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February 24, 2011

OT possible at No. 9


Jerry Jones has said the Cowboys could look at an offensive tackle with the No. 9 overall pick. Aside from left tackle Doug Free, the Cowboys struggled on the offensive line.

It would be a departure from the franchise’s draft philosophy. Since 1967, the Cowboys have selected only two offensive linemen in the first round.

But several offensive tackles are worthy of their pick.

Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi declared himself the “No. 1 tackle out there” on Thursday.

“Because of the players I’ve gone against – four potential first-round players I’ve gone against this year – I have a better resume of going against better talent than anyone else, so that makes me more [pro] ready,” Carimi said. “I’m physically stronger and have more career starts and better knowledge of the game than any other tackle out there.”

Carimi was referring to teammate J.J. Watt, a defensive end he went against in practice, as well as Iowa’s Adrian Clayborn, Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan and Ohio State’s Cameron Heyward.

Boston College’s Anthony Castonzo did not bring as much bravado with him, though his resume is similar. He, too, was a four-year starter, with five more starts than Carimi, and he went against North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn and Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers.

“That’s his opinion,” Castonzo said of Carimi’s declaration. “It’s what we’ve put on film. I’m not going to stand up here and say I’m better than him or he's better than me. It’s for the scouts to decide based on what we’ve put on film. This is just kind of the capper here at the combine.”

USC’s Tyron Smith and Colorado’s Nate Solder also are highly rated offensive tackles.

-- Charean Williams



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