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2011 NFL Draft: SB Nation's First Mock Draft Links Cowboys With OLB

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SB Nation has completed its first postseason NFL mock draft, and this round has the Cowboys selecting Robert Quinn, a pass rusher from UNC.

9. Dallas Cowboys (6-10): Robert Quinn, OLB, North Carolina (JR). As Jason Garrett will remain Dallas’ head coach, it’s likely that they’ll look to upgrade their defense early. Quinn is a high-upside pass rusher to groom as a potential successor to the solid, not spectacular Anthony Spencer.

There are several things to note here.

1. As mentioned in the mock draft, this is loaded with underclassmen. One (ONE!) of the first 16 picks is a senior. We won’t know for a few more weeks whether all of these guys will enter the draft.

2. The Cowboys need offensive linemen badly – the right side of their line needs to be replaced immediately. This draft has long been thought to be low on premium offensive linemen, and that doesn’t appear to have changed. The first OL listed goes #23.

3. Are Cowboys fans going to be sick about the three spots they lost in their season ending win? Very possibly. While there are no stud offensive tackles in this draft, there are two stud corners: Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara. This mock draft has them going second and fifth, respectively, which could put one of them in the neighborhood of that sixth pick.

The good news, if you choose to correlate the Cowboys’ ridiculous pass defense with a lack of secondary talent, is that there are more corners on the board. The 11th and 13th picks in this mock draft are Brandon Harris and Janoris Jenkins, two 5-11 corners from Florida (Miami and Florida, respectively).

4. Nine of the top 20 picks here are front seven guys. The Cowboys will have to sort out their defensive end situation, and, as as their projected pick suggests, they may have a call to make at Anthony Spencer’s spot.

Put all of this together and I’m willing to lay down a few bucks on a classic Jerry trade-down.

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