Brother act

The closer the NFL Draft gets, the less clear the Cowboys' top priorities are.

The general consensus is that the team's top needs are offensive tackle and safety, although depth is needed at a number of spots.

One position thought to be in fairly good shape is cornerback, where Terence Newman remains one of the NFL's elite, Mike Jenkins has emerged as one of the league's top young players and Orlando Scandrick has proven to be a valuable backup, who can play in the slot or outside when needed.

But cornerback is a position the Cowboys appear to be paying close attention to. They already have arranged a visit with Wake Forest's Brandon Ghee, and they had SMU's Bryan McCann in earlier this week. Now it seems they are focusing considerable attention on Rutgers cornerback Devin McCourty (5-11, 193).

McCourty will be the second member of his family drafted in two years; his twin brother, Jason, was drafted last year by the Tennessee Titans (ironically, Jason is 27 minutes younger than Devin).

"I think it was very beneficial just talking to him throughout the year about football and life in the NFL, what he does with his free time, how he handles his time," Devin McCourty said. "I think it helped me a lot."

One of the top athletes at the NFL Combine — McCourty was among the top performers among players at his position in the 40-yard dash, the broad jump, the three-cone drill and the 20-yard shuttle — McCourty visited with the Cowboys, among other teams, at the Combine, and has been invited to Valley Ranch for a pre-draft workout. Throughout the process, he has gotten input from his brother, and from another former Rutgers teammate, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.

"I talked to (Rice) at the beginning of the process when I was going through just picking an agent," McCourty said, "and he just told me to be who I am, be smart, and keep doing what I've been doing."

McCourty said he doesn't know where he will be drafted, but said that the seven kicks he blocked at Rutgers and his kickoff return average of 25.1 yards should help his stock in the eyes of teams who want him to play on special teams as well as defense.

"Great scheme," he said, when asked how he explained all of the blocks. "Each week we would really take time on special teams drawing up how we could get to the punter and block a punt. Our coach drew it up and I just executed it."

McCourty said that one of the questions he gets asked most often by NFL scouts is how he compares to his brother.

"I think we're very similar," he said. "Different aspects are different, I think I'm a little more physical than he is. I just feel I developed more in this extra year of college that he didn't have."

McCourty said he knows this year's draft has several solid cornerbacks, but said he doesn't spend much time worrying about where he stands in the pecking order at the position.

"I hear it's a very good group," he said. "I know coming out of high school I played in an all-star game with Kyle (Wilson) of Boise (State). I know him. Then, working out with Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (of Indiana University of Pennsylvania), so I got to know him as a person.

"But other than that not really."

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