At 6'3" and 337 lbs., Alameda Taamu is one of the few 'true' NT's projected to go in the 1st round.

What Will Jerry Jones do with the Dallas Cowboys first Draft Picks?

It won’t be long before we will be subjected to an endless barrage of continuously changing mock-drafts.  In anticipation of the mock draft season, we give you this week’s fan question:

Drew Knight, Ontario,Canada:  I know it is difficult to predict the draft this early, most draft projections are not finished and it always depends on who is available.  If you PRETENDED that there was a good player with good value at every position when the Cowboys were on the board, what positions would you draft in the first 3 rounds?

As we head into the off-season we may reply to fan questions with less regularity, but we will continue answering as many of your questions as possible. If you have questions for the Landry Hat writers, please email us at [email protected]

Click on the link to read our answers.

Mark Contreras: To me, that’s an easy question as I have thought about this since the first Philadelphia game. In a perfect world, it has to be CB, OL, DL. Maybe even CB, OL, CB. But seeing as this is NOT a perfect world, you really have to play to the VALUE of the pick. The Cowboys are thin at almost every position. The Cowboys don’t need a good cornerback with the 14th overall pick, they need a good football player.

Johnathan Barger: Since we are playing pretend for best case scenario… (I wonder if Jerry does this before each draft with replica action figures of the players in the draft?) We have to decide what came first, the chicken or the egg?  Is it the pass rush that lead to the break downs in the secondary, or the bad secondary not giving the pass rush that extra nano second to get to the QB?  I believe that after much deliberation that the secondary laid a huge egg, and it wasn’t a golden goose.  1st round: I get a CB or a safety, preferably a CB because this draft is weak in the safety class as of yet.  2nd round: bull dozer NT; I’m talking Vince Wilfork/B.J. Ragi bull dozer (this solves some of our pass rush issues because Ratliff moves to end and earns 4 more Pro Bowls). 3rd round: Center/Guard or depending on the perceived development of Nagy/Arkin/Kowlaski/Costa … pick up a Tight End. Witten is only 30, but Marty B will be gone, and I don’t think the Pats are complaining about the 2 studs they have at the TE spot…

Seth Jones: CENTER. No more Costa, please. Cornerbacks and safeties come next.

Ashley Bolton: Secondary, offensive line and defensive line. Have to protect Romo but defensive holes have to be fixed.

C. Joseph Wright:  I don’t think that the Cowboys will draft an OL in the first round.  Tyron Smith was the first OL drafted by Dallas in the 1st round since Jerry Jones bought the team in 1989.  Moreover, you rarely see a O-Lineman taken in the first round unless it is a tackle.  The Cowboys don’t need a tackle.  The once exception is a Center that seems ‘NFL-ready’, but that is also fairly rare.

I don’t think the Cowboys will use one of the first 2 picks on the OL, and probably not even the 3rd.  I think they will pick up a few inexpensive veterans for depth, but they will likely expect to see significant improvements in the 4 ‘near-rookies’ from this season (Phil Costa, David Arkin, Bill Nagy, and Kevin Kowalaski).  Their will be high expectations next season for this group of young lineman. The expectations are undoubtedly based on the benefits of a full off-season with Strength and Conditioning genius Mike Woicik.  All 4 of those young players should be much bigger and stronger by September.

Don’t forget that Kyle Kosier is under contract for 2 more years, so they really only need a starting Center and one Guard from the four young O-Lineman.

If there was a quality NT available, I would take him in the 1st round.  A traditional 3-4 NT who could clog up the middle would help tremendously against the run.  Similarly, moving Jay Ratliff to end for some plays would improve the pass rush.  If the Cowboys do get a NT that is good enough to start in September, look for Rob Ryan both both DT’s in some situations, even if it looks more like a 4-3 alignment.

I would take a NT in the first round over a CB because I think a monster DT is more likely to be ‘NFL ready’ than a CB, and a CB is more likely to ‘not live up to’ being a top 15 pick.  Look back at how many people wanted the Cowboys to draft Prince Amukamara.  I would be shocked if anyone would trade Tyron Smith for Amukamara at this point.

If you spend the first pick on a NT, then the next pick almost has to be used for the secondary, preferably a corner who has the potential to start in September (as difficult as that may be in the middle of the 2nd round).

The third pick should be used to improve the pass-rush with either an OLB or a DE.  The status of Anthony Spencer will be important.  If he is re-signed, then DE is a higher priority.   The DE’s (except for Lissemore) are all close to the 30 years old or older; that unit needs some youthful talent.

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Tags: 2011 NFL Draft 2012 NFL Draft Anthony Spencer Bill Nagy Cowboys Dallas Cowboys David Arkin Jason Garrett Jay Ratliff Jerry Jones Kevin Kowalski Kyle Kosier Mike Woicik Mock Drafts Phil Costa Rob Ryan Tyron Smith

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