Cowboys shift focus to needs now

IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys added a premier talent in the first round, but they acknowledge they didn’t address one of their primary needs.

Dallas believes receiver Dez Bryant is one of the best players in this draft. They deal with more pressing positional needs the next two days.

“It’s easier to go needs the further down you get,” Wade Phillips said. “Then you don’t think you’re passing up one of the better players in the draft.”

After trading up to get Bryant, the Cowboys only have one pick (59th overall) on the second day of the draft. However, Jerry Jones indicated that the Cowboys could try to move back into the third round. They have a pair of fourth-rounders – the New England Patriots (119th overall) and their own (125th overall).

“There’s enough there,” Jones said. “Those fours get us up 15 or so spots.”

Safety, offensive tackle and offensive guard are the Cowboys’ primary needs. Here’s a look at Scouts Inc.’s top available players at those positions, with overall ranking in parentheses:


Taylor Mays, USC

Nate Allen, South Florida

T.J. Ward, Oregon

Reshad Jones, Georgia

Morgan Burnett, Georgia Tech

Allen and Burnett visited Valley Ranch during the pre-draft process. Mays is a phenomenal athlete was considered a potential top-five pick entering this season, but he didn’t many impact plays for the Trojans. He’s a bigger, faster version of Roy Williams, which means he isn’t a good fit in Phillips’ scheme. The Cowboys also had Akwasi Owusu-Ansah of Indiana (Penn.) and LSU's Chad Jones in for visits.


Charles Brown, USC

Rodger Saffold, Indiana

Bruce Campbell, Maryland

Edwin Veldheer, Hillsdale

Selvish Capers, West Virginia

Brown, a converted tight end, is considered the most NFL-ready prospect of this group. Campbell, who wowed scouts with his physique and athleticism at the combine, is a project with high potential. There are questions about whether Saffold, who doesn’t have great length, can play left tackle in the league.


Jon Asamoah, Illinois

Vladimir Ducasse, Massachusetts

John Jerry, Mississippi

Zane Beadles, Utah

Mike Johnson, Alabama

The top three are all second-round prospects. Some project Ducasse, a Haitian immigrant who didn’t begin playing football until high school, as a tackle, the position in college.