Make it seven selections for the Dallas Cowboys in the 2020 draft.
That’s because the NFL on Tuesday granted compensatory picks to teams that lost more in last year’s free-agent period than they gained — a mysterious, league-concocted formula designed to promote parity.
It worked to the Cowboys’ advantage, as they were bestowed an extra fifth-round choice (No. 179 overall), the result of wide receiver Cole Beasley defecting Dallas for the Buffalo Bills.
The Cowboys will be on the clock at No. 17, No. 51, No. 82, No. 123, No. 164, No. 179 and No. 208 during next month’s offseason spectacle, slated to kick off Thursday, April 23 in Las Vegas.
Following seven seasons and over 3,200 receiving yards, Beasley bolted the Cowboys to ink a four-year, $29 million deal with Buffalo last March. The former undrafted free agent, who crafted a healthy slot-man reputation, appeared in 15 games (10 starts) for the Bills, converting 67 grabs into 778 yards and six touchdowns.
Ironically (or not), Beasley’s finest 2019 outing came in Week 13, when he faced — you guessed it! — his ex-employer. He made easy mincemeat of the Cowboys’ secondary, finishing with a season-high 110 yards and a TD on six catches, as the Bills coasted to a 25-16 victory.
After the game, owner/general manager Jerry Jones was forced to eat (his version of) crow.
“We always thought he was a hell of a player,” Jones said, per the Athletic. “We just thought he cost too much.”
Beasley was a blow to Dallas’ offense, but hardly insurmountable. The club did well to replace him, bringing in former Packers WR Randall Cobb, who collected 55 receptions for 828 yards (15.1 YPC) and three scores on the league’s second-ranked passing attack.
The Cowboys will attempt to re-sign Cobb, an impending unrestricted free agent who would reunite with former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, now the head man in Dallas.
Meanwhile, they’re widely expected to fortify the defense through the draft. The club held a meeting with LSU safety Grant Delpit — a consensus first-round prospect and front-runner for the No. 17 pick — at the Combine, which “went well,” according to reports. The Cowboys also have been linked to Alabama S Xavier McKinney, another first-round talent.
It was reported Monday by Sirius XM Radio’s Alex Marvez that Florida cornerback CJ Henderson has scheduled an official top-30 visit with Dallas. Henderson would immediately replace star CB Byron Jones, who’s likely to depart in free agency.
In addition to the back end, the Cowboys should target defensive line, offensive line, and linebacker depth, as well as competition for de facto No. 1 tight end Blake Jarwin, and perhaps a mid-round quarterback to push Cooper Rush, the lone backup behind franchise (tagged?) cornerstone Dak Prescott.
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