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Cowboys 2016 Draft: Mel Kiper Mock Draft 1.0 Has Dallas Choosing Defensive Line

Mock drafts!

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It's the time of the year for mock drafts. With the Dallas Cowboys sitting on the sidelines for the playoffs, our attention turns to two big subjects - free agency and the draft. Along with the draft comes the tradition of mock drafts, and that means ol' helmet-hair himself, Mel Kiper, gets back into action. He dropped his first mock draft on us.

Did you want the Cowboys to take a quarterback? Then you will be disappointed. If you wanted defensive line and thought the pick might be Joey Bosa, no such luck as the Ohio State product goes number one to the Tennessee Titans. That's followed by Jared Goff to the Cleveland Browns and Laremy Tunsil to the San Diego Chargers.

So at number four the Cowboys choose:

DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon

It's rare to find a team picking No. 4 overall that can genuinely say "We're in win-now mode." But the Cowboys get a healthy Tony Romo back and that's a fair statement. If Greg Hardy isn't back, Buckner is a great fit. You get a 6-foot-7, 290-pound defensive end who can put a tackle on skates right into his own quarterback. The No. 1 thing you love about Buckner: major motor. He plays hard. He could have been taken relatively early last year, but came back and put an exclamation point on it.

NFL Draft Scout says:

12/08/15 - 2015 PAC-12 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR (COACHES): Pac-12 head coaches acknowledged as much, bestowing the conference's Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year Award upon UO senior defensive end DeForest Buckner. He's the second conference player of the year in UO history, following in the footsteps of defensive tackle Haloti Ngata in 2005. Buckner, widely regarded as a potential top-10 pick in the 2016 NFL draft, was second in the Pac-12 during the regular season with 9.5 sacks, and third with 16 tackles for loss. He enters the postseason with 76 tackles, second on the team behind linebacker Joe Walker (82).

Buckner passed up the chance to enter the 2015 NFL draft in order to return to school and finish his degree, which he's in line to do at the conclusion of the fall quarter. He currently stands ninth in UO history with 35 career tackles for loss, and has 17 sacks, one short of making the career top-10 list. But his impact transcended statistics. Buckner was the emotional leader of the Oregon defense, setting the tone daily with his work ethic in practice and his accountability as the Ducks battled to come of age over the course of the season. "I'm just honored to have received such a prestigious award, because I know there are several other defensive players within the conference that could have been chosen," Buckner said. - Oregon Football

Draft Breakdown video of Buckner versus Michigan State.

The next five guys chosen after the Cowboys pick: Jalen Ramsey, Ronnie Stanley, Laquon Treadwell, Shaq Lawson and Vernon Hargreaves.

What is your opinion on the pick? Good, bad? Should have gone for another position? Sound off in the comments.

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