Predicting Cowboys' Early 2023 NFL Draft Big Board

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistMay 18, 2022

Predicting Cowboys' Early 2023 NFL Draft Big Board

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    The Dallas Cowboys have all the ingredients in place to have a successful 2022 season, but it doesn't hurt to take a look at the 2023 draft class. 

    The draft has been kind to the Cowboys in recent years. Micah Parsons and CeeDee Lamb both fell to the Cowboys in the first round of recent drafts and both are now foundational pieces on their roster. 

    They'll hope that Tyler Smith winds up finding similar success. He's likely the starter at left guard with a chance to eventually replace Tyron Smith as the team's left tackle. 

    If the Cowboys have the kind of season they will be hoping for, they won't be picking until fairly late in the first round. That takes some of the bigger names in the 2023 draft class out of the equation. Will Anderson Jr., Jalen Carter and Jaxon Smith-Njigba are all non-quarterbacks expected to headline the class. 

    Here are three players who should be early additions to the Cowboys' 2023 big board based on potential team needs and what the prospect brings to the table. 

3. DT Gervon Dexter, Florida

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    The Cowboys have rarely spent premium picks on interior defensive lineman. Trysten Hill is the only defensive tackle they've taken in the first two rounds in the last decade. 

    The lack of investment in that position has come at a cost, though. The Cowboys haven't had an elite defensive tackle in a long time. Last year, they were in the bottom third of the league in yards allowed per rush (4.5) as a result. 

    Gervon Dexter is the kind of prospect who could be an elite defender in the middle of their defense. The 6'6" 313-pounder has great length and is explosive off the ball, giving him the ability to not only play well against the run but offer huge upside as a pass-rusher. 

    Dexter was a highly productive tackler for Florida last season, posting 50 stops as a tackle with 2.5 sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss. 

    His athleticism up front would be a welcome addition to an elite Dallas defense. 

2. Edge Isaiah Foskey, Notre Dame

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    The Cowboys have done what they can to replace Randy Gregory this offseason. Signing Dante Fowler Jr. and drafting Sam Williams in the second round should give them enough production across from DeMarcus Lawrence this season. 

    But the long-term outlook at defensive end could still use work. 

    Fowler is on a one-year "prove it" deal worth just under $3 million. DeMarcus Lawrence is entering his age-30 season and has a potential out in his contract in 2024. 

    Drafting an edge player like Isaiah Foskey would give the Cowboys a deadline trio of pass-rushers for the foreseeable future. Foskey would team up with Williams and Parsons to give the Cowboys all the depth they need to get after quarterbacks. 

    Foskey is a 6'4" 260-pound edge-rusher with proven production already. He went from 4.5 sacks as a sophomore to 10 sacks and six forced fumbles in his junior season. 

1. CB Joey Porter Jr., Penn State

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    If there's one thing the Cowboys could add to this defense that would take it to the next level it's an elite running mate for Trevon Diggs as the other outside cornerback. 

    Anthony Brown is a decent option but has struggled with consistency. In 2021, he gave up a passer rating of 78.4 when targeted—which is good, but he gave up a 96.7 rating in 2020. 

    Joey Porter Jr. brings a lot of upside as a potential first-round pick. The 6'2" 196-pound corner has the size that teams covet at the position and an NFL pedigree. His dad is former All-Pro linebacker Joey Porter. 

    Porter was an All-Big 10 selection in both his freshman and sophomore campaigns. 

    He plays with the toughness and tenacity you would expect from his bloodline. His competitiveness and willingness to go up and get the ball would make him a great fit for the defensive culture that Dan Quinn has built in Dallas. 

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