Cowboys open to drafting defense at No. 14

March, 28, 2012
3/28/12
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PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said the team is open to drafting a defensive player with the 14th pick of the first round.

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The Cowboys' signings of two offensive linemen in free agency, Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings, has moved the franchise to look at defensive players in the draft as possible selections with the first pick.

"It would look like it was going to be potentially top defensive players there as opposed to a receiver or as opposed to a running back," Jones said. "But you’re going to have some good depth or some good selection opportunities at that level where we are on the offensive line. So all of those areas you’d have to look at. We’d have to take into consideration that we’ve done pretty well in free agency relative to our offensive line. We have to take that into consideration if we had the alternative of taking it on the defense. So you’re not off base when you ask is it likely that would be a defensive player."

Jones said he was impressed with Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe. Scouts Inc. has him ranked as the 10th best player in the draft and ESPN's Mel Kiper's Big Board has Poe going to the Carolina Panthers at No. 9.

"I'm impressed with him," Jones said. "I'm real impressed. I'm particularly impressed cause he looks like a nose [tackle] and has the skill and has some pass rush about him at the five technique. I'm impressed with him."

LSU's Michael Brockers and North Carolina's Quinton Coples are also possibilities.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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