Cowboys 7-round projection after Brandin Cooks trade

Utah Utes tight end Dalton Kincaid. (Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports)

The Dallas Cowboys trading for Brandin Cooks should alter their draft plans, so we take a look at a 2023 NFL mock draft for America’s Team after the trade.

Many fans of the Dallas Cowboys have come to expect offseasons in which Jerry Jones lets them down. There are chances to make big moves that will undeniably help the team, but those chances aren’t capitalized upon.

This hasn’t been one of those offseasons.

On Sunday, the Cowboys traded for wide receiver Brandin Cooks with the Houston Texans, giving up only a fifth-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and a sixth-rounder in next year’s draft to get the deal completed. This comes not long after the franchise also gave the secondary a necessary boost by trading for cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

Dallas has improved their roster in hugely meaningful ways with these trades, but also by bringing back the likes of Donovan Wilson, Tony Pollard, and Leighton Vander Esch while making the tough call to move on from Ezekiel Elliott.

However, the team still has seven picks in the 2023 draft despite these trades, which will be huge in trying to make this roster one that can contend for a Super Bowl. That’s what they could do if they follow the lead of this 2023 NFL mock draft after the Brandin Cooks trade.

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NFL mock draft: Cowboys 7-round 2023 projection after Brandin Cooks trade


Losing Dalton Schultz means the Cowboys should nab Dalton Kincaid in Round 1

Particularly with Dallas taking on $12 million in salary from the Cooks trade, the expected outcome that the team is going to lose free agent tight end Dalton Schultz is looking more likely by the day.

The team should feel confident in what they saw from the rookie seasons of Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot in 2022, but replacing a safety valve like Schultz was for Dak Prescott in the passing game is a big ask for either of those players.

Luckily, trading for Cooks and Gilmore really limits the dire needs for Dallas when they come on the clock at No. 26 and it, as such, puts them in a position to take a player like Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid.

Kincaid was a stalwart for the Utes with 16 touchdowns over his final two seasons in the program, including 70 catches for 890 yards over 12 games a year ago. He’s undersized and won’t offer much in the way of blocking, but he’d be asked to be the Schultz type that gets peppered with targets.

Though a first-round pick is a tad rich, the Cowboys are in a luxury position after their trades and moves this offseason. He’s a natural fit in the offense to only make that unit even more potent through the air.

Round 3 | Rounds 4-5 | Rounds 5-6

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