Cowboys Draft Preview

The Cowboys were active this off-season but still have big needs going into the NFL Draft.

Dallas Cowboys
2014 draft picks:
1st round (16), 2(47), 3(878), 4(119), 7(229), 7(231), 7(238), 7(248), 7(251), 7(254)

Dallas failed to meet expectations once again and finished with an 8-8 record in 2013. The defense was horrible under Monte Kiffin, finishing dead last. They also allowed the most points and most yards in a season in franchise history.

As bad as the defense was there has to be a real concern over quarterback Tony Romo's back and his long term health in Big D. There's no question that Jerry Jones and coach Jason Garrett has some major issues in Dallas.

Oh, and their best player, defensive end DeMarcus Ware, is no longer with the team.

1. Defensive Line
There's no way you can switch from the 3-4 to the 4-3 overnight and expect to have a good defense. Like any scheme you have to have the right personnel and avoid injuries. That didn't happen last year for the Cowboys. In that defense in Dallas, it starts with the under-tackle (3-technique) and then defensive ends and the unit putting pressure on the quarterback. To me, the Cowboys need the right fits across the board. Defensive tackle Aaron Donald would be a perfect piece to start building around but I doubt he's there at No. 16. If I'm Jerry Jones I do what I need to do making sure I get Donald in this draft.

2. Linebacker
The Cowboys can use an upgrade in this unit, particularly on the outside. There's no question about that. Dallas should take a strong look at Ryan Shazier with their first pick if Donald is not available. He would be a star in this defense.

3. Offensive Guard
The offensive front was a major need a year ago. They need to pull a good guard out of this draft. The better they are up front the better off Romo should be, especially with that bad back of him.

4. Running Back
I love what DeMarco Murray gives to the Dallas offense when he's healthy. But he can't stay on the field because he's often injured. At some point the Cowboys need another good back. They drafted Joseph Randle last year. This is a good group of runners in this draft class.

5. Quarterback
Jones signed Romo to that lucrative long term deal last off-season but I would be very concerned about his future as the franchise quarterback in Dallas because of his bad back. Kyle Orton and Brandon Weeden are not the answers.

Acquisitions
Brandon Weeden (QB)
Jeremy Mincey (DE)
Terrell McClain (DT)
Henry Melton (DT)

No Longer with the Team
Miles Austin (WR)
Phil Costa (C)
Jason Hatcher (DT)
DeMarcus Ware (DE)
Everette Brown (DE)
Danny McCray (S)

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