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Mel Kiper Jr. sticks with D, changes position for Cowboys

IRVING, Texas -- ESPN Insider Mel Kiper Jr. has offered up his third mock draftInsider and he has moved away from the Dallas Cowboys selecting a defensive tackle.

He doesn’t have them taking a running back either. Nor does he have them taking a defensive end.

Kiper Jr.’s pick? Wake Forest cornerback Kevin Johnson.

In Todd McShay’s first mock draft, he had Johnson as the Cowboys' pick.

Based strictly on the need at the position, it makes a ton of sense. The Cowboys need cornerbacks. We’ve talked a lot about Brandon Carr's $12.7 million cap figure and $8 million base salary. We’ve talked about Morris Claiborne's return from knee surgery. We’ve talked about how the team might not tender restricted free agent Sterling Moore.

Ultimately, I believe Carr will be back at a discounted price, but that decision won’t come until the spring. Go back a couple of years when the Cowboys waited and waited and waited on Doug Free before finally coming to a deal in the spring when the free-agent market was essentially tapped out for right tackles.

Anything the Cowboys can get from Claiborne this season should be viewed as a bonus.

Orlando Scandrick has been their best cornerback the past two seasons, but they need to add talent and depth.

Johnson is a fluid athlete, and the fact that he was able to add some bulk to his frame since the season ended is a good thing. At 6-feet, he has the height you want with bigger receivers. He has started a lot of games as well.