Dallas Cowboys: Kerry Hyder

IRVING, Texas -- If the past is any indicator, the Dallas Cowboys will make their draft selections from players that were among their national visitors.

In the past nine years, the only top picks not to visit the Cowboys were DeMarcus Ware (2005) and Morris Claiborne (2012).

Last year, five picks -- Travis Frederick, Terrance Williams, J.J. Wilcox, B.W. Webb and Joseph Randle -- met with the coaches, scouts, medical staff and front-office personnel before the draft.

Here are the 25 known visitors to Valley Ranch before the draft.

Keep this list handy over the next three days:


Dominique Easley to make Cowboys visit

April, 21, 2014
Apr 21
IRVING, Texas -- Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley was scheduled to visit the Dallas Cowboys last week, but the trip was postponed so he could focus on his workout in Gainesville, Fla.

Instead Easley will visit with the Cowboys' coaches, scouts and medical staff this week, according to sources.

Of the known visitors to Valley Ranch, Easley will be the 13th defensive lineman. The team brought in more than 20 prospects last week as part of their top-30 visits and also held its Dallas Day workouts for local prospects.

Teams have serious medical concerns about Easley. He tore his right anterior cruciate ligament in practice last season. He tore his left ACL in 2011. If healthy, he would be a first-round pick. Even with the issues, he could go in the second round.

The Cowboys have shown a willingness to spend early picks on players coming off serious knee injuries, doing it with linebackers Sean Lee (2010) and Bruce Carter (2011).

The other defensive linemen with official visits to Valley Ranch include: Kony Ealy, Davon Coleman, Jerrod Black, Anthony Barr, Aaron Donald, Demarcus Lawrence, Timmy Jernigan, Will Clarke, Scott Crichton, Ken Bishop, Chris Whaley and Kerry Hyder.

Beyond the first round: Defensive tackles

April, 21, 2014
Apr 21
Each day over the next 10 days, we will focus on one position in the NFL draft by highlighting a prospect in Rounds 2-7 who might fit for the Dallas Cowboys. With so much attention placed on the first round in mock drafts, "Beyond the first round" focuses on lesser-publicized options after the first 32 picks. We open the series with defensive tackles.

Second round, Dominique Easley (Florida): If not for health concerns, he would be a first-round pick. He tore both anterior cruciate ligaments in college, and teams will be concerned about his long-term viability. The Cowboys have shown a willingness to take a chance on injured players in the past, and Easley could be the type of disruptive defensive lineman Rod Marinelli craves.

[+] EnlargeDaQuan Jones
Pat Lovell/USA TODAY SportsAt 6-foot-4 and 322 pounds, Penn State's Daquan Jones would fit Dallas' 4-3 scheme.
Third round, Daquan Jones (Penn State): At 6-foot-4, 322 pounds, he is ideally suited to be the one technique in the Cowboys’ 4-3 defense. He is strong and can control the interior against the run. He has strong hands that allow him to dictate the action. He has some pass-rush, skills but his fit here would be as a two-down player as a rookie.

Fourth round, Caraun Reid (Princeton): A Princeton coach in Jason Garrett, drafting a Princeton player. Perfect. Reid, however, has ability and scheme flexibility. He is more of a three-technique with his quickness and ability to work in short areas. He helped himself at the Senior Bowl against better competition to show teams he can make the jump in levels.

Fifth round, Justin Ellis (La. Tech): He is just a massive player at 6-1, 334 pounds. He is the prototype nose tackle, which is OK for a fifth rounder. His ability to hold up in the middle would help the linebackers flow to the plays. He had 48 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss last season. Some off-field concerns, but he would bring size the Cowboys need in the middle.

Sixth round, Kerry Hyder (Texas Tech): He was among the national visitors to Valley Ranch. He is an active player with a nose for the ball. A second-team All Big 12 pick, he had 65 tackles, 11.5 for a loss, two sacks, five hurries, three forced fumbles, two blocked kicks, two hurries and one pass breakup. He started his final 38 games.

Seventh round, Chris Whaley (Texas): He arrived in Austin as a running back, but moved to the defensive line. Maybe he could be another Henry Melton, who did the same with the Longhorns. He missed the final four games last season with a knee injury, but he had four tackles for loss, two sacks an interception and 23 tackles.