Cowboys prep for NFL scouting combine

IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys head to Indianapolis this week for the NFL scouting combine.

So far this offseason we have brought you a cursory look at the needs of the Cowboys and the early mock drafts of ESPN Insiders Mel Kiper and Todd McShay.

The combine brings the draft season into focus with more than 300 prospects on hand for medical exams, position testing and interviews with the teams. The combine can sway opinions on players, despite what teams say, but perhaps the most valuable tool from the weeklong session are the 60 official interviews and the other conversations scouts and coaches have with players.

The Cowboys’ needs are fairly obvious. They need defense, and lots of it. Defensive end, defensive tackle, safety and linebacker are all needs. But they cannot ignore other spots on a roster that has contributed to three straight 8-8 finishes. Choosing an offensive lineman in the first round for the third time in four years should not be ruled out, especially with how well Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick have worked out.

To give you a working list of prospects, we offer up Kiper’s Top 10 at each positionInsider heading into the combine. What is particularly interesting to the Cowboys is the switch at safety.

In his first two mock drafts, Kiper has had the Cowboys drafting Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Heading into the combine, he has moved Louisville’s Calvin Pryor to the top spot at safety over Clinton-Dix.