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Draft needs: Dallas Cowboys

Jason Garrett AP

With the NFL Draft approaching, we’re taking a team-by-team look at the needs of each club. Next up are the Cowboys, who are coming off another Week 17 loss that left them without either a division title or a playoff spot. The Cowboys have 11 picks to use to avoid another bitter end to their season and we’re taking a look at the holes they need to fill.

Defensive End: The DeMarcus Ware era has come to an end in Dallas, leaving the Cowboys without the man that’s been the face of the defense for years. Finding a replacement for Ware will be a daunting task, which makes the return of Anthony Spencer a good move for the team.

Spencer missed all but a game last season and will need more help than there already is on the roster when he’s healthy, though. UCLA edge rusher Anthony Barr could fit the bill in Dallas if he’s still around at No. 16 or the Cowboys could add some picks by dropping down to take Missouri’s Kony Ealy or Boise State’s Demarcus Lawrence.

Guard: The Cowboys have been active on the offensive line in recent years, drafting Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick in the first round, but they still have holes to fill. Guard is this year’s need, although it seems a stretch that the Cowboys will address it in the first round. There’s enough depth at the position to find a contributor in later rounds to push either Ronald Leary or Mackenzy Bernadeau out of the lineup. If they can’t find such a player, they may need to push for Brian Waters’ return for a second season in Big D.

Notre Dame’s Zack Martin is a possibility in the first round and he could wind up at either guard in the NFL. He could also play right tackle with Doug Free kicking inside.

Defensive Tackle: If Henry Melton makes a full recovery from a torn ACL, the Cowboys will miss Jason Hatcher a bit less. Even with Melton at 100 percent, though, the team needs more at the position if their defense is going to take strides in 2014. Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald would be an ideal fit, which makes him unlikely to drop to the 16th pick, and a later flier on Florida’s Dominique Easley (coming off his own knee injury) could also bear some fruit.

Safety: It has been a long, long time since the Cowboys have had a playmaker at the back end of their defense and they could be in position to remedy that in May. Alabama’s Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Louisville’s Calvin Pryor could both be available in the first round and either would be a starter from their first moment in Dallas.

Quarterback: Tony Romo isn’t being ousted as starter, but he is 34 and coming off of back surgery. Kyle Orton, who started the finale last season, may not be returning to the team, leaving Brandon Weeden and Caleb Hanie as the backup options in the event Romo’s recovery hits a snag. Even if rumored interest in Johnny Manziel doesn’t amount to anything, it wouldn’t hurt the Cowboys to add a younger option with upside to the mix.

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12 Responses to “Draft needs: Dallas Cowboys”
  1. pencilmonkeymagic says: Apr 28, 2014 9:05 AM

    #1 – General Manager.

  2. dalfanforever says: Apr 28, 2014 9:20 AM

    All kidding aside, so far Jerrah has done his best impression of a GM in almost 20 years. Probably because his son is pulling more of the strings.

    Defense should be the main goal (DT, DE and safety), some depth at RB since Murray still has to prove he can stay healthy. Another OL can’t hurt. And it’s time to draft the heir apparent to Tony Romo. Despite the popularity to bash him, he’s been solid for a few years now, limiting the maddening picks and making something out of nothing. He’s the only reason we got to 8 wins in past years due to a total lack of defense, especially last year’s epicly bad year.

  3. cuda1234 says: Apr 28, 2014 9:32 AM

    Jones and Manziel were made for each other. I can see Johnny Football playing at Jerry’s House.

  4. prosportswashington says: Apr 28, 2014 9:32 AM

    Somehow I don’t see the tampa 2 hanging around in Dallas for much longer-simply because building around a plan doesn’t fit Jerruh’s style

  5. 92nick182govikings says: Apr 28, 2014 9:33 AM

    THEY NEED AN OFFENSIVE LINE TO PROTECT TONY ROMO

  6. coldwater32301 says: Apr 28, 2014 10:03 AM

    Tony Romo is a good QB, however he will not and can not take the Cowboys over that hump without an uncomfortable challenge… see they GAVE Romo Brady, Manning, Rodgers status without having proven anything… time for Romo to pay what he Owe if not with the addition of Bridgewater( only because I believe Manziel would be gone unless Jerry jumps for him) would be the spark or thorn that is needed…Indeed…

  7. starfan79 says: Apr 28, 2014 10:36 AM

    ^^^ Bridgewater will be a bust

  8. starfan79 says: Apr 28, 2014 10:47 AM

    I really think the cowboys need to fill Safety if one of those two guys are still there.. They have a bunch of late round picks trying to start in the NFL and they just are not good enough.

  9. redsoxu571 says: Apr 28, 2014 6:27 PM

    coldwater32301, Romo has never even been given second tier status even though he earned it on the field years ago,so I don’t know what you’re talking about. He’s not one of the very best QBs (aka “elite”), but the next tier is fairly large and he’s in there. Anyone who would prefer, say, Eli Manning or even Matthew Stafford doesn’t understand that this is a team game.

  10. dbones641 says: Apr 29, 2014 12:13 PM

    The cowboys NEED to address the safety position. way too many big plays last year that cost us close games most notably, the lions game. That game was the difference between us winning and losing the division. J.J. Wilcox is not the answer!!

  11. dcowboys885082 says: Apr 29, 2014 4:01 PM

    DALLAS NEEDS TO DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO SNAG BARR! Put Him Melton Crawford and then Spencer and bam the line isn’t a disaster! Then Shore up safety and slot receiver with remainder of picks! = SUCCESSFUL/ INSTANTLY PRODUCTIVE DRAFT

  12. ncheelsboysfan says: Apr 30, 2014 11:28 AM

    Donald or Manziel for the #1 are my hopes but both are likely gone by 16.

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