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NFL Mock Draft Tracker 2013: A Defensive End For The Cowboys?

A review of the latest, greatest mock drafts published over the last seven days.

Chris Trotman

Another week is almost over and we have another edition of freshly mocked drafts to peruse. The previous editions of this Mock Draft Tracker have been heavy on offensive and defensive linemen, with the occasional safety sprinkled in. Linemen still dominate this week's crop of mocks, but we also have three defensive ends mocked to the Cowboys.

Datone Jones, Sam Montgomery and Ezekiel Ansah, to name just the three DEs mocked to the Cowboys this week, have not yet received a lot attention in Cowboys mock draft circles, but that could change quickly as draftniks begin to realize that even if Spencer is re-signed, the Cowboys have almost no depth at DE.

Today's roundup of 12 mocks published in the last week offers us nine different names for the Cowboys' 18th pick. We're far away from a consensus pick right now, and if DEs are indeed in the mix for the 18th pick, it doesn't look like a consensus pick will emerge anytime soon.

Source Player Update
Drafttek Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
January 31
Comment: "Dallas recorded only 34 sacks in 2012 (ranking 20th in the NFL) and 25 of those came from DeMarcus Ware (14, 31 years of age to start next season and recovering from shoulder surgery) and Anthony Spencer (11 and UFA status). [...] Datone Jones recorded 57 tackles, 19 for losses and 6.5 sacks for the Bruins in 2012 to earn All-Conference Honors; however, he was even more impressive during Senior Bowl week as no one (not even Eric Fisher) could consistently block him, flashing quickness not normally seen from a 280 lb man."
Walter Football Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
January 30
Comment: "Even if Ratliff isn't let go, the Cowboys are expected to draft Sharrif Floyd or Sheldon Richardson if either are available at No. 18 overall."
NEPatriotsdraft (James Christensen) DJ Fluker, OT, Alabama January 30
Comment: "The Cowboys are going to draft a big human being – either on the offensive or defensive line. I think there is more depth at DT than OT in this draft, so they take Fluker here. He is a pure right tackle that can maul in the run game and hold his own in pass protection."
Draft Season (Matt Falk) Sam Montgomery DE, LSU January 29
Comment: "The Cowboys are switching to a 4-3 and will be on the lookout for an early defensive end. Montgomery is the type of defensive lineman who can both stop the run and get to the quarterback."
Sports Hound (Matt Falk) Chance Warmack OG/Alabama January 29
Comment: "With Jerry Jones still in control and him being in love with Tony Romo, QB is probably not an option here again. Jones has to know that his patch work on the OL last season wasn’t good enough and he grabs the best prospect at G in the draft."
CBSSports (Rob Rang)
Kawann Short, DT, Purdue January 28
Comment: "After a long run with the 3-4 defense the Cowboys are making the switch to the 4-3 alignment with new coordinator Monte Kiffin. For Kiffin's famous Tampa-2 scheme to work the team will need to add a penetrating three-technique defensive tackle. Short, powerful and surprisingly quick, has been a playmaker throughout his career for the Boilermakers and enjoyed a strong week of practice at the Senior Bowl."
CBSSports (Dane Brugler) Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri January 28
Comment: "With Warmack off the board, there is a good chance the Cowboys switch gears to their needs on the defensive line, especially as they transition their defensive schemes. Richardson has the skill-set to do just about anything you need, flashing the strength, power and overall athleticism to be disruptive."
Mocking The Draft (Dan Kadar)
Jonathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
January 28
Comment: "Much like St. Louis, the Cowboys will go in another direction if the best offensive linemen are off the board. As they transition to Monte Kiffin's 4-3 system, the Cowboys will need to add talent at defensive tackle. Hankins was used in multiple spot for Ohio State. His versatility would allow the Cowboys to base out of the 4-3, but still use 3-4 looks if they want."
Draft Headquarters (Shawn Zobel) Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri January 28
Comment: "Missouri's Sheldon Richardson is a very talented defensive tackle who will be on the rise this spring. Richardson is a quick-twitch tackle who excels at penetrating and getting up the field to wreak havoc in the backfield. Richardson finished second on his team in tackles in 2012 with 75, a very difficult accomplishment for a defensive tackle playing in the SEC; in addition, he added 10.5 tackles for loss and four sacks on the year. With a great workout expected at the NFL Combine, Richardson could go even higher than this by April. Richardson projects as a classic penetrating three-technique in the 4-3 defense at the next level and would be a terrific fit to pair with DeMarcus Ware up front to help the Cowboys make the move to their new defense."
Optimum Scouting (Eric Galko)
DJ Fluker, OT, Alabama
January 27
Comment: "Addressing the offensive line SHOULD be the top priority for the Cowboys, and if it is, getting a run blocking right tackle to complement Tyron Smith could make a world of difference. Lane Johnson would be ideal, but Fluker certainly fits that mold as well."
EatDrinkSleepFootball (Kevin Hanson) Ezekial Ansah, DE, BYU January 27
Comment: "Ansah, a former track athlete from Ghana, has freakish athleticism with a ton of upside and that has led to comparisons to Jason Pierre-Paul. Despite being raw, Ansah finished second at BYU in tackles for loss (13.0) and had 4.5 sacks. What's better than getting a player with JPP upside? Keeping your arch rival from (potentially) having two of them"
Draft Season (Will Lomas) Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina January 23
Comment: "The players on the interior offensive line for the Dallas Cowboys have been pitiful this year, and though I am not a believer in Tony Romo, his poor play this year hasn’t been entirely his fault. If Dallas adds a blue-chip interior presence and they still can’t get it going offensively, I don’t know what else they can do."

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