American Football

Final draft board for the Dallas Cowboys: 40 players you should know about


Make sure these players are on your radar come draft time for the Cowboys.

The 2023 NFL Draft is almost here. This weekend, the Dallas Cowboys will collect a nice haul of brand-new rookies to add to their roster. We have been racking our brains for months trying to figure out which players they might go after, and we have attempted to condense all these targets into one easy-to-follow draft board.

Knowing what traits the Cowboys look for and taking into account all the players they’ve had some level of contact with (30 visits, combine, pro day, etc), we have compiled a list of 40 prospects who should be on the Cowboys’ radar this draft season. Let’s run down these players and provide a brief description of what each of them has to offer.


The Cowboys stand a very slim chance of landing one of these players at pick 26, but as we’ve seen before, anything is possible. Here are a few “run to the podium” picks who would be huge scores for Dallas if they somehow made it to them.

CB Devon Witherspoon, Illinois – smart, talented corner who can play anywhere. The size is there, the fundamentals are there, and this guy can do it all.

WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State – elite separator with top-notch ball skills. He has the size, IQ, and athleticism to be one of the top WRs in the league.

OT Broderick Jones, Georgia – a strong, violent striker who has great agility for a guy his size. He’s got the skills to be one of the next top linemen at the pro level.


Setting our sights on some more realistic prospects, here are six players who have a better chance at being there when the Cowboys pick at 26.

WR Quentin Johnston, TCU – great size and ball skills to be one of the next big playmakers in the NFL.

OT Darnell Wright, Tennessee – powerful player with good agility to be a dominant run blocker and effective pass blocker.

WR Zay Flowers, Boston College – with both quickness and long speed, this explosive playmaker is a threat to house it anytime he touches the ball.

TE Dalton Kincaid, Utah – athletic space tight end with elite ball skills, and like another Dalton we know, he’s a better blocker than he’s given credit for.

G O’Cyrus Torrence, Florida – a big-bodied bully who has the strength and length to take you for a ride

DE Will McDonald, Iowa State – the bend, the twitch, the hands, it’s all there. Will McDonald is a stud, Ee I ee I oh.


The Cowboys have met with a lot of players who fall in the late first/early second range and are crossing their fingers that a good one makes it to them at 58.

DT Mazi Smith, Michigan – strong, long, and ready to get his TFLs on, this 323-pound defensive tackle could solve a lot of problems along the Cowboys’ interior defensive line.

CB Cam Smith, South Carolina – a fluid mover who matches step for step with his man, Smith’s instincts and length make him a nice upside prospect in this draft.

CB Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State – super long, super smart, and super fast, this corner has it all, except maybe a little meat on his bones which could challenge him physically at the next level.

RB Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama – electric rushing/receiving back with great speed and shiftiness to be one of the more dynamic backs in the game.

LB Drew Sanders, Arkansas – this razor-sharp linebacker has the athleticism and length to wrap up a lot of ball carriers. And his coverage and rushing ability just add more tools to his arsenal.

LB Trenton Simpson, Clemson – another lengthy linebacker who has great quickness to be all over the place. He’s a high-upside player with strong athleticism.

G Steve Avila, TCU – power, versatility, mean demeanor… this guy checks all the boxes in what the Cowboys love in a trench warrior.


With so many second-round prospects on the Cowboys’ radar, it would be super fantastic if one of them slide all the way to pick 90. Here are some fingers-crossed players who might have a shot at being there.

LB Daiyan Henley, Washington State – undersized but fast linebacker who can cover a lot of ground in a hurry. He gives off Anthony Hitchens vibes.

CB Tyrique Stevenson, Miami – with great length, physicality, and lateral agility, Stevenson has the traits you’re looking for in an outside corner.

WR Marvin Mims Jr., Oklahoma – a route-running burner who tracks the ball very well, Mims is going to be a nice asset for whichever team drafts him.

OT Tyler Steen, Alabama – a four-year starter who has raw power and vice grips for hands, this Bama blocker has some intriguing traits that could be molded into a key starter.


This is where the fun starts as there are many talented players in this area of the draft that will offer some great value on Day 3.

TE Luke Schoonmaker, Michigan – smooth route-runner with a QB-friendly catch radius, Schoony is a balanced player with solid blocking skills.

RB Tank Bigsby, Auburn – a quick foot-in-the-ground cutter who brings a little pop to his game, this former Tiger has big-play ability.

RB Kendre Miller, TCU – a complete back with vision, shiftiness, and power, Miller has the traits to be a workhorse back in the NFL.

RB Roschon Johnson, Texas – a tough back with high character, Johnson is a player that coaches love to love. He’s a churner who would be the perfect complement back to Tony Pollard.

WR Jonathan Mingo, Mississippi – the size, the hands, and the body control make him a good target. Uses fundamentals over athleticism to get out of his breaks.

S JL Skinner, Boise State – a long rangy safety who works through traffic and lays the wood. He gives Donovan Wilson vibes, only with better coverage ability.

LB DeMarvion Overshown, Texas – a firecracker of a chaser, Overshown brings the energy, but he needs to build his play strength and play recognition to avoid being washed out of plays.

S Marte Mapu, Sacramento State – this hybrid backer can fire at the line of scrimmage or hang back in coverage. He’s a utility knife defense that would be a nice tool for any defense.

OL Anthony Bradford, LSU – one of the last starter/upside offensive linemen at this point of the draft, Bradford offers great size and agility.


The team should be looking for depth guys they can develop at this point in the draft, and there are a few names that could fit nicely in Dallas.

QB Aidan O’Connell, Purdue – an accurate thrower with a good internal clock, O’Connell has the tools to be a good backup quarterback.

DB Jay Ward, LSU – a competitor who brings good closing speed and ball skills. He’s a little lean, but possesses nice length to get his hands on things.

CB Cory Trice Jr., Purdue – CB Trice, real name no gimmicks, this Boilermaker corner is one of just two players listed here (Broderick Jones is the other) who has not met with the team in some compacity, but his build and athletic traits just scream “Cowboys pick.”

TE Cameron Latu, Alabama – a fundamentally sound balanced tight end, Latu knows how to get open and he knows how to engage blocks. He’d fit nicely in the mix with Frick and Frack.

DL Junior Fehoko, San Jose State – a little bit of a tweener in terms of inside/outside, Fehoko’s bread and butter is his relentless energy and active hands to get the job done.

DT Jaquelin Roy, LSU – with good strength and good awareness, Roy makes a good development candidate to eventually work himself into the defensive line rotation.


Finishing out their development projects, here are five final names to circle on your draft sheet.

QB Clayton Tune, Houston – good arm strength, good accuracy, and good wheels to keep defenders at bay should his number be called.

OL Atonio Mafi, UCLA – another good mover for this massive-bodied lineman, Mafi has heavy hands to combat defenders and move them where they need to go.

TE Brayden Willis, Oklahoma – a blocking specialist, Willis could punch his ticket as an in-line contributor with special teams value.

DT Calvin Avery, Illinois – a big and strong DT who has an enormous wingspan to latch on to ball carriers, Avery can bring some pop in the middle.

DE Durrell Johnson, Liberty – with good burst and good bend, this edge rusher has potential if he can add some more strength.

Here is a complete draft target board with the 40 players we have talked about today.

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