NFL teams are allowed 30 official pre-draft visits from draft eligible players. These are the national visits, in addition there are the Dallas Days visits which are separate visits from players that fall within a geographical region around Dallas. Between these two lists of players, you can expect the Cowboys to take several of them in the draft if past drafts are any indication.
The names of some of the official 30 pre-draft visitors have been floating around and one thing is becoming clear, the Cowboys are most definitely looking at the defensive line. And the names are the usual suspects we've been kicking around here for the past month or so. They include Aaron Donald, Timmy Jernigan, Anthony Barr, and Kony Ealy. Those four are prime candidates for the #16 pick. If you look at the Cowboys tendency to pick guys in the first round who have come on a pre-draft visit, and look at the full list of players they are inviting that we know of so far, you probably would start betting heavily that one of those four will be a Cowboy on draft day (unless the Cowboys pull a trade).
The Cowboys are also looking at defensive linemen beyond the first round candidates. Guys like Demarcus Lawrence, Davon Coleman. You can also throw some Dallas Days and private workout names into that mix like Jackson Jeffcoat and Ken Bishop.
Outside of the defensive line position, there are a few highly-ranked guys coming in for a visit, headed by Ryan Shazier, Jason Verrett and Jimmie Ward, though only Shazier would seem like an outside possibility at #16. The rest are likely second round or trade-back picks.
The danger of writing these type of posts in real-time? New names that are added that slightly blow-up your premise. In this case, it's the addition of offensive lineman Zack Martin, who sits at the mid-first-round sweet spot that the Cowboys will be looking at.
Add OT Zack Martin to Cowboys list of pre Draft visitors, along with Jernigan.— Jeff Cavanaugh (@JC1053) April 14, 2014
Based on the visits we've seen so far, defensive line is the likely choice for Dallas if they stay at #16. And there are four names prominently heading that list.
|Confirmed Cowboys Pre-draft Visits/Workouts per 4/16/2014
|CBS Rank||Name||POS||College||Visit Type|
|8||Anthony Barr||OLB/DE||UCLA||Official visit|
|14||Aaron Donald||DT||Pittsburgh||Official visit|
|15||Zack Martin||OT||Notre Dame||Official visit|
|18||Timmy Jernigan||DT||FSU||Official visit|
|24||Ryan Shazier||LB||Ohio State||Official visit|
|34||Kony Ealy||DE||Missouri||Official visit|
|41||Jimmie Ward||S||Northern Illinois||Official visit|
|46||Scott Crichton||DE||Oregon State||Official visit|
|48||DeMarcus Lawrence||DE||Boise State||Official visit|
|51||Lamarcus Joyner||CB||FSU||Official visit|
|59||Domique Easley||DT||Florida||Official visit|
|67||Billy Turner||OT||North Dakota||Official visit|
|98||Will Clarke||DE||West Virginia||Official visit|
|136||Josh Huff||WR||Oregon||Official visit|
|170||Howard Jones||OLB||Shepherd||Official visit|
|318||Brandon Dixon||CB||Northwest Missouri St.||Official visit|
|372||Ken Bishop||DT||Northern Illinois||Official visit|
|909||Davon Coleman||DE||Arizona State||Official visit|
|29||Jason Verrett||CB||TCU||Dallas Day|
|89||Jackson Jeffcoat||DE||Texas||Dallas Day (tbd)|
|144||Mike Davis||WR||Texas||Dallas Day|
|281||Garrett Gilbert||QB||SMU||Dallas Day|
|500||James Franklin||QB||Missouri||Dallas Day|
|513||Derek Thompson||QB||North Texas||Dallas Day|
|685||Jeremy Johnson||WR||SMU||Dallas Day|
|766||Taylor Gabriel||WR||Abilene Christian||Dallas Day|
|995||Keenan Holman||WR||SMU||Dallas Day|
|- -||Cameron Frosch||P||Texas A&M Commerce||Dallas Day|
|- -||Kacy Rodgers||S||University of Miami||Dallas Day|
|78||Bashaud Breeland||CB||Clemson||Private workout|
|105||C.J. Fiedorowitz||TE||Iowa||Private workout|
|137||Jerick McKinnon||RB||Georgia Southern||Private workout|
|146||Walt Aikens||CB||Liberty||Private workout|
|471||Dmitri Goodson||CB||Baylor||Private workout|
|559||Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe||DT||Boise State||Private workout|
|910||Kevin Fogg||CB/KR||Liberty||Private workout|
|- -||Chris Parks||CB||SMU||Private workout|
|- -||Luke Sebald||DL||Wisconsin Lutheran||Private workout|