RVING, Texas – Most of the draft prognosticators have linked the Cowboys to Alabama’s three top defensive players and all three are visiting with the team this week.
Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, safety Mark Barron and outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw are among the “top 30” visitors to meet with the coaches, front-office staff and get a look at Cowboys Stadium and Valley Ranch, according to multiple sources.
NFL rules limit teams to 30 national visitors to facilities prior to the draft, however, they do no on-field workouts. The visits are more in-depth interviews to get a feel for how a player learns or interacts. There is also a medical checkup.
While the players vary in talent and draft grades, the team’s last first-round pick not to make a top-30 visit with the Cowboys prior to the draft was DeMarcus Ware in 2005.
Coach Jason Garrett attended the pro day workouts of the three Crimson Tide players last week on his way back from the NFL Owners meetings. Garrett broke into the NFL coaching business in Miami under Alabama coach Nick Saban and counts Saban as one of his mentors. Last year Garrett attended Southern Cal’s pro day and the Cowboys selected Tyron Smith with their first-round pick.
In free agency the Cowboys signed guards Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings, but the team is also looking at draftees Stanford’s David DeCastro, Georgia’s Cordy Glenn, Midwestern State’s Amini Silatolu and Memphis’ Ronnell Leary.
Other visitors include: Boise State nose tackle Chase Baker, Cal safety D.J. Campbell, Albion cornerback Chris Greenwood, Vanderbilt cornerback Casey Hayward and Oklahoma linebacker Ronnell Lewis.