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Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Mel Kiper's mock draft has Cowboys taking guard

By Calvin Watkins

The first NFL mock draft is out and ESPN's Mel Kiper has the Cowboys taking Stanford guard David DeCastro with the 14th pick. (You have to be an ESPN Insider to view the entire first round. Sign up, it's worth it.)

If this pans out it will mark the second consecutive draft the Cowboys take an offensive lineman. Last year, tackle Tyron Smith was taken at No. 9.

In his position rankings, Kiper has DeCastro (6-foot-5, 310 pounds) as the best guard in the draft, followed by Georgia's Cordy Glenn (6-foot-5, 320 pounds).

Here's what Scouts Inc. had to say about DeCastro's toughness: "Takes pride in craft and works to finish assignment. Flashes a mean streak but would like to see it with more consistency. Will chase play downfield and looks to clean up piles. Plays with the grinders mentality necessary for an interior offensive lineman."

The depth at guard is young with Bill Nagy, Kevin Kowalski, David Arkin and Daniel Loper. There are veterans as well at this spot, starting with left guard Kyle Kosier, followed by right guards Montrae Holland and Derrick Dockery.

Kosier's health and age seem to be a factor with the Cowboys. However, Kosier did a nice job in helping Smith with communication in 2011. Holland and Dockery are solid veterans who battled injuries at times and with them being free agents, it's uncertain if they'll return.