Over the last three months, I have found myself going in several directions regarding the players or positions to be targeted by the Dallas Cowboys in the upcoming NFL draft. With exactly a week remaining, I still have no idea who will be chosen in the first round—and I'll bet that owner and general manager Jerry Jones doesn't either.
We're now a week away from the draft and things have narrowed quite a bit over the last month. The free-agent market has answered questions for some teams and some trades have also begun to piece the draft puzzle together.
In my previous mock drafts, I have explored the possibility of Dallas staying put with the 18th pick, trading down in the first round and also trading up. I really believe that anything is possible where the Cowboys are concerned, especially with Jones in the war room at Valley Ranch.
Most pressing needs clearly involve the trenches on both sides of the ball.
The Cowboys could address offensive tackle, the biggest true need on the roster, or offensive guard, another area badly in need of an upgrade or two. Even center doesn't look like a sure thing given the players currently aspiring to man that position next season.
Then there's the defensive line, an area that could use a young 4-3 defensive tackle or defensive end for new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin's new alignment.
Either way, I don't believe that Dallas will choose at the 18th pick as scheduled.
But for this mock, I'll go against my intuition and simply try to place the best players with Dallas based on their six selections—remember that backup center Ryan Cook is essentially your seventh-round pick this year.
So these six picks have to really count; there's simply no room for long-term projects and luxurious depth in this draft.
All combine results courtesy of NFL.com