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Friday, April 27, 2012
Jerry Jones: Need pass rushers, interior OL

By Tim MacMahon



IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys targeted three major need areas entering the draft, as Jerry Jones detailed after pulling off the deal to land cornerback Morris Claiborne, the No. 2 player on their board.

“We know what a pass rusher does for you, and teaming him up with [DeMarcus] Ware would have been a great combination if it had been there,” Jones said. “We didn’t see it [as a value in the first round]. We know what if we got a good opportunity to really make a difference with a quality interior offensive lineman. We looked at what kind of impact that would have -- [Tony] Romo’s confidence, Romo feeling good about the interior and all that. And then we looked at the secondary.”

Dallas addressed the secondary, but there’s still a need there at safety, where Brodney Pool is a flawed stopgap solution on a one-year deal. And they will definitely be looking at pressure players (defensive ends/outside linebackers) and interior offensive linemen as the draft moves into the second day.

The best available players at those positions (overall rank in parenthesis), according to Scouts Inc., including defensive ends who can make the transition to 3-4 outside linebackers and defensive tackles who can make the transition to 3-4 defensive ends:

SAFETIES
LSU’s Brandon Taylor (73)
Oklahoma State’s Markelle Martin (100)

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS
Alabama’s Courtney Upshaw (25)
Clemson’s Andre Branch (43)
Oklahoma’s Ronnell Lewis (63)
Miami (Fla.)’s Olivier Vernon (69)
North Carolina’s Zach Brown (74)
Virginia’s Cam Johnson (97)

3-4 DEFENSIVE ENDS
Connecticut’s Kendall Reyes (50)
Cincinnati’s Derek Wolfe (53)
Boise State’s Tyrone Crawford (80)
California’s Trevor Guyton (92)
Boise State’s Billy Winn (96)

GUARDS/CENTERS
Georgia’s Cordy Glenn (24)
Illinois’ Jeff Allen (34)
Midwestern State’s Amini Silatolu (40)
Wisconsin’s Peter Konz (41)
Miami (Ohio)’s Brandon Brooks (70)
Iowa State’s Kelechi Osemele (72)
Wake Forest’s Joe Looney (88)
Troy’s James Brown (99)