The Dallas Cowboys missed the playoffs for the third straight season in 2012 and must draft an instant contributor for next season.
There are several names that fit this criteria for Dallas in the first round, but the team will need to choose which need position is the most needy first.
Monte Kiffin's 4-3 defense is being implemented and positions like safety and offensive line still need work. This will not be an easy decision.
Here are the odds that the Cowboys draft one of the top players in the draft to fill one of their biggest positional needs. The following odds were made based on the likelihood the player would be available at pick No. 18 and team need.
Alabama product Chance Warmack would instantly start and improve the Cowboys' current offensive line personnel. The issue for Jerry Jones and company come draft day is a lot of teams are probably thinking the same thing.
Warmack could take over for the less-than-stellar Nate Livings or Mackenzy Bernadeau at guard. Doing this would probably lessen the frequency of quarterback Tony Romo having to scramble out of the pocket.
The issue here for Dallas is the fact it would have to move up to have the best chance of grabbing Warmack. The odds of Dallas surrendering multiple picks to move up in this draft is unlikely due to the needs they need to fill.
The Cowboys certainly have needs on the offensive line, but the same can be said of their other line with the move to the 4-3.
Mingo is lightning fast off the snap, knows how to get around his would-be blockers and could be a very interesting player in Monte Kiffin's defense. What gives Mingo such a low percentage of getting drafted by Dallas is the larger pressing needs for the team.
DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer will be playing defensive end for the team in 2013, two of the best names on the defensive roster. Dallas would be wise to go more towards offensive line or safety in the first round and wait on a position like defensive end.
Arguably the best safety next to Kenny Vaccaro in this draft, Matt Elam would be a huge help to the Cowboys secondary.
The former Florida Gator has a terrific ability to find the ball-carrier in both running and passing scenarios and can hit with the best of them.
Elam is not like former Cowboys safety Roy Williams, however, who packed a punch but suffered in coverage. This safety is solid in coverage and can contribute in both aspects of the defensive game plan.
Elam is another name that will likely still be on the board for the Cowboys when their time to pick comes. If Vaccaro is off the board, the Florida man will be Dallas' pick if the team is thinking safety.
Jonathan Cooper is a realistic option for the Cowboys to address their guard position needs. He doesn't possess the potential of a Chance Warmack but he's still a very talented first-round option.
Cooper has excellent footwork that is skilled as both a pass-rusher and run-blocker. He also has a strong chance of being available at pick No. 18 which can't be said for a player like Warmack.
Given where the Cowboys are drafting and the fact Cooper would be an instant starter, he has high odds of joining Dallas.
The Cowboys were in serious need of a safety going into last year's draft and that hasn't changed heading into the 2013 edition. Dallas' scouts haven't had to travel very far to get a look at one of this draft's best options to fix its safety problem with Texas' Kenny Vaccaro.
The former Longhorn has been linked to the Cowboys in several mock drafts by outlets such as CBS Sports. Vaccaro would shore up a secondary Dallas has been building for a few seasons now.
The Cowboys have 2012 fourth-round pick Matt Johnson and Barry Church lined up to start going into 2013 as of now. Vaccaro would be a nice name to have on the roster considering Johnson was injured all of last season and Church was out much of last year with his own injury.