Mel Kiper has released his latest effort at predicting the 2014 NFL draft. This one is peculiar for Dallas. It's a two-round mock and the Cowboys end up with exactly zero defensive linemen. While this is obviously a possibility, it just hasn't shown up in many mock drafts. Kiper's mock could be within the realm of possibility except for what appears to be one major flaw. First, let's get to the first round pick.
16 Zack Martin Dallas Cowboys (8-8) COLLEGE: Notre Dame HT: 6-4 WT: 308 POS: OT
Analysis: Dallas fans might find this quizzical given the need along the defensive line, but consider what's available: Donald is out of the picture, I think Dallas should see this slot as too rich for a player like Anthony Barr, who is a questionable system fit anyway, and the top safety is also off the board. Martin makes sense as a player who can shore up the right tackle position, which is a problem area. I also think this is a place where the Cowboys could look to move if they don't see the value here at those bigger need positions. It's what they did last year.
As noted in the analysis, Aaron Donald is unavailable (picked by the Bears at #14). But, Anthony Barr is available and the Cowboys appear to have interest in him. They brought him in for a pre-draft visit, they want him to play right defensive end according to Barr in a post-visit interview, they don't seem to think that he is a "questionable system fit" at all. If Donald is gone and Barr is available, I think the odds are pretty good Dallas would make that pick instead of Zack Martin.
Kiper has Barr falling all the way to #25 where the Chargers scoop him up. That seems preposterously low for Barr, but anything can happen. Other players on the Cowboys radar were Ryan Shazier who goes to the Packers at #21, and Timmy Jernigan who falls all the way to the second round in this mick, #36 to the Raiders.
Moving on to the second round, the Cowboys once again eschew the defensive line and draft a safety.
47. Dallas Cowboys | Deone Bucannon, S, Washington St.
The Cowboys' current depth chart has J.J. Wilcox and Barry Church as starters at safety, and the experienced Bucannon, one of the biggest hitters in the draft, is a player who can get on the field early.
This is reasonable. But again, the Cowboys brought in Lamarcus Joyner for a pre-draft visit who is thought to be a corner/safety hybrid. He is available and doesn't go off the board until pick #51 to the Bears. Would the Cowboys pass on him for Bucannon?
And by the way, has anybody else noticed how closely linked the Cowboys and the Bears are in this draft? All over the place, they seem to be chasing the same players.