Evaluating Five of The Dallas Cowboys Top Pre-Draft Visitors

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Dec 27, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; Baylor Bears quarterback Nick Florence (11, left) is pressured by UCLA Bruins linebacker Anthony Barr (11, right) in the 2012 Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

In the last seven years, six of the Dallas Cowboys top draft picks have made the pre-draft visit to Valley Ranch. With thirty of the nation’s top college prospects in or heading to Dallas between now and Wednesday, I thought I would evaluate five of the top names that are scheduled to meet with team officials this week. Those elite players include: UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr, Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy, Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald, Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward and Boise State linebacker DeMarcus Lawrence. As you can see, there will be a definite focus on defense in this upcoming draft for the Cowboys.

So, let’s start at the top…

Dec 31, 2013; El Paso, TX, USA; UCLA Bruins linebacker Anthony Barr (11) walks off the field after winning the 2013 Sun Bowl at Sun Bowl Stadium. UCLA defeated Virginia Tech 42-12. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Barr, Linebacker – UCLA

Considered by many to be a top ten pick, the Cowboys will be lucky to get a player like Barr in the draft. A linebacker at UCLA, Barr’s exceptional pass rush ability will make him a better hand-down, defensive end in the Cowboys current 4-3 defensive scheme. And his presence should replace the production Dallas will be missing without the recently departed DeMarcus Ware. In two years at UCLA, Barr recorded 103 tackles, 41.5 tackles for a loss, and 23.5 sacks.

 The Pros: Barr could be the Cowboys dream defensive end to pair along with the newly acquired defensive tackle Henry Melton. Their addition could be the exact spark needed in the Cowboys lackluster pass rush to make this defensive engine go. Good character guy. Well respected.

The Cons: If a player like Barr drops to #16, you have to wonder why. But at that point in the first round, his potential reward outweighs the risk. Played Fullback first two seasons at UCLA.

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