- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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To help preview who might be on the Dallas Cowboys’ board for the NFL draft, ESPNDallas.com has identified players at five key positions that we’d like to learn more about. Along those lines, we’ve asked former Cowboys assistant coach Glenn “Stretch” Smith –-- the official scout of Galloway & Company -- to study tape of each player and give his thoughts.
No. 4 running back: Kenjon Barner
Height/weight: 5-foot-9, 196 pounds
Why he’s on the radar: Barner would be a solid complement to DeMarco Murray because of his speed (4.38 40-yard dash) and ability to make defenders miss in tight areas. If the Cowboys select a running back, they can’t make the same mistake they did in 2008 when they picked Felix Jones in the first round to be a change-of-pace back for Marion Barber. Barner was a lead back at Oregon, and if the Cowboys grab him, he'll compete for a starter’s spot. If he doesn’t beat out Murray, the Cowboys have a quality backup. The Cowboys like their backup running backs to play special teams, and Barner can do that.
Projection: Fourth or fifth round
Stretch Truths: Ran 4.52 40 at the combine in Indy and a 4.38 at the Oregon pro day. Has straight-line speed and a burst to match. Good stop-and-start quickness and first-step quickness to boot. I question his durability and size to block in pass protection situations. He tends to be a cut-blocker when attacking bigger backers. Has adequate hands but is a raw route runner.