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Cowboys News & Notes: Which Defensive Lineman Impressed The Most At The Combine?

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Latest Cowboys headlines: combine results - defensive linemen to keep an eye out for; backup plan for a backup QB; finding key pieces outside of premium draft picks.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

And the nominees for the fourth overall selection are...

Rich Eisen: If you think Ezekiel Elliott is a LeVeon Bell type talent, how do the Cowboys not pull the trigger? - Staff, SportsDay
Rich Eisen and Mike Mayock had a debate on whether a player like Zeke would be the right choice for Dallas at number four.

On another top running back option, Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott, and if the Cowboys should draft him...

Eisen: ...If you think Elliot is a LeVeon Bell type of talent, you think he can bring to you what Bell is bringing to the Steelers, and you've got Romo for two, three, maybe four more years, and you've got Dez Bryant, how do you not pull the trigger on Elliot, and put a star on the side of his helmet, and go to work, see what you can do, and win a championship in the window that you might have?

Mayock: I would disagree. I would tell you that they're not going to be drafting at No. 4 again in the future, and they've got a 36-year-old quarterback that has not fininshed a season in three years, and if they think there's a franchise quarterback out there at No. 4 and he's available? To me, that trumps everything.

Having Elliott in the backfield would be a pure treat for Dallas, but the front office need more meat and potatoes before they start thinking about dessert.

Jerry Jones more confident Cowboys can find quality RB than key pieces on defense - Jon Machota, SportsDay
When it comes to the running back position - fine, we believe you. Many of us were certain the Cowboys would take a RB in the draft and it didn't happen. The Cowboys may have another go at it in April, but the buzz sure seems to point to more attention given to the defense.

"I feel better about our ability to get feeling good about running back than I do about some of the challenges that we've got on defense right now," Jones said. "I don't know. I can actually see ways and options at the running back thing to get us in good shape that I don't actually see ways and have the name in place for the spot relative to the defense."

Cowboys should keep it simple in draft, target Joey Bosa - Clarence Hill, The Star-Telegram
Jerry Jones likes to have the best of something and doesn't like to settle. Sure, the Cowboys need a quarterback, but they also need a potent pass rusher. So who's the best one?

California’s Jared Goff and North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz are the top quarterbacks in this year’s class, and one should be available when the Cowboys make their selection. But neither is considered to be a transcendent player, and both would rank behind last year’s top two quarterbacks — Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, the first two picks in 2015. But there’s no question about Bosa. He’s ranked No. 1 overall by NFLDraftScout.com.

Following 10 defensive lineman the Cowboys could draft: How did they perform at the NFL combine? - Staff, SportsDay
Bosa was the top guy heading into the combine, but did any of the other defensive linemen close the gap? If Rod Marinelli is looking for burst, it could be another pass rusher that catches his attention.

Expert's take: "Buckner possesses special size and has the quickness, speed, and power to be an every down player. He could potentially fit in a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme depending on what you want him to do. There is no doubt he could be a franchise player and long-time starter in the NFL. Should be a top 10 pick and start on day 1." - NFL Draft Countdown

Noah Spence could remedy Cowboys' need for pass rush; why two 2015 debacles mean they can't take him - Rick Gosselin, SportsDay
In light of all the aggravation the Cowboys have dealt with when rolling the dice on character risk pass rushers, do you think they'd would go down that road again with another one? Just say Noah.

Spence was an All-Big Ten selection at Ohio State as a sophomore after an eight-sack season in 2013. But after testing positive twice for the drug ecstasy, Spence was declared permanently ineligible by the Big Ten. He sat out the 2014 season, then transferred to Eastern Kentucky in 2015 where he became the Ohio Valley Conference's Defensive Player of the Year with 23 tackles for loss and 11 ½ sacks.

2016 NFL Combine: 40-Yard Dash Times for Defensive Linemen - Staff, Cowboys HQ
Interested in which defensive linemen were quick on their feet? The folks over at Cowboys HQ put together a list for us.

So what about quarterback? When's that happening?

Why Kaepernick won't be a Cowboy; this QB would make sense in middle rounds of draft - Jon Machota, SportsDay
There have been so many ideas put in the suggestion box regarding what the Cowboys should do at the quarterback position this off-season. Jon Machota dismisses one possibility and endorses another.

Question: Dak Prescott intrigues me. What do you think his trajectory could be? And if the Cowboys took him in the mid-to-late rounds, could he be a viable project?

Jon Machota: If the Cowboys don't draft a QB in the first round, Prescott makes a lot of sense to me in the middle rounds. They've met with him a couple times. I think there's genuine interest. I loved watching him at Mississippi State and think sitting behind Romo for a few years could be ideal for his growth as a pro passer.

Cowboys 4-Round Mock Draft 2016: Two Potential Selections For Each Pick - Blogging The Boys
Have you had a chance to go through the first four rounds and mock up a good draft for the Cowboys? Well, Jim Scott has and he's got a familiar name at the four spot. I won't spoil it for you, but it rhymes Ralen Jamsey.

Dallas Cowboys free agent series: Sean Lee can't do it alone at LB; team will be bargain shoppers looking for depth - Brandon George, SportsDay
It should be interesting to see what Dallas does at linebacker over the next few months. They typically like to go young in free agency, but could the Cowboys go after someone with a little more experience?

The Cowboys have 10 linebackers on their roster, and their average age is 25. Lee is the oldest at 29. So adding a veteran presence in free agency wouldn't be a bad idea for a young unit.

What the Cowboys' salary cap will be after NFLPA confirms largest increase since 2006 - Staff, SportsDay
The Cowboys will have a lot more dancing chips this off-season in comparison to seasons pasts, but how much exactly? The salary cap figure for the new year was announced Sunday.

The Cowboys will have an estimated $14 million in salary cap space for the 2016 season. The NFL Players Association confirmed Sunday that the salary cap will be $155.27 million per team in 2016, an increase of nearly $12 million.

The Cowboys will use free agency to fill voids and find bridge players, but if the Cowboys are going to make significant upgrades to their team, they're going to have to draft well. And not just the early part.

Cowboys Draft 2016: Finding Some Hidden Late-Round Gems (Part 1) - Ryan Ratty, BTB
We spend so much time bickering about pick number four, but the Cowboys need to sniff out some winners on the back end. Okay, that sounded weird, but you get what I mean. Rat takes a look at some some sleeper guys that could be of interest to the Cowboys.

Danny Coale, B.W. Webb, Matt Johnson, Will Smith, and Ahmad Dixon are just a few names that have made basically made no impact whatsoever for the team. Then there are also guys like Ken Bishop, Devin Street, and Mark Nzeocha who have basically done nothing, despite being given the chance to have more snaps. All of this proves one thing and one thing only, the Cowboys need to find more immediate-impact type players in the back-ends of the draft.

Cowboys Jerry Jones: Jason Garrett's blood is blue - Steven Mullenax, The Landry Hat
When it comes to Jason Garrett, some people aren't sold on him, however - Jerry Jones is not one of those people.

The Cowboys lost both starting quarterback Tony Romo and All-Pro wide receiver Dez Bryant to injury, and Dallas plunged to a 4-12 record last season, dubiously earning the fourth overall selection in the upcoming NFL Draft. And many questioned whether the Cowboys had made the right decision in signing Garrett to such a long term contract after doing a terrible job preparing the team for life without Romo under center.