Oct. 15, 2011; Pullman, WA, USA; Stanford Cardinals quarterback Andrew Luck (12) celebrates a touchdown with guard David DeCastro (52) against the Washington State Cougars during the second half at Martin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-US PRESSWIRE

NFL Draft 2012: Cowboys First Round Options Reportedly Narrowing

If Mark Barron and David DeCastro are off the board at No. 14, it's likely Dallas will focus on one of the draft's many defensive linemen.

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NFL Draft Rumors: Adam Schefter Reports Cowboys Are Open To Trading Back

With many analysts predicting that Mark Barron will be long gone by the time the Dallas Cowboys are on the board at No. 14, ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that the Cowboys may be looking to trade down in the first round:

With a rookie salary-scale now in place, it's much easier financially for teams to move up and down the draft board, which could increase the amount of wheeling and dealing on draft day.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has long been fond of dealing back, even though he hasn't had much history of success when he does.

However, if both Barron and David DeCastro are off the board, Dallas could be choosing through a large group of defensive lineman and secondary prospects, which may give them the confidence to move down and grab whoever is left later in the first.

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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Cowboys Draft Profiles: Mark Barron

The Alabama star could be the answer to the woes at the safety position in Dallas that go all the way back to the retirement of Darren Woodson.

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NFL Draft Rumors: If Dontari Poe Is Gone, Cowboys Like Mark Barron

SI.com contributor Tony Pauline, who was one of the first writers to report the Dallas Cowboys interest in free agent CB Brandon Carr, passed along an intriguing rumor in his latest notes column on draftinsider.net:

Barron's stock is on the rise as, amongst other things, head coach Nick Saban has given him rave reviews. He's being talked about as someone with a passion for football and a prospect who's skills have been underrated. We hear if Dontari Poe is gone by the 14th pick of the draft, and he's likely to be, the Dallas Cowboys are likely to turn to Barron.

From a needs perspective, Barron makes a lot of sense, as the Cowboys secondary has shredded repeatedly last season while they did very little to upgrade the safety position in the off-season.

If they have targeted the Alabama safety, it would explain their interest in trading down in the first round, as very few safeties are taken as high as No. 14. However, with so many teams looking to get out of the top ten, it remains unclear whether Dallas will find a willing partner.

A product of Nick Saban's NFL factory at Tuscaloosa, Barron would be a safe if not spectacular choice. The question becomes, if the Cowboys stay at No. 14, whether Jones will take a higher upside player, particularly in the front seven.

A video profile of Barron from SB Nation's YouTube channel:

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

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NFL Draft Rumors: Cowboys Starting To Finalize Prospect Visiting List

Each year, NFL teams are allowed to bring in 30 national prospects to their training facilities for a visit, as well as an unlimited amount of players considered local prospects, either by growing up in that city or playing in a local college.

While the exact lists won't be finalized until next week, the names of a good number of players scheduled to visit the Dallas Cowboys have leaked out:

National Prospects
Player Pos. School Proj. Round
Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama 1
Michael Brockers DT LSU 1
Amini Silatolu OG Midwestern State 2
Ronnell Lewis OLB Oklahoma 2
Casey Hayward CB Vanderbilt 3-4
Chris Greenwood CB Albion 7-UDFA
Lionel Smith CB Texas A&M UDFA
Ronald Leary OG Memphis UDFA
Chase Baker NT Boise State UDFA
Korey Toomer ILB Idaho UDFA
Local Prospects invited for Dallas Days
Player Pos. School Proj. Round
Keenan Robinson LB Texas 3-4
Jeff Fuller WR Texas A&M 4-5
Emmanuel Acho LB Texas 5
Tank Carder LB TCU 6
Ron Brooks CB LSU 6
Nathan Dick QB Central Arkansas UDFA

Over the last few years, the list of the players the Cowboys have brought in has corresponded fairly well with the players they end up drafting. The last first-round pick Dallas didn't bring for a pre-draft visit was DeMarcus Ware in 2005.

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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NFL Draft 2012: Jason Garrett To Attend Alabama Pro Day

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is set to attend Alabama's Pro Day on Thursday, March 29:

"Alabama had a pro day earlier in the month and a number of their players were not able to work out cause of injury," Garrett said. "We felt it was worth while. Logistically it made sense. I am here. I'm going back to Texas. We are going to fly right over Tuscaloosa. It made sense for me to stop there and go to this workout tomorrow."

If history is any guide, Garrett's decision to attend Alabama's Pro Day, and not any others, could mean a lot in terms of who the Cowboys are focusing on with their first round pick.

In 2011, the only Pro Day Garrett visited was USC's, where he watched future Cowboys first-round pick Tyron Smith.

The Crimson Tide have at least four likely first-round picks: RB Trent Richardson, CB Dre Kirkpatrick, S Mark Barron and LB Courtney Upshaw. Upshaw, Barron and Richardson did not work out at the school's first Pro Day, while Kirkpatrick has been linked to the Cowboys throughout the pre-draft season.

For the latest news and notes about the Cowboys NFL Draft plans, stay tuned to SB Nation Dallas' exclusive storystream.

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NFL Draft 2012: Jerry Jones Is Thinking Defense, Trading Down

In a wide-ranging interview with the local media on Tuesday, Jerry Jones talked about how the Dallas Cowboys busy free agency period affected their draft board:

Jones has been quite fond of trading down in the draft over the years, although the results have been mixed at best.

With Dallas right on the outside of the range of what many people consider the true blue-chips in 2012, dealing with a team who has fallen in love with a particular prospect makes sense, but the Cowboys checkered draft history would indicate that the front office shouldn't unnecessarily restrict their options in the first round.

In the interview, Jones also indicated that Dallas isn't as interested in Stanford OG David DeCastro as some of the pre-draft rumors have indicated, mostly because the team doesn't think drafting an interior offensive lineman is a great way to extract value out of the No. 14 overall pick.

Of course, with the hype and buzz surrounding the NFL Draft increasing every year, there's no way to know how much of what Jones is saying is for the benefit of the fans and how much is a smoke-screen for the other 31 NFL teams.

The Fort Worth Star Telegram has video of the interview here, while Blogging The Boys has all the latest news and rumors about the Cowboys off-season plans.

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