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Ranking the Top 5 Players on the Dallas Cowboys 2013 Draft Board

Derek GerberichCorrespondent IJanuary 8, 2013

Ranking the Top 5 Players on the Dallas Cowboys 2013 Draft Board

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    The 2013 NFL Playoffs are in full swing, but yet again, the Dallas Cowboys are not a part of them.

    Naturally, it leaves them with only one option: start preparing for this April's upcoming draft.

    And with Alabama putting an exclamation point on the closure of the college football season, full-scale talent evaluation is surely underway.

    So let's take an early look at the Cowboys 2013 draft board.

5. Kenny Vaccaro (S)

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    Since the glory days of Darren Woodson, the Cowboys have been plagued at the safety position, suffering from unfortunate injuries and shoddy play.

    There are some days where all a fan wants to see is Darren Woodson return.

    So what if I told you the next Darren Woodson could be taken in the upcoming NFL draft?

    Say hello to Kenny Vaccaro, everyone.

    The versatile safety from Texas can play both the strong safety and free safety positions, and he would do wonders to shore up the Cowboys defensive backfield.

    So why wouldn't the Cowboys draft Vaccaro? The answer lies with what they already have. Gerald Sensabaugh's contract runs through 2016, and a healthy Barry Church could fill the Cowboys' need upon return.

4. Jonathan Cooper (OG)

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    A second reason why the Cowboys might not draft Kenny Vaccaro in the first round is because they have a bigger need. 

    Their offensive line needs to be fixed up.

    The fixing up could start with Jonathan Cooper, a 6'3", 310-pound guard out of North Carolina.  The Tar Heel was an AP All-American and paved the way for a UNC ground game that averaged 194 yards per game on the ground.

    DeMarco Murray would certainly benefit from a few additional running lanes.

3. Jake Matthews (OT)

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    Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy because he is fantastic football player.

    He also got some fantastic blocking from a heck of an offensive line.

    Part of that offensive line was 6'5", 300-pound offensive tackle, Jake Matthews. Matthews possesses exceptional length at 6'5", and he would be a suitable right tackle complement to Cowboys current left tackle Tyron Smith.

    As an added bonus, Matthews excels in run-blocking. Again, this would certainly benefit the Cowboys' woeful 2012 rushing attack.

2. Barrett Jones (C)

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    Would some people argue with the Cowboys taking Alabama center Barrett Jones in the first round?

    Perhaps.

    Don't count me as one of those people, however.

    Anytime a conversation includes phrases like "rebuilding the offensive line" and "2013 NFL draft," Barrett Jones needs to be included.

    The 6'5" lineman has been an All-American at both left tackle and center, and he can play virtually every position on the offensive line.

    With the Cowboys having problems at center, and with apparently no sign of the good Doug Free ever returning, a top-tier offensive lineman from Alabama surely needs to be a priority on the Cowboys draft board.

1. Chance Warmack (OG)

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    And speaking of a top-tier offensive lineman from Alabama...say hello to Chance Warmack.

    While he might not be around for the Cowboys to take with the 18th selection, one would have to believe that if he was, the Cowboys would immediately pull the trigger.

    The 6'3", 320-pound behemoth bulldozed the way for a Crimson Tide rushing attack that averaged 225 yards per game.

    He was a unanimous All-American selection, and his addition to the Cowboys offensive line would bring back some interior nastiness that the Boys have been missing for quite a few seasons.

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