2012 NFL Mock draft Dallas Cowboys: Fixing the Defense Takes Priority


The Dallas Cowboys need a big draft here to improve some major holes on their team (especially on defense) and to stay in step with the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles should be much better this year with a year to gel together on defense and with DeSean Jackson getting his money, you’d hope to see a refocused Jackson as well.

1st round (14th)-Mark Barron, S, Alabama

There is buzz in the league that the Cowboys are targeting two players with their first pick. The first one that they really like is NT Dontari Poe from Memphis. The second one is safety Mark Barron. If they draft Barron here, to me, it is not a reach. Barron is a top 20 player on my board. I”m not going to knock someone for taking someone withing three or four slots on my board. Barron also fills probably the Cowboys greatest team need. Their safety play is not very good, and a Ron Ryan defense ask a lot out of their safeties. Barron is a player who is built to play Strong safety in the N.F.L, but also good instincts as well. He’s smart and he’d be a terrific addition to the Cowboys.

2nd round (45th) Jared Crick, DL, Nebraska

I think that N.F.L. teams recognize that Crick is still a good second round prospect despite his injury and not being able to work out. Crick would do well to play DE for the Dallas Cowboys in their 34 defense. The Cowboys defensive line is not very good outside of Jay Ratliff. The Cowboys are playing  basically guys that would be terrific as rotational defensive linemen as starters and guys who are taking too many reps. With the addition of Crick, who should be healthy well before the season, the Cowboys finally have a legitimate option to play alongside Jay Ratliff. I wouldn’t be surprised if Barron and Crick would improve the defense this year (along with the free agent addition of Brandon Carr).

3rd round (81st) Tommy Streeter, WR, Miami Hurricanes

This is a reach based on our big board, but doesn’t mean it’s not possible. The Cowboys might be looking for someone else to stretch the field and that’s exactly what Tommy Streeter does. I’m not sure really if the Cowboys are looking for a guy to play in he slot or a guy who can play outside and they could move Austin into the slot on their downs because of his chemistry with Tony Romo. Streeter has good ball skills to go up and compete for the football and will add that explosive dynamic they had with Laurent Robinson last year. They could also consider a purely slot guy here like Oklahoma Ryan Broyles.

4th round (113th) Dwight Bentley, CB, Louisiana Lafayette

The Cowboys did Brandon Carr, but Mike Jenkins has had a trouble of staying on the field for all snaps and the Cowboys are still thin on the depth chart at cornerback. Bentley is one of the best small school cornerback prospects and a guy that scouts like. Bentley has good closing burst and ball skills, but needs to improve his strength.

4th Round (135th-compensatory): Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State

The Cowboys struck gold with DeMarco Murray in the middle rounds last year, but still have really a two horse running back stable and could use another one. Turbin is good value here. Turbin is another really popular non BCS School player for scouts. Turbin has good size, and is built like a wrecking ball. Adding him in the mix with the two speedy Cowboys Running  backs: Jones and Murray would be a nice complement.

5th Round: (152nd):  Cordarro Law, OLB, Southern Miss

Law is a productive Defensive end in college at Southern Miss who will make the transition to 34 OLB in the N.F.L. Law has a terrific motor and has been productive in college. The Cowboys haven’t shown that they have great depth at the OLB position. If DeMarcus Ware or Anthony Spencer were to get injured they could be in big trouble. Law won’t really fix that problem this year, but he could develop into a starter with time.

6th Round (186th) DeAngelo Patterson, TE, LSU

The Cowboys lost Martellus Bennett to free agency and even though they have a decent second option (John Phillips) they could look to add another tight end into the mix. The one thing you don’t have to worry about is what Jason Witten will give the team. Patterson is an athletic pass catching tight end.

7th Round (22nd): Will Vlachos, C, Alabama

Vlachos is a very good college player who lacks ideal NFL traits which will make him a late round or undrafted free agent. Vlachos is shorter and slower than ideal, but he’s smart and really competes and can make something out of himself in the ideal situation. The Cowboys take a chance on Vlachos here in the 7th round.