Jerry: Defense "A Must" In The Draft; Running Back? Not So Much

IRVING, Texas –How much do the Cowboys need impact defensive help from this weekend's NFL Draft?

"By hook or crook," team owner/GM Jerry Jones said Tuesday.

How much do they need another running back to offset DeMarco Murray's free-agent defection to Philadelphia?

"It's not urgent," Jones said.

Two very different reactions to, by general consensus, the two biggest need areas on the roster.

The Cowboys specifically need help at defensive line – tackle or end – in the wake of Greg Hardy's 10-game suspension and their overall pass rush inconsistency last season. At cornerback, there are questions regarding Orlando Scandrick's contract status, Brandon Carr's contract status and Mo Claiborne's return date from knee surgery.

But at running back, Jones said the team has covered its bases by adding veteran Darren McFadden to a group that already includes Joseph Randle, Ryan Williams and Lance Dunbar.

"We don't have that as a must to come out of here (on draft weekend) with a running back," Jones said.

Is it a consideration, at least?

"Certainly," Jones said. "But my feeling is we can play with what we got right now."

Although Jones has previously indicated that the Cowboys would conduct allotted pre-draft visits with the top running back prospects in this year's class, the signing of McFadden – the 2008 fourth overall pick who has amassed more than 4,200 yards in seven seasons – helps the front office avoid reaching for a rusher.

The Cowboys likely won't attempt to duplicate Murray's franchise-record 1,845-yard production with just one back. But with three Pro Bowlers on the offensive line, a solid ground attack will remain a primary piece of the offense.

"DeMarco Murray did a great job for us last year. The business of the NFL comes into play and he's not here anymore. That doesn't mean we're not going to be a running football team," head coach Jason Garrett said. "We have guys in our locker room right now that we believe in. If there's a running back who we think can help our football team, we'll certainly address it with a draft pick. But we want to run the football. It starts up front. It's a philosophy."

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