The collective of ESPN NFL reporters put together a re-draft for all 32 teams, dispersing 128 “foundational players” across the league landscape. The Cowboys made four picks in this exercise (led by beat writer Todd Archer), beginning at No. 17 overall, where they chose real-life Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray.
Archer also landed current Dallas left tackle Tyron Smith (No. 48), Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen (No. 81), and Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby (No. 112).
The game is about quarterbacks, pass-rushers, pass-protectors and big-play ability. I bet on Murray because I wanted to make sure I had a QB who can make plays when things break down. I went with Smith because he remains one of the best left tackles in the game.
In the third round, I got cute and it hurt me. I wanted to take DeMarcus Lawrence but thought maybe his five-sack season in 2019 would make him slip to the final round. I’m happy with Allen, but I could have gotten a comparable receiver in the fourth while shoring up the pass rush first. Needing to take a defender with my last pick, my choice was down to Crosby and Jeff Okudah. A pass rush makes a secondary better, and Crosby’s 10 sacks in 2019 lead me to believe he will have bigger things to come in the future.
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Kyler vs. Dak
There’s validity to Archer’s reasoning about Murray, a dual-threat Offensive Rookie of the Year contender in 2019. He can do things, particularly with his legs, that Prescott can only dream of.
A Texas native, Murray completed 349 of 542 passes (64.4 percent) for 3,722 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions last season, good for an 87.4 passer rating. He added 93 rushes for 544 yards and four TDs. This, despite a subpar supporting cast in Arizona.
Prescott, whose weaponry needs no introduction, enjoyed a career year, throwing for 4,902 yards and 30 touchdowns. He set a personal-best with 388 completions, 8.2 yards-per-average, and 68 completions of 20-plus yards. His 65.1-percent completion rate and 99.7 passer rating were the second-highest of his four-year tenure.
It’s entirely subjective as to which signal-caller is the ideal for the Cowboys. Prescott is a better pocket passer but Murray is a better athlete. Both have their own pros and cons. But this much is certain: head coach Mike McCarthy and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore would gladly make do with either.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL