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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Mel Kiper Has Dallas Cowboys Taking Mark Barron At No. 14

The Dallas Cowboys have some significant needs in the secondary in terms of talent and youth, and you can expect Jerry Jones to address those issues front and center this NFL offseason. That's one reason the Cowboys are linked to both cornerbacks Brandon Carr of the Chiefs and Cortland Finnegan of the Titans in free agency. It's also why Mel Kiper has the Cowboys taking Mark Barron as the top overall safety in the upcoming 2012 NFL Draft class:

We all know the story. Dallas was a mess defending the pass in 2011, and it might look for help both in free agency and here. Barron's a perfect fit for the Cowboys. He's the best safety in the draft, and the Cowboys can't go wrong with either the top safety or the top cornerback here. He didn't work out in Indianapolis, coming off double hernia surgery, but it's not a lingering concern.

Wes Bunting of the National Football Post believes that Barron can be an asset in a number of ways for a team like Dallas. He writes, "Has the makings of a heck of a special teams player who can also attack downhill vs. the run game, play inside the box and drive on the football in front of him in the pass game. Isn't going to be a major threat turning and tracking the football, but his improved instincts makes me think he can start in the league early on."

Barron would give the Cowboys a dynamic young presence and if they can team him with Carr, the 'Boys suddenly have a strong unit on the field.

For more on the Dallas Cowboys, check out Blogging The Boys and SB Nation's NFL page. For all your NFL Draft news, head over to Mocking The Draft.

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