The Cowboys are going to have to test one of their favorite players from the draft when they play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
Former Alabama safety Mark Barron was a prime consideration for the Cowboys in last April’s draft. He wound up with Tampa, which took him seventh, one spot after the Cowboys took cornerback Morris Claiborne.
Now Barron is starting for the Bucs. He has nine tackles and four passes defensed in the first two games.
“I don’t want to get into our board, but we’re really impressed by Mark Barron,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Thursday at Valley Ranch. “We know the Alabama program well. We know the guys who coach down there, and we spend a lot of time evaluating their players. ... Mark is a guy who just showed up, really, against the run and against the pass in every game that we watched in college. He played a lot of big games. They won the national championship down there. He was a big part of that and was a guy that everyone in their program pointed to as one of their leaders.”
The Cowboys very well could have wound up with Barron themselves, but they opted to trade up from the 15th pick to the sixth pick to take Claiborne, who owner Jerry Jones said at the time they had rated higher than any cornerback since Deion Sanders.
So if the move up to get Claiborne hadn’t worked out, the Cowboys might have tried to get Barron.
“He’s a big, physical guy, a very good athlete, and we spent a lot of time with him prior to the draft,” Garrett said. “We actually had him in here. I went down to his workout at Alabama. ... We thought he would be one of the guys available to us. He was taken by Tampa with the seventh pick of the draft. Highly regarded by a lot of people. Easy to see why. He’s a good football player.”
-- Carlos Mendez