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 guard, offensive tackle, defensive tackle or safety. Some might even argue that six picks in a draft is nowhere near enough to fill all Cowboys needs.
Realistically though, the Cowboys the Cowboys probably won't start more than two immediate starters. At #18 and #47, 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. And there's virtually no chance that they'll be able come away from the draft with four first-year starters/significant contributors.
This of course means that the Cowboys may need to fill a few of their most gaping holes via free agency. But which ones? To answer that, 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 lists 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|
|Great Blue North (3/7)||Sheldon Richardson||DT||Missouri||Larry Warford||OG||Kentucky|
|NewNFLdraft (3/7)||Jonathan Cooper||OG||North Carolina||Alex Okafor||DE||Texas|
|Drafttek (3/6)||Jonathan Cooper||OG||North Carolina||Kawann Short||DT||Purdue|
|Draftsite (3/6)||Barrett Jones||OC||Alabama||Baccari Rambo||S||Georgia|
|Walter F'ball (Walt) (3/6)||D.J. Fluker||OT||Alabama||Bennie Logan||DT||LSU|
|NEPatriotsDraft (James) (3/6)||D.J. Fluker||OT||Alabama||Travis Frederick||OG||Wisconsin|
|Walter F'ball (Charlie) (3/4)||D.J. Fluker||OT||Alabama||Eric Reid||S||LSU|
|NFLsfuture (3/4)||Jonathan Cooper||OG||North Carolina||Jesse Williams||DT||Alabama|
|FF Toolbox (De Lima) (3/4)||Kenny Vaccaro||S||Texas||Menelik Watson||OT||Florida State|
|NEPatriotsDraft (Mike) (3/4)||Damonte Moore||DE||Texas A&M||Larry Warford||OG||Kentucky|
|EatDrinkSleepF'ball (3/3)||Jonathan Cooper||OG||North Carolina||Sylvester Williams||DT||North Carolina|
|FootballFanSpot (3/3)||Jonathan Cooper||OG||North Carolina||Eric Reid||S||LSU|
|FootballDialogue (3/2)||Kenny Vaccaro||S||Texas||Tyler Wilson||QB||Arkansas|
|FF Toolbox (Binstock) (3/1)||Sheldon Richardson||DT||Missouri||Dallas Thomas||OT||Tennessee|
|NFL Draftgeek (3/1)||Kenny Vaccaro||S||Texas||Jesse Williams||DT||Alabama|
|DraftSeason (Lomas) (2/28)||Jonathan Cooper||OG||North Carolina||Matt Barkley||QB||USC|
|MyNFLdraft (2/26)||Johnathan Cooper||OG||North Carolina||Brandon Williams||DT||Missouri|
|FF Toolbox (Dimon) (2/25)||Sheldon Richardson||DT||Missouri||Oday Aboushi||OT||Virginia|
|DraftSeason (Falk) (2/18)||Sheldon Richardson||DT||Missouri||Travis Frederick||OG||Wisconsin|
|NFL Draftblitz (2/18)||Chance Warmack||OG||Alabama||Sylvester Williams||DT||North Carolina|
12 of the 20 mocks above have the Cowboys taking an offensive lineman with the first pick (8 x guard, 3 x tackle, 1 x center). Five mocks have the Cowboys taking a defensive lineman and three see the Cowboys taking a safety in the first.
The weighting changes somewhat for the second round picks where the defensive linemen take a narrow lead (8) over offensive linemen (7). Three more have the Cowboys taking a safety and two inexplicably have the Cowboys drafting a QB.
In total, out of the 40 players picked, 19 are offensive linemen (12 x guard, 6 x tackle, 1 x center), 13 are defensive linemen (11 x DT, 2 DE) and six are safeties. Obviously, the numbers are skewed by the talent available at the positions the Cowboys pick at, but it does give an indication about what the mock drafters on 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 (OG, OT, DT, S) via free agency, which positions will you look to shore up in the draft, and which will you look for in free agency?