Fresh off a season which brought them its first playoff victory in 13 years, the Dallas Cowboys are a team that many believe are primed for a playoff run.
With a roster that sported an average age of just 26.93 (good for 16th youngest in the league) years-old in 2009, the team heads into the new season with a healthy balance of young talent and seasoned veterans.
Equipped with six draft picks in this April's Draft, the team will be looking again to add an influx of talent to its depth chart.
Now the Cowboys have needs, they just do not have any truly glaring need at a position that would pigeon-hole themselves into addressing at a particular spot in the draft.
This off-season, the team may truly be in the position to take the proverbial best player available.
Depending on whom you ask, that player may just be a wide receiver.
Despite the recent hints that the consensus top receiving prospect Dez Bryant may be falling in the first round, the Cowboys are likely too far down in the round (27th overall) for Bryant to realistically drop to.
That reality should not preclude the Cowboys from selecting a wide receiver in the first three rounds though.
The Cowboys haven't drafted a wide receiver in the first three rounds since it nabbed the Biletnikoff winning Antonio Bryant, 63rd overall in the second round of the 2002 Draft.
The team's failure to add talented receiving prospects early in the Draft is likely what caused owner Jerry Jones to take a chance on Terrell Owens in '06 and overpay in a trade to acquire Roy Williams from Detroit in '08.
Listed below is a shortlist of prospects that could be available to the Cowboys at any point of the first three rounds.
DeMaryius Thomas - Georgia Tech:
Dallas officials were said to have shown interest and met with Thomas prior to the Senior Bowl in January. Thomas is considered a bit of a raw prospect coming out of an option-based system at Georgia Tech. Questions remain on how proficient he'll be able to run a pro route tree.
Regardless, Thomas is a physical specimen in the mold of Brandon Marshall and Andre Johnson. He owns a powerful stiff-arm, a go get it attitude when the ball is in the air, and whole lot of swagger.
It is worth mentioning he would have the luxury of not being rushed on the field and allowed to develop in Dallas.
Wide receiver coach Ray Sherman has a history of turning raw prospects into bonified players (Miles Austin, Sam Hurd, and most recently Kevin Ogletree). How much more magic will he be able to create with a player that has the skills-set of Thomas?
Jacoby Ford - Clemson:
Whether as a decoy or a legitimate threat, when you put Jacoby Ford on the field you instantly get one thing: speed.
Ford brings it in spades (4.28 official forty-yard dash).
While Dallas' receiving corps has decent speed as a whole, it does not have that burner that can stretch the field.
Last year's interest in Jeremy Maclin during the draft proves the team's interest in a home run threat. Ford could fit that bill in the late second or third round.
Arrelious Benn - Illinois:
The similarities are uncanny to me, but Benn reminds me of a young Sterling Sharpe—a thick-bodied receiver (6'1", 219 lbs) with soft hands and good speed.
Benn would provide Dallas the legitimate short to middle range route runner they thought they were getting when they traded for Roy Williams.
Benn likely goes in the early to middle portion of round two.
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