The Cowboys worked with Baylor OL prospect Danny Watkins at last week's Pro Day in Waco.
blitzing. But to make it a good fit for the Cowboys, or most NFL teams, Moore is going to have to prove he can cover. If he does that, he might sneak himself into the later stages of the first round.
Their best defensive player is OLB/DE Akeem Ayers, who is slated to go in the middle of the first round. Yes, DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer will be around, and there are some young unproven players behind them in Victor Butler and Brandon Williams. But don't forget that Rob Ryan told us the biggest thing about his 3-4 defense is pressure players on the outside, so don't expect him to overlook that position.
If the Cowboys were to possibly trade down in the first round to stockpile some picks, Ayers is the type of player who could be sitting there with a high grade.
2. Auburn - And this is where many in the Cowboys' organization spent their Tuesday. While all eyes had to be fixed on Cam Newton, defensive tackle Nick Fairley would likely be the best option for the Cowboys. Now some might suggest that Fairley really doesn't fit the 3-4 scheme. He does seem more of a 4-3 gap player, but with that kind of size, athleticism and overall talent, I would imagine Ryan knows how to tweak his defense around great players. There was a time when it appeared Fairley would go No. 1, so if he falls down to Dallas, he'd be the type of player the Cowboys could jump on. Remember this, Warren Sapp could always play, but he dropped in the first round for other reasons. And Fairley has the makings to be that type of player.
As for Newton, you have to watch. You have to do all of your homework, although it is sounding like he'll go way higher than the Cowboys' No. 9 pick. And even if he was there, it doesn't appear that the Cowboys would be interested in a quarterback when Jones said the position was in "outstanding shape" just two weeks ago.
1. Alabama - While their in-state rivals might have two of the more recognized players, the Crimson Tide will have three players potentially drafted in the top 15 or 20 picks. And if Fairley isn't on the board, that means there is a good chance Alabama DT Marcell Dareus will be there. Dareus is also a run-stopping, energy-boosting tackle that takes up space at 6-3, 306. But he might be one of the more athletic defensive linemen out there.
Then there's WR Julio Jones, who to me seems like a freak in cleats. I do think Georgia's A.J. Green is even better, but not by much. It surprises me that Jones isn't considered even higher than the Top 15 or so. I think he's going to be an outstanding receiver. As far the Cowboys are concerned, I think they might hope he keeps performing well and darts up ahead of them, which of course would slide other players down the list. With Dez Bryant and Miles Austin in the fold, and possibly Roy Williams, too, I don't know if you can justify another wide receiver, unless you want to be called the Lions (and no one wants that).
And let's not forget the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner in running back Mark Ingram. No, I don't think the Cowboys should take this guy at No. 9, or really any running back in the first round. But if you have to make sure you've done every bit of research on him because running back could be a need on this team. They've got some options, but it's not like anyone has rushed for 1,000 yards in a while around here. If the Cowboys really think he's a special player, than you'd have to consider it, but I don't think he's worthy of No. 9 and won't fall to No. 40
So there're my five Pro Days that are really important to this year's draft. That's not to say the Cowboys will visit only five. They should try to see all of them.
But in terms of getting bang-for-your-buck, those are the spots where there are more than just one primary player who could help this team early in the draft.