Sunday, January 20, 2013
Will Cowboys target O-line in draft?
There are myriad questions about how the Dallas Cowboys will handle their offseason, beginning with changes on the coaching staff and ending with player personnel decisions. With the Senior Bowl coming up, Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News examined five positions which he expects the Cowboys to watch closely during Senior Bowl practices in preparation for the draft. No. 1 is their offensive line.
"The Cowboys completely reworked their offensive line last off-season in hopes of giving Tony Romo more time in the pocket and strengthening the running game. The line struggled throughout the season, and the Cowboys finished next to last in the NFL in rushing offense," he wrote. "Dallas needs to upgrade the line again. The Cowboys could part ways with RT Doug Free, but if they decide to cut Free they would probably need to select a tackle high in the draft."
Addressing that offensive line is exactly what ESPN NFL draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. expects the Cowboys to do in the first round of the draft. He gave the Cowboys North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper in his first mock draft this week:
Mel Kiper Jr.
Mock Draft 1.0
"The Cowboys had an uneven season on the offensive line, and Cooper will provide an upgrade immediately. This is a complete guard, a player who is exceptional at delivering blocks and moving in tight quarters, and he moves extremely well for the position. He can deliver an initial blow to eliminate an interior defender and then move easily to the second level where he can line up linebackers and safeties and block in space."