Oct 6, 2012; Fort Collins, WY, USA; Fresno State Bulldogs safety Phillip Thomas (16) intercepts a pass against the Colorado State Rams during the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs beat the Rams 28-7. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys: Day Two Gems Still On the Board

After an eventful night Thursday, the Dallas Cowboys get ready to get at it again and improve a team that is not too many pieces away from truly competing according to some. The problem most fans face at this point is figuring where Dallas might go from here in terms of draft strategy. They needed to get Tony Romo some help and they did exactly that when they took Travis Frederick out of Wisconsin, but they made some head-scratching moves to get their.

Dallas had a handful of well documented needs and they could have filled a one with the 18th pick. Instead the wheeler and dealer Jerry Jones felt the need to try to improve the Cowboys with an extra pick instead. If guys like free safety Eric Reid or defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd – both of which were available when Dallas first was scheduled to pick – end up have a more successful career than Frederick you can bet Jones and Co. will hear about it for a long time.

With needs at guard, safety, defensive line, and running back, Dallas has their work cut out for them. In an effort to clear things up a little bit, here are some players that help fill some of these voids in round two and three.

Guard

September 22, 2012; Gainesville FL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard Larry Warford (67) and guard Zach West (75) block against the Florida Gators in the second quarter at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Larry Warford, OG, Kentucky – Dallas may have to move up in order to get Warford, which will completely negate to extra pick they received when they moved back in the first round. Nevertheless, Warford is built to play guard in the NFL. He’s strong and surprisingly agile for a man of his size (6’3″, 332 lbs.). The thing I like most when I watch Warford is his ability to finish off defenders. He’s very aware of his surroundings and loves to take pass rushers out of the picture if/when they slip up.

Brian Winters, OG, Kent State – Winters is another player built to play on the interior of an NFL offensive line. He is adequately strong  but more importantly he knows how to keep defenders at bay with his quick, powerfull footwork and quick hands. He’d be a good pick in the third round if available.

Safety

Phillip Thomas, FS, Fresno State – Thomas has the play-making ability the Cowboys desperately need at safety. He has great straight-line and closing speed needed to excel in Monte Kiffin’s Tampa-2 defense. He led the nation with eight interceptions. Dallas needs to run to the podium if he’s available when they pick today.

Bacarri Rambo, FS, Georgia – Rambo is one of the most underrated safeties in this year’s draft. He has good ball skills and reads quarterbacks well. He has the instincts a good safety needs when asked to play in a single-high formation. Plus his name is Rambo and you can’t go wrong with a name like that right?

Running Back

Le’Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State – Not a single running back was taken in the first round, and that may just work in Dallas’ favor when it comes to getting a quality complement back to help DeMarco Murray in the running game. Bell would be a nice compliment to Murray. He has the solid frame a back needs to keep upright and avoid the nicks that are bound to come. He’s a downhill runner that can run inside or outside. Dallas would be set for the foreseeable future if Bell is available and drafted.

Oct 13, 2012; Shreveport, LA, USA; Texas A

Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M – Michael is a runner that could bring a different game to Dallas’ offense that is lacking. The Cowboys have had the bruisers that love contact, and they have not lasted long. Considering Murray is known to stick his head in there and initiate contact, you can’t expect him to last long without some help. Michael isn’t afraid to mix it up with defenders, but he brings a lightning fast spin move and a punishing stiff arm that makes defenders look silly. He runs low to the ground and all of this combined is a recipe to keep a back on the field producing.

Defensive Linemen

Kawann Short, DT, Purdue – Short has the ability to both stuff the run and get in the backfield. He would be a great compliment to Jay Ratliff on the interior of the defensive line. He is another player that may go higher than some originally thought, so if he’s on Dallas’ board, like I think he should, Dallas may need to make a move to get him.

Jan 7, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Everett Golson (5) is pressured by Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Jesse Williams (54) during the first half of the 2013 BCS Championship game at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama – If you want a strong force in the middle for a long time, then Williams is your man. He is a freak in the weight room and he shows that strength on the field. His wide frame makes you think of a young Vince Wolfork, but don’t let the size fool you because he may surprise with his initial quickness off the ball. And with defensive tackles sliding in the first round Williams may be available when Dallas picks in the second round.

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