Will Dallas lean more to making the defensive backfield a priority in the draft over defensive end position?
Rob: Don't think you can enter the draft making one spot a stringent priority over the other. Have to see how your board falls. Free agency will also determine whether the secondary is a major need, since four players (Mo Claiborne, Brandon Carr, Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox) are set to hit the market. I do think the draft is shaping up to be pretty deep with defensive backs and pass rushers. The Cowboys could find an impact player at either spot early if they're patient.
David: Both spots need to be a priority, in all honesty. It obviously will depend on how free agency plays out, but the Cowboys need to make investments in both places. That's easier said than done with just a few premium draft picks, which is why I think it'd be smart for the Cowboys to focus on re-signing at least one or two of their free agents in the secondary. That would free them up to go after pass rushers in the draft.
JOHN BUIORANGE, CA
When the Cowboys are on the clock at 28 and the best player available is an offensive player (next best and closely ranked is defensive), is it safe to assume they'd pull the trigger? Or is the possibility to choose the defensive player dependent on how hard the coaches fight for the player?
Rob: Just speaking hypothetically, I think it would be an interesting discussion if the highest remaining player on their board at No. 28 was an offensive guy and a pass rusher or cornerback was closely rated. Stephen Jones said this week the front office can't box themselves into taking a pass rusher at 28 just because it's a need. Dak Prescott had an amazing year, but if you have a chance to draft, say, a skill position player early to help your young quarterback, I think that should be a consideration too.
David:That's what makes the draft so fascinating. Stephen Jones noted the other day that draft prospects can suddenly look a lot better in your eyes when it's a position of dire need. But the Cowboys have made a point not to reach, and that's how they've wound up with talents like Zack Martin. I don't think they'd spend a first-round pick on a quarterback or running back, but otherwise I think they'd pull the trigger if it was their best option.