Jerry Jones talks about draft needs

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Cowboys have several needs regarding a team that is coming off a 6-10 season.

Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said quarterback and wide receiver isn't a major concern, but there are some other positions he did mention.


Jerry Jones comment: "The offensive line is an area because of the multiple players that are required to operate there, that's an area that's pretty obvious."

Why such a concern? The Cowboys have two starters -- left tackle Doug Free and left guard Kyle Kosier -- who are free agents. Four of the linemen are in their 30s, with right tackle Marc Colombo coming off a difficult season.

Possible target at No. 9: Nate Solder, tackle, Colorado.

"I've been playing tackle for three years so there's things I need to work on in my technique constantly," Solder said. "So I take some of that with a grain of salt. But the people that know what they're talking about, that I listen to, I do take that.''


Jerry Jones comment: "Safety would be an area. We got some numbers there and some potential there but certainly you could look at that."

Why such a concern? Strong safety Gerald Sensabaugh and free safety Alan Ball are both free agents. It appears Ball will be restricted so he might return, but Sensabaugh is going to test the market. There are some interesting safeties on the free-agent market in Oshiomogho Atogwe and Abram Elam. The Cowboys have no plans to bring Elam or Atowge in for a visit.

Possible target at No. 9: Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA. He's considered the best safety in the draft and most likely will go late in the first round. Mel Kiper on Moore: He's "a guy who can fly all over the field to intercept passes."


Jerry Jones comment: "You should always be looking at your pressure position."

Why such a concern for the pass rush? Anthony Spencer struggled at times last season, but new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan doesn't believe he regressed. Still, Spencer's lack of pressures on a consistent basis allowed teams to focus on nose tackle Jay Ratliff and outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware. Adding another pass rusher, either at end or outside linebacker, creates competition for Spencer and adds another talented player.

Possible target at No. 9: Marcell Dareus, DE, Alabama. J.J. Wattof Wisconsin might be gone before No. 9 and there's a chance the Cowboys could get a corner, but if Dareus is here, this looks like a good pick.

"Dareus is the rare player you can draft with almost no concern for systems," Kiper said. "A player who can be a dominant pass-rusher from the 3-4 defensive end position."

The Cowboys also like Texas A&M's Von Miller, but his stock has pushed him to top 5 status and he might not be around. The Cowboys have not planned visits for Miller at the combine. But the organization values him and knows him well.


Jerry Jones comment: "We like Josh Brent. ... As I look at it from the perspective of sitting up here of looking at a young player up here in the combine. But we've got to keep them coming there. Defensive linemen is certainly an area you would look at certainly linemen here if they got to nine you couldn't look the other way."

Why such a concern for the line? Marcus Spears, Stephen Bowen and Jason Hatcherare free agents and it appears the team wants to bring just Bowen back. Spears and Hatcher will test the market. The Cowboys are looking for someone who can add more pressure on the quarterback from the end spot but with Josh Brent and Sean Lissemore as emerging talents, it appears finding an end in the first round is possible.

Possible target at No. 9: It looks as if the Cowboys will select an end over a tackle because of Jay Ratliff and Brent and Lissemore.