September 8, 2012; Louisville, KY USA; Louisville Cardinals safety Calvin Pryor (25) intercepts a pass intended for Missouri State Bears wide receiver Dorian Buford (15) during the first half of play at Papa John

Mock Draft: NFL.com Predicts Cowboys Will Go Safety First


The offseason is in full swing for the Dallas Cowboys. Although coaching adjustments top the currently headlines, the NFL scouting combine is just over the horizon. And the focus will soon shift to the NFL Draft. As for the Cowboys, defense will be the primary area they should address in this year’s draft. And four experts over at NFL.com agree. In their latest mock drafts, all of them have Dallas going defensive in the first round. Three out of the four have the Cowboys selecting a safety.

The lone exception is NFL analyst Bucky Brooks. Brooks has the Cowboys selecting Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy.With Dallas defensive end DeMarcus Ware getting older and the unknown fate of free agent Anthony Spencer, the Cowboys definitely have a lot of needs to fill all along their defensive line. And Ealy has been a favorite in some early mock draft around the blogosphere. Here’s what Brooks says about the Cowboys possible first round pick:

“Jerry Jones has been known to gamble on a player with significant upside. Ealy is as talented as they come, but his production doesn’t match his athleticism at this point.”

NFL analyst Charles Davis has the Cowboys selecting Alabama’s HaHa Clinton-Dix claiming the safety position has been an issue for years in Dallas. But the fact is, as Clinton-Dix is probably the best safety in this draft class, I don’t see him getting past the St. Louis Rams who select at both the #2 and the #13 picks in the first round.

The safety position appears to be the favor of the month for most mock drafts when it comes to the Cowboys first round pick. In fact, both Daniel Jeremiah and Matt Smith choose Louisville safety Calvin Pryor as Dallas top selection this year. As some are calling him the most physical player in this draft, Pryor has just recently moved up the ranks and into the first round. Here’s Smith’s explanation of his choice of Pryor for Dallas:

“Pick a position on defense and the Cowboys need help. Safety is a major concern as explosive plays really took the top off their unit. They’d love Clinton-Dix. but he’s already gone.”

The safeties currently on the Cowboys roster are Barry Church, J.J. Wilcox, Jeff Heath, and Matt Johnson. Safety Danny McCray is currently a free agent, but is mainly regulated to special teams. The Cowboys already have of a group of young players that lack NFL experience. I’m not sure bringing in another project is the wisest course of action for Dallas. A veteran safety might be a better fit at this point.

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  • Juanito Juanito

    stupids, with bad defensive line none safety could succeed, even the hall of fame guys, with a good defensive line the safetys that cowboys have could succeed

  • Old Frog

    O line and D line with the first 3 picks…Please! No safety, no corner back, no wide receiver, no running back, no tight end. Just big guys in the trenches.

    • Earl Robertson

      You got that right brother!!

  • will hall

    Please go safety first, we have not had a pro bowl caliber safery since D Woodsen was patrolling the secondary. For some reason beyond me, we by passed Ed Reed in 2002, he went 24th that year to Baltimore. We need one of the two best safeties in this draft, we need help in the secondary in the wrost way.

    • Dave

      They grabbed Roy Williams in that draft because they, like everyone else in football, had him rated higher than Reed. Hindsight is 20/20, but the fact is they grabbed the highest rated safety in the draft that year, and it wasn’t Reed. I also don’t believe in writing a player off after just one year, or even two years, especially at positions that generally take time to develop, and DB’s fall into that group.

      • will hall

        I do believe we should go d line early, I guess it’s because we need help every where on D. I also didn’t think Williams was better than Reed, I watched allot of the Hurricanes games during that time and he was a monster.

  • Dave

    I’m hoping Dix will be gone to reduce the temptation of taking him if he is available, and what I read about Pryor just screams the second coming of Roy L. Williams to me. They need to go d-line, d-line, d-line in this draft. I think we have to give Wilcox and Heath another year before giving up on them as they both had some bright spots at times, but were both rookies, and Wilcox only played safety one year in college. Throw in the time missed in camp for family reasons and time missed for injury, and this was basically a redshirt year for him. I thought he showed a lot of promise after initially winning the starting job before he got hurt. I don’t care what safety tandem you throw back there behind that d-line we had last year, they were going to struggle, yet alone rookies. If the QB has time for coffee and donuts in the pocket, the secondary is going to struggle.

    Get some pressure on the QB and watch how much better our secondary gets just as a result of that. Then add the fact that Marinelli is calling the defense next year and he’ll play more to the strengths of the DB’s, more press man than zone on the outside, than Kiffin did, and I think the improvement could be dramatic without changing the personnel.

    I like Ealy, but I think he’s going to be gone before they pick, potential franchise pass rushers are too valuable to let them pass, but if he’s available they should sprint to the podium and grab him. Marinellii will know how to turn that talent into production. If he’s gone, then I’m looking at Jernigan, Hageman, Tuitt, or Donald to replace Hatcher, then Jackson Jeffcoat or Trent Murphy in the second round, though I doubt Murphy has much chance to fall that far. In a perfect world they’d trade back into the twenties, pick up an additional third rounder, and still be able to grab one of those DT’s. Then look for more of a space eater to play the one technique and a guard or offensive tackle in the third/fourth rounds. If they can pick up an extra pick in that range, then I’d consider possibly grabbing a safety if there’s value available, but not before then.