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March 04, 2013

Spencer's return means Cowboys likely will look another direction than DE in the draft

It was only two weeks ago that a club official put the odds of the Cowboys franchising Anthony Spencer for a second consecutive year at "negative-4 percent." Dallas, though, now will try to sign Spencer to a long-term deal after clearing enough salary-cap space last week to allow the Cowboys to use the $10.638 million franchise tag on him.

It means the Cowboys aren't likely to use the 18th overall pick on a defensive end with Spencer and DeMarcus Ware now solidifying the position. BYU defensive end Ezekiel Ansah was one of the names associated with the Cowboys in some mock drafts.

Dallas will have Jason Hatcher and Jay Ratliff at defensive tackle, but since there are so many quality defensive tackles in the draft, the Cowboys could select one early. Florida's Sharrif Floyd should be gone before the Cowboys select, and Utah's Star Lotulelei could be, depending on how his heart condition checks out. But Missouri's Sheldon Richardson and Purdue's Kawann Short could fall in the Cowboys' range.

Safety also could be an option, if the Rams don't select Texas' Kenny Vaccaro at No. 16.

But offensive line might now be a better bet for the Cowboys. North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper and Alabama tackle D.J. Fluker could be on the board when Dallas' turn arrives. Alabama guard Chance Warmack likely will be gone, but who thought Dallas would end up with Mo Claiborne last year, so if Warmack starts falling....

-- Charean Williams



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I would be surprised to see the Cowboys try to move up for anyone this year, especially a guard. I like Jonathan Cooper every bit as much as Chance Warmack, but I see DJ Fluker a step below the other two and not worthy of the 18th pick. I'm not sure Kenny Vacarro is the way to go either (I like the Florida International kid, Jonathan Cyprien better anyway). In a draft deep with offensive and defensive linemen, let's hope the Cowboys don't try to get cute. I would be elated to see the Cowboys draft some big uglies in the early rounds.

Jerry would be wise to keep an eye on Geno Smith and Matt Barkley. I expect one of those guys to still be on the board in the first round when Jerry is on the clock. He can get his offensive and defensive line help in the second and third round.

For those suggesting Kenny Vaccaro with that first round pick from Jerry. Don't do it Jerry. Vaccaro is a third or fourth round pick at best. Jerry should target..Geno Smith or Matt Barkley with that first pick. He can get a defensive lineman and offensive lineman in the second and third round. This draft is loaded with linemen on both sides of the ball.

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