NFL Hot Press: Cowboys Prefer Addressing Defense in First Round

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Combine Logo Cowboys Prefer Addressing Defense in First Round

Updated Feb. 28, 2020
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

The Dallas Cowboys will be one of one of the most interesting teams to watch in free agency because they three premium free agents in quarterback Dak Prescott, wide receiver Amari Cooper and cornerback Byron Jones. Dallas is trying to retain Prescott and Cooper, with the franchise tag at the ready to slap on Prescott if long-term contract-extension talks fall short. In speaking with Cowboys sources, the team would like to get the offensive players locked up because the preference is address the defense in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

The Cowboys could address the defensive line or the secondary in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, as they could stand to improve the talent up front and on the back end. The team could consider an edge rusher like LSU’s K’Lavon Chaisson, a defensive tackle like Javon Kinlaw or a cornerback like C.J. Henderson. The Cowboys have other options they could consider like Alabama safety Xavier McKinney, although Jerry Jones has not been inclined to take Crimson Tide players in the past.

If Dallas is unable to re-sign Amari Cooper, that could open up wide receiver as a possibility in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. But in speaking with team sources, the Cowboys’ preference is to draft for the defense, so they are hoping wide receiver won’t be a top need entering the 2020 NFL Draft. This is a deep and talented receiver draft, so the Cowboys could add good depth in the mid-rounds with a player who would be selected a round or two higher in other years. Entering the free agency period, Dallas is hoping to get the offensive players re-signed and would prefer to draft for the defense. However, a lot can change in the leadup to the draft and the Cowboys’ draft plans are fluid depending on what happens in the weeks to come.