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Thursday, April 24, 2014
McShay: Cowboys' spot most intriguing

By Todd Archer

IRVING, Texas -- As ESPN Insider Todd McShay has put together his mock drafts, he has been stuck when it comes to the Dallas Cowboys.

He has had the Cowboys taking defensive tackles Timmy Jernigan (twice) and Stephon Tuitt, safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and in his most recent mock, in which he served as the general manager, he took wide receiver Brandin Cooks.

“For many reasons I’m as intrigued as to what Dallas will do as with any team in the first round,” McShay said on a conference call with NFL Nation reporters on Thursday.

McShay views Jernigan as more of a one technique than a three technique and does not see enough value for taking the Florida State defensive tackle at No. 16.

“He can get pressure on the quarterback and be disruptive,” McShay said. “He’s a really good football player. I think he’s stout against the run. Watch him in the third quarter of the national championship game and he’s the best player on the field. It was one of the best quarters of football I watched for an interior defensive lineman probably all year.”

But McShay sees him as a late first- or early second-round pick with two weeks to go before the draft. In addition to defensive tackle, he sees defensive end and safety as priority needs for the Cowboys.

“Every time I get to Dallas, I can’t find a player I feel who is a good value matching a need they have, so I always wind up reaching or going completely off the value chart,” McShay said.

And that could be the issue the Cowboys have on May 8. Will an Aaron Donald or Anthony Barr be available at No. 16? Safeties Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor figure to be gone by then, too.

Do the Cowboys reach on a Demarcus Lawrence or Jimmie Ward? Would they take an offensive lineman, like Zack Martin? Do they trade back like they did in 2012 in which they ended up with Travis Frederick and Terrance Williams thanks to the deal with the San Francisco 49ers? What if Johnny Manziel is available?

With May 8 approaching, the intrigue is certainly there, just as Jerry Jones likes it.