It took 30 years for the Cowboys to pick an offensive lineman in the first round of the draft, breaking that streak with the selection of Tyron Smith last year. Despite having just snapped the trend, owner/GM Jerry Jones wouldn't dismiss the possibility of going for another O-lineman in Round 1 this year.
The team is secure with its tackles, announcing this week that Smith would move to the left side, swapping Doug Free to right bookend. The interior positions represent a need, however. The Cowboys' pick at No. 14 overall comes earlier than interior linemen are usually drafted, but a highly-regarded prospect like David DeCastro of Stanford could still represent a value in the top half of the first round.
"It's not up to me," DeCastro said at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. "I think I'm just a good football player, I think that's it. The value, you would have to ask the teams. I think offensive lineman is an important position. I know tackle is valued more than guard, but I think just having a good offensive line is important."
The Cowboys scheduled a meeting with DeCastro in Indianapolis. An early entrant into the draft pool, he said they're one of many teams who have shown interest this week, and one of many teams that interest him.
"I was from Seattle, so I followed the Seahawks growing up," DeCastro said. "But obviously you follow the Cowboys. They're a national team, they're always on TV a lot, so of course."
There are a number of other interior linemen who the Cowboys will consider for their early picks, like guard Cordy Glenn of Georgia and center Peter Konz of Wisonsin, but DeCastro is widely considered the best player of the group. He's been penciled in as the Cowboys' selection in many of this season's early mock drafts.
"He has a good reputation," head coach Jason Garrett said. "He comes from a great program. Everything about him that you hear is positive, both as a player and as a person. He seems to have the traits we are looking for.
"Regarding the interior of the offensive line, they are important positions. On most teams they may be valued a little bit less. People want that marquee pass-protecting left tackle . . . Sometimes those interior positions don't get the look or aren't held with the same regard with some of the other spots. We all know it's a team sport."