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April 22, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Tim MacMahon

Tim MacMahon
  (2:59 PM)

We're four and a half hours away from the first pick. The Cowboys will be on the clock in about ... well, that depends on whether the rumors about them trading up come to fruition. Let's get to chatting.

ERV (Fort Worth)

do you think the Cowboys have a chance to draft Earl Thomas?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:04 PM)

It appears that about half the questions in this chat are about Earl Thomas. That makes sense, considering he's a playmaking safety who would be a perfect fit for the Cowboys and there are rumors about them trading up to get him. And make no mistake: They'd have to trade up to make it happen. There is buzz about a deal with the Dolphins to get the 12th overall pick. The No. 27 pick is a sure thing. Could also include the second-rounder or other picks. There are rumors flying about Marcus Spears or Martellus Bennett being involved. Miami is apparently motivated to move down and there is a relationship between the two front offices, so it'll be real interesting to see how that unfolds.

m (british virgin islands)

should we trade up for Pouncey or Iupati?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:06 PM)

I don't think the Cowboys will move up for either player, but they wouldn't hesitate to take either player at No. 27. They both should be able to take over at left guard after Kyle Kosier's contract expires after this season, if they don't challenge him immediately. Pouncey would be the eventual replacement for Andre Gurode.

Steve (Virginia Beach,Va)

Will the Cowboys make a trade involving M. Bennett,MB III, or Spears?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:08 PM)

Spears is probably the most likely of those three to go. He recently posted a message on Twitter saying that he hopes to stay but hinting that he's been hearing his name mentioned in rumors. The Cowboys want Stephen Bowen and Jason Hatcher to get more playing time. They're also high on Marcus Dixon, a DE who spent the last two seasons on the practice squad.

Stevey Nipas, Ca [via mobile]

Whats good Tim. Which USC player is more likely to get picked by Jerry in the first round Charles Brown or Taylor Mays?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:09 PM)

I'd be surprised if the Cowboys picked either player in the first round. There might be some Mays fans at Valley Ranch, but he reminds a lot of people of Roy Williams. They need a playmaking safety. Mays didn't make many plays in college. I could see Brown as the pick if the Cowboys trade down.

Bill (Arkansas)

What bone headed move will Dallas make this year to screw up their first round pick?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:10 PM)

Harsh question. You didn't like the Cowboys' recent first-round picks? Anthony Spencer, Felix Jones and Mike Jenkins all seem to be panning out pretty well, if you ask me.

Jon (Fort Worth)

Tim, I've heard Kiper and McShay saying this is the deepest first round in years so it seems that it should be possible that a player with higher value could fall to 27. So why all this talk of trading up? The 'Boys don't have any major glaring holes, why not snatch the best player available and save your picks?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:13 PM)

The talk of trading up is for two potential immediate impact players: Earl Thomas and Dez Bryant. The Cowboys are trying to balance being in win-big-now mode with sustaining success. And I'd argue that safety, while maybe not a glaring hole, is a significant need. Bryant is a top-10 talent who would be tough to pass up if he slides into the late teens.

BRANDON CROMER (GRAPEVINE)

WHY WOULD THE COWBOYS NOT TRADE DOWN IF THIS DRAFT REALLY IS THE DEEPEST IN YEARS? GET MAYBE A SECOND AND THIRD ROUND PIC FOR THEIR FIRST ROUND PICK?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:15 PM)

That is certainly a possibility, especially if there isn't a player the Cowboys graded as a first-rounder when they go on the clock. They put first-round grades on 23 players. If they trade down, South Florida S Nate Allen is the likely target. A nice scenario for the Cowboys would be if Jimmy Clausen falls into the late first round and a QB-needy team with an early second-round pick comes calling. Could be the Brady Quinn situation all over again.

David Darmoni (Burlington Vermont)

What do you think the chances Dallas looks at Sean Lee in the 2nd of Shipley in the 3rd?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:16 PM)

Both guys are possibilities there. Obviously, if the Cowboys get Dez Bryant in the first, they'll have no need for Shipley. Lee, an ILB from Penn State, would fill a need with Keith Brooking entering the twilight of his career.

Marc (NJ)

Tim,You're running the Cowboys Draft Room and the Bengals are on the clock. Dez Bryant is still on the board, would you send the 27th selection and M. Bennett to the Bengals for their 21st selection and a 5th?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:17 PM)

No. I wouldn't want to give up Bennett in the deal.

Steve (Lubbock)

I go to Texas Tech, so obviously I hope the Cowboys manage to pick up either Brandon Carter (OL) or Jamar Wall (DB), who are both projected to go late in the 6th round. Do you know if the Cowboys have even glanced at either one of these guys?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:19 PM)

I don't know what kind of grades the Cowboys have on either player, but I guarantee you they have a comprehensive scouting report on both. That's the case with every player who was invited at the combine, but especially with guys from in-state schools. Four members of the Cowboys' scouting department attended the Cotton Bowl that Tech played in after the 2008 season.

jack 2 (piedras negras, mexico)

Hope that Jerry either trades up or stays at #27, cannot remember many trade downs that helped us, last year was the worst!

Tim MacMahon
  (3:20 PM)

You have a short memory, mi amigo. How about trading down from No. 22 in 2007? That move resulted in getting Anthony Spencer and Felix Jones.

Joe (Panama City)

Any chance Barber would be traded for a pics? I think Choice is the better runner of the two.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:21 PM)

Barber's big contract makes him tough to trade. Doubt it happens. If he is moved, it'd probably be for a fifth- or sixth-rounder.

Daniel (Baton Rouge, La)

Do you think it is smart for the cowboys to try to trade up (as we all know JJ loves to do) to make sure they get one of the more elite safteys such as Berry or Thomas? Or is a saftey not a first round matter for they 'Boys?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:22 PM)

Eric Berry won't be a Cowboy. The cost -- in picks and dollars -- is too high to move into the top 10.

Thomas (Austin, TX)

In my opinion, Free is the next long term tackle for Romo's blind side. Obviously the Cowboys think so too, so why isn't anyone showing the 'Boys taking a guard in the 1st. This seems to be a bigger need with Kosier's contract expiring next year.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:23 PM)

You can debate whether guard or tackle is a bigger need. The Cowboys need both. Problem is, the players at those positions projected to be available at No. 27 would be first-round reaches. Again, if Mike Iupati or Maurkice Pouncey is there, the Cowboys shouldn't hesitate. But that's an unlikely scenario.

James (Ft.Worth)

I really like NT Terrance Cody especially after playing for Saban so could Cowboys get him in 2nd round and move Ratliff to LE?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:25 PM)

I don't get why so many people are eager to move Ratliff to end. He's a two-time Pro Bowler at nose tackle and prefers that position. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Ed (Union City, NJ)

Hey Tim, been watching all the mocks for weeks and it seems that Rodger Saffold has been a new name in the mix. What's his story? Would he be a good pick? Also, why would the Boys even consider Dez Bryant when they have proved good value picks with Patrick Crayton (7th round), Austin, Hurd, and Ogletree (undrafted) at the WR position?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:28 PM)

He's a guy with 41 starts at left tackle for a Big Ten school. He's not ideal size at 6-4 5/8, 316 with arms that aren't extraordinarily long and might end up being a guard. Can't say I've ever seen him play a snap, but I wouldn't be too excited if the Cowboys take him in the first round. As far as Bryant goes, you only get so many chances to add potential All-Pro talent. The Cowboys passed on Randy Moss. Reckon that was a mistake?

Tommy (Virginia)

What are the chances Dallas trades Spears to Dolphins for the 12 pick? I know we need a tackle but a safety like Thomas would help a lot, what do you think?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:29 PM)

It'd take much more than Spears.

Justin (Richardson)

I personally believe the Cowboys should take a receiver in the second round. If the Cowboys chose this route, which second-round talent wideout do you think would best fit the Cowboys?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:32 PM)

The Cowboys will not put themselves in the trap of saying they need to target a specific position in a specific round. Illinois' Arrelious Benn, who visited Valley Ranch, and Notre Dame's Golden Tate are among the receivers Scouts Inc. gave second-round grades. A few other Valley Ranch visitors -- Ohio's Taylor Price, LSU's Brandon LaFell and SMU's Emmanuel Sanders -- got third-round grades.

Blake (Abilene, TX)

We have Nate Allen S Southern Florida on the other chat. He is answering a lot of Dallas questions. Do you like the Idea of him playing Saftey for Dallas?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:33 PM)

Yes, I do, and I hear that some key people at Valley Ranch are really high on him.

Jack (Washington D.C)

What are the chances Da Boys take Colt McCoy in the first round?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:34 PM)

Slightly higher than the chances that I'll start for the Cowboys at left tackle next season. QB is the one position Jerry Jones has ruled out in the first round.

John (Maryland)

Hey Tim, assuming we dont go safety in rd.1 will Morgan Burnett be around for us late in rd 2?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:34 PM)

No guarantees he'd be there, but that is a guy the Cowboys supposedly like in the second round.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:34 PM)

No guarantees he'd be there, but that is a guy the Cowboys supposedly like in the second round.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:34 PM)

No guarantees he'd be there, but that is a guy the Cowboys supposedly like in the second round.

DK (Denton, Tx)

If Darren McFadden is on the trading block and that is (if) can you see Jerry making a trade with Oakland?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:35 PM)

Very, very doubtful. The Cowboys like their RB situation and are very happy with the Razorback they have running the ball.

Justin Sammut (Oxnard, CA)

First of all, I feel bad for you bro. All these people ask you questions like you are Jerry Jones himself....My question for you is how good is Michael Hamlin? He seems like a great asset to have. Becoming a 3 Year starter/captain at a school like clemson is hard to do.And assuming he is in full playing mode(even though we havent seen him play in a dallas uniform) What FS in the NFL would you compare him to?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:38 PM)

I'll shy away from making a comparison, but I'll tell you what the Cowboys like about Mike Hamlin. He's a big safety with playmaking ability. He had a school-record 14 picks at Clemson. He had a few highlight-reel picks in training camp as a rookie. He was a high school basketball star and has tremendous leaping ability and excellent ball skills. And he's a high-character, intelligent guy.

MErrick (College Station)

Dont you think it would be a good idea to draft multiple offensive linemen so they can compete to protect Romo. Im actually concerned about the loss of Flozell and god help Romo if any of the current starters go down during the season.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:39 PM)

No question. The Cowboys need depth at guard and tackle. Trust me, everybody who has input on draft decisions at Valley Ranch is well aware of that.

Mike (Oklahoma)

I know we seem to draft one every year, and its not a significant need, but do you think we'd consider taking Jerry Hughes from TCU with our first pick?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:40 PM)

I'd be surprised, and that's no knock on Hughes. But an edge rusher ranks pretty far down the list of priorities with DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer in place. The Cowboys also have high hopes for Brandon Williams, the fourth-rounder who spent his rookie season on injured reserve.

Daniel (Baton Rouge)

are the cowboys at all interested in the Bruce Campbell project? supposedly the best athlete in the draft.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:42 PM)

They love his physique. Not impressed with his film. If he's available in the second round, I could see that, but I'd be surprised if the Cowboys took a first-round flyer on him.

Blake (Abilene, TX)

How much do you think J. Jones comments on Bill Parcells will effect his ability to trade up with Miami?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:43 PM)

None. Parcells has publicly said he has no problems with Jerry. And Jerry has publicly kissed Parcells' rear since that video hit the Internet.

Jorge (NJ)

Will Dallas look into drafting a QB in the later rounds to backup Romo?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:44 PM)

The only way the Cowboys draft a QB is if there is tremendous value available in the late rounds. Jerry has made it clear he's pleased with Kitna as the backup and wants another year to evaluate Stephen McGee as a developmental project. The Cowboys are likely to sign an undrafted QB to take to camp and perhaps stash on the practice squad.

John (gainesville)

I know we have taken a kicker in the past 2 drafts...but should we take Hunter Lawrence in the 6th or 7th rnd...i mean he already has experience kicking field goals in cowboys stadium.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:45 PM)

Not gonna happen. Jerry is hoping and praying that David Buehler develops into a reliable field goal kicker.

Mike (PA)

Any chance the Cowboys take Odrick in the first? He could back up Ratliff and provide security of Spears is traded or not resigned.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:47 PM)

Penn State DL Jared Odrick visited Valley Ranch and is absolutely a possibility at No. 27. He could have a bright future as a 3-4 DE who could play a handful of snaps per game inside.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:48 PM)

All right, gotta wrap it up now. Thanks for joining me. We'll have Cowboys draft coverage all weekend on ESPNDallas.com.