By Clarence E. Hill Jr.
Palm Beach, Fla _ Owner Jerry Jones said the Cowboys did so well in free agency they will open to pretty much anything in the 2012 NFL Draft, including drafting a premier player at 14 or trading out of the pick.
"Because of how well we did in free agency, we will be able to draft or trade," Jones said. "In other words, we could easily have a situation that’s in our best interest but if you just had to have that safety or that offensive lineman, you might not have been able to make a trade you wanted to make and go down. Or possibly go up. So my point is, free agency helped us normally, purely look at how we can best improve the personnel on this team through the draft, whether it be trading or just picking the player. Not a luxury, but picking the player."
More to the point, especially when it comes to an offensive lineman, Jones said the free agent signings of guards Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau, has the Cowboys not inclined to take an offensive lineman in the first round. Stanford guard David DeCastro has been a popular pick for the Cowboys on mock drafts but now they may have to readjust.
"We probably wouldn’t prefer that," Jones said. I wouldn’t. That would keep us from maybe having to pick a top player there in the first round on the offensive line. It did it both ways. It left us totally flexible there. You might want to move down and pick up a player that’s going to be there rather than being at your 14th -- you might not have been able to do that had you not had the success that we had in free agency."
Cowboys to likely target defense in first round
However the signing of cornerback Brandon Carr to a five-year, $50.1 million contract will not preclude the Cowboys from taking a cornerback in the first round, owner Jones said. Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick and North Alabama's Janoris Jenkins are the likely candidates there.
"It’s just that’s a premium position in ours and most others," Jones said. "So I don’t have an aversion at some positions (like) a special pressure player, a really good deal at corner for where you are in the draft.”
Jones said the way the draft is shaping up that is more likely that the Cowboys will take a defensive player in the first round.
He said he is very impressed with Memphis tackle and Scouting Combine phenom Dontari Poe who could play nose guard, end or defensive tackle.
"I'm impressed with him, Jones said. " Im real impressed. Im particulary impressed cause he looks like a nose and has the skill and has some pass rush about him at the five technique. I'm impressed with him. He looks good."