Mock Roundup 9.0: Deciding On The Final Choice

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IRVING, Texas – Amazingly enough, we're done. We've been charting the experts' opinion on the Cowboys' draft prospects since the NFL Combine – all the way back in February – but this is it.

In roughly 24 hours, none of it's going to matter, as we finally find out how the first round of the NFL draft will play out on Thursday night.

Taking a last look at the Cowboys' options, you're going to see the same familiar names. It's almost as though draft experts have settled on the possible outcomes for Dallas and are sticking to them.

All the usual suspects are represented, but the two favorites remain the same – Aaron Donald and Anthony Barr. Some have their doubts either pass rusher will be available, and if that's the case a collection of replacements fill that void.


It's pretty clear on the eve of the draft what people would prefer for the Cowboys. Whether that plays out as expected is something we'll learn soon.

Date of Mock:May 5

Pick:Notre Dame OG/OT Zack Martin

Comment:This doesn't fill a pressing need for Dallas, but there aren't any defensive ends or defensive tackles who make sense here, and this would be a smart move to solidify the offensive line and get one of the 12 best players in this draft at No. 16. There have been a lot of rumors about the possibility of the Cowboys trading up to draft Johnny Manziel, and to be honest, nothing would surprise us with them at this point. But rather than giving away a bunch of picks in a loaded draft, they'd be better served staying put and trying to bolster a depleted roster, particularly on defense.

NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah

Date of Mock:May 5

Pick: UCLA DE/LB Anthony Barr Comment:The Cowboys need to address their pass rush, and Barr brings plenty of production and upside.

Date of Mock:May 5

Pick:Barr

Comment:He's not DeMarcus Ware (yet), but Cowboys are excited about his potential.

WalterFootball.com's Walter Cherepinsky Date of Mock:May 7

Pick:Pittsburgh DT Aaron Donald

Comment:Dallas fans can finally stop complaining about Taylor Lewan. Jerry Jones would love to get his hands on the Michigan tackle, but he's not available in this version of my mock draft. Aaron Donald is, however, and he would provide a huge boost to an awful defensive line. Donald appears to be a great fit for Monte Kiffin's scheme.

CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco

Date of Mock:May 6

Pick: Florida State DT Timmy Jernigan

Comment:They have to get defensive line help and he would provide it.

CBSSports.com's Will Brinson

Date of Mock:May 5

Pick:(trade up with Vikings to No. 8) Donald

Comment:Jerry Jones ain't scared to make a move up and the Cowboys are a perfect fit for Donald. They know he won't fall to them at 16 and Minnesota can move down, collect picks and still get a player it wants later.

CBSSports.com's Dane Brugler

Date of Mock:May 5

Pick:Barr

Comment:The Cowboys have done their due diligence on Barr in the scenario that he falls to them. With Barr still around, I don't think Dallas will pass. 

CBSSports.com's Rob Rang

Date of Mock:May 5

Pick:Jernigan

Comment:The signing of defensive tackle Henry Melton helps fill the gaping hole in the middle of Dallas' defensive line but the Cowboys may want insurance that his surgically-repaired knee will hold up. Jernigan, athletic, powerful and just scratching the surface of his potential would give Dallas the interior duo needed for defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli's scheme to be successful.

SB Nation's Ryan Van Bibber

Date of Mock:May 5 

Pick:Donald

Comment:What's not to like about Donald? Go back and read Stephen White's breakdown on the Pitt defensive tackle. From a repertoire of pass-rushing moves rare for a college kid to a reliable run stuffer, Donald does it all. White also notes that he'd be a perfect fit for Rod Marinelli in Dallas, White's old coach. So what if he overlaps with Henry Melton? I've never heard anyone complain about a defensive line being too deep.

Date of Mock:May 5

Pick:(trade up with St. Louis to No. 13) Donald

Comment:St. Louis holds this pick, but I foresee a trade with Dallas. Cowboys beat Chicago to land Donald.

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