Patrick Surtain Sr. calls son ‘a perfect fit’ for Cowboys secondary

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Todd Brock
·3 min read
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The 2021 draft is quickly approaching, but the list of college prospects that most analysts are forecasting for the Cowboys in the first round hasn’t changed all that much from the end of last season. In fact, a few names that many see as the most likely pairing with Dallas are the sames ones that were being mentioned so frequently as the defense wrapped up a historically bad campaign in 2020.

And one name in particular just keeps surfacing to the top.

Patrick Surtain II, the Alabama junior who turned 21 just last week, has been targeted by numerous Cowboys fans and football analysts alike in countless mock drafts as the team’s best bet in the 10 spot.

Surtain’s father, an eleven-year NFL veteran who played cornerback for Miami and Kansas City, agrees.

“He can do it all, man,” Patrick Sr. told ESPN Radio. “That’s why I think he’s highly-coveted, because he’s an all-around corner. He can play zone, he can play man. He comes up and tackles. He can play in the slot, if need be. So I think [Dallas] would be a perfect fit.”

South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn has impressed, too, thrusting himself into the best-in-class cornerback conversation with his pro day numbers that put Surtain on notice. Caleb Farley is still considered a solid prospect, though some teams may shy away from the Virginia Tech product due to a recent back surgery.

If Surtain ends up selected by the Cowboys, he would be reunited with his Crimson Tide teammate Trevon Diggs, the club’s second-round pick last season.

Both Alabama products, the elder Surtain thinks, would thrive in the system expected to be used by defensive coordinator Dan Quinn in his first year in Dallas.

“It’s the Seattle old defense. I know the D-coordinator who was in Seattle when they had the Legion of Boom. So I think it’s a lot of misconceptions with that defense, about being a man in the zone structure defense. I think, for the most part, when I watched, I saw Richard Sherman and those guys play man on the outside,” the three-time Pro Bowler said. “Obviously, it’s a change-up to play the Cover 3 with them bailing and everything. But their physicality with him, [Trevon] Diggs’ physicality, I can see some similarities between Sherman and those guys on the outside. But I saw them play a lot of press, press man and the offset was some Cover 3.”

Quinn has already hinted toward going the familiar route with free-agent additions Damontae Kazee and Keanu Neal, both DBs he coached in Atlanta. They’ll be expected to help shore up a Dallas secondary that gave up the most points in franchise history last season.

Despite the Cowboys’ obvious secondary issues, the mocks’ consistent matching of Surtain and Dallas, and even Surtain Sr.’s ringing endorsement, the young cornerback isn’t a slam dunk to be an NFL superstar, mainly because everyone involved knows there’s no such thing.

Cowboys staff writers David Helman and Jonny Auping- as recently as this week- both expressed their shared belief that cornerback is “one of the toughest positions to evaluate, but it’s also one of the most important positions in the game.”

And that makes the question of whether or not to select Surtain II with the tenth overall pick such an important one for the Cowboys to get right.

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