Jernigan has to be capable of being a 3-technique DT for Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones says the recent signing of defensive end Anthony Spencer doesn’t really change the team’s approach to the first round of next month’s NFL Draft.

During a Monday radio interview, Jones made it clear on multiple occasions that the team has not finalized its draft board.

Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan is one of the top defensive tackles in this class, a position of need for the Cowboys. Many mock drafts project him to be Dallas’ first-round selection.

The problem: most project him to be a one-technique tackle, a position the Cowboys don’t value as being worthy of a first-round pick. They passed on standout Florida DT Sharrif Floyd last year for that exact reason.

"There’s a lot of defensive linemen that merit first round picks," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. "If a player’s ceiling may be a one-technique, then it may be hard for him to make our first round."

Asked specifically about Jernigan, Jones said he is "obviously a great football player," but the team is evaluating if he can he be a three-technique in their system.

Safety hasn’t been high on the Cowboys draft board over the last decade. Since taking Roy Williams with the eighth overall pick in 2002, the Cowboys haven’t selected a safety in either of the first two rounds of the last 11 drafts. But Jones wouldn’t rule out the team taking a safety in the first round this year.

"I think if a guy is high enough on the board, then you would take any position," Jones said. "If he’s a merited first round pick and especially merited to be taken at the 16th pick, then we would consider it.

"I would say this, a safety is capable of being a first round pick and being a top half of the first round pick if he’s dominant enough."