Dallas Cowboys College Football Viewing Guide - 9/24/11

It's going to be a busy weekend for the Dallas Cowboys scouts, as they visit no less than five games today.

Chris Steuber regularly tweets which NFL Scouts officially visit which college games. He confirms that Cowboys scouts will attend at least these five games over the weekend:

  • Louisiana-Monroe at Iowa, Saturday, 12:00 pm (ET)
  • No. 7 Oklahoma State at No. 8 Texas A&M, Saturday, 3:30 pm (ET)
  • UCLA at Oregon State, Saturday, 3:30 pm (ET)
  • No. 10 Oregon at Arizona, 10:15 pm (ET)
  • No. 23 USC at Arizona State, 10:15 pm (ET)

As tempting as it would be to think the Cowboys are attending the Oklahoma State game because they have their eyes set on WR Justin Blackmon, the reality is that the Cowboys are likely to be looking at defensive help in the draft this year.

It doesn't come as a big surprise that the Cowboys are attending games that feature nation's no. 1 and no. 2 ranked free safeties in USC's T.J. McDonald and Oklahoma State's Markelle Martin. CBSSports.com has these players ranked as the top prospects at their positions. After the break, we use CBSsports 2012 draft prospects rankings to figure out who else the Cowboys may be looking at in the games the Cowboys scouts are attending.

Using the CBSsports rankings, and eliminating all offensive players, leads to an interesting observation: Of the top eight defensive prospects the Cowboys could be looking at in today's games, seven are defensive backs. Only one is a linebacker, and I'm not sure he fits the RKG profile the Cowboys are looking for.

Possible Cowboys scouting candidates (click column header to sort)

Proj. Round Player Pos. Overall Rank Pos. Rank School Wt. Ht. 40 time
1-2 *T.J. McDonald FS 32 1 Southern California 205 6-2 4.54
1-2 *Cliff Harris CB 41 7 Oregon 168 5-11 4.49
1-2 *Vontaze Burfict ILB 45 5 Arizona State 250 6-3 4.67
2 Markelle Martin FS 46 2 Oklahoma State 198 6-1 4.47
2 Coryell Judie CB 49 8 Texas A&M 190 5-11 4.48
3-4 Tony Dye SS 103 3 UCLA 216 5-11 4.52
4 Shaun Prater CB 112 13 Iowa 185 5-10 4.49
4 Omar Bolden** CB 113 14 Arizona State 195 5-10 4.49

All data: cbssports.com, * Junior, ** out with torn ACL suffered in spring training

So if this list is anything to go by, watch the defensive backs carefully as you watch the college games today. One of those guys may be a future Cowboy.

Feel free to contribute players I may have missed.

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