Round two of the 2011 NFL draft begins at 5:00 CDT Friday, and the Cowboys have the No. 40 pick, which is the eighth pick in the second round, and the No. 71 overall pick, which is the seventh pick in the third round. Dallas has needs across their defense, but particularly at defensive end, corner and safety.
Jerry Jones attempted to trade into the very end of the first round to grab defensive end Cameron Howard, but found the price too steep.
"We actually looked at some potential trade-ups near the end of the round that we didn't do and couldn't get satisfied that was worth it for us for a defensive lineman," Jones said. "It is an area that we are interested in. It doesn't make it a priority because we have defensive linemen that we are proud of, they are out of contract. They may or may not be restricted according to how we end up. I'm talking about some of them may or may not be restricted according to how we end up and what system we are in. Knowing that we have the unsigned veterans that we are satisfied in (Stephen) Bowen and (Jason) Hatcher and possibly (Marcus) Spears, then that kind of takes a little of the urgency off."
Dallas also needs help at guard, as Leonard Davis struggled in 2010 and Kyle Kosier is a free agent, but the draft my lead the Cowboys toward defensive back. Corners Aaron Williams and Brandon Harris are highly regarded and would upgrade a secondary that struggled mightily last season. Mel Kiper projects Harris to the Cowboys and Williams to go off of the board four picks earlier. UCLA free safety Rahim Moore could also be a possibility. Gerald Sensabaugh is a free agent, while Alan Ball had a difficult transition season, leaving Dallas with two potential holes.
Clarence Hill suggests that the Cowboys may target Williams, and that Illinois runner Mikel Leshoure are names that the team reportedly likes. Jerry Jones wants a special teams contributor if he picks another back, however.
"Again I wouldn't dismiss if we see an opportunity at running back, but we have wanted our third running back to be a special teams player and we haven't had that. That is a goal. We've got a legitimate way to put the snaps on a running back at any of these second to the fifth round. We are not quite the perfect fit there (running back) because we don't have the special teams player."