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Cowboys Draft 2012: The Big Board 4.0 (Post Combine)

Missisippi State defensive lineman Fletcher Cox may be the Cowboys preferred target with the 14th overall pick.
Missisippi State defensive lineman Fletcher Cox may be the Cowboys preferred target with the 14th overall pick.

The combine has come and gone. We are right in the middle of free agency, but the draft is inching closer. It has been nearly a month since my last big board update. Prospects are starting to settle into their rankings and teams draft boards will begin to take shape.

The Cowboys are off to a great start rebuilding their roster. The theme of the offseason appears to be plug in holes on the roster via free agency and use the draft to take the best available talent on the board. It's hard to buy everything Jerry Jones sells us, but so far he seems to be backing up what he is selling.

This is one of the best free agency periods the team has had in a long time. Most of the contracts were very reasonable and look like good financial moves. Free agency is far from over, but I wouldn't expect the Cowboys to do much more shopping on the open market. The draft is shaping up to be a very interesting one for the Cowboys. With the way the have handled free agency, they are putting themselves in a great position to draft with less pressure on them.

2012 Cowboys Draft Needs

As of right now, I would say there are a few areas the Cowboys will attack in the draft. Center looks like a need still. If they decide to roll with Phil Costa again; there will be trouble. I know they are hoping he will improve and be a better football player, but I just cannot see this offense succeeding with him at center.

Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings are solid signings, nothing spectacular. Just because we signed two offensive guards doesn't mean we are out of the David DeCastro hunt. If he falls there they will take him. Offensive coordinator Bill Callahan recently worked out with Peter Konz and Kevin Zeitler. The Cowboys look to be focused on continuing to upgrade the offensive line.

Laurent Robinson took the big money and will be leaving Dallas after being one of their best wide receivers in 2011. Kevin Ogletree was re-signed, but we cannot expect him to be the #3 wide receiver next year. The draft is loaded with wide receiver talent. I moved the position up on my draft need wishlist after losing Robinson. Replacing 11 touchdowns won't be a walk in the park.

Brandon Carr was their #1 target entering free agency. Cornerback is nowhere near the need now it was just a week ago. They should still look to add another cornerback after the first round, but if one falls to them at 14 they may pull the trigger. There will be some great values after the first round, so the team should continue to stock up on cornerback talent.

Defensive line looks the area of need to upgrade in the draft. There have been no reports of the Cowboys bringing in any free agent defensive lineman in for a visit. The draft will have to be means to upgrade a defensive line that needs to generate more of a pass rush.

Michael Brockers has immense upside, but is the boom or bust type that makes selecting him that high risky. Fletcher Cox doesn't do it for me on tape or in the workouts to take him at 14. He is a fantastic young man with the RKG mentality, but he doesn't wow me enough to take him in the top 15. If he was the pick, I wouldn't have a problem with it. He is a solid football player with great upside, but I might go in another direction.

The Top 50

Rank Previous
Player Position College Change Trend
1 1 Andrew Luck QB Stanford n.c.
2 2 Robert Griffin III QB Baylor n.c.
3 3 Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma State n.c.
4 4 Matt Kalil OT USC n.c.
5 5 Morris Claiborne CB LSU n.c.
6 6 David DeCastro OG Stanford n.c.
7 7 Trent Richardson RB Alabama n.c.
8 8 Melvin Ingram DE South Carolina n.c.
9 13 Luke Kuechly LB Boston College 4
10 14 Janoris Jenkins CB North Alabama 4
11 15 Nick Perry DE USC 4
12 16 Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama 4
13 22 Dontari Poe DT Memphis 9
14 10 Michael Brockers DT LSU -4
15 9 Quinton Coples DE North Carolina -6
16 12 Riley Reiff OT Iowa -4
17 18 Michael Floyd WR Notre Dame 1
18 27 Cordy Glenn OG Georgia 9
19 19 Jonathan Martin OT Stanford n.c.
20 42 Fletcher Cox DT Mississippi State 22
21 23 Don'ta Hightower LB Alabama 2
22 20 Devon Still DT Penn State -2
23 48 Ryan Tannehill QB Texas A&M 25
24 11 Courtney Upshaw OLB Alabama -13
25 21 Mike Adams OT Ohio State -4
26 24 Alameda Ta'amu DT Washington -2
27 - - Bruce Irvin OLB West Virginia - -
28 31 Stephon Gilmore CB South Carolina 3
29 29 Mark Barron S Alabama n.c.
30 25 Kendall Wright WR Baylor -5
31 30 Vinny Curry DE/OLB Marshall -1
32 26 Brandon Thompson DT Clemson -6
33 36 Whitney Mercilus DE Illinois 3
34 46 David Wilson RB Virginia Tech 12
35 34 Mohammed Sanu WR Rutgers -1
36 - - LaMichael James RB Oregon - -
37 50 Kendall Reyes DL Uconn 13
38 35 Lamar Miller RB Miami -3
39 38 Brandon Washington OG Miami -1
40 37 Coby Fleener TE Stanford -3
41 41 Zach Brown LB North Carolina n.c.
42 39 Orson Charles TE Georgia -3
43 33 Kelechi Osemele OG Iowa State -10
44 - - Josh Robinson CB Central Florida - -
45 - - Andre Branch OLB Clemson - -
46 - - Mychael Kendricks LB California - -
47 47 Jerel Worthy DT Michigan State n.c.
48 32 Chandler Jones DE/OLB Syracuse -16
49 44 Dwayne Allen TE Clemson -5
50 43 Jared Crick DE Nebraska -7
17 Peter Konz C Wisconsin
28 Alshon Jeffery WR South Carolina
40 Jonathan Massaquoi DE/OLB Troy
45 Chase Minnifield CB Virginia
49 Vontaze Burfict LB Arizona State

Here's how the Top 50 board splits out by position groups

Andrew Luck Justin Blackmon Coby Fleener Trent Richardson Matt Kalil David DeCastro
Robert Griffin III Michael Floyd Orson Charles David Wilson Riley Reiff Cordy Glenn
Ryan Tannehill Kendall Wright Dwayne Allen LaMichael James
Jonathan Martin Brandon Washington
Mohammed Sanu Lamar Miller Mike Adams Kelechi Osemele
Dontari Poe Melvin Ingram Luke Kuechly Morris Claiborne Mark Barron
Michael Brockers Nick Perry Don'ta Hightower Janoris Jenkins
Fletcher Cox Quinton Coples Courtney Upshaw Dre Kirkpatrick
Devon Still Whitney Mercilus Bruce Irvin Stephon Gilmore
Alameda Ta'amu Vinny Curry Zach Brown Josh Robinson
Brandon Thompson Andre Branch
Mychael Kendricks
Kendall Reyes Chandler Jones
Jerel Worthy Jared Crick

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