Four out of the last five years, the Cowboys have not selected a defensive lineman in the April draft. The one year they did address the 3-4 front, 2010, they waited until the seventh round to snag Sean Lissmore.
Is there reason to believe the Cowboys will buck their own trend in 2012?
Owner and GM Jerry Jones said in Indianapolis that, considering the wide open game the NFL has become, the front seven's ability to generate pass rush is more important to him than run-stopping. And while Jones would be intrigued by adding a dynamic edge rusher in the NFL draft, he believes the Cowboys already get good pressure from the defensive line.
"We have the ability with our personnel to be one of the top pressure teams," Jones said. "That has principle to do with the makeup of Ware and Ratliff and, if if you will, a Spencer. We have that on campus."
Among defensive linemen, Jason Hatcher led the Cowboys with 4.5 sacks in 2011.
"Hatch, that's always been the thing that seperated him from some of the others, he brings a real good pass rush," Jones said. "We have in Lissemore someone that needs to play more. And so the bottom line is we have the ability off that front, personnel-wise, to do as good or better than we did last year."
The Cowboys aren't convinced a defensive lineman will be available at pick No. 14 overall who could impact their pass rush or help the team any more than players at other position.
"I'm not for sure there is an interior guy there that we would go that high on yet," Jones said. "With Ratliff there . . . with where we are with our personnel, then it would have to be really slimmed down, but was outstanding, talking about interior guys."