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Cowboys Pre-Draft Visit Tracker: Defensive Ends Dupree, Odighizuwa To Visit Cowboys

Is the list of names the Cowboys are bringing in for pre-draft visits to Valley Ranch a good indicator of what the Cowboys will do in the draft?

Kentucky Wildcats defensive end Alvin Dupreeis visiting the Cowboys.
Kentucky Wildcats defensive end Alvin Dupreeis visiting the Cowboys.
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Every year in early April, the Cowboys are allowed to bring in up to 30 usually high-profile, national draft-eligible players for official pre-draft visits. Additionally, they also bring in as many draft-eligible local prospects as they like for visits and workouts during "Dallas Day", also sometime in April.

Over the last nine years, eight of the Cowboys' nine top picks in the draft all visited Valley Ranch as part of the Cowboys' official pre-draft visits. Bobby Carpenter ('06), Anthony Spencer ('07), Felix Jones ('08), Jason Williams ('09), Dez Bryant ('10) and Tyron Smith ('11) were all brought in for pre-draft visits, while Morris Claiborne ('12) became the exception that confirms the rule: Claiborne became the first Cowboys top pick since DeMarcus Ware in 2005 who wasn't invited to Valley Ranch prior to the draft. But the Cowboys got right back on track when they invited Travis Frederick for a pre-draft visit in 2013, and then brought in Zack Martin for an official visit last year.

In 2014, the Cowboys the Cowboys brought in their top two draft picks, Zack Martin and DeMarcus Lawrence, for pre-draft visits, and also brought in 7th-round pick Ken Bishop as well as UDFA signings Davon Coleman, Chris Whaley, Ben Malena and Dashaun Phillips to Valley Ranch.

In 2013, the pre-draft visitors proved to be a veritable bonanza for the Cowboys personnel department: Cowboys draft picks Travis Frederick, Terrance Williams, J.J. Wilcox, B.W. Webb, and Joseph Randle were all brought in for pre-draft visits, as were six UDFA signings (Jakar Hamilton, Brandon Magee, Kendial Lawrence, Taylor Reed, Lanear Sampson and Devin Smith).

In 2012, they brought in Kyle Wilber, Matt Johnson, Ronald Leary, and UDFA Lionel Smith, the year before it was the top three draft picks Tyron Smith, Bruce Carter, and DeMarco Murray along with UDFA Andre Holmes.

So we know that the predictive value is pretty good when we look at the list after the fact. But is there something we can glean from the invitation lists ahead of time? Here are the players we know of so far:

Cowboys Pre-draft Visitors per 4/9/2015
CBS Rank Name POS College Proj. Rd Status
Defensive Ends
16 Bud Dupree DE Kentucky 1 Official Visit
29 Owamagbe Odighizuwa DE UCLA 1-2 Official Visit
36 Eli Harold DE Virginia 1-2 Official Visit
50 Danielle Hunter DE LSU 2 Official Visit
69 Mario Edwards DE Florida State 2-3 Official Visit
278 Frank Clark DE Michigan 7-FA Official Visit
24 Kevin Johnson CB Wake Forest 1-2 Official Visit
37 Byron Jones CB Connecticut 1-2 Official Visit
44 P.J. Williams CB Florida State 2 Official Visit
72 Jalen Collins CB LSU 2-3 Official Visit
89 Josh Shaw CB USC 3 Official Visit
822 Tray Walker CB Texas Southern - - Official Visit
Running Backs
18 Todd Gurley RB Georgia 1 Official Visit
22 Melvin Gordon RB Wisconsin 1 Official Visit
62 Tevin Coleman RB Indiana 2 Official Visit
86 T.J. Yeldon RB Alabama 3 Official Visit
119 Javorius Allen RB Southern Cal 3-4 Official Visit
34 Shaq Thompson LB Washington 1-2 Official Visit
35 Eric Kendricks ILB UCLA 1-2 Official Visit
45 Benardrick McKinney ILB Mississippi State 2 Official Visit
336 Gabe Martin LB Bowling Green 7-FA Official Visit
56 Devin Smith WR Ohio State 2 Official Visit
75 Damarious Randall FS ASU 2-3 Official Visit

Dallas Day Visitors
41 Jay Ajayi RB Boise State 2 Dallas Day
96 Daryll Williams OT Oklahoma 3 Dallas Day
117 Bryce Petty QB Baylor 3-4 Dallas Day
138 Kevin White CB TCU 4-5 Dallas Day
169 JaCorey Shepherd CB Kansas 5 Dallas Day
171 Ty Montgomery WR Stanford 5 Dallas Day
233 Chris Hackett FS TCU 6-7 Dallas Day
240 Adam Shead OG Oklahoma 7 Dallas Day
376 Marcus Murphy RB Missouri - - Dallas Day
439 Quentin Hayes SS Oklahoma - - Dallas Day
590 Valerian Ume-Ezeoke C New Mexico State - - Dallas Day
690 Darius White WR Missouri - - Dallas Day
764 Ross Apo WR BYU - - Dallas Day
883 Sam Ajala WR Fordham - - Dallas Day
925 David Porter WR TCU - - Dallas Day
953 Darius Davis WR Henderson State - - Dallas Day
- - James Hairston K Rice - - Dallas Day
- - Cody Rademacher K SMU - - Dallas Day
- - Charles Cook S Yale - - Dallas Day
- - Lyndell Johnson S Emporia State - - Dallas Day
- - Glen Coleman WR Florida International - - Dallas Day
- - DeMarcus Thompson WR Abilene Christian - - Dallas Day

Private Workout
CBS Rank Name POS College Proj. Rd Status
55 Quinten Rollins CB Miami (Ohio) 2 Private Workout
66 Ronald Darby CB Florida State 2 Private Workout
122 Chris Conley WR Georgia 3-4 Private Workout
134 Tyrus Thompson OT Oklahoma 4 Private Workout
232 Jeremiah Poutasi OG Utah 5-6 Private Workout
166 Laurence Gibson OT Virginia Tech 6-7 Private Workout
280 Hutson Mason QB Georgia 7-FA Private Workout
351 Chaz Green OT Florida - - Private Workout
613 Vernon Johnson WR Texas A&M Commerce - - Private Workout
- - Visesio Salt OL Utah - - Private Workout
- - Travis Lee CB Miles College - - Private Workout
- - Darius Allen LB Colorado State-Pueblo - - Private Workout

Focusing only on the prospects brought in for a pre-draft visits a few things stand out:

After failing to see any defensive linemen on the early versions of this visit tracker, some observers were poopooing the idea of of the Cowboys bringing in any defensive linemen. With Bud Dupree, Owamagbe Odighizuwa, Eli Harold and Danielle Hunter now on the list, that particular train of thought was badly derailed. Interestingly, these four guys are not mid- or late-round prospects.

There's a convincing argument to be made that the Cowboys have enough mid- to late-round equivalent defensive linemen on their roster already, and that only first- or second-day picks would provide a worthwhile talent upgrade.

At cornerback, the Cowboys may be looking for upgrades across all rounds - if the CBSSports rankings I used above are anything to go by, and that's a big "If". Teams will almost certainly have different grades on these prospects, sometimes perhaps even wildly different assessments, as this Tweet would seem to indicate:

The other thing that's noticeable - but which may mean absolutely nothing - is that there seem to be a lot of players on this list who could see their name called in the second round. Obviously, the Cowboys' 27th pick is already almost a second-round pick anyway, but how many players do you see here who really have a first-round grade. Four, maybe five? Are the Cowboys preparing to trade down, or are they simply reflecting the fact that there probably won't be many (any?) players left at No. 27 with a first-round grade.

Lots of things to ponder here. What's your take on this list so far?

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