Hey, you don't have to tell me it's still only January. Hey, you don't have to tell me that we are actually going to have free agency before the draft this year. Hey, you don't have to tell me that the stock of these players will rise and fall with the combine and individual workouts.
I know. OK?
Regardless, it's the offseason! As much as it sucks to be here already.
Let's see who the 'experts' are predicting the Cowboys will be selecting with their first pick in this coming April's draft. Now, a lot of the mock drafters that we'll follow through the off season haven't updated their mocks to reflect the current draft order. Some have, however. If you need a primer on the areas that the Cowboys should be considering, check out Tom's assessment of the Cowboys draft priorities here.
Follow the jump for the skinny.
|Site||Pick||Explanation||Prominent Players Still Available||My Take|
|Wes Bunting, National Football Post
||OG David DeCastro, Stanford||The idea of drafting an athlete like DeCastro and potentially playing him next to 2011 first-round pick Tyron Smith at left tackle has to sound mighty intriguing.||CB Alfonzo Dennard, OLB Nick Perry, SS Mark Barron, DL Dontari Poe, OL Kelechi Osemele, DE Jared Crick, OLB Bruce Irvin||I'm just not a fan of taking a guard this high, and I don't like taking the 2nd best player from a unit here either, but he is intriguing.|
|Drafttek.com||CB Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama||When you fall apart in December, you move up in the draft pecking order - anyone watching the Cowboys knows in 2012 the team must address the defense. Terence Newman will turn 34 at the beginning of next season (and looked much older against the Giants), Mike Jenkins is set as one starter, and Orlando Scandrick is best on the slot. Dre Kirkpatrick is one of the biggest, most physical CB's in this year's draft class, yet his athleticism and fluid hips allow him to excel in coverage. At 6'3" he has the height to match up with the taller receivers in the league and win his share of jump balls - his hands are not the best, but Dallas needs a physical attitude in their defensive backfield. This is a selection where value meets need.||CB Alfonzo Dennard, OLB Courtney Upshaw, SS Mark Barron, OG David DeCastro, ILB Vontaze Burflict, DE Jared Crick, DT Kwae Geathers, CB Chase Minnifield||I don't see how Kirkpatrick makes it to #14, but if he does, I'm running up to the podium with the card.|
|Rob Rang, Dane Brugler, CBSSports.com||CB Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska||--||SS Barron, OG DeCastro, OLB Upshaw, OG Glenn||I like physical corners, after seeing the Cowboys aversion to press coverage|
|Walter Football||OG David DeCastro, Stanford||The Cowboys have major issues on the interior of their offensive line. Left guard Derrick Dockery is a free agent after missing most of 2011 with a knee injury. Center Phil Costa sucks. Right guard Montrae Holland, meanwhile, can't really be relied on. David DeCastro is one of the top interior linemen prospects to come along in years, and he's the highest-ranked prospect on the board. This is a perfect match.||OLB Upshaw, CB Jenkins, OLB Perry, CB Dennard, OLB Melvin Ingram SC, G Glenn, C Konz, ILB Hightower, OLB Zach Brown, ILB Burflict, OLB Mercilus||The players left on the board here have me most thinking about the trade down to trade up possibility to have two picks in the 20's.|
|DraftAce.com||SS Mark Barron, Alabama||The Cowboys have some serious issues on the defensive side of the ball, especially in the secondary. Unfortunately, there aren’t many great options once Claiborne and Kirkpatrick are off the board. Alfonzo Dennard may be a popular choice, but he’s terribly overrated and I expect his stock to fall. The safe route may be to upgrade at strong safety with Barron.||OLB Upshaw, OG Glenn, C Konz, OLB Mercilus, DT Poe, CB Dennard, CB Minnifield, CB Jenkins, CB Jayron Hosley VT||First person I've seen refer to Dennard as overrated, interesting.|
|Shawn Zoebel, DraftHeadquarters.com||CB Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama||Janoris Jenkins is a very talented player who was a former top recruit to the University of Florida. Although he comes with some baggage, the Cowboys are a team that has not had any hesitation bringing in talented players capable of developing into stars even if they had off-field question marks. Jenkins' playmaking ability would be a great addition to the Dallas' secondary.||OLB Upshaw, OLB Hightower, G DeCastro, CB Stephon Gilmore SC, OLB Burflict, DT Poe, C Konz, S Barron||Zoebel is on his way up as a prognosticator, but I think he's offbase here. I just can't see JG going here because of all the problems. He's trying to change a culture.|
So what do you think, folks? Are your target guys listed above? Hash it out in the comments.