Less than a week to go. Time to review your mental mocks. Do not force feed a position or positions in your mocks. Look at defensive backs. The Cowboys have names on their board for picks 14, 45, 81 and down the line. Same with offensive linemen. Same with defensive linemen, and so on.
Prepare for the Cowboys to draft players you did not have on your list. They do this every year. It will happen again this year. Be strong when they pass on one of your pet cats, trust the process.
Entering the draft, Tom Ciskowski, Dallas' director of scouting, has eight picks to work with. The key will be to hit on at least four players. Where they play is out of Dallas' control, but as long as the Cowboys get four football players, they'll move in the right direction, even if some positions of need go unfilled.
Of those four football playing dudes, one likely candidate could be Alabama Safety Mark Barron, whose draft stock has been skyrocketing over the last few days. After the break, we've assembled 19 mock drafts. 11 of them have the Cowboys picking Mark Barron.
Here are the latest mocks for the Cowboys. For your reading convenience, they are arranged by player.
Mark Barron, SS, Alabama
|Sideline Scouting, 4/20/12||
Prior to signing cornerback Brandon Carr the Cowboys did not have a single standout player in their secondary. However, even after signing Carr the Cowboys still need help at the safety position, especially considering the quarterbacks in their division are Michael Vick, Eli Manning and Robert Griffin. In a weak safety class, Barron is the only safety that will receive first round consideration and the Cowboys would do well to grab him now as there's a big drop-off at the position once he comes off the board. Dallas also has needs along their offensive line, but the depth on the interior line in this draft is solid so they can fill that need later.
|Evan Silva, rotoworld.com, 4/20/12||
Clarence Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram predicted Thursday that Dallas' pick will come down to Barron versus LSU DT Michael Brockers. Hill projected Brockers to the Cowboys, but Barron is a superior playmaker at a position of greater need. After the acquisition of Brandon Carr and Gerald Sensabaugh's long-term extension, Barron would solidify Dallas' secondary.
|Matt Alkire, Scout's Notebook, 4/19/12||
Honestly, I think this would be a horrible pick from a value standpoint, but rumors have the Cowboys going for Dontari Poe or Mark Barron. The Cowboys haven’t taken a player who hasn’t visited them privately in nearly a decade, nixing Poe. I thought heavily about Cordy Glenn here as their OG position is horribly weak, but it’s not my team.
|Will Spencer, Draft Breakdown, 4/19/12||
I have a feeling the Jets or another team will make a move to get Barron but the Cowboys won’t pass him up if he’s available.
|Jason McIntyre, The Big Lead, 4/19/12||
It’s as if Jerry Jones told everyone who would listen – "we’re taking him."
|NFL Draft Geek, 4/19/12||
This pick will no doubt come down to Defense for the Cowboys, and three prospects will garner serious consideration. Memphis DT Dontari Poe, LSU DT Michael Brockers, and Mark Barron. We know that Jerry Jones can become infatuated with potential, and upside, but I really believe that the Cowboys front office will realize that Poe is just not a 3-4 Nose Tackle, and is certainly not worth the risk at #14. So it comes down to Brockers and Barron, both prospects I absolutely love! Our reasoning for them taking Barron is that Dallas ranked 7th in the league last year against stopping the run, while ranking 22nd against the pass. Their secondary was the reason why they struggled down the stretch last year. Barron is a well rounded Safety who excels in run support and coverage. Also, if Dallas passes on Barron, they likely won't have another chance this draft to add good talent at Safety.
|Walter Football, 4/18/12||
Signing Brodney Pool has not fixed Dallas' problem at strong safety. They've needed help at the position for years, and some could argue that Mark Barron is the top player on the board. Mel Kiper said that Barron is a lock for the top 16, and this is as of a slot for him as any, given that Jerry Jones is reportedly in love with the Alabama product.
|Al Fronczak, EC Sports News, 4/17/12||
The Cowboys fill a huge need with this pick and feel Barron will provide a huge upgrade to their secondary.
|Rob Rang, CBSSports, 4/16/12||
While Dallas' cornerbacks were generally the ones blamed for the Cowboys' struggles defending the pass last season, the play of free safety Abram Elam was an even bigger area of concern. Elam, a free agent who apparently isn't viewed as a priority to re-sign, could be replaced by a new free agent addition, Brodney Poole but if the Cowboys view him as the potential long-term answer at the position they certainly didn't show it with their contract, as he was given only a one-year deal. Barron is intelligent, tough, and capable of making an immediate impact versus both the run and pass.
|Dane Brugler, CBSSports, 4/16/12||
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.
David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
|Peter Schrager, Foxsports, 4/20/12||
The Brandon Carr signing makes for a tremendous upgrade at cornerback in Dallas, but there are some who’ll be clamoring for the Alabama safety, Mark Barron, if he’s still on the board here. Quinton Coples will get some love from the Cowboys fans, too. But I think the Cowboys front office (er, Jerry Jones) would be very pleased (and surprised) to see DeCastro still on the board. Guards got big money in free agency this year. Taking one with the 14th pick in the draft isn’t considered too high anymore.
|Wes Bunting, NFP, 4/18/12||
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.
|Peter Prisco, CBSSports, 4/17/12||
They plugged some guard holes in free agency, but this kid is better than the two they signed. Right now.
|Will Brinson, CBSSports, 4/17/12||
There wouldn't be anything wrong with the Cowboys taking someone like Dontari Poe or even a cornerback here. But with Jerry Jones lamenting the play of his offensive line -- even after Tony Romo's best year -- there wouldn't be anything surprising about them upgrading with a nasty rookie like DeCastro.
Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama
|Ryan McCrystal, DraftAce, 4/17/12||
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, a need which Jerry Jones as specifically referenced this offseason. Either Upshaw or Melvin Ingram should be on the board here, and I suspect the Cowboys would be fine with either.
|Pat Kirwan, CBSSports, 4/19/12||
The Cowboys will discuss Michael Brockers, the DT from LSU, but he is a bit of an underachiever. Upshaw gives them a chance to trade Anthony Spencer.
Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
In normal years, Dallas has their 1st round draft choice in for a pre-draft visit . . . so is this a normal year? It won't be if Coples slides this far . . . and no, he was not invited to Dallas for a visit. This is a BPA scenario and as we get closer to the "real draft", we'll focus on the prospects that Dallas has brought in for a visit; however, if this is NOT a "normal year", I could very well see Dallas taking Coples if he slides to 14.
Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
|Robert Davis, Football's Future, 4/18/12||
The Cowboys would love to add a talent like Brockers to their front three. His size and athleticism combination could make him the next Richard Seymour.
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||4/20||Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina||Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
||Philip Blake, OC, Baylor
||Jamell Fleming, CB, Oklahoma
||Bruce Irvin, OLB, West Virginia
||Rishard Matthews, WR, Nevada
||George Bryan, TE, N.C. State
|Draft Site||4/20||Mark Barron, S, Alabama
||Jayron Hosley, CB Virginia Tech
||Brandon Brooks, OG, Miami (OH)
||Derek Wolfe, DT, Cincinnati
||T.Y. Hilton, WR, Florida Int'l
Malik Jackson, DE, Tennessee
||Cody Johnson, FB, Texas
||Austin Davis, QB, Southern Miss
|Walter Football||4/18||Mark Barron, S, Alabama||Ronell Lewis, DE/OLB, Oklahoma
||Jamell Fleming, CB, Oklahoma||Philip Blake, OC, Baylor||Kheeston Randall, DE, Texas
||Lucas Nix, OG, Pittsburgh
||Jeff Fuller, WR, Texas A&M
|Sideline Scouting||4/20||Mark Barron, S, Alabama||
||Josh Norman, CB Coastal Carolina
||Jonathan Massaquoi, DE, Troy
||Michael Brewster, OC, Ohio State
||Kheeston Randall, DE, Texas||Edwin Baker, RB, Michigan St.
||Greg Childs, WR, Arkansas
Which mock draft do you like the most?
Draft Tek (317 votes)
Draft site (123 votes)
Walter Football (192 votes)
Sideline Scouting (322 votes)
954 total votes