Tony Pollard. Dalton Schultz. Leighton Vander Esch. Noah Brown. Anthony Brown. Connor McGovern. The list of pending Cowboys free agents is pretty extensive. Dallas has a ton of decisions to make about those who are on their own roster while sizing up where they will strategically enter the bidding for other team's free agents. But when it's all said and done, the draft will likely be the lion's share of talent acquisition ahead of the 2023 season.
So what happens if Dallas let's them all walk? What would a draft haul look like? Potentially, this.
1.26: Georgia TE Darnell Washington
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A tight end in the first round? Blashphemy around Dallas ever since David LaFleur in 1997. Having Jason Witten for a bazillion seasons has a lot to do with that, but Washington looks like the perfect candidate at the right time for the Cowboys.
Yes, there's a ton of promise in Jake Ferguson and potentially even Peyton Hendershot, but what Washington brings to the table is a unique force multiplier.
Washington is reminiscent to a TE Mike McCarthy inherited in Green Bay, Bubba Franks; the former Miami tight end who stood 6-foot-6. At 6-foot-7, Washington is an imposing figure who would strengthen every part of the Cowboys' offense. His run blocking is superb, his chipping in pass pro is top notch and he'd be the ultimate weapon for Dak Prescott with the return of the play-action pass to the offense. What Washington can do with the ball in his hand and catches over the middle is majestic for a man his size.
Defenses are going to double team CeeDee Lamb and getting Washington on crossing patterns after the WR clears things out is going to be a thing of beauty.
2.58 Tennessee WR Jalin Hyatt
Keep building. The biggest missing component from the Cowboys' offense in 2022 was speed. Beyond Lamb, there wasn't a wideout who threatened defenses and even WR1's skillset is more predicated on the other facets of being an elite receiver. Hyatt can run past defenders as proven in his big season in Knoxville.
6-foot even and 185 pounds, Hyatt averaged just under 19 yards a catch and scored 15 touchdowns in a spread offense. Can that translate to the NFL? McCarthy employed spread concepts during his final years of Green Bay out of necessity born from injuries. He'd be able to maximize the good parts of what that looked like while the Volunteer's route tree developed.
3.90 Texas A&M RB Devon Achane
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Don't let Achane's smaller stature at 5-foot-9 and 185 pounds fool you, he's going to be a big-time weapon at the NFL level. He'll add immense speed out of the backfield and shows good balance to go along with his elusiveness. He's also a premium weapon as a pass catcher; the area Dallas likely should've used Pollard more in over the last four seasons.
As the club transitions to a more West-Coast offense than the hybrid Moore ran, getting more players who can simply outrun defenders should be a key for Dallas and there aren't many backs in this class better at this than Achane.
This is what Achane looks like running inside zone, an expected staple with Mike Solari taking over as OL coach in Dallas (via GridIronHeroics).
4.129 Iowa CB Riley Moss
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One of the fastest of this draft's top DBs, Moss would be a great addition to the current CB corps of Dallas. Moss had a lot of buzz coming into the week of Senior Bowl practice and has supported it with an outstanding couple of practices. He's not only quick, but physical and just an outstanding all around athlete with plus ball skills.
5.163 Virginia WR Dontayvion Wicks
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More downfield threats for the offense, please. Wicks has good size at 6-foot-1, 212 pounds. He got lost in an offense change in 2022 so his numbers were down, but make no mistake he's a playmaker. He's proven that this past week in Mobile as well.
5.170 Alabama Guard Emil Ekiyor, Jr
Adding depth to the offensive line is essential and Ekiyor has starting left guard written all over him. His extensive experience should shrink the learning curve and his aggressive nature will allow him to slide in next to Tyler Smith and form a menacing duo.
5.176 Georgia RB Kenny McIntosh, Jr.
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McIntosh has impress size at 6-foot-1, 210 pounds who is versatile in being able to run inside or out, and behind various blocking schemes. Like Achane, McIntosh is another pass-catching weapon out of the backfield, cover him with a linebacker at your own risk.
This combination of runners would likely need a short yardage back in the mix, someone who is almost always going to be able to complete those 3rd-and-1 or goal-line runs. Dallas may have one in the fold.
6.204 Jackson State LB Aubrey Miller, Jr.
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6.212 Alabama DT DJ Dale
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7.246 Kentucky CB Carrington Valentine
Story originally appeared on Cowboys Wire