Dallas Cowboys Mock Drafts: Are Mark Barron and Dontari Poe Cowboys' Top Targets?

Yesterday our own Dave Halprin informed us that Alabama Safety Mark Barron Is Trending for the Dallas Cowboys. And to prove his point, he produced 10 different mock drafts that all had Mark Barron going to the Cowboys.

On Wednesday last week, Tony Pauline of SI.com fame shared this little nugget of information about the Cowboys' draft plans:

We hear if Dontari Poe is gone by the 14th pick of the draft, and he’s likely to be, the Dallas Cowboys are likely to turn to Barron.

After the break, we review the latest crop of mock drafts, published either today or yesterday, and wouldn't you know it: Dontari Poe leads Mark Barron 5:4 in these mocks. Are these two players the priority picks for the Cowboys, and is the sequence Pauline describes above correct? Read what the mockers had to say after the break.

Here are the latest mocks for the Cowboys. For your reading convenience, they are arranged by player.

Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis

NE Patriots Draft, 4/9/12

Poe is an incredible athlete, there is no denying that. Moving the way he does at nearly 350 pounds doesn’t seem humanly possible. If a team is willing to develop Poe into a football player, they could have a perennial All-Pro on their hands within a couple of years. Out of the box, Poe is going to make some flash plays.

NFL Draft Geek, 4/9/12

With the signings of Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau, the Cowboys seemed to have turned their attention in the draft over to the Defensive side of the ball. They're trying their best to hide it, but they really seem to be infatuated with Dontari Poe, the workout warrior. It seems like his stock has slipped a little bit as of late, as people get a better look at his rather average game tape, but Dallas would love to scoop him up. Jerry Jones loves these high potential players, and he'll have the confidence that his guys can get the best out of Poe. Right now Jay Ratliff is doing a fine job at Nose Tackle, so Poe can work behind him in a rotation, and learn the position. Dallas would no doubt consider the draft's best Safety Mark Barron here as well.

Matthew Fairburn, Mocking The Draft, 4/9/12

Many have mocked Dontari Poe to the Cowboys at pick No. 14, but that's a bit of a reach. This is a dream scenario for the Boys. They get to trade back, acquire more picks and draft a guy they have shown interest in. He also fills a need along their defensive front.

Ryan van Bibber, SBNation, 4/9/12

Maybe I'm buying the rumor mill's fodder about the Cowboys liking Poe so much that they do not want to draw attention to him, but the pick does work for them. Dallas also has the flexibility to use Poe in a rotation on their defensive line while he develops.

Evan Silva, PFT, 4/9/12

It’s no secret that Dallas is high on Poe’s immense upside.

Mark Barron, SS, Alabama

Albert Breer, NFL.com, 4/9/12

The Cowboys have had a revolving door at the position for five years. This a) ends that and b) gives Rob Ryan a field general for his secondary.

Dane Brugler, CBSSports, 4/9/12

The Cowboys have ignored the safety position for too long and there are several indications out of Valley Ranch that Jerry Jones and his staff have locked-in on the former Alabama All-American. Barron, who still isn't 100% healthy after a sports hernia in January, is the total package with the foot speed and natural strength to play in-the-box as well as drop in coverage. Despite the free agent signing of Brodney Pool, Barron has the pedigree to start as a rookie for Dallas.

Lou Pickney, DraftKing, 4/9/12

The time-honored tradition of Jerry Jones tipping off his team's draft plans has happened yet again, with the Cowboys owner indicating the distinct possibility that the Cowboys will trade down from this position in the first round.

It's not a huge surprise though, and it might prove to be a savvy move to slide down. Barron makes the most sense as far as team need and draft value spot goes, but there are several other teams (e.g. San Diego at #18) that could be interested in moving up to take Barron, or Stanford OG David DeCastro, or any other number of players. Moreover, if Dallas wants to land a 3-4 DE, trading down from here would make sense.

Barron underwent double hernia surgery this off-season, but that hasn't caused the kind of drop in his draft rankings that you might expect, in no small part because of how weak this year's draft class is at safety. Dallas signed Brodney Pool, likely with the thought of him replacing Abram Elam at strong safety, though he only signed a one-year deal.

DraftSeason, 4/9/12

The Cowboys have not hidden their love for Barron so far during the draft season. A corner or pass rusher will also be on their mind but when healthy Barron is a top 20 talent in this years crop.

Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

Drafttek, 4/10/12

Yes, had I known Coples would take a precipitous drop, I would have grabbed him (but do you believe he will fall to #18?) Gilmore is coming to Dallas for a personal visit, as are a number of prospects who are still on the board. Is the "Riverboat Gambler" contemplating trade-down opportunities? With the limited number of true "blue chip" prospects in this year's draft class, quantity may indeed trump quality in 2012; however, if the Cowboys stay at #14, Gilmore is a "value equals need" choice.

National Football Authority, 4/9/12

The Cowboys weren't done upgrading their secondary after signing free agent CB Brandon Carr, and they pick Gilmore to complement Carr on the other side of the defense.

Courtney Upshaw, LB, Alabama

Ryan McCrystal, Draftace, 4/9/12

The Cowboys have done a nice job filling some holes in free agency, upgrading the secondary and of the offensive line. Their next move will be to add a pass rusher. Either Upshaw or Melvin Ingram should be on the board here, and I suspect the Cowboys would be fine with either. There are also reports that they covet Dontari Poe, but I don’t see him falling this far.

The Phinsider, 4/9/12

The Cowboys have the luxury of filling a number of positions after a solid week of free agency when they shored up a number of holes, especially on the defense. While Janoris Jenkins is still a possibility even after signing Brandon Carr, they could go with Upshaw to help with their pass rush. While the Cowboys placed a franchise tender on OLB Anthony Spencer, it was likely done more because of a thin OLB market instead of him being a true franchise OLB. A platoon of Ingram/Spencer across from DeMarcus Ware would tremendously help Dallas’ defense. The Cowboys could also decide to go with S Mark Barron with this pick if they feel they need more play-makers at safety.

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Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft overview (min. three rounds deep)

Site Date 1st Round 2nd Round 3rd Round 4th Round 4th Round 5th Round 6th Round 7th Round
Draft Tek 4/10 Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin
Vinny Curry, OLB, Marshall
Derek Wolfe, DE, Cincinnati
Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Florida Int'l.
George Bryan, TE, N.C. St.
Donald Stephenson, OT, Oklahoma
NFL Draft Blitz 4/8 David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
Ronnell Lewis, OLB, Oklahoma Jared Crick, DE, Nebraska
Tommy Streeter, WR, Miami
Chase Ford, TE, Miami
Nicolas Jean Baptiste, DT, Baylor
Christian Thompson, S, S.C. St.
Case Keenum, QB, Houston
Draft Site 4/3 Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
Jared Crick, DE, Nebraska Brandon Washington, OG, Miami
Nick Foles, QB, Arizona Michael Egnew, TE, Missouri
Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas
William Vlachos, OC, Alabama
Blake Gideon, S, Texas
Sideline Scouting 4/2 Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi St.
Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame
Bruce Irvin, OLB, West Virginia Jeff Allen OT/OG, Illinois
Michael Brewster, OC, Ohio State
Asa Jackson, CB, Cal Poly
Max Gruder, LB, Pittsburgh
Vick Ballard, RB, Mississippi St.
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