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2021 NFC East draft grades: Calvin Watkins breaks down how Cowboys fared vs. their division rivals – Calvin Watkins, Dallas Morning News
How did Dallas measure up to its NFC East counterparts?
Cowboys draft matchup for 2021: ILB Micah Parsons vs. Logan Thomas, Zach Ertz, Evan Engram and Saquon Barkley in the pass game.
Giants GM Dave Gettleman wasn’t a man who traded down in the draft when he ran the show in Carolina. Well, the New York media are calling him “Trader Dave” for making trades in the first three rounds. Wide receiver Kadarius Toney (first round) brings another playmaker to a wide receiver group that has Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton and Evan Engram. If you compare the trade Dallas made with Philadelphia, where they switched from No. 10 to No. 12 and gained a third-rounder, the Giants got so much more for trading down with Chicago. In the Toney deal, the Giants moved from No. 11 to No. 20 and picked up a fifth-rounder in addition to gaining a first-rounder and a fourth-rounder in 2022. You could say the Bears were desperate to get a quarterback as a reason the compensation was so much. Outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari (second round) was a projected late first-rounder and adding UCF corner Aaron Robinson (third round) brings needed depth. Not getting an offensive lineman might hurt them in 2021.
Parsons isn’t the only rook projected to make big waves.
Want to know who is impressed with what Dallas did? The sportsbooks. Bet MGM released their odds for offensive and defensive rookies of the year and look who is at the top of the list? Cowboys first-round pick, 12th overall and the third defender selected Micah Parsons shows up with +500 odds, well ahead of Cleveland linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koromoah (+800).
Their fascination with the Cowboys doesn’t end there, however. Two more Cowboys are on the list.
LSU linebacker Jabril Cox shows up slightly lower on the list with +3500 odds. That ties him with five other players for 16th-best odds. Not bad at all for the 115th overall selection. He actually has better odds than the Cowboys’ second-round pick, Kentucky CB Kelvin Joseph. Taken No. 44 overall, Joseph has +5000 odds, tying him with four other players for 23rd-best odds.
The new pros had quite a few things to say following their selections.
Literal moments after they were drafted each future Cowboy had a conversation with the media that most of them probably barely even remember in the midst of all the emotions and chaos. Below are some of our favorite quotes from each player the Cowboys drafted in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Micah Parsons, Linebacker (12th pick):
“I heard from Dak. He was one of the first people to reach out. I can already tell he is a big leader. DeMarcus [Lawrence], and Trevon [Diggs], and Zeke said something funny, too. I can see the bond these guys have in the locker room and I’m looking forward to meeting them.”
Osa Odighizuwa, Defensive Tackle (75th pick):
“[Being a former high school wrestler] helps me a lot just in terms of leverage and awareness because you get a good feeling and understanding of body weight and pressures and just feeling the shifts of body weight and knowing to fight pressure with pressure. That is something that helps me a lot as a football player.”
WR Simi Fehoko, Stanford, 6-foot-4, 222 pounds (No. 179 overall)
NFL Draft Bible Scouting Overview: Hidden among another historically deep wide receiver class for the 2021 NFL Draft, Fehoko is the type of high upside athlete who could go a lot higher than some anticipate. A height-weight-speed freak for the position, Fehoko has the look of a possession receiver – or at least most defenders think so until he has blown past them. Featured on “Feldman’s Freaks” list during the summer, Fehoko is the type of athletic dynamo (unofficial 4.37-second 40 at Stanford Pro Day) who will have coaches drooling over the possibilities of future development. Working mostly on a vertical plane, Fehoko is an exceptional deep ball tracker, able to contort his body to work positioning to finish down the field. He has a very projectable frame, boasting a huge catch radius to win at the contact point. Fehoko’s second gear is among the best in the 2021 class regardless of body type. Stanford lined him out all over the field, from in the boundary, slot or as a Z receiver. While he put some outstanding catches on film, Fehoko also has had troubling drops. His long speed is outstanding, but he isn’t the most explosive player off the line of scrimmage.
The ‘Boys selected tons of talent. Joseph has a chance to be among the best.
With their second pick, the Cowboys selected Kentucky cornerback Kelvin Joseph, the player I’m most excited about seeing in the the Star this season. Formerly the second rated recruit out of Louisiana, Joseph only played a combined 20 games during his collegiate career. Joseph sat out the 2019 season as he transferred from LSU to Kentucky, but put together some impressive tape when on the field in 2020.
Joseph finished the 2020 season with five pass deflections and four interceptions, both leading his team. Joseph ultimately opted out of ahead of the regular season finale, and his head coach Mark Stoops had some choice words for him, saying he can’t have Joseph out there “just standing around.”
Cowboys new projected final roster following 2021 NFL Draft results – Steven Mullenax, The Landry Hat
A few things have changed at the star since last week.
Wide Receiver (5)
Simi Fehoko (R)
Tight End (3)
If Quinn can be anything more superior to Mike Nolan, that signifies a lot.
Of course, Quinn was faced with the ever-present – and oversimplified – question about what the defense might look like. Much like the scheme Mike Nolan tried to implement last season, he allowed that the Cowboys’ base alignment will look like a 3-4. At the same time, he acknowledged that NFL defenses primarily use nickel, which typically uses a different alignment.
“It’s kind of a mixture, you know? So much of defense nowadays is played out of a nickel front. That’s when we’re in a four-down of what you play,” he said. “As far as the base packages go, it’ll look more like a 3-4 look. And that would’ve been consistent, whether it was the team last year or during my time, as well. But more often than not, most teams – the nickel package, which teams play close to 60% or 70% of the time, are more of the four down men.”
Free agent signing Keanu Neal will indeed play linebacker, Quinn said. Neal was a Pro Bowl safety in Atlanta when Quinn was the Falcons’ head coach from 2016-2020.
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