Sorry, Eagles fans, but you’re going to have to be strong here for a moment. At No. 16 in our Fan Mock Draft, the Dallas Cowboys are on the clock. While we understand that helping the Cowboys build their team seems like the last thing you may want to do, we’re still asking for your help in our Fan Mock Draft …
For three straight seasons, the Cowboys have entered Week 17 with a chance to secure a playoff appearance. Three separate years against three separate teams, and the Cowboys have come up short each time. Without question there is talent to be found on Dallas’ roster, but there are some areas of weakness that Dallas may look to fill in next week’s draft.
The Cowboys are expected to look defense in the first round, especially a front-seven player. The Cowboys had their fair share of defensive troubles last season, and losing names like DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher in free agency doesn't help matters. The loss of Ware is the biggest blow for the Cowboys. A possible Hall-of-Famer, Ware has tallied 117.0 sacks in his career, and even though he is on the wrong side of 30 (he’ll be 32 when the season begins) he is still a productive player when healthy. Hatcher, on the other hand, is coming off of a career-best season in which he recorded 11.5 sacks. Ware was released due to salary cap issues and has subsequently signed with Denver and Hatcher has signed with the Washington Redskins. Defensive end Jeremy Mincey was added to help fill the void on the Cowboys defensive front, but there is more work left to be done.
So where could the Cowboys turn for help on the defensive end? Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley is the most interesting name left on the board. Mosley could become an impact player, and pairing him with Sean Lee could give the Cowboys a very formidable linebacking corps. If the Cowboys instead look for someone with more of a pass-rushing background, Missouri’s Kony Ealy could come into play. With Anthony Barr already off of the board, Ealy is the best pass-rushing option available. Minnesota’s Ra’Shede Hageman is another possibility if the Cowboys look to bolster the interior of their defensive line.
The name to keep an eye on in the secondary is Louisville’s Calvin Pryor. The Cowboys could use a hard-hitting safety on the back line of the defense, and Pryor is the best available option. The Eagles could also use a safety, so if the Cowboys took Pryor here, they might be gaining a strong young defender while also taking a possible Eagles target off of the board.
Of course, the Cowboys could look offense in the first round as well. There have been reports linking Texas A & M quarterback Johnny Manziel to the Cowboys, and it would make sense for them to take a quarterback at some point in the draft. Tony Romo is coming off of back surgery and he’s also getting up there in age (34). On our board, Manziel has already been taken, but Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater is still available, as is Fresno State’s Derek Carr.
The Cowboys may also look to go wide receiver at pick No. 16. Dallas has big receivers like Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams, but perhaps they could be looking for a smaller, speedier type. LSU’s Odell Beckham, Jr. and Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks could both fill that role.
The Cowboys could also shore up the offensive line by adding Notre Dame tackle Zach Martin, who is also still on the board.
With the 16th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select….
You make the pick ...
Previous Selections1. Houston Texans -- LB Jadeveon Clowney
2. St. Louis Rams -- T Greg Robinson
3. Jacksonville Jaguars -- QB Johnny Manziel
4. Cleveland Browns -- WR Sammy Watkins
5. Oakland Raiders -- LB Khalil Mack
6. Atlanta Falcons -- OT Jake Matthews
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- WR Mike Evans
8. Minnesota Vikings -- QB Blake Bortles
9. Buffalo Bills -- TE Eric Ebron
10. Detroit Lions -- CB Justin Gilbert
11. Tennessee Titans -- DE/OLB Anthony Barr
12. New York Giants -- OT Taylor Lewan
13. St. Louis Rams -- S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
14. Chicago Bears -- DT Aaron Donald