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NFL Mock Draft 2013: Cowboys take Chance Warmack in 1st round

The Cowboys need to protect Tony Romo better if they hope to reach the playoffs in the coming years. Warmack could go a long way in making that happen.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys are always a tough team to read when the NFL Draft rolls around each spring. There are holes to fill on the roster this time around, especially on the offensive and defensive lines. For a team that seems to be right on the cusp of a playoff appearance each season, the addition of a reliable lineman could pay dividends in a big way.

According to the latest mock draft from Peter Schrager of FOX Sports, the Cowboys will take Alabama guard/center Chance Warmack with the 18th overall pick.

Though you won't read this many places, Tony Romo had his best year as a pro in 2012. He did so playing behind a terrible offensive line. Doug Free hasn't been the player the Cowboys thought he'd be when they rewarded him with a big contract and Tyron Smith seemed to be called for a false start on every other play from scrimmage this season. Injuries stung, but there needs to be more good, young linemen protecting Romo. Warmack can play guard or center and he can play them in the big leagues right now. Not as sexy as some of Jerry's usual picks, but a solid one.

Warmack, a senior this past season, clocks in at 6'2 and 320 pounds. As Schrager noted in the blurb, his versatility at the two interior line spots could be a big factor once draft day rolls around. He lacks the upside that an offensive tackle can provide, but Warmack would shore up the middle and could really open up some holes for tailback DeMarco Murray to run through.

In addition to help on offense, the Cowboys have also been linked to various defensive tackles in other mock drafts. Georgia's John Jenkins or Florida's Sharrif Floyd could be fits if they're still on the board at No. 18.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.