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Thursday, April 24, 2014
Analyzing McShay mock: Cowboys

By Todd Archer

"Draft Day" is a movie starring Kevin Costner as the Cleveland Browns' general manager. In this mock draft, ESPN Insider draft analyst Todd McShay is playing general manager of the Dallas Cowboys.

In his four previous mock drafts, McShay has had the Cowboys taking a defensive player. Considering the state of the defense in 2013 and the needs all across the board, selecting defensive end Stephon Tuitt, safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Timmy Jernigan (in Mocks 3.0 and 4.0) makes perfect sense.

But McShay changes it up in his most recent mock, going to the offensive side of the ball.

What’s even more surprising is that McShay did not go with Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin, who has been tabbed by more than a few as the Cowboys’ pick. He didn’t even go with Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel in this mock even with Manziel supposedly available with the 16th pick. He even had UCLA’s Anthony Barr and Missouri’s Kony Ealy available if he wanted to stick with defense.

He went with Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks.

A wide receiver is a possibility at No. 16, but Cooks is on the smallish side at 5-foot-9, 189 pounds. He is a playmaker, however, and you can never have enough playmakers. The Cowboys need an outside receiver in case something happens to Dez Bryant and/or Terrance Williams, but can Cooks hold up outside?

He had an outrageous season with 128 catches for 1,730 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2013 and has been compared to DeSean Jackson. He is the type of receiver who can take a short pass and go the distance at any point. The Cowboys can always use players like that.