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2013 NFL Mock Draft: Sheldon Richardson projected to the Cowboys

Can Dallas find the right players for this defense as they transition away from Rob Ryan?

Jeff Blake-US PRESSWIRE

The Dallas Cowboys have many questions to answer after another disappointing season, but chief among them might be a focus towards getting better in the trenches. Dallas was 31st in rushing yards, 30th in yards per carry, 22nd in rushing defense, and 27th in yards per carry allowed. They were also 31st in the NFL in interceptions for a defense ranked 24th in points allowed.

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After firing defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and hiring Monte Kiffin in the same role, the Cowboys will be very focused on improving their defense and their 8-8 record from 2012. One of the principal ways to go about that will be in the 2013 NFL Draft and Dallas picks 18th in the first round, so which position will they address at that time? Well, Sheldon Richardson, DT out of Missouri, could be the answer to their woes in the trenches. Dane Brugler of CBS Sports projects Sheldon to Dallas in his latest mock draft:

Richardson has the skill-set to do just about anything you need, flashing the strength, power and overall athleticism to be disruptive.

The Cowboys are getting older in the middle of the defensive line with Jason Hatcher turning 31, but they also struggled to stay healthy. Richardson could definitely be a start to improving the Dallas defense. Which direction should the Cowboys head in?

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