Top 5 Cowboys Draft Needs - #5

La'Roi Glover is known around the league as a force to be reckoned with, but where would he fit with the Cowboys in a 3-4 defense? <BR>

5. Top 5 Cowboys Draft Needs: Defensive end
Ideally, the Cowboys want to switch to the 3-4 base formation from the 4-3. However, that change is dependent on the organization getting players to fit the new positions required to make such a move.

Obviously, the signing of Jason Ferguson to play nose tackle was the first step. The former New York Jet has the versatility to play in either the 3-4 or the 4-3.

"I've played the zero nose or the tilt nose and it doesn't really matter," said Ferguson. "Coach Parcells just told me be ready. I really don't know what defense we're going to play. It doesn't matter. I'll be ready for whatever we do."

No one can question the talents and abilities of La'Roi Glover and Greg Ellis, but if the Cowboys want to move to the 3-4, they've got to draft a player who fits the mold.

And what's the mold?

Look at the recently signed Ferguson for the answers.

This player obviously has to have size and speed. He also has to have the athleticism to play multiple positions. That means, he has to be able to play tackle and end, or end and outside linebacker.

With that being said, Maryland's Shawne Merriman could easily make the case to be the Cowboys first selection of the 2005 NFL Draft.

The former Maryland Terrapin saw extensive action at defensive end during his last season in College Park, but he saw extensive action as an outside linebacker in previous seasons.

"Merriman has a tremendous upside because of his natural physical skills, not to mention his sheer speed and athleticism," and NFL Scout told in a recent interview. "You can also see him playing a couple of different positions."

Regardless of whether or not the Cowboys actually select Merriman, the need is there. Dallas needs help on the defensive line, and they need it before the start of next season.

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