Ask most Cowboys fans about the greatest needs the Cowboys have going into the draft, and chances are you'll get some combination of offensive line, safety, cornerback and defensive end. Some might even argue that a seven round draft isn't enough to fill all the Cowboys needs, but let's stay with the top needs for now.
Even though the Cowboys are drafting high this year, there's virtually no chance that they'll be able come away from the draft with four first-year starters/significant contributors at all four positions. At #9 and #40, the Cowboys should expect to draft first-year starters or significant contributors, but if they were to find an immediate starter in the third round, that would be a very big win on draft day.
This of course means that the Cowboys may need to fill at least two of their most gaping holes via free agency. But which ones? After the break, we look at our mock draft database of 1st and 2nd round picks to see what the draftniks think about the topic.
The table below shows the 1st and 2nd round picks of 20 mock drafts for the Cowboys.
|Site (Last Update)||1st round pick||Pos||College||2nd round pick||Pos||College|
|New NFL Draft (3/7)||Tyron Smith||OT||USC||DeMarcus Love||OT||Arkansas|
|NE Patriots Draft (3/7)||Cameron Jordan||DE||California||Danny Watkins||G/T||Baylor|
|NFL Draft Blitz (3/5)||Prince Amukamara||CB||Nebraska||Rodney Hudson||G/C||Florida St.|
|Draft Breakdown (3/5)||Cameron Jordan||DE||California||Rahim Moore||S||UCLA|
|FF Toolbox (De Lima) (3/4)||Prince Amukamara||CB||Nebraska||Allen Bailey||DE||Miami|
|FF Toolbox (Warner) (3/4)||Robert Quinn||DE||N. Carolina||Benjamin Ijalana||G/T||Villanova|
|Darft Site (3/3)||Tyron Smith||OT||USC||DeAndre McDaniel||S||Clemson|
|Walter Football (3/3)||Prince Amukamara||CB||Nebraska||Aaron Williams||CB||Texas|
|Foxsports (3/3)||Prince Amukamara||CB||Nebraska||Rahim Moore||S||UCLA|
|Draft Tek (3/2)||Prince Amukamara||CB||Nebraska||Marcus Cannon||OT||TCU|
|Mynfldraft (3/2)||Prince Amukamara||CB||Nebraska||Rodney Hudson||G/C||Florida St.|
|The Football Expert (3/2)||Patrick Peterson||CB||LSU||Cameron Heyward||DE||Ohio St.|
|FF Toolbox (Welser) (3/2)||Prince Amukamara||CB||Nebraska||Quinton Carter||S||Oklahoma|
|FF Toolbox (Standig) (3/2)||J.J. Watt||DE||Wisconsin||Aaron Williams||CB||Texas|
|FF Toolbox (Dimon) (3/2)||Prince Amukamara||CB||Nebraska||Benjamin Ijalana||G/T||Villanova|
|Draft Ace (2/28)||Prince Amukamara||CB||Nebraska||Danny Watkins||G/T||Baylor|
|Draft Season (2/24)||Prince Amukamara||CB||Nebraska||Rahim Moore||S||UCLA|
|GBN Report (2/14)||Prince Amukamara||CB||Nebraska||Derek Sherrod||G/T||Mississippi St.|
|SB Nation (2/14)||Prince Amukamara||CB||Nebraska||Rahim Moore||S||UCLA|
|Sideline Scouting (2/13)||Cameron Jordan||DE||California||Rahim Moore||S||UCLA|
13 of the 20 mocks have the Cowboys taking a corner with the first pick (12 x Amukamara, 1 x Peterson). Five mocks have the Cowboys taking a DE and only two see the Cowboys taking an offensive lineman in the first.
The weighting obviously changes somewhat for the second round picks where nine mocks lead the charge with an offensive lineman, seven have the Cowboys taking a safety, while CBs and DEs are the Cowboy picks in two mocks each.
In total, out of the 40 players picked, 15 are CBs, 11 O-linemen, seven DE's and seven safeties. Obviously, the numbers are skewed by the talent available at the positions the Cowboys pick in (i.e. there's no safety worth a high first round pick), but it does give an indication about what the mock drafters in this list think the Cowboys priorities will be on draft day.
If you're the Cowboys, and know that you'll have to fill two of your four biggest need positions via free agency, which positions will you look to shore up in the draft, and which will you look for in free agency?