Which CB Should the Dallas Cowboys Select in the 1st Round of the 2012 NFL Draft?

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As Dallas Cowboys Owner and GM Jerry Jones, Head Coach Jason Garrett, Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan, and the scouting department prepare for the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine and 2012 NFL Draft, the number of mock drafts continue to proliferate at ridiculous speed. Many of the early mocks had the Cowboys drafting the Stanford OG David DeCastro.

On February 8th, I wrote an article explaining why I thought the Cowboys should not draft DeCastro. Not surprisingly, many of the amended mock drafts now have the Cowboys drafting a defensive player instead of DeCastro.  It is well known that the Cowboys need to make significant improvements to their secondary, and that they will probably be looking for DB’s in free agency and the Draft.

Our Landry Hat Reader Question of the Week queried us about DB’s not named Morris Claiborne.

If you have questions for the Landry Hat Writers, please email us at cjlandryhat@hotmail.com

"Andrew Campbell, New Orleans, : If LSU’s Morris Claiborne was the only CB who had been selected before you picked at 14 and you had to pick a DB, which one would you take, and why?"

Steven Phillips: Obviously cornerback is a huge need for the Cowboys and I believe they will select one in the first round with the number 14 pick. There are only two true first round talents when it comes to the CB position, LSU’s Morris Claiborne and Alabama’s Dre Kirkpatrick. Claiborne is definitely gone at number 14 so logically I would go with Kirkpatrick. He has the size and speed to play in the NFL and if Rob Ryan would have had a corner of his caliber we would have probably won the NFC East. Kirkpatrick’s biggest issue, and it’s a glaring one, is the charges against him for possession of marijuana. Sure the charges were dropped, but might something like this shy Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett away from drafting an obviously gifted athlete? I say take the plunge.

Mark Contreras: I think it has to be Janoris Jenkins (N. Alabama, formerly of Florida). I know some are scared away by his off field problems at Florida but I’m not. Not because I am lackadaisical about his future problems but because I think they’re ALL idiots. Instead of the norm being a hard-working guy who stays out of trouble, the NFL we have today is full of a bunch of morons who only avoid trouble because it has yet to come their way. But anyway, Jenkins is clearly the #2. Now if I HAD to pick another DB in the second round, it would be Dre Kirkpatrick. Man, I guess I like problem children….. oh wait, THEY’RE ALL PROBLEM CHILDREN! In fact, LMGTFY. 

Todd Toombs: In my mind, it would be a choice between Dre Kirkpatrick from Alabama and Janoris Jenkins from North Alabama.  Jenkins has considerable talent, but as everyone knows, has some character issues in his past that are a concern.  But, he seems to have turned his life around and has not been in any trouble at North Alabama since getting kicked off the team at Florida.  Kirkpatrick had his own recent issue but all charges were dropped against him and it appears he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.  As talented as Jenkins is, I would lean heavily toward Kirkpatrick due to his size.  At 6’2”, he should be a better match for some of the larger receivers in the NFC that the Cowboys see regularly (think Megatron and last year’s Detroit debacle for one painful example).  He’s been compared to Antonio Cromartie which would be a nice addition to Rob Ryan’s defense.  But, if the Cowboys land CB Stanford Routt in free agency, my guess is they use this pick for another position altogether – LB, Defensive line, or O-line.

Erasmus: Sorry Andy, but I really don’t want to play along. I think the risk of taking a CB at 14 is too high. I may consider Mark Barron because the risk is lower, but then I worry that the value is not high enough to justify using the 14th pick. I have never been a huge fan of drafting corners in the second half of the 1st round, but after reading Greyson’s article, it is hard not to advocate his general approach of drafting DB’s in the later rounds in bulk.

With that caveat in mind, I would, based on your question, select Dre Kirkpatrick. He has the size needed to be an elite CB in the NFL. I would have no reservations about drafting Dre. It is a bit odd to hear people describe him as having “character concerns”. He didn’t lie, or cheat, or steal, or hurt anyone, or drive drunk, or get in a fight, or get accused of sexual misconduct. He wasn’t using performance enhancing substances. He was allegedly caught with a small amount of marijuana, but the charges were all dropped. There was no conclusive evidence that the drugs were his or that he smoked any. Even if he did smoke a bit of pot, so did Bill Clinton in college, along with more than 50% of Americans. It is strange that no one cares whether their doctor, lawyer, professor, mechanic, or mailman smokes pot (assuming it is done at home after work hours and doesn’t affect their performance at work) but we apparently care about what professional athletes do. 

Click on the link to read what the rest of the Landry Hat Staff has to say and to participate in the survey about what our readers would do.