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Dallas Cowboys 2018 mock draft tracker: Will Cowboys continue to build their D-line?

We have 11 of the freshest and juiciest mocks handpicked for your mock draft pleasure.

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NCAA FOOTBALL: OCT 10 Louisiana Tech at UTSA Photo by Daniel Dunn/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images

What is the biggest draft need for the Cowboys?

Every Coboys fan has an opinion on that, even if there is no clear answer to that question. Unless of course you ask the Cowboys themselves what they think the biggest need is. Here's Stephen Jones replying to a fan question recently.

You always want to take the best player on your board. But if I were guessing right now, it would probably be another defensive lineman. We want to continue to put resources into our defensive line so we can be dominant in that area. But certaily we'll look into everything as the year closes.

In today’s mock draft round-up, we look at 11 of the latest mocks published in the first four days of 2018, including mocks from CBSSports, USA Today, SB Nation and many others.

The Cowboys’ insistence on following their board and drafting the best player available is nice and all, but that player had better be a defensive lineman - at least not the majority of draft analysts assembled below, as 6 of the 11 mocks in our mock draft tracker have the Cowboys picking defensive lineman.

And to my great personal satisfaction (not that that's relevant in any way), DE Marcus Davenport shows up in a Cowboys mock draft for the first time. Hopefully that carries over into the real draft.

We’ll see how things develop over the next few months, and perhaps the Senior Bowl, Combine, and pre-draft visits will provide a little more clarity on the Cowboys’ intentions prior to the draft.

For now, all the latest mock draft goodness is summarized below.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
Michael Middleshurst, USA Today, (Jan. 4) Dallas’ front four is in the best shape it’s been in for some time, though the team will have to figure out how to keep DE DeMarcus Lawrence as well as handle restricted free agent David Irving. Regardless of how free agency shakes out, Wilkins would add further depth on the interior with an attractive blend of quickness and power.
Draftblaster (Jan. 3) The Cowboys’ offensive line was just not the same this year, but some of that was injuries and developing chemistry. They have enough key pieces that they don’t have to panic and address the position early in the draft. With three of their five positions locked down, they should be looking to add two offensive linemen through the draft and another in free agency and then let the competition unfold. They have found their edge guys on the defensive line, but have a big need in the middle. They also will need to find a WR and TE to replace key players at the end of their careers.
Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
Connor Riley, SEC Country (Jan. 3) Hurst might not be drafted this high simply because of his position. But the Cowboys need defensive tackles who can play, and Hurst is one of the best football players in this draft class.
Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout (Jan. 1) Injuries and suspensions have robbed the Cowboys of some of their more talented defensive linemen, leaving coordinator Rod Marinelli little to work with. Hurst (6-2, 280) may lack ideal size, but his quickness, tenacity and versatility suggest NFL success.

EDGE RUSHERS

Marcus Davenport, Edge, UTSA
Jason McIntyre, The Big Lead (Jan. 1) Athletic freak who at 6-foot-7, 255 pounds will slay the Combine in February. The Cowboys need a playmaker at receiver, and a tight end to replace Jason Witten, but in a conference with young star QBs, they need an effective pass rush. Davenport had the 3rd highest grade among 4-3 defensive ends in the country, according to Pro Football Focus.
Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
Dan Kadar, SB Nation (Jan. 1) Ferrell is only a redshirt sophomore, but his length and athleticism is exactly what teams want in an edge-rusher. While DeMarcus Lawrence has been a star for the Cowboys, he is a free agent. At the least, it’s nice to have a surplus of players who can get after the quarterback.

WIDE RECEIVER

Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
Luke Easterling, DraftWire (Jan. 3) This season has made it painfully obvious that the Cowboys need a difference-maker at receiver to make the big plays that just don’t seem to be happening anymore. Ridley’s presence would give Dak Prescott a field-stretcher who would pair perfectly with Dez Bryant.
James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
Nick Klopsis, Newsday (Jan. 1) Dez Bryant isn’t quite the game breaker he once was. Part of it is age (he turned 29 in November), but part of it is the lack of a second option at receiver. No matter what the Cowboys decide to do with Bryant (he counts $16.5 million against the cap but can be cut with a post-June 1 designation for a $12.5-million savings), they’ll need pass-catching options for Dak Prescott. James Washington, an Oklahoma State product like Bryant, is a big-play receiver who can open things up as a deep threat. He’s explosive off the snap and was very productive, averaging 19.8 yards on 226 career catches, though he did benefit from playing with future NFL quarterback Mason Rudolph in a wide-open offense. Still, he’d be a great complement to the physical Bryant and a useful downfield target for Prescott.

LINEBACKER

Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football (Jan. 4) Roquan Smith is too talented to fall out of the top half of the opening round, so the Cowboys would definitely consider him with this selection. Anthony Hitchens is an impending free agent, while Jaylon Smith hasn’t played up to his billing quite yet.
Eric Galko, Sporting News (Jan. 3) Sean Lee’s injury history, coupled with Jaylon Smith’s notable injury past, makes linebacker less of a sure thing than it appears for Dallas. Adding Smith would put Lee in more of a rotational role for 2018 and would give the Cowboys’ defense both an upgrade and some much-needed stability. Receiver is an option, as well, for the Cowboys.

DEFENSIVE BACK

Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa
Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports (Jan. 3) With Jackson, the Cowboys get their No. 1 cornerback who’s ready to contribute instantly and face the likes of Odell Beckham Jr., Alshon Jeffery and Josh Doctson within the division.