Cowboys Hosting All Top Offensive Tackles For Pre-Draft Visits

Per Nick Eatman of DallasCowboys.com, the Cowboys released the names of 16 draft prospects visiting Valley ranch today. Today and tomorrow, the Cowboys are hosting 30 national prospects, among them all five top offensive tackles:

Tyron Smith, OT, USC
Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

Could this finally be the year the Cowboys take an offensive lineman in the first round? After the break, more on the names that will be visiting Valley Ranch this week.

The table below summarizes the known visitors to Valley Ranch by position. It includes the sixteen players Eatman lists as well as some of the 14 more scheduled tomorrow that we already know about. The numbers in front of the player names indicate the overall ranking for the player as per cbssports.com. The prospects marked with an (*) are invitees to the "Dallas Days" where up to 30 prospects with local roots get to visit with the Cowboys.

You can never be sure what to infer from these visits, whether they're an elaborate smokescreen or a glimpse into what the teams are planning, but what stands out from this list is that the Cowboys appear to be ready to draft an offensive lineman with their first pick for the first time in the Jerry Jones era. At the same time, the defensive line appears to be an afterthought.

The Cowboys traditionally bring in a lot of corners and receivers, but it is worth noting that Prince Amukamara is not on the list, and according to Clarence Hill from the Star-Telegram will not be coming for the second day either. Then again, Hill appears to have been wrong about Carimi not attending, so make of that what you will. And if you were to consider Aaron Williams as more of a safety prospect, it could look like the Cowboys are not really looking for a corner high in the draft.

Running back seems to be a potential consideration for the end of the draft, and while the Cowboys brought in two fullbacks in John Connor and Clay Harbor last year, so far we don't know of any this year. 

Also, if you look at the cbssports ranking of the players the Cowboys are looking at in the first round, outside of Smith and Miller, could this be an indication that the Cowboys are looking to trade down?

All of the above is pure speculation of course. But that's what we do in the offseason. So what's your take from the list below?

Offensive Line Corner Receiver Linebacker Safety Running Back Defensive Line
14 Tyron Smith, OT, USC 33 Aaron Williams, CB, Texas 55 Jon Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh 2 Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M* 60 Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA 173 Bilal Powell, RB, Louisville 15 J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
16 Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College 65 Brandon Burton, CB, Utah 84 Edmund Gates, WR, Abilene Christian 38 Martez Wilson, ILB, Illinois 122 Da'Norris Searcy, SS, North Carolina 183 Stevan Ridley, RB, LSU 64 Kenrick Ellis, DT, Hampton
20 Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin 99 Johnny Patrick, CB, Louisville 171 Cecil Shorts, WR, Mount Union 61 Bruce Carter, LB, North Carolina 473 Jonathan Nelson, FS, Oklahoma* - - Phillip Tanner, RB, Middle Tennessee*    
21 Mike Pouncey, OG, Florida 396 Jason Teague, CB, TCU* 287 Jimmy Young, WR, TCU* 134 Kelvin Sheppard, ILB, LSU - - Collin Zych, FS, Harvard*        
22 Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State - - Antareis Bryan, CB, Baylor* 407 Andre Holmes, WR, Hillsdale                
24 Nate Solder, OT, Colorado                        
78 Will Rackley, OG, Lehigh                        

[Hat tip to Antonio S for the FanShot]

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