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Dallas Cowboys 2013 Draft Preview
By John McMullen, NFL Editor
(Sports Network) - The Cowboys are set at most of the skill positions offensively with Tony Romo throwing to Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and Miles Austin. The offensive line and running game leave a lot to be desired, however.
Dallas made changes to four of its five offensive line positions a year ago and most of them didn't work, meaning more changes are on the horizon. Tyron Smith, a first-round pick in 2011, is the left tackle and everything else is up for debate or at least it should be.
The Cowboys are very high on athletic North Carolina offensive guard Jonathan Cooper, who some have compared to former Dallas star Larry Allen, but it's unlikely a talent like that will last to the 18th overall pick.
The injury-prone DeMarco Murray simply can't be counted on at running back and although the position is undervalued around the league, it's almost imperative the Cowboys fish for some help there. The organization reportedly loves Michigan State running back Le'Veon Bell as a possible second- or third-round selection.
Over on defense the 'Boys fired coordinator Rob Ryan and replaced him with the 72-year-old Monte Kiffin, who worships at the altar of the antiquated Tampa-2 defensive philosophy. That means the Cowboys will switch to a 4-3 "under" scheme that requires a Brian Urlacher-type middle linebacker and smart, zone- savvy defensive backs.
The Cowboys also will need help on the interior of the defensive line, preferable a three-technique stud like an in his prime Kevin Williams. Missouri's Sheldon Richardson has some baggage but is a big body with a knack for penetrating while playing that style. His ability to slice into the backfield could also keep opposing offensive linemen off linebackers Sean Lee and Bruce Carter.
Safety is also a glaring deficiency in North Texas and keeping University of Texas star Kenny Vaccaro in the Lone Star State would be a popular move.
2012 Record: 8-8
Top Needs: OL, DT, S, LB
First Three Picks: No. 18, No. 47, No. 80
Number of Selections: 6 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
RECENT FIRST ROUND HISTORY: 2012 - Morris Claiborne (CB, LSU); 2011 - Tyron Smith (OT, USC); 2010 - Dez Bryant (WR, Oklahoma State); 2009 - none; 2008 - Felix Jones (RB, Arkansas), Mike Jenkins (CB, South Florida); 2007 - Anthony Spencer (OLB, Purdue); 2006 - Bobby Carpenter (LB, Ohio State); 2005 - DeMarcus Ware (OLB, Troy), Marcus Spears (DE, LSU); 2004 - none; 2003 - Terence Newman (CB, Kansas State).
04/15 11:06:54 ET