Dallas Cowboys Draft: The Best Fit for Big D at Every Position
Every NFL team is focused on little more than the NFL draft at this time every April and the Dallas Cowboys no doubt have their scout team hard at work. There are certain positions that simply must be addressed this draft, but all have the possibility of seeing a draft selection.
With only six picks to its name at the moment, Dallas must be smart in how it drafts this year. However, there are players at plenty of positions that could be great fits for the Cowboys. Here are the players Dallas should draft for each position's need.
Owner Jerry Jones did not just ink Tony Romo to a six-year, $55 million guaranteed contract extension to draft a quarterback in 2013.
Sure, Romo isn't getting any younger but the last thing Jerry and company have on their mind after signing him is drafting his replacement. There's no reason to address this position with just six draft picks to utilize this year.
Running Back: Montee Ball
Montee Ball is the ideal running back to replace the departed Felix Jones as No. 2 rusher on the Cowboys' depth chart.
DeMarco Murray is the obvious starter going into the next season but with Jones gone, the Cowboys need someone to fill that void. Lance Dunbar and Phillip Tanner are experienced but don't have the potential a player like Ball possesses.
The Wisconsin product won't need to be the every down back for Dallas, but rather a change-of-pace rusher who can grind out yards. The Cowboys could use him in goal-line and short yardage situations and rest Murray when needed.
Murray does have a tad of an injury history to his name as well and Ball could easily fill in for a short time as the team's No. 1 running back.
Lawrence Vickers might not have gotten a big contract extension like Tony Romo's but his position is equally likely to get addressed this draft.
Vickers is one of the better fullbacks in the NFL and the Cowboys did sign him to a two-year contract just last offseason. He blocked for Peyton Hillis during his only 1,000-plus yard season in 2010 with Cleveland and one of Arian Foster's back in 2011 with Houston.
Fullback is not a need for the Cowboys and the draft is usually not a place where you see many fullbacks get their names called as is. Vickers will be next year's starter at fullback and will not be competing with any draft pick for that role.
Wide Receiver: Denard Robinson
Denard Robinson didn't play wide receiver at Michigan but he's not the first college quarterback to go pro at this position.
The Cowboys aren't in need of a wide receiver to plug into their No. 1, 2 or even 3 spot on the depth chart. They do however, need a kick and punt returner if Dwayne Harris is going to step into the slot receiver role full-time.
Harris made the return game the most productive it's been for Dallas in recent memory but the injury possibility should take him out of that role this year. Running a 4.34 40-yard dash, Robinson has the speed to do well in a returner role.
Robinson could be an instant contributor on special teams with the possibility of turning into a useful receiver in the years to come.
Spending a fifth or sixth round pick on the former Wolverine wouldn't be the worst move Jerry Jones' war room could do late in the draft.
Tight End: Jake Stoneburner, Ohio State
With Jason Witten on the roster and the team taking James Hanna last draft, tight end isn't a huge need for the Cowboys.
Hanna was taken by Dallas in the sixth round last year and should move up the depth chart this year with the departure of John Phillips to San Diego. If the Cowboys are looking for a No. 3 tight end late in the draft though, Ohio State product Jake Stoneburner is solid choice.
Stoneburner has good size at 6'5", 245 pounds and was coached by Urban Meyer last season. The Buckeye wouldn't be asked to do much his first season by the Cowboys and would likely be more of a project than a contributor.
It's unlikely that the team elects to go for a tight end this year in the draft, but if for some reason Dallas does, Stoneburner wouldn't be such a bad choice.
Offensive Line: Chance Warmack, Alabama
Chance Warmack is the best guard and arguably lineman in the draft. He also plays a position that the Cowboys are in desperate need of an upgrade at.
Dallas tried to bargain shop at guard last offseason with Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau. That decision helped quarterback Tony Romo get sacked 36 times for the second straight season in 2012.
Warmack comes from Alabama with head coach Nick Saban and has stellar athletic ability. He was coached by one the best in the college ranks; He knows how to fire out and keep his assignment busy.
The Cowboys could go with a safety in the first round of the draft but that likely only happens if Warmack is already off the board.
Defensive Line: Sylvester Williams, North Carolina
With Monte Kiffin's 4-3 coming to Big D, Jay Ratliff is now in need of a partner in the interior defensive line. North Carolina product Sylvester Williams would make a pretty good Robin to Ratliff's Batman.
Williams is the perfect size for a defensive tackle at 6'3", 310 pounds and would be another young building block for a changing defense to build around next to Morris Claiborne.
Ratliff is a great tackle to have on the defensive line but giving him a young talent like Williams to work with would do wonders for the Cowboys. With both players up front paired with DeMarcus Ware, it'd be hard for fans not to be excited about the Dallas defense.
Linebacker: Sean Porter, Texas A&M
The Cowboys have Bruce Carter and Sean Lee primed to start next season at linebacker but depth is never a bad thing.
2012 was a season with several drawbacks for Dallas, one of the biggest being the linebacker position falling prey to the injury bug. Both Carter and Lee suffered season-ending injuries, Ernie Sims was brought in off the street and even DeMarcus Ware was hurt at times.
Sims and Alex Albright played decently in the absence of Carter and Lee but having another on the depth chart is something the Cowboys might look into this draft. Sean Porter has a great burst that was shown off plenty for the Aggies last year when he led the Big 12 in sacks with 9.5 sacks.
Porter has the speed and athleticism you want in a linebacker with all the size as well at 6'1", 229 pounds. If Dallas saw him on the board in the fourth or fifth round, someone on the staff could make a case to draft Porter at that time.
Secondary: Matt Elam, Florida
Without any inside information to back this up, the Cowboys are likely hoping for the first two rounds to bring them two players like Chance Warmack and Matt Elam.
Drafting a guard in the first round of the NFL draft isn't going to sell jerseys or sell season tickets but it is what Dallas needs to do to protect its high-paid quarterback.
Another way to help Tony Romo out would be getting Matt Elam to man one of the safety positions on defense. Elam is a hard-hitting safety that excelled at college with Florida and has the potential to carry that success to the NFL.
The former Gator knows how to hit, knows how to help in coverage and didn't get beat that often in college. Elam would be the ideal second round pick for Dallas after landing one of the top guards in the draft in the first.
Punter and Kicker: None
Not to end this article on a low note, but we did promise every position. The Cowboys have Chris Jones ready to assume punting duties and Dan Bailey to kick—no need to add depth to either role.
Another great indicator that the Cowboys won't be remotely thinking about addressing punter or kicker this draft: Jones and Bailey were both signed as undrafted free agents in 2011. Dallas has below the given number of picks heading into this draft and won't be looking to waste one on a kicker or punter.
The Cowboys are not known for drafting a player at either position and certainly won't do so in a year with so few picks to spare.
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