As it stands now, the 2-6 Dallas Cowboys currently own the No. 5 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. This should represent the floor for a team whose owner has kicked around the prospect of tanking.
Their ceiling is much worse, or better, depending on your viewpoint. Colin Cowherd falls into the latter camp, predicting the Cowboys finish behind the hapless New York Jets with the No. 2 choice.
And, the controversial FS1 analyst posited, snag Dak Prescott’s successor at quarterback.
“Last year Justin Fields had 41 touchdowns and three picks. This year he’s got six touchdowns, no picks. That’s 47 touchdowns and three picks — and he’s better this year than last year. Are you sure Dallas doesn’t make that move?” Cowherd recently questioned. “The Dallas media remains in the tank for Dak because that injury was brutal. He’s an easy guy to root for. Jerry [Jones] already feels smart with Dak; you got him for a fourth-rounder, he got you to the playoffs. Jerry’s getting close to 75, 80 years old. Are we sure they pass on Justin Fields, who would be a No. 1 pick in any other draft that didn’t have Trevor Lawrence or Andrew Luck in it?
“Go look at that Dallas schedule. I don’t see a win outside of maybe Washington,” Cowherd continued. “I’m just saying, I was assured by the Dallas media they were gonna give Dak a long-term contract. And I’m assured now by the Dallas media that Jerry loves him. Justin Fields is going to potentially be available. The Jets are the first pick; I think it’s Dallas and the Jags for the second pick. He is an A to an A-plus prospect. He was the No. 1 high school quarterback in the country. He is big, he’s got an arm, he can move, supposed to be a great kid. We know Jerry likes offense. The Dallas media loves Dak and I get it. I don’t know how you don’t have a meeting over Justin Fields. Like, six of them. I don’t know how you don’t consider it. Jets, Dallas, Jags in this draft [order] is incredibly possible.”
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Fields Scouting Report
Indeed a top QB prospect in a sterling class featuring Lawrence and North Dakota’s Trey Lance, Fields began his collegiate career at Georgia in 2018, throwing for 328 yards and four TDs across 12 games before transferring to Ohio State. Over the past two seasons, he’s completed 286-of-409 balls (69.9%) for 3,867 yards (9.5 YPA), 47 TDs, and just three interceptions, registering a 185.8 passer rating.
A predominant pocket passer, though he possesses plus mobility, 6-foot-3 Fields is a rhythm thrower who uses anticipation and accuracy — as well as enough arm strength — to pick apart defenses. He requires additional polishing, particularly with his footwork, but is an out-of-the-box, plug-and-play starter at the next level.
Coincidentally, NFL.com draft expert Daniel Jeremiah likened Fields to Prescott in his June scouting report.
I see a lot of similarities to Dak Prescott when he was coming out of Mississippi State. Both play the position with a physicality and toughness that I admire. Dak was similarly effective in the QB run game, and they both possess the playmaking skills to bail out a bad play call. Dak made tremendous strides as a passer during his final season in college, and I expect to see similar improvement from Fields in 2020.
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Dallas Likelier to Go Defense
It’s certainly possible (though hardly probable) the Cowboys look to replace Prescott, an unrestricted free agent in 2021 who, despite coming off a devastating ankle injury, could command upward of $40 million annually.
The consensus instead points to Jerry Jones and company targeting needed defensive help; one mock has the club selecting dynamic Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons while another penciled in stud Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II.
“The Cowboys could look at offensive line upgrades here, but with [Oregon tackle Penei] Sewell off the board, there isn’t a great value,” Bleacher Report draft expert Matt Miller recently wrote. “Micah Parsons is intriguing, but the team has invested plenty of cap space and draft picks at the linebacker position. If the Cowboys keep the pick, Surtain is the best value and position of need.”
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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL