It’s no secret that the Dallas Cowboys have been mediocre of late. They are long removed from the glory days when they won three super bowls in five years.
With three consecutive 8-8 seasons, the Cowboys have become the butt of many jokes. Although America’s Team always appears to be in a position to be successful, they have a tendency to grab defeat from the jaws of victory.
Dallas is also known for their questionable scouting evaluation and drafting ability. The Cowboys will take their first step towards the draft when they evaluate players at this weekends’ NFL Scouting Combine.
The Cowboys have many needs this offseason but the focus in the draft should be on improving their defense - the NFL’s worst in 2013.
Here’s our first Dallas Cowboys mock draft for the team’s first five rounds.
Mock Draft 1.0
Pick No. 16: OLB Dee Ford (Auburn)
Outside linebacker Bruce Carter had a rough season. He spent part of the season injured but when he was on the field, he didn’t play very well.
Dee Ford would be a big addition to the Cowboys’ linebacking corps. Last season, with Auburn, Ford recorded 29 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. Ford is quick off the edge and has great speed. Ford could be an instant candidate to be a starting outside linebacker if the Cowboys choose to draft him.
Pick No 47: DT Dominique Easley (Florida)
With a lack of production from the defensive line, drafting a guy like Dominique Easley would be a huge step in the right direction.
Easley possess’ great athleticism. He’s a guy who is capable of disrupting a play, a trait not seen on the stat line. Easley was said to be a charismatic leader in Florida locker room, an important quality in a future NFL player.
The concern with Easley is a recent ACL injury which sidelined him late in 2013. Easley has first round potential but his injury has him projected as a late first round or second round pick.
Pick No. 78: DE Jackson Jeffcoat (Texas)
Like defensive tackles, the defensive ends were almost non-existent for the Cowboys this year. The change from the 3-4 scheme to the 4-3 hurt DeMarcus Ware’s pass rush ability. The defensive ends also fell victim to injury.
Jackson Jeffcoat would be a third-round steal. Jeffcoat is well-built and has a great presence off the edge. Jeffcoat knows how to bully his way to the quarterback. In 2013, the Dallas native led Texas with 86 tackles, 22 tackles for loss and 13 sacks.
Some scouts question Jeffcoat’s ability in the open field but, as a third round selection, drafting Jeffcoat would be a valuable pick.
Pick No. 115: WR Josh Huff (Oregon)
Most sources around the Cowboys predict that they will let go of wide receiver Miles Austin this offseason. Austin had a breakout season in 2009 but hasn’t been able to replicate his prior success.
Drafting Josh Huff would let the Cowboys get rid of Austin without losing depth at wide receiver. Huff has great speed and is very versatile. He compares well to Randall Cobb of the Green Bay Packers.
Pick No. 146: S C.J. Barnett (Ohio State)
The Cowboys entered last season hoping that safety Matt Johnson would be able to play but he too was injured early in the season.
Barnett didn’t receive an invite to the combine but he would be a great late round pick. If the Cowboys don’t take Alabama’s Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix early on, Barnett could be an alternative to satisfy their need for a defensive back.