2020 NFL Mock Draft: Cowboys tag and trade Dak Prescott to Dolphins in outside-the-box first round

Free agency is close to starting. We're fresh out of the combine. This is the time for wild conjecture and rampant speculation. Also, I annually do a veteran quarterback trade in my mock draft, one that actually kind of makes some sense, or at least creates some kind of thought exercise, and I annually do it around the combine.

The time has arrived to trade Dak Prescott.

Why not? The Cowboys have decided, for some reason, not to invest heavily in Dak. Mike McCarthy said at the NFL combine Dallas is "exactly where we want to be" with respect to Dak's deal, which is just not true. Decoding what coaches and GMs say at the combine, as CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora did here, is a fine art.

McCarthy also referred to Dak's situation as "a business matter," and he's not wrong about that part. It's not personal. But the reality of the business here is the Cowboys didn't pay Dak when they should and now they're going to need to give him $35 million per year or more if they want to sign him. 

So that begs the question: should the Cowboys attempt to trade Dak? They don't have to put him on the trade market to make it happen. Instead, they could put the non-exclusive franchise tag on Prescott, which would allow every other NFL team to negotiate with Prescott and then give the Cowboys the right to match any offer sheets or receive two first-round picks for Prescott if they decided not to match.

On a recent edition of the Pick Six Podcast, I posed the question as to whether or not my colleagues John Breech and Sean Wagner-McGough would give up Dak for a pair of first-round picks. Breech, a Bengals fan at heart (making this discussion particularly interesting), said he would give up Dak "in a heartbeat" if he was the Cowboys. 

"Two first round picks? Yeah. This year, with all those quarterbacks on the free agent market so I can go out and sign who I want, plus I have two first round picks, yeah I would do it," Breech pointed out. 

Sean and I disagreed -- I don't think I would give him up. 

But, because I'm kind of obsessed with the idea of the Cowboys giving Dak the non-exclusive franchise tag and then seeing what someone would offer him, I asked La Canfora on Thursday's show if he would do the move and he agreed with Breech wholeheartedly. 

If Miami is willing to give up No. 5 and No. 18, the Cowboys pull the trigger and go sign a free agent. If you're Miami, you do that right? Two picks -- probably less than the cost of getting Tua in a trade up -- and you land Dak. You can hand him $40 million and get down to the business of building out your roster. I know the new "Moneyball" is having a QB on a rookie deal, but it's way more important to have a good quarterback. 

The Dolphins can guarantee they've got a 26-year-old franchise quarterback, albeit one who is expensive. Let the Cowboys figure out how to rebuild at the position. This deal won't happen, because Jerry Jones loves Dak too much, having "found" him in the draft. But it's fun to imagine. Let's gooooo. 

The NFL combine is over, so who were the biggest winners and losers? Ryan Wilson joins Will Brinson to break it all down, size up the first post-combine mock draft and more. Listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness. 

Alright, let's get to it.

NFL Mock Draft
Round 1
Round 1 - Pick 1
LSU • 6'4" / 221 lbs
Projected Team
Cincinnati
PROSPECT RNK
2nd
POSITION RNK
1st
To be honest, I thought about trading Dak to the Bengals. But having the top pick and just taking Burrow makes more sense than giving up multiple first round picks, especially when one could be high again next year.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Ohio State • 6'5" / 264 lbs
Projected Team
Washington
PROSPECT RNK
1st
POSITION RNK
1st
Here's the tricky part of this Cowboys thing: if Dallas wants to move up and grab Tua, they probably aren't going to be able to do it with Washington, their hated rival. So the Redskins can just hang tight and grab the best defensive player in the draft.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Clemson • 6'4" / 238 lbs
Projected Team
Detroit
PROSPECT RNK
5th
POSITION RNK
1st
WWBBD? (What Would Bill Belichick Do?) He would grab the most versatile defensive player in the draft and unleash him at all three levels against opposing offenses. We have to assume Matt Patricia will do the same.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Louisville • 6'7" / 364 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Giants
PROSPECT RNK
16th
POSITION RNK
4th
Did you SEE this dude? He looks like Andy Reid in Punt, Pass and Kick out there playing football with other people. Dave Gettleman loves big bodies and no one is bigger than Becton, with the added bonus of it happening at a position of need for the Giants.
  Mock Trade from Miami Dolphins
Round 1 - Pick 5
Alabama • 6'0" / 217 lbs
Projected Team
Dallas
PROSPECT RNK
3rd
POSITION RNK
2nd
The Cowboys could totally trade up. It would make sense. But I'm just not sure anyone is flying up the draft board -- at least to No. 2 or No. 3 -- to get Tua, outside of the Chargers. I'm fine with a move up if it involves packaging No. 5 and No. 18, but I think they would at least try and bluff their way to Tua at fifth overall first. It worked here!
Round 1 - Pick 6
Utah State • 6'4" / 219 lbs
Projected Team
L.A. Chargers
PROSPECT RNK
33rd
POSITION RNK
4th
Not a Justin Herbert fan here, but I do think the Chargers are kind of rebooting and need to get a young quarterback, so I'll roll with the trendy thing and give them Jordan Love. I've covered the NFL for 10+ years and have seen QBs overdrafted every single year. Stop being so surprised when it happens.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Ohio State • 6'1" / 200 lbs
Projected Team
Carolina
PROSPECT RNK
4th
POSITION RNK
1st
Lot of different directions Carolina could go here. I wouldn't rule out offensive line even after the Russell Okung trade and with Greg Little/Taylor Moton on the roster. Thought about defensive line. But getting Okudah is a massive win for a team sitting at seventh.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Iowa • 6'5" / 320 lbs
Projected Team
Arizona
PROSPECT RNK
13th
POSITION RNK
3rd
The Cardinals are in a great spot here if they want to protect Kyler Murray. There's a ton of top-tier offensive line talent, it's their biggest need, and they have a top-10 pick. I wouldn't blame them for taking a receiver but they've got lots of young talent there right now.
Round 1 - Pick 9
South Carolina • 6'5" / 319 lbs
Projected Team
Jacksonville
PROSPECT RNK
7th
POSITION RNK
2nd
The Jaguars might need to include this pick in any Nick Foles trade, or they could take another defensive player who will break out before being traded/getting into a contract dispute with them in three or four years.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Georgia • 6'5" / 315 lbs
Projected Team
Cleveland
PROSPECT RNK
10th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Lovely situation here for Cleveland, and they hope it plays out like this, because they badly need offensive line help to keep Baker Mayfield upright. This could change, obviously, after free agency.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Alabama • 6'4" / 312 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Jets
PROSPECT RNK
9th
POSITION RNK
1st
See: blurb on the Browns (replace Baker Mayfield with Sam Darnold).
Round 1 - Pick 12
Alabama • 6'1" / 193 lbs
Projected Team
Las Vegas
PROSPECT RNK
11th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Mike Mayock likes big school prospects, and Jeudy is pretty dang clean. As a refined route-runner who can move around, he's perfect in Jon Gruden's system. Waiting until the second round for a receiver would be fine, but there's a good chance Jeudy isn't a miss here.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Auburn • 6'5" / 325 lbs
Projected Team
Indianapolis
PROSPECT RNK
6th
POSITION RNK
1st
The Colts will do backflips to land Brown here (or Kinlaw, either one) and although I kind of wanted to give them a wideout to pair with presumed addition Philip Rivers, it makes more sense to improve their defense further.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Oregon • 6'6" / 236 lbs
Projected Team
Tampa Bay
PROSPECT RNK
20th
POSITION RNK
3rd
Feels like a free square until Tampa Bay actually steps up and agrees to pay Jameis Winston.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Alabama • 6'2" / 195 lbs
Projected Team
Denver
PROSPECT RNK
24th
POSITION RNK
3rd
The Broncos have lost some players on defense so it stands to reason they'd want to continue to improve the secondary even after the A.J. Bouye trade, especially with Chris Harris' departure imminent.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Iowa • 6'6" / 280 lbs
Projected Team
Atlanta
PROSPECT RNK
12th
POSITION RNK
2nd
I always struggle with what the Falcons will do, but getting a pass rusher here makes a ton of sense with their free agency "losses." (No offense to Vic Beasley.)
Round 1 - Pick 17
LSU • 6'2" / 213 lbs
Projected Team
Dallas
PROSPECT RNK
22nd
POSITION RNK
2nd
Nice little haul for the Cowboys, getting a rookie quarterback and a stud safety, and they're not done yet!
  Mock Trade from Miami Dolphins
Round 1 - Pick 18
Oklahoma • 6'2" / 189 lbs
Projected Team
Dallas
PROSPECT RNK
8th
POSITION RNK
1st
WELL HELLO THERE. Let Amari Cooper and Byron Jones walk, trade Dak and Cowboys fans might want to freak out but suddenly they're completely reloaded and at a very cheap cost.
Round 1 - Pick 19
LSU • 6'3" / 254 lbs
Projected Team
Las Vegas
PROSPECT RNK
14th
POSITION RNK
3rd
If the first pick is a wideout, the second pick has to be defense for the Raiders. And maybe vice versa.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Florida • 6'1" / 204 lbs
Projected Team
Jacksonville
PROSPECT RNK
25th
POSITION RNK
4th
Maybe Henderson can be as good as Jalen Ramsey? At the very least, he should be an immediate starter for this depleted cornerback group.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Alabama • 6'0" / 190 lbs
Projected Team
Philadelphia
PROSPECT RNK
17th
POSITION RNK
3rd
I am actually required by Mock Draft Law to give the Eagles Henry Ruggs at this spot.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Clemson • 6'4" / 215 lbs
Projected Team
Buffalo
PROSPECT RNK
23rd
POSITION RNK
4th
Buffalo has to hate their draft spot because it means they can't get whatever wideout they want -- don't rule out a trade up. But Higgins pairs nicely with John Brown and Cole Beasley for Josh Allen.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Penn State • 6'5" / 265 lbs
Projected Team
New England
PROSPECT RNK
19th
POSITION RNK
4th
I'm operating under the assumption that if the Pats brought back Tom Brady they handled improving his pass catchers in free agency. A run-stopping pass rusher is right up Bill Belichick's alley.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Alabama • 6'0" / 201 lbs
Projected Team
New Orleans
PROSPECT RNK
15th
POSITION RNK
1st
The Saints are losing some bodies in their secondary, so they could dip back into an area of the draft where they've had success in recent years.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Virginia • 6'1" / 202 lbs
Projected Team
Minnesota
PROSPECT RNK
27th
POSITION RNK
5th
Given Xavier Rhodes is probably gone and Trae Waynes is a free agent, you can probably expect the Vikings to take a(nother) cornerback in the first round.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Notre Dame • 6'4" / 248 lbs
Projected Team
Miami
PROSPECT RNK
40th
POSITION RNK
7th
Good news: you got Dak! Bad news: you only got one player in the first round of the draft now. At least he's talented!
Round 1 - Pick 27
LSU • 6'1" / 227 lbs
Projected Team
Seattle
PROSPECT RNK
41st
POSITION RNK
3rd
No team is harder to project than the Seahawks. Just give them someone and maybe don't make it a running back. I think they need defense personally. Queen could make some PLAYS for them.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Wisconsin • 6'3" / 240 lbs
Projected Team
Baltimore
PROSPECT RNK
45th
POSITION RNK
4th
Let's see what happens with Matthew Judon (tag?) and Marshal Yanda (retirement?) before we really lock into what the Ravens might do here.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Wisconsin • 5'10" / 226 lbs
Projected Team
Tennessee
PROSPECT RNK
35th
POSITION RNK
2nd
If the CBA gets passed and the Titans want to keep Ryan Tannehill, it might be awfully tough to keep Derrick Henry too.
Round 1 - Pick 30
LSU • 6'1" / 202 lbs
Projected Team
Green Bay
PROSPECT RNK
51st
POSITION RNK
8th
Had him as a first-round pick before the combine and have him as a first-round pick now too.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Houston • 6'5" / 319 lbs
Projected Team
San Francisco
PROSPECT RNK
28th
POSITION RNK
5th
It shouldn't be shocking if the 49ers start to sort of rebuild their offensive line in the next few years prepping for the next period of Kyle Shanahan running things.
Round 1 - Pick 32
LSU • 5'11" / 197 lbs
Projected Team
Kansas City
PROSPECT RNK
18th
POSITION RNK
2nd
A gift for Andy Reid, who likely just spent a ton of money on Chris Jones and needs some young talent to step up on defense.
CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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