Andy Dalton prepares to take the snap

The Dallas Cowboys Lose by Winning

  • 2021 NFL Draft
  • dallas cowboys
By Campbell Keating December 21, 2020 0 Comment
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On Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys got their 5th win of the season, defeating the San Francisco 49ers 41-33.

At 5-9, the Dallas Cowboys can still potentially win the NFC East, but more importantly, they now sit at 9th overall in the draft order. Two weeks ago, they were in line for the 4th overall pick, as I wrote about here.

What Changed?

After two wins, the Cowboys are in a much worse position. In a season that is all but completely lost, the Cowboys won two games (so far) down the stretch. These two wins moved them five spots down to the 9th overall pick. As of now, the Cowboys sit behind even the Philadelphia Eagles, a division rival.

Because of this, the list of prospects that will be available when the Cowboys draft will be drastically less star-studded. Teams that will likely be looking for defensive players that are ahead of the Cowboys include the Atlanta Falcons, who now hold the 4th overall pick, and the Los Angeles Chargers, who would select 8th.

This also does not take into account any trades in the top 10 which will likely happen. The Eagles’ biggest position of need is wide receiver and there is a general top tier of three this draft: Ja’Marr Chase (LSU), DeVonta Smith (Alabama), and Jaylen Waddle (Alabama). The Eagles are currently in the perfect position to trade back with a team looking for defensive talents such as the Detroit Lions (10th pick), who could be looking to jump the Chargers and Cowboys.

How Can the Cowboys’ Draft Position Get Better or Worse?

The next two weeks will be of monumental importance to the Cowboys’ draft position. They play the Eagles and then visit the New York Giants to close out the season. Losing these two games could put them all the way back at 4th, although they would need other teams to win for this to happen. Winning them could move the Cowboys as far down as 19th.

Because any team can win on any given Sunday (the New York Jets got their first win of the season over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday!), the Cowboys can hold out hope for the 4th pick, but that requires two things: Assuming the Cowboys lose their final two games, the latest possible selection would be 8th overall. If they win, the earliest possible selection would be 13th overall.

If the Cowboys win the next two weeks and the Washington Football Team loses, the Cowboys will enter the playoffs as the 4th seed in the NFC, dropping them to 19th overall (assuming they lose in the first round of the playoffs).

These next two weeks will be the most important of the season for the Cowboys. If all goes well, the Cowboys will be able to add talent to a defense that has been sorely lacking this year; if not, then fans will get to watch their team get embarrassed by the Rams, Buccaneers, or Cardinals in the playoffs and earn the 19th pick for their troubles.

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I cover, report, and write about the Dallas Cowboys. I am an undergraduate at Washington University in St. Louis studying on the premed track with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Anthropology.

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