Never thought I'd say something like this, but after almost seven straight days of free agency talk, it actually feels like a little bit of a relief to get back to mock drafts. That feeling probably won't last very long though.
In this third edition of our mock draft database, we take a peek at 36 different mock drafts by some of the better known draftniks on the interwebs.
As it currently stands, 26 of the 36 mocks are projecting the Cowboys to take a defensive tackle, with most of those picks going to Aaron Donald (14) and Timmy Jernigan (9). All of that could change if the Cowboys sign Henry Melton (possibly as early as today), as the Cowboys could suddenly find themselves with quite a bit of flexibility heading into the 2014 NFL Draft.
Here's Jason Garrett from two years ago explaining how the Cowboys' free agency activities at the time were an attempt to fill holes in order to gain more flexibility in the draft.
"That was one of our objectives. You want to address the needs where you can in free agency," Garrett said. "We tried to address some needs with players that we really liked in free agency and hopefully that will allow us to be a little bit less need-based in the draft and take the best players, guys who can help our football team."
Most draftniks agree that the Cowboys' biggest need is on the defensive line. If the Cowboys could address those needs in free agency in one form or another, would it still make sense for them to go after defensive line help or should they be open to other positions?
Until then, this is what the mock draft community has the Cowboys doing in the draft:
Mock Draft Overview (click column header to sort)
|Website (Writer)||Cowboys Pick||Date||Aaron
|CBSSports.com (Rob Rang)||Aaron Donald||
|CBSSports.com (Dane Brugler)||Aaron Donald||
|SB Nation (Dan Kadar)||Ra'Shede Hageman
|WalterFootball.com (Charlie Campbell)||Aaron Donald||3/17||16||12||14|
|CBSSports.com (Will Brinson)||Timmy Jernigan||
|CBSSports.com (Pat Kirwan)||Aaron Donald||
|ESPN.com (Mel Kiper)||Timmy Jernigan||
|FOXSports.com (Fred Greetham)||Aaron Donald||
|NFL.com (Chase Goodbread)||Calvin Pryor||
|CBSSports.com (Pete Prisco)||Timmy Jernigan||
|Optimum Scouting (Eric Galko)||Aaron Donald||3/12||16||19||30|
|DraftCountdown.com (Scott Wright)||Timmy Jernigan||
|ESPN.com (Todd McShay)||Timmy Jernigan||
|Football's Future (Robert Davis)||Aaron Donald||
|SI.com (Doug Farrar)||Ha Ha Clinton-Dix||
|NFL.com (Matt Smith)||Aaron Donald||
|Yahoo! Sports (Shaun King)||Louis Nix||3/5||5||14||- -|
|NFL.com (Bucky Brooks)||Aaron Donald||
|The Draft Report||C.J. Mosley||
|LA Times (Sam Farmer)||Aaron Donald||
||16||- -||- -
|RealGM Football (Jeff Risdon)||Ha Ha Clinton-Dix||
|Rotoworld (Evan Silva)||C.J. Mosley||
|NFP (Gabriel & Galko)||Timmy Jernigan||
|FOXSports.com (Peter Schrager)||Louis Nix||
|NFL.com (Daniel Jeremiah)||Aaron Donald||
|NFL.com (Charles Davis)||Zack Martin||
|USA Today (Nate Davis)||Timmy Jernigan||
|SI.com (Chris Burke)||Aaron Donald||
|SI.com (Don Banks)||Ha Ha Clinton-Dix||2/19||- -||14||30|
|Rotoworld (Josh Norris)||Calvin Pryor||
|Yahoo! Sports (Eric Edholm)||Aaron Donald||
|DraftAce (Ryan McCrystal)||Kony Ealy||
Here's a further breakdown of the mocks by position and by player selected:
|Results To Date -- 17/3/14|
|By Position||Mocks||By Player||Mocks|
|Defensive Tackle||26||Aaron Donald||14|
||2||Ha Ha Clinton-Dix||3|