What Should Jerry Jones do with the Dallas Cowboys First Round Pick in the 2012 NFL Draft?


As the Dallas Cowboys prepare for the Scouting Combine, the start of the 2012 Free Agency period, and then the 2012 NFL Draft, everyone has an opinion on what Jerry Jones should do.  Our reader question this week asks specifically about that all important 14th pick.

If you have questions you would like answered by The Landry Hat staff, please forward them to cjlandryhat@hotmail.com

"James Pritchard, El Paso: Which player would you take with the 14th pick if you limited your options to players who are likely to be available at 14?"

Joe Owen: The Dallas Cowboys are not the only team in dire need of a top rated guard in this years NFL draft. And as Landry Hat cohort Greyson Jones wrote last week that “DeCastro would seem to be the ‘safe’ pick, the guaranteed quality starter for the next ten years.” The offensive lineman will in all likely-hood not be available by the time pick number fourteen rolls around.

With that being said and along with those likely available once Dallas is on the clock out of Mark Barron, Cody Gleen, Zach Brown, and Quinton Coples my money is on defensive end Quinton Coples.

After an MVP type performance at the Senior Bowl this guy could be the Houston Texans’ J.J. Watt equivalent for the Dallas Cowboys. All this assuming the questions regarding his tendency to take plays off are hugely exaggerated.

Steven Phillips: For me it has to be David DeCastro out of Stanford at number 14. At 6’5″ and weighing in at 310 lbs he’s not a Goliath by any means, but he is fundamentally sound and is a high-motor player who never takes a play off. He has quick feet and excels at run blocking. He isn’t extremely athletic, yet he has light feet and enough speed to get to the next level. The Cowboys have major issues at the interior line positions. Derrick Dockery is a free agent after spending much of the season injured, Phil Costa was inconsistent to put it nicely and who knows what to expect from Montrae Holland? None of the above should be in the starting lineup come opening day. DeCastro is the top interior lineman in the draft at this point and, like Tyron Smith last year, he fills a need and could be plugged in to the starting lineup. Picking DeCastro is a perfect match.

Greyson Jones: If David DeCastro is there at 14 I’d take him no questions asked. However, if he is as good in workouts as I think he will be, he’ll probably be a top 10 pick. In my mind, that leaves Melvin Ingram and Dre Kirkpatrick. Who they pick depends on whether the Cowboys think Victor Butler is ready for full-time OLB. Personally, I think he is. That leaves Kirkpatrick. While recently wrote an article explaining that the chance that Dre Kirkpatrick is going to be a Pro-Bowler is slim (15%,) if the Cowboys are simply looking for a solid cornerback and some depth (which would likely be found in rounds 3-5 with players like Casey Heyward and Cliff Harris) I think Kirkpatrick would be a fine choice, so long as they don’t hype him like they did Tyron Smith.

Seth Jones: Alfonzo Dennard, the CB from Nebraska. He played with Prince Amukamara, who isn’t actually a prince. He can cover fast guys and strong guys. He’s diverse. Maybe Peter Konz, center from Wisconsin. Wouldn’t it be cool to have an awesome center? I’m not saying that Konz would be awesome, but he COULD be. Isn’t that what the draft is about? Yes, yes it is. Don’t get all smart and such.

Mark Contreras: It’s a little early in the process to be deciding. Having said that, I believe the Cowboys need to go the safe route here. They need to draft someone who will be in a Cowboys uniform for years to come. If they decide on an O-lineman, I think it needs to be DeCastro from Stanford. If they decide on an Outside linebacker, I think it needs to be Zach Brown from UNC. So on and so forth. Take the highest rated guy (on THEIR board) with the best head on his shoulders and really start (re)BUILDING a once proud franchise. The 1st through 3rd rounds should be cornerstone players that are around for many years. Rounds 4-7 is when you get to play with projects. Too often, Jerry wants to play with 1st and 2nd round picks which is why the Cowboys find themselves a constant disappointment.

Todd Toombs: Two ways to approach this – actual need or best athlete available.  The Cowboys have lots of needs so I would clearly advocate for the former approach.  In that vein, the defense appears to be the most challenged with cornerback, defensive line, outside linebacker, and possibly safety being the focal points (in that order in my opinion).  Beyond LSU’s Morris Claiborne (very unlikely to be available at #14), the other cornerbacks appear a bit risky.  If Dre Kirkpatrick is available, I’d have to take him even with the recent arrest issue.  His combination of size and speed is hard to find and would likely be worth the risk.  Outside of him however, I’m not sure I would take a cornerback at 14 as quality players will be available in later rounds.  My next choice would be a pass rushing defensive lineman – Courtney Upshaw or Quinton Coples would be fantastic but unlikely to drop all the way to #14.  South Carolina’s Melvin Ingram is likely to be available as is Illinois’ Whitney Mercilus (got to love his name if nothing else), Jerel Worthy from Michigan State, or Dontari Poe from Memphis.  At safety, Alabama’s Mark Barron is likely to be there at #14.

Of course all bets are off if Jerry decides to move up.  I could see him swapping draft spots with a top ten team and giving them our 2nd round pick to get a player he really covets.  The other option is to trade down and get additional picks in the 2nd or 3rd rounds.  Unless a Claiborne or Upshaw or someone close to that calibre is available at 14, that might be the right move (although unpopular with the fan base depending on who they get with the additional picks).

If you have questions you would like answered by The Landry Hat staff, please forward them to cjlandryhat@hotmail.com

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