With their first pick, the Cowboys could look to add a defender who can generate pressure. Remember, Jerry Jones promised to add pass-rush help in the offseason after the disappointing divisional playoffs loss. Smith is a fast-rising 4-3 defensive end prospect who measured in just under 6 feet 5 inches and weighed in at 271 pounds. Smith had nine sacks last season and 15 tackles for loss. He also posted an impressive combine that included strong showings in the speed and explosion drills. Scouts believe he can play base defensve end in the 4-3 and also kick inside to the 3-technique DT in some situations. With the Cowboys likely to let 3-technique DT Henry Melton walk in free agency, they are likely to move Tyrone Crawford to this position full time. They could use someone with the versatility to give them snaps at both DE and DT.
Spruce Derden-USA TODAY SportsSpruce Derden
Round 2: T.J. Yeldon, running back, Alabama
Those who believe that the Cowboys will let DeMarco Murray walk and replace him with Adrian Peterson might be missing the boat on why they would be letting Murray walk in the first place. It's a salary-cap allocation issue, and Peterson will be looking for just as much if not more cap allocated to him. Still, Jerry Jones understands that this offense operated via the run game when it was at its best. Instead, the team can look to one of the more talent rich running back drafts in recent memory. Yeldon may have "failed" at the combine, but he has the size (6 feet 2 inches, 221 pounds) and skill set to be a three-down back immediately. He can pass block and he catches the ball well. One NFL scout even claimed that Yeldon has the best feet of any back in the draft.
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Round 3: Alex Carter, cornerback, Stanford
The Cowboys might not be able to release Brandon Carr or Morris Claiborne thanks to the dead salary-cap money that is tied to their contracts, but that doesn't mean they will have to rely on their two outside cornerbacks again in 2015. Drafting someone like Carter would allow the team to move Orlando Scandrick back to his most dominant position in the slot in nickel situations. Carter has the length and size—6 feet 2 inches, 202 pounds—to play on the outside. He was best in man coverage, and the Cowboys have used more man concepts since Rod Marinelli became defensive coordinator. Carter doesn't have elite speed or playmaking ability (he had just one pick in 2014), but he can become a solid starter in a league that now emphasizes size at cornerback. He earned All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention honors in three consecutive seasons.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsKirby Lee
Round 4: Jamison Crowder, wide receiver, Duke
With Cole Beasley set to hit restricted free agency and Terrance Williams still showing signs of inconsistency, the Cowboys should look to upgrade at wide receiver in a draft that features a multitude of talent at the position. Crowder caught a lot of buzz at the Senior Bowl, but he has since fallen down many draft boards after running a 4.56 40-yard dash at the combine. Remember, Crowder measured in at 5 feet 8 inches and 185 pounds. Throw the measurements aside because Crowder is a smart slot receiver with plus lateral agility. He can step right in as a game-changing punt- and kick-return specialist. This combination of explosion and polish has showed up with prospects in the past like Antonio Brown and T.Y. Hilton. Crowded doesn't quite have their raw speed, but he might be entering the NFL with more polish.
Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY SpIvan Pierre Aguirre
Round 5: Frank Clark, defensive end, Michigan
You can never have too many pass rushers and more importantly, Jerry Jones has never been afraid to take a chance on a player with off-the-field issues. Clark was dismissed from the team in the past for a domestic-violence issue, but it appears he has not gotten into any trouble since. Jones will do his homework here. When on the field, Clark has been productive with 120 tackles, 35 tackles for loss and 11 sacks in 48 games for Michigan. At 6 feet 2 iniches and 270 pounds, Clark has the size to play defensive end and become a solid rotational lineman for the Cowboys as early as 2015.
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY SportsAndrew Weber
Round 6: Jordan Hicks, linebacker, Texas
In the sixth round, it makes sense for the Cowboys to start looking for special-teams aces, and Hicks can become just that. Hicks was highly productive at Texas and finished with 299 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, and 5.5 sacks over his career. He is lauded for his football IQ, preparation, and his football character. The 6-foot-2-inch, 244-pound linebacker can also help out in the middle or at any of the outside linebacker spots.
Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY SportsBrendan Maloney
Round 7: David Tull, edge rusher, UT-Chattanooga
Tull recently made headlines for running a 4.57 40-yard dash at his school's pro day. He's a 6-foot-2-inch, 246-pound behemoth with exceptional straght-line speed. Tull also posted ridiculous scores of 42.5 inches in the vertical jump and 11 feet in the broad jump. Tull clearly has althetic upside, and the Cowboys can try him out at strongside linebacker or at defensive end on obvious passing downs.