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The Final Five: Do The Cowboys Have A Short List For #14?

Earlier this week, I penned a writeup whose topic still sticks in my craw a bit. CBS Sports ran a feature that supposed the Dallas Cowboys have narrowed down their wish list for the 14th pick in Thursday's draft to a final five candidates. Included are some of the last visitors the club brought in before the NFL closed the curtain on that window of opportunity. Offensive Guard David DeCastro of Stanford is the lone consideration on that side of the ball. Safety Mark Barron of Alabama is the lone secondary player being considered, supposedly, and has earned his place as the favorite based on 99 out of 100 mock drafts held over the past 72-96 hours.

Then there are the defensive linemen. Fletcher Cox (Miss. State), Dontari Poe (Memphis), and Michael Brockers (LSU) have all been inevitably linked and not just for Dallas. These three always seem to have their names associated with each other.

The fact that defensive linemen compose 60% of the finalists makes plenty of sense. Over at BTB, we've been studying the visit tracker and it's seemed that Dallas wants to target defensive line in the first round, then interior offensive line in the second round based on the early schedule of visits. Obviously if there is a player that jumps off the board they will take him (read Barron or DeCastro) but all things being equal this would appear to be their methodology.

So which direction will they go? There is concern that an AFC team will leapfrog Dallas in order to select S Mark Barron and DeCastro will probably be snatched up as well. Will Fletcher Cox slide down? Hopeful, but not likely.

For all the fantasies Dallas fans have had over the past month about their pet cats, they may be looking at either Dontari Poe or Michael Brockers name being called on Thursday night; not something that the fanbase will be unified by. I already have a bad taste in my mouth that I can't get rid of.

For more on the Cowboys, head to Blogging the Boys, and for more mock draft updates, follow SB Nation Dallas' StoryStream.

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