After trading up to land their coveted prospect in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft, the Dallas Cowboys put their lone pick on the second day of the draft to good use, selecting Boise State defensive end Tyrone Crawford.
Having addressed two vital needs on defense with solid picks in the first and third rounds, the Cowboys attention should shift to the offense for a good portion of their Day 3 picks. Talent exists across the board, which should make for an interesting final day of selections.
With a plethora of options to explore, let’s take a look at some prospects the Cowboys must consider heading into Day 3 of the draft.
He was a target on Day 2 and he should still be on Day 3.
Oklahoma’s Ronnell Lewis is one of the premier pass-rushers remaining on the board with much to afford the Dallas Cowboys.
Lewis fits the Cowboys defensive scheme, able to rush the passer off the edge as well as play the run. With a need for more pass-rushers, the former Sooner is a quality addition with an abundance of value on Day 3.
Center continues to be a crucial need for the Cowboys and Mike Brewster remains the best prospect to fill that need.
Brewster has great size—at 6’4” and 312 pounds—with solid strength and ability to go with it.
He is easily the best option to bolster one of the Cowboys most lacking position, with current center Phil Costa unable to perform up to par this past season.
Another surprising fall, nose tackle prospect Alameda Ta’amu is a great fit for the Dallas Cowboys on Day 3.
Ta’amu is a mammoth, physical presence capable of dominating on the inside at the NFL level. He is a fierce run-stopper with shocking athleticism, muscling his way to the ball-carrier.
With some solid coaching, Ta’amu could develop into one of the league’s most lethal defenders against the run.
A finalist for the 2011 Rimington Award, Georgia’s Ben Jones is another top center in this year’s draft class. With a need at the position, as aforementioned, Jones is a very good fit.
Jones is a tough blocker with good coordination on the move. He made drastic improvements this season and boosted himself up the boards to place him as one of the 2012 NFL draft’s best center prospects.
In due time and with a little grooming, Jones has the potential to be a productive starter in the NFL. His good size and ability coming out of SEC-powerhouse Georgia has to make an intriguing prospect heading into the final day of the draft.
With the departure of Laurent Robinson, the Dallas Cowboys must be in seek of a replacement to handle the slot position this season.
Wake Forest’s Chris Givens is an electric receiver with 4.4 speed capable of being a home run threat for the Cowboys. The former Demon Deacon led the ACC in receiving yards with 1,330 and could deliver the same kind of production to Dallas' high-powered offense.
Givens is the top remaining receiver on the board, but should still be there when it comes time for the Cowboys to pick early in the fourth round.
The Dallas Cowboys lost backup tight end Martellus Bennett this offseason and will need to address the void at some point, preferably during the 2012 NFL draft.
Brian Linthicum is not the most athletic option, but boasts favorable skills for a late-round tight end. Linthicum displays good hands in the passing game, but desperately needs to refine his routevrunning.
He is a quality blocker, however, something the Cowboys will need after Bennett’s departure. With time and coaching, Linthicum could contribute as a serviceable No. 2 behind superstar Jason Witten.
The Cowboys could use some depth along the offensive line and if nothing more, Troy’s James Brown projects well as a backup offensive tackle or guard able to spot-start at times.
Wes Bunting believes Brown will need to get bigger to be successful in the NFL, who could be a late-round sleeper if he is willing to put the work in.
Brown is a strong run blocker with raw talent, but has much work to do to develop into a quality NFL lineman.
Coastal Carolina’s Josh Norman is a talented prospect with question marks only about the competition he faced.
At 6’0”, 197 pounds, Norman has ideal NFL size to play against most pro receivers. He is lacking in the speed department, but makes up for it with quick feet, solid closing burst and natural ball skills.
Norman led the Chanticleers in tackles in 2011 and tallied 12 passes defended and eight interceptions. He is a stellar cover man that should be tempting for the Cowboys to help in nickel packages as well as special teams early on in his career.
Louis Musto is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter here.