Published April 29, 2012
| Sports Network
1 - Morris Claiborne, CB, Louisiana State (5-11, 188); 3 - Tyrone Crawford, DE, Boise State (6-4, 275); 4 - Kyle Wilber, OLB, Wake Forest (6-4, 249); 4 - Matt Johnson, S, Eastern Washington (6-1, 211); 5 - Danny Coale, WR, Virginia Tech (6-0, 201); 6 - James Hanna, TE (6-4, 252); 7 - Caleb McSurdy, ILB, Montana (6-1, 245)
Top Picks Analysis: The Cowboys made one of this draft's boldest moves by shipping their No. 14 overall pick and second-rounder to St. Louis to garner Claiborne, widely regarded as this year's premier cover cornerback. The 2011 Thorpe Award honoree boasts the arm length to efficiently jam receivers at the line of scrimmage as well as the fluidity to mirror opponents down the field, and should instantly upgrade a secondary that was a big sore spot last season. Dallas didn't stop there in its quest to bolster the defense, spending its next three selections on that side of the ball. Crawford isn't much of a pass rusher at this stage, but has the functional strength to contribute as a rotational end in Rob Ryan's 3-4 scheme, while Wilber is a quality athlete with the movement skills to possibly take over for Anthony Spencer if the latter departs as a free agent after this season.
Best Value Pick: Hanna is a tremendous athlete who delivered the fastest 40 time of any tight end at the combine and could earn his keep as a move player that can stretch the field once he learns to be more precise in his routes.
Questionable Calls: The Cowboys entered the draft without a reliable No. 3 wide receiver behind Miles Austin and Dez Bryant, but waited until the fifth round to add to the position with the heady but athletically limited Coale. Considering the injury histories of Felix Jones and DeMarco Murray, bringing another running back to the mix would have made some sense.
Summary: The Cowboys got a potential Pro Bowler in Claiborne, but the rest of the defensive newcomers look more like capable role players rather than high- level starters and not a whole lot was added to the equation on offense. A decent overall crop, but nothing more.
FINAL GRADE: B-