As a predictor of which players are going to which teams, mock drafts aren't particularly accurate. Somebody here said last year your best bet would be to wait until Rick Gosselin from the Dallas Morning News releases his mock two days before the actual draft - but where's the fun in that?
For those of us who enjoy talking about the draft, mock drafts can still be a lot of fun regardless, as they can give us a general sense for where a player fits on the draft boards. But as an indicator of exactly which player goes to which team, they're hardly accurate, especially not at this time of the year.
What we do know is that there will be a lot of good candidates for the Cowboys to choose from once they're on the clock with the 14th pick. In fact, there are so many options that outside of early fan favorite David DeCastro, no other player has emerged as a clear-cut favorite for the Cowboys yet.
That is a situation that should suit the Cowboys just fine: At about this time last year, Stephen Jones said the Cowboys are going to follow a BPA approach:
"We're going to take the best player that's available when it comes time for us to pick. I know that's the old saying that people get tired of hearing about, but that's what we need to do with this team. You never know who is going to be injured and who is not going to work out from year-to-year, so you just need to take good football players, and that's what we're going to do."
For now, it's too early to tell with any degree of certainty what the Cowboys will do with their 14th pick. But that won't stop us from looking at who some selected mockers like for the Cowboys this week.
Draftcountdown.com, 1/20/2012: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama.
It was another disappointing season for the Cowboys and the organization will have to go back to the drawing board to try and figure out why the team continues to underachieve. One area where an upgrade is called for is cornerback since Terence Newman is overpaid and past his prime.
Alabama’s Dre Kirkpatrick is a tall, rangy cover guy who isn’t afraid to hit and also played in what is essentially a pro style system under Nick Saban in college. With that said, Kirkpatrick isn’t the elite, shutdown corner that some have made him out to be and is probably more of a mid first round value than a top ten pick. Kirkpatrick also has some off-the-field concerns following an arrest in mid-January, but that isn’t the type of thing that will scare off Jerry Jones.
Dallas could also use a safety like Mark Barron of Alabama or perhaps even an outside linebacker such as Alabama’s Courtney Upshaw or South Carolina’s Melvin Ingram since Anthony Spencer is going to be a free agent. After using a first round pick on an offensive lineman for the first time in two decades last year, don’t be shocked if Jones tries it once again with Stanford OG David DeCastro.
SportingNews.com, 1/20/2012: Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina.
With Anthony Spencer likely to leave as a free agent, the Cowboys have to find a player who can rush the passer effectively opposite DeMarcus Ware.
Drafttek.com, 1/19/2012: David DeCastro, G, Stanford.
The pipe dream was fun while we smoked it, but this week CB Kirkpatrick is a top ten pick and there is quite a drop-off in talent to Dennard . . . thus, it's the "People's Choice" Stanford's David DeCastro, the #1 OG in this year's draft class. DeCastro is smart, athletic and possesses a mean streak. The interior of the Cowboy OL definitely needs an upgrade, as the youth conversion project continues.
New OC/OL coach Bill Callahan has his OT bookends in Smith and Free but if OG Montrae Holland (UFA) shows up overweight again, the roll call includes the oft-injured Kyle Kosier, Derrick Dockery (UFA), David Arkin (last year's 4th round selection who the coaches say needs to get stronger?) and Bill Nagy (last year's 7th round selection who did not start at Wisconsin due to his affinity for riding scooters) to line up either side of centers Costa and Kowalski. Will Dallas invest yet another 1st round choice on the OL? Looks to me like they have to!
Football's Future, 1/16/2012: Devon Still, DL, Penn St.
There was a lot of talk centered around the Cowboys interest in JJ Watt last year at this time, but they went with Tyron Smith instead. This year, the need is still there, and Still would fill that role nicely with his size and ability to control gaps.
FanSpeak.com: 1/16/2012: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
The Cowboys could definitely look to upgrade their defensive backfield with this pick, but I think the Cowboys could look to splurge and take an impact lineman with this pick. Their defensive line is pretty solid right now, but they lack an impact 3-4 end in the mold of a Justin Smith. Brockers could be that, as he is an incredible disruptive force and could even be a better end than last year star rookie J.J. Watt.
Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft overview (min. two rounds deep)
|1st Round||1st Round||2nd Round||3rd Round||4th Round||5th Round||6th Round|
|Drafttek (1/19)||David DeCastro, G, Stanford||Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
||Trevor Gruyton, DE, California
||Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State||Nicolas Jean-Baptiste, DT, Baylor||Keith Tandy, CB, West Virginia|
||Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska||Alameda Ta'amu, DT, Washington||Bruce Irvin, DE, West Virginia||Darron Thomas, QB, Oregon||Duke Ihenacho, S, San Jose State||Ryan Miller, OG, Colorado|
|Walter Football (1/18)||David DeCastro, G, Stanford||Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama||Kendall Reyes, DE/DT, Connecticut||Michael Brewster, C, Ohio State|
||Michael Brockers, DT, LSU||Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina||Aaron Henry, S, Wisconsin||Keenan Robinson, OLB Texas||Robert Blanton, CB, Notre Dame||Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin|
Sideline Scholars (1/16)
||Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina||Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson||Shaun Prater, CB, Iowa|