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Cowboys 2015 Draft: What If Pick #27 Is Not A Defensive Player?

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Every first round draft selection that the Dallas Cowboys have made during the Jason Garrett era has been the top-rated guy available at his position. What happens if the only "top guy" left happens to be a right tackle?

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

It would be a pretty safe bet to say that both you and I believe that the Dallas Cowboys need a serious influx of talent on the defensive side of the ball, and very few would argue with us. The honest truth is that the team could use a disruptive defensive tackle, a pass-rushing phenom at defensive end and a top flight cornerback, but with the team drafting at #27 in the 2015 draft it is not likely that the top-tier guys at those positions are going to be left on the table. Every team would like to have those players even if they are already stacked at those positions. That will leave the Cowboys with three different options, each of which is sure to stir emotions within the fan base.

Option A would be to trade up in the draft to secure one of the top-tier talents that is available. That would be expensive for the team to do, and there is no guarantee of success.  Remember the trade up to draft Mo Claiborne. The Cowboys moved up to take an elite player who has proven to be anything but elite. Option B would be to take a second-tier player at one of those positions. This would likely be the safest route for the club to go. They would still get a guy who could have a week one impact but one who had significant areas that he needed to improve on. Option C would be for them to fall back to form and draft the best guy at his position even if that guy does not play a position of significant need. That is what I am going to look at today.

Texas A&M tackle Cedric Ogbuehi spent most of his career in Aggieland playing right tackle. Following the departure of Jake Matthews to the NFL, Ogbuehi made the switch to the left side for Kevin Sumlin's squad. He then returned briefly returned to the right tackle slot before flip-flopping back to the left to finish out his senior season. Overall, Cedric projects to be anywhere from the fourth to seventh overall tackle prospect in this upcoming draft. A knee injury suffered in the Aggies bowl game may help to push him down in the draft to where he would be available when Dallas goes on the clock.

A common thought among draft experts is that the Aggie lineman will likely not be a blindside protector at the next level.

Ogbuehi's NFL future is likely on the right side, where he is much more comfortable. - Dane Brugler

That is where things really start to get interesting. Making the assumption that NFL teams view Ogbuehi as a right tackle, that would make Cedric the highest-graded player at that position. This fits nicely in with a trend that many have commented on of late. The Cowboys have used their first-round selection on the highest-graded man at a position. Tyron Smith, Morris Claiborne, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin all fit that bill. If the Cowboys go on the clock and Ogbuehi is still available, would Jerry Jones pull the trigger on a fourth offensive lineman in five years? Would they bypass the defensive line for a second straight year?

It does sound far fetched, even given the recent trend. Still it also makes some sense if you are a NFL general manager. Both Doug Free and Jeremy Parnell have contracts expiring. The team could let Free walk and keep the cheaper Parnell around to serve as the swing tackle. They could also decide to keep Free at a reasonable salary. If there is not an impact defensive player that Dallas feels is worthy of being a first-round pick, it just might be possible that we could see a offensive line with four first-round draft picks.