Now that Senior Bowl week has reached its anti-climatic conclusion, we know with more certainty than ever before that the Cowboys are serious about upgrading their talent at the line of scrimmage.
All week long, we documented the Cowboys' continued interest in linemen. From Virginia Tech's Jim Davis, a standout performer on defense, to Oregon offensive lineman Adam Synder, the team officials showed heavy interest in multiple trenchmen in Mobile.
However, one lineman that dominated the discussions within the Cowboys organization was LSU defender Marcus Spears.
Spears, who enjoyed a great week of practice, had several brief conversations with the Cowboys' last week, including an in-depth talk with Bill Parcells.
The former SEC star saw his stock steadily rise during Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday's practice sessions, and he is now making a push to be among one of the top 10 players chosen in the NFL draft this April.
For the Dallas Cowboys, the acquisition of a defensive lineman like Spears is clearly one of the biggest priorities of the offseason.
In addition, with talks of switching to a 3-4 defense dominating conversation at Valley Ranch these days, Dallas absolutely has to upgrade its talent up front, and adding a player of Spears' caliber would go a long ways in doing just that.
Furthermore, the Cowboys interest in Spears is obvious.
For starters, the team needs a lineman that fits the versatile defensive end/linebacker role, and Spears proved earlier last week that he could adjust to such a move.
He practiced as a linebacker on Tuesday, and reacted well considering the circumstances. "Spears wasn't great in pass recognition but he seemed agile in defending the run, shooting gaps," noted one scout of the move.
In a 3-4 scheme, one of the biggest keys is having a defensive end that can also drop back and play as a linebacker in certain situations is critical.
Simply put, Spears could be the answer the Cowboys are looking for at that very position. Of course, there are other prospects out there that fit the mold of a Marcus Spears. Shawne Merriman and David Pollack are two names that immediately jump to mind, and we'll be extensively covering both of those prospects in the coming weeks.
However looking back at the Senior Bowl, it goes without saying that the Cowboys clearly began putting part of their 2005 draft plans together.
And that's what the Senior Bowl is for. It's a time for evaluation, and a time to begin formulating an offseason plan of attack.
With the NFL Combine quickly approaching, as well as the beginning of free agency, the wheels are already in motion in Valley Ranch.
Let's see what happens now.
Major Prospect Emerges for Dallas
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