scenario where the Cowboys go a different direction in Round 1 and or 2, how does the draft look regarding potential Day 1 cornerback starters that are likely to be available at picks 44 or 75? — BRIAN STUCKA / SANTA CLARITA, CA

Nick: Well, as we saw last year, you can play anyone at cornerback and start them. That doesn't mean they're good enough do it, but you can start anyone you want. Now, what are the chances that a rookie in that range is going to come in and play well, it just depends on who you get. Last year, Trevon Diggs was good enough to play and compete but he had his rookie moments. Jourdan Lewis and Chido Awuzie weren't exactly ready to start right away either. So recent history suggests that it's not ideal. My guess is that if you don't draft the cornerback in the first round this year, then it's unlikely the player that is picked will be good enough to unseat Lewis, Brown or Diggs for the top three spots – at least not right away.

David: The issue isn't about a lack of cornerback talent. This is a very good cornerback class, and the Cowboys could easily land talented players like Eric Stokes or Elijah Molden on Day 2. The problem is that it's a position with a steep learning curve. Look no further than Trevon Diggs just last year. Diggs had a very solid rookie season — but it came at a cost. He was picked on by opposing offenses, which is to be expected. There are a bunch of guys I'd be happy to draft on Day 2, but I'm not convinced they're going to upgrade the secondary significantly. Not in 2021, at least.

A fun hypothetical for you guys. If the Cowboys were not able to come to an agreement with Dak, do you think Dallas would still be at pick No. 10 in this draft? If not, what pick do you think they would have moved to? — DARRYL CROSS / LARGO, FL

Nick: Well, I'd like to know what the Cowboys did get in return for not signing Dak. Did they trade him? Get some picks or some eventual comp picks? That might help you know what they might move around for. But my guess is that Justin Fields would be a player this team would like. I really don't know that at all because we really haven't had to ask around. That's just my gut feeling, maybe because I like his game and I think it's possible he could be around at No. 10, or at least close enough to trade for. But the good thing is, you don't have to draft Dak's replacement – only players that will help him.

David: That is a fun hypothetical, and I think the answer is yes. Because, as much as they would have preferred not to, they could have kept Dak on the tag and continued to work on a deal. As fun as it is to dream up blockbuster trades, I just don't think they would've parted with Dak until they had no other choice.


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