The Cowboys would obviously love to land someone like Eric Fisher, Dion Jordan, Star Lotulelei or Sharrif Floyd in Round 1, but none of those guys will be available by the time Dallas is on the board. Instead, I've devised a short list of realistic first-round targets for the Cowboys based on a combination of overall talent, need and fit.
This is obviously subject to change. Lots of change.
1. Kenny Vaccaro (S, Texas): Dallas absolutely needs a starting-caliber safety, and Vaccaro, who is the best safety in this class, both fits the mold and is NFL-ready. If he slides to the Cowboys, this is a no-brainer.
2. Lane Johnson (OT, Oklahoma): He's expected to go in the top half of the first round, but with Fisher and Luke Joeckel already in the top 10, Johnson could fall. If that happens, the Cowboys could solve their right tackle issue for many, many years to come.
3. Jonathan Cooper (G, North Carolina): Realistically, it'll either be Cooper or Chance Warmack if they go the guard route, because at least one of the two should be gone.
4. Chance Warmack (G, Alabama): I gave Cooper a slight edge because I think he's more versatile and could offer more in pass protection, but this is close to being a toss-up. Warmack's ceiling might be higher.
5. Sheldon Richardson (DT, Missouri): A potential long-term replacement for Jay Ratliff inside, but he wouldn't be a big factor in 2013.
6. D.J. Fluker (OT, Alabama): This is the worst-case scenario. Fluker almost certainly will be available, but he could be a project still at right tackle.
Based on the team's needs, where its picking and who will likely be available in that range, I'd be extremely shocked if Dallas didn't pick one of the six guys listed above.