As always the debate over drafting players based on team NEEDS, or selecting the overall BEST AVAILABLE player rages on a month before the 2014 NFL draft.
My personal take is a combination of the two. A team must draft the best available player among ANY of their reasonable positions of need. Drafting early at a firmly solidified position (other than QB) is poison.
A textbook example was Jerry Jones foolishly drafting TE Gavin Escobar in Round 2 of the 2013 draft. Escobar was neither the best available player at ANY position, nor was there a rational need at TE.
Star veteran Jason Witten still produces well, and youngster James Hannah was showing much promise (when they actually used him). There was little point to burn a high draft pick on a 3rd receiving TE.
In doing so they absurdly passed over OG Larry Warford. The massive player who surrendered 1 sack in all of his Senior season at Kentucky. With Warford (rookie starter for Lions), the Cowboys would now have a complete o-line. Instead, they must entertain selecting any of 4 OL next month at pick 16.
Moving forward, there are 8 realisitic positions of NEED for the 2014 Cowboys. Ones that can rationally be addressed in Round 1, without cursing Jerry Jones for the countless time on Draft Day.