2012 NFL Mock Draft: Cowboys Looking At Secondary, Offensive Line Help

Dallas will have several different options at improving two of their biggest needs with the No. 14 pick in the first round.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Cowboys Select Memphis DT Dontari Poe

Adding some beef to the defensive line is a direction that the Dallas Cowboys could go with the No. 14 pick. Dontari Poe, the 6-5, 350-pound lineman out of Memphis, is a nice fit for the Dallas defense, according to SB Nation's Ryan Van Bibber.

Maybe I'm buying the rumor mill's fodder about the Cowboys liking Poe so much that they do not want to draw attention to him, but the pick does work for them. Dallas also has the flexibility to use Poe in a rotation on their defensive line while he develops.

Poe is a run-stopping force in the middle of the line. As a junior in 2011, he recorded 33 tackles and had eight tackles for loss.

For the latest news and analysis on the Cowboys draft plans, check out SB Nation Dallas' exclusive storystream, while Blogging The Boys is your off-season home for all things related to America's Team.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Cowboys Select David DeCastro In NFL.com's Latest

With the 2012 NFL draft less than a month away, mock drafts are really beginning to come out of the woodwork. In NFL.com's Chad Reuter's latest mock draft, the Dallas Cowboys address the guard position in the first round by selecting Stanford guard David DeCastro with the No. 14 overall pick.

From Reuter:

Signing free agents Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau shored up the interior offensive line, but Jerry Jones might consider DeCastro the best player available -- and ensuring the health of quarterback Tony Romo should be a priority.

Tony Romo has the weapons around him in order to succeed, especially at wide receiver and running back, but the missing piece now is to supply him with the offensive line necessary to keep him on his feet and protected from the 300-pound defensive linemen that are paid to hurt him.

DeCastro is a great guard that can start from day one and not only help protect Romo, but open holes for the running backs as well.

For more on the Cowboys, head to Blogging the Boys, and for more mock draft coverage, follow SB Nation Dallas' StoryStream.

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2012 NFL Draft: Cowboys Not Looking To Take Guard In First Round, According To Jerry Jones

According to Cowboys beat writer Clarence Hill, Jerry Jones stated that the team isn't likely to address the guard position in the first round and that they are more likely to look for a cornerback, linebacker, defensive end or defensive tackle.

Jerry Jones said they are inclined not to take a guard (decastro) at 14 because of what they did in free agency.But would take CB, LB, DE,DT 58 minutes ago via web · Reply · Retweet · Favorite · powered by @socialditto

The Cowboys have a handful of needs heading into the 2012 draft and guard is one of them. The Cowboys signed free agent guards Nate Livings from the Bengals and Mackenzy Bernadeau from the Panthers to try to fill some of the holes on the interior of the offensive line, but that may not be enough to open holes in the running game and keep Tony Romo protected. Luckily this year's draft class is considered to be deep at the guard position.

For more on the Cowboys, head to Blogging The Boys, and for more draft updates, follow SB Nation Dallas' StoryStream.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Cowboys Select Michael Brockers From LSU In MTD's Latest

In SB Nation's Mocking The Draft's latest mock draft, the Dallas Cowboys make a split from what they have usually done in other mock drafts -- take a guard or cornerback with their first-round pick -- and do something completely different. That different thing is they are predicted to select LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers out of LSU.

Michael Brockers | Defensive tackle | LSU: After signing cornerback Brandon Carr, the Cowboys no longer need to add a No. 1 cornerback through the draft. Instead, the team can start to get younger along its defensive line with Brockers, arguably the best 3-4 end in the draft. There will be plenty of corners for the Cowboys to target in later rounds.

The biggest need heading into the 2012 season was considered to be at cornerback or guard, but the Cowboys signed Brandon Carr and Nate Livings in free agency which could change up their draft priority. Brockers is considered one of the best defensive linemen in this year's draft class and could immediately help the Cowboys as both a run stopper and pass rusher.

For more on the Cowboys, head to Blogging the Boys, and for more on the Cowboys draft, follow SB Nation Dallas' StoryStream.

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NFL Draft 2012: Free Agency Options At Cornerback Could Alter Cowboys Draft Selection

Dallas Cowboys fans hate their secondary, period. From their corners, to safeties, to the nickel backs, there is a sense of dismay and angst that is felt from the Cowboys' faithful anytime a pigskin is put up in the air against the Dallas secondary.

However, the outlook of said secondary could change in a few weeks as three intriguing free agent options are available on the market. SB Nation's Ryan Van Bibber says that if the Cowboys acquire a cornerback in free agency then they could look at a different positional need with the No. 14 pick:

14. Dallas Cowboys, Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

The Cowboys who really need help in the secondary. This pick will depend on what they do in free agency, where Brent Grimes, Cortland Finnegan and Brandon Carr could also provide a fix. Kirkpatrick matches up well against bigger, physical receivers, which could come in handy against Dallas' division rivals in New York.

Personally, even if the Cowboys do take Grimes, Finnegan or Carr, I guarantee Cowboys fans would still want this pick to be a corner. That's how much they hate their current personnel.

For more on the Dallas Cowboys, check out Blogging The Boys, and for more updates on the upcoming draft, head to Mocking The Draft.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: National Football Post Has Cowboys Taking Dre Kirkpatrick

The latest mock draft Wes Bunting of the National Football Post is matching to other mock drafts regarding the Dallas Cowboys. Bunting debates between the Cowboys taking Alabama defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick and Stanford guard David DeCastro.


Related: Cowboys free agency and draft objectives

Bunting ultimately goes with Kirkpatrick at No. 14 for the Cowboys since cornerback is the bigger need. Kirkpatrick is listed as their No. 2 cornerback, and here is some of NFP's scouting report on Kirkpatrick:

Impression: Will be an ideal zone corner at the next level because of his size, instincts and physicality. However, he can also press off the line and consistently re-route receivers. Isn't a dynamic quick-twitch athlete, but showcases good balance, can keep his feet under him and looks like a "plus" caliber starting cornerback in the NFL. Reminds me some of Chargers cornerback Quinton Jammer physically.

For more on the Dallas Cowboys, check out Blogging The Boys, and for more updates on the upcoming draft, head to Mocking The Draft.

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NFL Draft 2012: Charlie Casserly Has Dallas Cowboys Selecting Stanford OG David DeCastro

The Dallas Cowboys finished their 2011 campaign with a disappointing 8-8 record amidst high expectations. Part of the reason the Cowboys struggled was due to the injuries suffered by quarterback Tony Romo. Romo played through a punctured lung injury along with cracked ribs after getting repeatedly hit in a game versus the San Francisco 49ers. The Cowboys struggled to keep Romo upright all season as their quarterback was sacked 36 times last season, ranking 6th among all quarterbacks.

NFL.com's Charlie Casserly foresees the Dallas Cowboys selecting Stanford offensive guard David DeCastro with the No. 14 pick in the draft. Casserly believes that "Dallas must continue to rebuild its offensive line," as Demarco Murray and Felix Jones both ran well when the offensive line was healthy.


DeCastro would definitely help with plowing holes in the run game along with chipping down on rushing defensive tackles to prevent the pocket from collapsing for Romo. The Cowboys have also been targeted to look at defensive backs in this draft as well.

For more on the Dallas Cowboys, check out Blogging The Boys, and for more updates on the upcoming draft, head to Mocking The Draft.

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Mel Kiper: Cowboys Could Be Choosing Between Two Alabama DB's

In the latest mock draft from Mel Kiper Jr., the ESPN analyst has both All-American defensive backs from Alabama on the board when the Dallas Cowboys choose at No. 14:

Mark Barron, S, Alabama

Dallas got shredded far too often with the passing game in 2011, and while Barron might be a very slight reach here in terms of his current grade, he's a perfect fit for the Cowboys. I have "defensive back" on my sheet as a big need in Big D, meaning they can't go wrong with either the top safety or the top cornerback here, and Barron offers the most value. Better in run support right now than he is in coverage, Barron could get better against the pass, but he's an upgrade for the Cowboys.

In his time at Tuscaloosa, Nick Saban has turned Alabama into an NFL pipe-line, efficiently turning five-star recruits into first-round prospects.

Two of his most prized players -- SS Mark Barron and CB Dre Kirkpatrick -- could be available for the Dallas Cowboys, desperately in need of help in the defensive back-field, at No. 14.

Barron, as Kiper notes, is more of a run-stopper, but he doesn't have the off-the-field issues of either Kirkpatrick or former Florida CB Janoris Jenkins, both of whom have been arrested for marijuana possession in the last year.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Sporting News Has Cowboys Taking Dre Kirkpatrick

The Dallas Cowboys must do something either in free agency or the draft to shore up their less than stellar secondary. The talent in free agency does not look to have the upside that the talent in the NFL Draft may have, which is why most mock drafts have the Cowboys taking a cornerback with their No. 14 pick.

Russ Lande of The Sporting News had the Cowboys going with Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick:

14. Dallas Cowboys: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama Crimson Tide: The Cowboys desperately need an upgrade at cornerback, and they debate between Kirkpatrick (6-3, 192) and North Alabama's Janoris Jenkins (5-10, 191), who both have had off-field concerns. In the end, they side with Kirkpatrick because he is five inches taller.

Kirkpatrick's stock has slid some since he was arrested for marijuana possession, and even since those charges have been dropped his draft stock has not gone back to what it was prior to the arrest. The Cowboys could get a steal here if Kirkpatrick does fall to No. 14, and assuming he has no conflict once he gets to the league.

For more on the Dallas Cowboys, check out Blogging The Boys, and for more updates on the upcoming draft, head to Mocking The Draft.

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2012 NFL Draft: Cornerback, Guard Among Deepest Positions In Draft, Per NFP

Most draft analysts believe that the biggest needs for the Cowboys are at cornerback and guard. Luckily for them, according to National Football Post's Wes Bunting, those are two of the five deepest positions in the this year's draft class.

Many mock drafts have the Cowboys, who go on the clock at No. 14, picking Stanford guard David DeCastro, but if they don't, they may be able to find a serviceable guard in the next couple rounds:

From top to bottom this might be the most impressive offensive guard class I've seen since I've been doing this. There is a pair of potential first round picks in Stanford's David DeCastro and Georgia's Cordy Glenn, with a number of potential second/third round options who have the ability to come in and play at a high level early in their NFL career.

Other than DeCastro, some of the guards they list who are top-100 picks in this year's draft class are Georgia's Cordy Glenn, Miami's Brandon Washington and Midwestern State's Amini Silatolu.

Other mock drafts have the Cowboys selecting a corner like Dre Kirkpatrick or Janoris Jenkins at No. 14. However, if they select an offensive lineman in the first round, there could be good corners available in the second round:

With the number of early entries declaring at the cornerback position, it allowed some of the top ranked senior corners to slide down boards a bit and create not only a very solid class toward the top end of round one, but improved the overall depth throughout rounds two/four. Therefore, you can now find solid corners capable of playing in both man and zone concepts throughout the top-100 picks.

Some of the other corners in this year's draft class are LSU's Morris Claiborne, Georgia's Brandon Boykin and Oklahoma's Jamell Flemming.

Luckily for the Cowboys, it seems that they may be able to fill their biggest needs in the first two rounds without much of a problem.

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Charges Against Draft Prospect Dre Kirkpatrick Dropped; Returning To Perch?

When news came out that Alabama CB, fresh off a BCS National Championship, had been arrested for marijuana possession, the rumor mill began churning to discuss his draft stock. Would he drop far? Would some team's take him completely off their draft board?

At the time, Kirkpatrick was regarded as the second best cornerback prospect in the draft, behind LSU's Morris Claiborne. The arrest put all of that, and potentially millions in jeorpardy.

Then, reports started to surface about the specifics of the arrest. Kirkpatrick was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped by police, and the driver admitted that the marijuana was his. Now, according to several reports including this one from Sports Illustrated, Florida police have dropped all charges against Kirkpatrick.

I'm not pointing any fingers, but in all my years I haven't heard of a passenger being arrested for possession when a vehicle's driver admitted it was his. Could Kirkpatrick have been the victim of an officer with a Gator point of view?

Regardless, Dre Kirkpatrick will not have a mark on his permanent record. Now the question is, will his "associations" remain a cause of concern for NFL teams, namely the Cowboys. The CB was mocked numerous times to Dallas once word of the arrest leaked, but now he might be considered a top 10 pick again; out of Dallas' range without a trade.

Recent mocks have trended a more troubled cornerback, North Alabama's Janoris Jenkins to Dallas at the 14 pick. He was dismissed from the University of Florida and has three arrests on his record; two for drugs.

How far does Jason Garrett's RKG philosophy go? We'll see come April.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Mocking The Draft Predicts Cowboys Take David DeCastro In First Round

The Super Bowl is over and the NFC East's New York Giants have been crowned king of the NFL. That means the draft order is officially set. In reality, for 30 of the NFL's 32 teams, the draft order has been set for a long time, but now that we know the Patriots go on the clock at No. 31 and the Giants at No. 32, it gives us an excuse to come out with more mock drafts. One such mock draft is supplied by SB Nation's Mocking The Draft.

In their latest mock, they predict that the Dallas Cowboys will select Stanford guard David DeCastro with the No. 14 overall pick.

The Cowboys began rebuilding their offensive line last year when they drafted Tyron Smith with the 9th overall pick. To have DeCastro fall to them is huge. He's the best guard prospect to come out in a long time and could be a pro bowler in his rookie season. The Cowboys have a big need at corner too, but DeCastro is too good to pass up.

The Cowboys gave up 39 sacks in 2011 and starting left guard Derrick Dockery missed the majority of the season with a knee injury and is set to become a free agent. DeCastro is this draft class' best interior lineman and could start immediately for the Cowboys.

For more on the Dallas Cowboys, check out Blogging The Boys, and for more updates on the upcoming draft, head to Mocking The Draft.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Janoris Jenkins Emerging As Draft's No. 3 CB

In SB Nation's first post Super Bowl mock draft, Ryan Van Biber has the Dallas Cowboys taking former Florida CB Janoris Jenkins with the No. 14 pick:

14. Dallas Cowboys, Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama

Every time I get to this spot in these mocks, the image of Terrance Newman matched up against the Giants' receivers in Week 17 comes to mind. Jenkins toiled in obscurity after getting the boot from Florida, but he got back on the radar with a solid outing at the Senior Bowl.

While the Cowboys have become known for late-season swoons recently, most of the blame for the way they closed out 2011 has fallen on their secondary, which had completely collapsed by the end of the year.

The CB position is the most glaring hole on their roster, but at No. 14, they are just out of the projected range of the draft's top two CB's -- LSU's Morris Claiborne and Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick.

More: Free Agency sets up BPA focused draft

That leaves them picking between Jenkins and Nebraska's Alfonzo Dennard in the first round, and while Jenkins has an extremely spotty off-the-field record, he was as talented as the two SEC defensive backs projected to go in the top 10 in his time at Gainesville.

Dallas hasn't been shy about taking players with character concerns in the past; we'll see if the Dez Bryant saga has changed Jerry Jones decision-making when it comes to the first round of 2012.

With the Giants just winning their second Super Bowl in four years, it's doubtful Jones will be willing to wait two years for his first round pick to be ready to play to his potential in the NFL.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Dre Kirkpatrick To The Cowboys

The latest mock drafts from CBS Sports have the Dallas Cowboys getting Alabama Crimson Tide cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. Kirpatrick has been sliding recently due to a marijuana arrest. The Cowboys are in desperate need of upgrading their secondary.

Here is what Dane Brugler of CBS Sports says about the Cowboys taking Kirkpatrick:

No. 14 Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama: The Cowboys' defense made gains under Rob Ryan, but inconsistencies in the secondary led to plenty of breakdowns. Kirkpatrick's recent arrest for marijuana possession could scare off some teams but Jerry Jones has shown a willingness to overlook off-field transgressions in the past. There is no denying Kirkpatrick's size and physicality would be a welcome addition to a defense in need of a shakeup in the secondary.

Here what Rob Rang of CBS Sports is saying about Kirkpatrick:

No. 14 Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama: The Cowboys' defense made gains under Rob Ryan, but inconsistencies in the secondary led to plenty of breakdowns. Kirkpatrick's recent arrest for marijuana possession could scare off some teams but Jerry Jones has shown a willingness to overlook off-field transgressions in the past. There is no denying Kirkpatrick's size and physicality would be a welcome addition to a defense in need of a shakeup in the secondary.

For more on the Cowboys, head over to Blogging The Boys, and for more updates on the draft, head to Mocking The Draft.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Cowboys Fill Holes On Offense And Defense In 5-Round Mock Draft

The folks over at SB Nation's Mocking The Draft have recently gone above and beyond the call of duty by releasing a five-round mock draft. Of course, mock drafts published now, before the season is officially open and before free agency opens, don't count for much but that doesn't change the fact that we love them. For the Dallas Cowboys, the guys at MTD filled holes both on offense and defense throughout their five-round mock.

Here's what they gave to Dallas:

With the Cowboys' first-round pick, they predict that Dallas selects Stanford guard David DeCastro at No. 14. DeCastro is rated as this draft class' best guard and as he excels at both run blocking and pass protection. The Cowboys who allowed 39 sacks in 2011, could definitely use an upgrade at the position.

With the 13th pick in the second round, the folks at MTD predict the Cowboys select Central Florida cornerback Josh Robinson. The Cowboys had the 23rd-ranked pass defense in 2011 and MTD actually says that cornerback is a bigger need than guard is.

With the 19th pick in the third round, the mock draft has the Cowboys selecting Georgia center Ben Jones. Again, the Cowboys need help on the offensive line and Jones can at least add some depth at center.

MTD predicts the Cowboys go back to defense in the fourth round by selecting Fresno State defensive end Logan Harrell with the 18th pick. You can't put a price on pass rushers and Harrell earned first-team All-WAC honors after the 2010 season for making 10.5 sacks and 46 tackles, 14 of which were made for a loss.

Finally, in the fifth round, they selected Texas Longhorns outside linebacker Keenan Robinson with the 17th pick. Robinson led the Longhorns in tackles in the 2010 season and was a second-team All-Big 12 selection. He would add some depth to the Cowboys' linebacker corps.

The Super Bowl still needs to be played and free agency needs to open before the draft rolls around, but NFL fans know it's never too early for a good mock draft.

For more on the Cowboys, head over to Blogging The Boys, and for more updates on the draft, head to Mocking The Draft.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Marijuana Arrest Has Dre Kirkpatrick Sliding To Cowboys

In the latest mock draft from SBNation, Ryan Van Biber has the Dallas Cowboys taking Alabama CB Dre Kirkpatrick with the No. 14 overall pick:

14. Dallas Cowboys, Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

Another obvious fit for a team that tried to bluff its way through with Terrance Newman in the secondary. Kirkpatrick is a physical cornerback who excels in man coverage. He'll match up well in the NFC East against the Giants' receivers. Obligated to mention his marijuana arrest, it's nothing more than a reminder of how silly the draft stock game gets sometimes.

Kirkpatrick, a 6'2 190 junior CB, was a second-team All-American for Alabama in his third season in Tuscaloosa, where the five-star recruit stepped onto the field immediately for Nick Saban, helping the Crimson Tide win two national titles in three seasons.

He's been widely projected to go in the top ten but his stock has taken a hit in recent weeks after he was arrested for marijuana possession on Jan. 17.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Cowboys Taking Offensive Lineman, Defensive Back With First Two Picks

The two positions that the Dallas Cowboys are in need are offensive line and secondary. Multiple mock drafts have the Cowboys alternating between the two positions. Over at Walter Football they have expanded beyond their single round mock draft and are now projecting the first four rounds. The first pick projected for the Cowboys at No. 14 is an offensive lineman:

No. 14, Dallas Cowboys: David DeCastro, G, Stanford Cardinal

The Cowboys have major issues on the interior of their offensive line. Left guard Derrick Dockery is a free agent after missing most of 2011 with a knee injury. Center Phil Costa sucks. Right guard Montrae Holland, meanwhile, can't really be relied upon.

David DeCastro is one of the top interior linemen prospects to come along in years, and he's the highest-ranked prospect on the board. This is a perfect match.


Related: How good are the Cowboys at creating a draft board.

Their second pick is a defensive back, but it is a surprise selection:

No. 45 Dallas Cowboys: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama

Many mocked Prince Amukamara to the Cowboys this past April for good reason. If you didn't see the Sunday night game against the Giants, Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz ran down the field with ease against a putrid secondary. Orlando Scandrick isn't very good, while Terence Newman collapsed following a hot start.

Would Jerry Jones take someone as troubled as Janoris Jenkins though? I don't think he would in the first round, but Jenkins is definitely worth the risk in the middle of Round 2. Jones, who called himself the general manager in a recent interview, always said that he regretted passing on Randy Moss because of his character issues. I think he'll be willing to take a chance on someone as talented as Jenkins this late.

Jenkins has been projected in other mock drafts to go to the Cowboys, but with their first round pick and not going No. 45 overall. So it is odd that he would be dropping this far and this fast.

The next two picks for the Cowboys are projected to be TCU linebacker Tank Carder with their third round pick and their Texas defensive end Kheeston Randall with their fourth round pick

For more on the Cowboys go visit Blogging the Boys and for all things related to the NFL Draft go check out Mocking the Draft.

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SI.com: Dallas Cowboys 'Aren't Skittish' About Janoris Jenkins' Maturity Issues

In the latest mock draft from SI.com, Don Banks has the Dallas Cowboys taking former Florida CB Janoris Jenkins, who spent last season at Division II North Alabama, with the No. 14 overall pick:

Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama: The Cowboys' secondary was the reason the Giants won the NFC East rather than Dallas. Jenkins, the ex-Gators cornerback, has some maturity issues that will scare some teams away, but the Cowboys usually aren't too skittish about such things. Alabama safety Mark Barron is another solid option, but he doesn't have Jenkins' elite cover skills.

The 5'10 180 former freshman All-American has begun to establish himself as the No. 3 CB in this draft, behind SEC stars Morris Claiborne (LSU) and Dre Kirkpatrick (Alabama), who are projected to go in the top 10.

Many of the concerns surrounding Jenkins come from his history of off-the-field incidents, as he was dismissed from Florida in April 2011 after his second drug arrest in three months and third of his college career.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Jenkins, coming off a dominant season for Terry Bowden at North Alabama where he was also an elite punt returner, claimed the experience humbled him:

"It humbled me down a lot, seeing that I had went from Florida, a Nike school getting three or four pairs of cleats a year, to going to a Division II football school where I'm getting just one pair of cleats," Jenkins said. "It really humbled me as a kid. The environment was totally different as far as 95,000-plus in the Swamp to 3,500 at North Alabama. It was a big difference."

Jerry Jones was famously burned for passing up on Randy Moss in the 1998 NFL Draft for similar concerns, and seemed to spend most of the last decade going the opposite way.

He brought in a long-line of talented players, from Quincy Carter to Terrell Owens and Adam "Pac Man" Jones, whose off-field baggage made them persona non-grata for most NFL franchises.

In the last two years, the Cowboys have struggled with the development of Dez Bryant, a Top 10 prospect in the 2009 NFL Draft who slipped to the end of the first round after concerns about his immaturity and lack of discipline began to circle him.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Stanford OG David DeCastro Remains Viable Target For Cowboys

Many of the recent mock drafts projecting the upcoming 2012 NFL Draft seem to agree that the Dallas Cowboys will be targeting prospects to beef up their offensive line. Several of the latest mock drafts think that Stanford Cardinal offensive guard David DeCastro would be a good fit for the team.

Mock draft website Draft Tek is among the sources that agrees with this assessment. In their latest mock draft, they have DeCastro going to the Cowboys in the first round as the No. 14 overall pick. Here is their take on the situation:

The pipe dream was fun while we smoked it, but this week CB Kirkpatrick is a top ten pick and there is quite a drop-off in talent to Dennard . . . thus, it's the "People's Choice" Stanford's David DeCastro, the #1 OG in this year's draft class. DeCastro is smart, athletic and possesses a mean streak. The interior of the Cowboy OL definitely needs an upgrade, as the youth conversion project continues. New OC/OL coach Bill Callahan has his OT bookends in Smith and Free but if OG Montrae Holland (UFA) shows up overweight again, the roll call includes the oft-injured Kyle Kosier, Derrick Dockery (UFA), David Arkin (last year's 4th round selection who the coaches say needs to get stronger?) and Bill Nagy (last year's 7th round selection who did not start at Wisconsin due to his affinity for riding scooters) to line up either side of centers Costa and Kowalski. Will Dallas invest yet another 1st round choice on the OL? Looks to me like they have to!

DeCastro is ranked by many as the top offensive guard in this year's draft. If selected, he would be an immediate asset to the Cowboys.

For all news and information regarding the Dallas Cowboys, please visit Blogging the Boys. For updates and perspective on the Stanford Cardinal, head on over to Rule of Tree. For lots more on the 2012 NFL Draft, check out Mocking the Draft.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: CBS Sports Split On Cowboys No. 14 Pick

The two positions that the Dallas Cowboys have been linked to in upcoming 2012 NFL Draft are an offensive lineman or a defensive back. CBS Sports has their latest mock draft up from Rob Rang and Dan Brugler and the two have the Cowboys taking a defensive back and offensive lineman.

Rang has the Cowboys going with a defensive back:

14. Dallas Cowboys, Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska: The Cowboys' defense made gains under Rob Ryan, but inconsistencies in the secondary led to plenty of breakdowns. Sources tell me the Cowboys were very intrigued last year with Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara. Perhaps they'll pull the trigger on a Husker cornerback this time around with the short but physical Dennard, who many scouts are giving a higher grade to this season than they did his former teammate at this same time last year.


Related: SB Nation's latest NFL mock draft

Brugler has the Cowboys taking an offensive lineman:

14. Dallas Cowboys, David DeCastro, OG, Stanford: The Cowboys need to take the best available defensive back or offensive linemen at this pick and DeCastro would be a natural fit for Dallas. He is a starter from the day he hits training camp and can line up at left or right guard. DeCastro will help keep Tony Romo upright and open holes for whomever is running the ball for the Cowboys.

For more on the Cowboys go visit Blogging the Boys and for all things related to the NFL Draft go check out Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Janoris Jenkins An Option For The Cowboys

In the latest mock draft from SBNation, Ryan Van Biber has the Dallas Cowboys taking former Florida CB Janoris Jenkins with the No. 14 pick:

14. Dallas Cowboys, Janoris Jenkins, CB, Florida North Alabama

These kids and their grass! Jenkins used to be the top corner in the country, before getting banished from Florida. He's in Mobile this week, where I expect him to remind everyone about his football bona fides. Dallas can finally move on from Terrance Newman in the secondary.

Jenkins, a highly touted recruit out of Pahokee, Florida, was the only the second true freshman to start at CB in program history.

He was a Freshman All-American in 2008, but a series of off-the-field incidents, including a bar fight as well as two drug-related arrests, forced him to leave Gainesville.

More: Who do the fans want the Cowboys to pick at #14?

Last season, the 5'10 180 CB played at Division II North Alabama, where he was a second-team All-American.

Despite his character issues, he's been rising up draft boards, as a CB with elite coverage skills has become increasingly important in the modern NFL.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Sporting News Has Cowboys Taking OLB Zach Brown

In prior 2012 NFL Mock Drafts the Dallas Cowboys have been projected to take a defensive back or an offensive lineman. However, over at the Sporting News they have the Cowboys taking an outside linebacker with their 14th pick:

14. Dallas Cowboys: Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina Tar Heels: With Anthony Spencer likely to leave as a free agent, the Cowboys have to find a player who can rush the passer effectively opposite DeMarcus Ware.

At North Carolina last year Brown had 105 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. All of those stats were near the top of the ACC for defenders. So, drafting Brown to be a pass rusher looks to make sense as long as he can continue is production at the next level in the NFL.

For more on the Cowboys go check out Blogging the Boys and for all things NFL Draft related go visit Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: David DeCastro A Possible Dallas Cowboys Target

Three Big 12 players -- Justin Blackmon, Robert Griffin III and Ryan Tannehill -- are projected to go in the top ten.

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2012 NFL Draft: Three Reasons Why The Dallas Cowboys Must Draft A Defensive Back (Or Two)

The good people over at SB Nation's Mocking The Draft recently put together their first two-round mock draft as the 2012 NFL Draft looms just three months away. For the Dallas Cowboys, while there are some concerns that they should continue to build on the offensive line or find a better complement to rush the passer opposite of DeMarcus Ware, the only pick that can occur in the first round has to be in the secondary.

Ask any Cowboys fan about their belief in guys like Terence Newman, Alan Ball or Orlando Scandrick. Their face will turn up in disgust, anguish and will consider cussing you and the team out for their inability to play sound defense in the back third.

The Cowboys have the No. 14 pick in the draft and seem to be out of position to get the draft's two best corners in LSU's Morris Claiborne and Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick. Nebraska's Alfonzo Dennard is slated to go at No. 11 to Kansas City, so Dallas will either have to hope there are sufficient corners to take or trade up to get an elite prospect.

Here are three reasons why the Cowboys must draft a member of the secondary in the first round, and possibly even more than that as the draft goes on.

1. Your best cornerback is 33 years old: Yes, for those keeping score Terence Newman is 33 years old. Somehow, he's not only remained as a cornerback for the Cowboys, but he's been the best cornerback on the team. The Cowboys missed out on opportunities to bring Nnamdi Asomugha or Jonathan Joseph to the team and they paid for it in 2011.

2. Rob Ryan's defense is predicated on covers who can actually cover: Rob Ryan is in love with the blitz and sending pressure. Force the ball out early, and hope you can get an early throw. However, when your corners are continually out of position that leads to missed opportunities. Dallas finished 16th in turnovers forced, something that Ryan will need to fix in 2012 by having his secondary catch the ball.

3. There's no dynamic presence at safety: Its not to say that the position is horrible, but does Abram Elam and Gerald Sensabaugh make anyone feel confident? The Cowboys don't have a ball hawk or a hitter at the safety position and can make the quarterback's job a lot easier knowing that there's nothing to fear back there.

So who do the Cowboys draft?

Round 1: Trade up to get Nebraska cover corner Alfonzo Dennard
Round 2: Georgia ball-hawking free safety Bacarri Rambo

For more on the Dallas Cowboys head over to Blogging the Boys and for all things NFL draft related head over to Mocking the Draft.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Sports Illustrated Has Cowboys Taking David DeCastro

The Dallas Cowboys have two main needs in the 2012 NFL Draft and they are in the secondary and offensive line. The secondary needs players who can cover better and the offensive line needs a player who is less penalty prone and can protect quarterback Tony Romo.


Related: SB Nation latest mock draft
Related: How good is Dallas at assembling a draft board?

The latest mock draft from Sports Illustrated has the Cowboys taking an offensive lineman:

14. Dallas Cowboys -- David DeCastro, OG, Stanford Cardinal:
The Cowboys need help in the defensive secondary, but may not be in a good spot to get an elite cornerback here. Therefore they'll will go with the best player available.

DeCastro has been the latest popular pick for the Cowboys to take with their first round pick, and going by his career at Stanford this would be a good pick for the Cowboys.

For more on the Dallas Cowboys head over to Blogging the Boys and for all things NFL draft related head over to Mocking the Draft.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: SB Nation Has Cowboys Taking CB Janoris Jenkins

Most of the prior 2012 NFL mock drafts had the Dallas Cowboys taking Nebraska cornerback Alfonzo Dennard with their No. 14 pick. However, SB Nation's latest mock draft has them selecting Janoris Jenkins out of North Alabama:

A misdemeanor arrest for marijuana got Jenkins exiled from Florida. He opted for obscurity in Northern Alabama, rather than a middle round pick in the supplemental NFL Draft. Most NFL teams shy away from a player who gets caught dabbling in the green stuff; they'll miss out on a talented cornerback. Dallas needs a cornerback so they can finally rid themselves of Terrance Newman.

This past season Jenkins had two interceptions, broke up four passes, recovered a fumble for a touchdowns, recorded 53 tackles with four for a loss. Jenkins also is a versatile player where in addition to his cornerback skills he was the teams primary return man and scored three touchdowns on punt returns.

For more on the Dallas Cowboys head over to Blogging the Boys and for all things NFL draft related head over to Mocking the Draft.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Walter Football Has Cowboys Going Offensive Line With First Pick

Most of the mock drafts have the Dallas Cowboys taking a cornerback and specifically Nebraska's Alfonzo Dennard. The Cowboys are in desperate for a defensive back, but they are also in need to upgrade an offensive line that is not that good.

Over at Walter Football they have the Cowboys taking an offensive lineman with their first selection:

No. 14 David DeCastro, G, Stanford: The Cowboys have major issues on the interior of their offensive line. Left guard Derrick Dockery is a free agent after missing most of 2011 with a knee injury. Center Phil Costa sucks. Right guard Montrae Holland, meanwhile, can't really be relied upon.

David DeCastro is one of the top interior linemen prospects to come along in years, and he's the highest-ranked prospect on the board. This is a perfect match.


Related: David DeCastro scouting report
Related: Top 100 draft eligible players


Walter Football actually goes four rounds deep with their mock drafts and they have the Cowboys taking defense with their next three picks.

Second round pick: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina Gamecocks

Third round pick: Kendall Reyes, DE/DT, Connecticut Huskies

Fourth round pick: Donte Paige-Moss, DE/OLB, North Carolina Tar Heels

For more on the Dallas Cowboys head over to Blogging the Boys and for all things NFL draft related head over to Mocking the Draft.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Cowboys Still Looking At Alfonzo Dennard

The Dallas Cowobys have are set with the No. 14 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and their pick is still going to be a defensive back and CBS Sports Rob Rang has the Cowboys selecting a defensive back:

Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska Cornhuskers: The secondary issues for the Cowboys are far from a secret and are an area that must be addressed this offseason. Dennard would probably be a top-10 pick if he was a little taller (listed at 5-10, but he's closer to 5-8) because of his fluid hips and tremendous ballskills -- has the talent to work his way into the starting line-up and replace aging Terrance Newman as one of the starters on the outside.


Related: SB Nation's 2012 mock draft

The selection of Dennard has been the most common pick for the Cowboys from the various mock drafts from around the Internet. The pick makes sense since the Cowboys secondary has been lacking players for the past few years, but it has gotten to the point that they are in a desperate need of upgrading their secondary.

For more on the Dallas Cowboys head over to Blogging the Boys and for all things NFL draft related head over to Mocking the Draft.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Cowboys Looking To Draft A Defensive Back

It is no secret that the Dallas Cowboys need help in the secondary and that is the position that they will be addressing in the 2012 NFL Draft with their first pick. CBS Sports has an updated mock draft by Dane Brugler and his selection is the same as most other mock drafts with the Cowboys taking Nebraska cornerback Alfonzo Dennard with the No. 22.

Here is Brugler's projection for the Cowboys:

22. Dallas Cowboys, Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska Cornhuskers: The secondary issues for the Cowboys are far from a secret and are an area that must be addressed this offseason. Dennard would probably be a top-10 pick if he was a little taller (listed at 5-feet-10, but he's closer to 5-8) because of his fluid hips and tremendous ballskills -- has the talent to work his way into the starting line-up and replace aging Terrance Newman as one of the starters on the outside.

For more on the Dallas Cowboys head over to Blogging the Boys and for all things NFL draft related head over to Mocking the Draft.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: CBS Sports Has Dallas Taking Nebraska's Alfonzo Dennard

The Dallas Cowboys are likely to pick somewhere in the 20s for the 2012 NFL Draft and most pundits are projecting the Cowboys to take a defender with their first pick. The latest mock draft comes from CBS' Rob Rang who projects the Cowboys taking Nebraska Cornhuskers cornerback Alfonzo Dennard with the No. 22 pick.

Here is Rang's analysis on the pick:

Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska: The Cowboys defense has made some gains under Rob Ryan, but inconsistencies in the secondary have led to plenty of breakdowns. Sources tell me the Cowboys were very intrigued last year with Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara. Perhaps they'll pull the trigger on a Husker cornerback this time around with the short but physical Dennard, who many scouts are giving a higher grade to this season than they did his former teammate at this same time last year.

The Cowboys pass defense is currently ranked No. 19 in the league and is giving up 235 yards per game, so going with a cornerback looks to be a good move.

For more on the Dallas Cowboys head over to Blogging the Boys and for all things NFL draft related head over to Mocking the Draft.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: SB Nation Has Dallas Cowboys Going Defense In Round One

According to the latest mock draft from SB Nation, the Dallas Cowboys will be taking Nebraska Cornhuskers cornerback Alfonzo Dennard with their first pick come April. via sbnation.com

16. Dallas Cowboys - Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
Dallas was keenly interested in drafting Nebraska corner Prince Amukamara last year. Having waited a year, they get the better of Nebraska's fearsome duo in the secondary from 2010 to improve their shaky pass defense. 

SB Nation's Mocking The Draft had this to say about Dennard. via mockingthedraft.com

Dennard has been a starter since midway through the 2009 season but really came on as a junior. He finished last season with four interceptions and seven pass breakups while starting 13 games. Dennard is an all-around cornerback who plays the run well, when asked. Dennard strongly considered going pro following his junior season, but his mother urged him to return to school. That will allow Dennard to get his sociology degree. 

For more news and coverage on the Dallas Cowboys visit SB Nation's Blogging The Boys for all things Cowboys.

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