*(taken from April 2012 issue of Dallas Cowboy Star Magaine, by Josh Ellis) A great offensive line makes for a great offense...but here's the deal. Even with a below average line these last few years, the Cowboys have still managed to score a lot of points. (here is where Jerry Jones has been successful) Tony Romo has put up elite numbers. That, and Demarco Murray was outstanding during the stretch of games he started in 2011. Meanwhile the defense, in particular, the pass defense, has killed the defense for the past two years. They were 26th in passing yards allowed in 2010, and 23rd last season. That won't cut it. The team made one step towards turning things around by swapping out an over-the-hill Terence Newman for Brandon Carr. Carr is coming into his own. There is still the need to get better at safety and much needed depth at cornerback. An improved pass rush would go a long way toward helping the defensive backfield, both by forcing quarterbacks to get rid of the ball earlier and by causing them to make mistakes. Getting an impact player with the first pick is paramount for this draft. Jerry, Jason, Rob, and Bill Callahan all know this.... Now supposing that the upcoming draft unfolds as below. How would you approach alternatives and selections if you were Dallas? 1. Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck QB 2. Washington Redskins - Robert Griffin III QB 3. Minnesota Vikings - Matt Kalil OT 4. Cleveland Browns - Morris Claiborne CB 5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Quinton Coples DE 6. Los Angeles Rams - Justin Blackmon WR 7. Jacksonville Jaguars - Dontari Poe DT 8. Miami Dolplhins - Ryan Tannehill QB 9. Carolina Panthers - Luke Kuechly ILB 10. Buffalo Bills - Jonathan Martin OT 11. Kansas City Chiefs - Riley Reiff OT 12. Seattle Seahawks - Michael Floyd WR 13. Phoenix Cardinals - David DeCastro OG 14. Dallas Cowboys..... On the board will still be: Melvin Ingram Dont'a Hightower Nick Perry Courtney Upshaw Stephen Gilmore Trent Richardson Dre Kirkpatrick Kendall Wright Whitney Mercilus Devon Still Janoris Jenkins Cordy Glenn Mark Barron Fletcher Cox ...so, how would you approach this scenario? But, before you approach that, let's throw in some more of the facts behind the scene: Pass Rush: DeMarcus Ware is an elite player, and his impact is clearly the main reason Rob Ryan's defense finished tied for seventh in the league with 42 sacks last year. Ware had 19.5 of those take-downs himself. But no other Cowboy had over six sacks themselves. A lot of those leftovers came when Ware disrupted the pocket, either forcing the quarterback into another Cowboys rusher or creating more time for his teammates to get there. Pass rush can come from a lot of sources. including the defensive line, but the most obvious source is the outside linebacker slot opposite to Ware. Anthony Spencer will return, which is good for stopping the run. But the division-rival Giants have shown that play-making defenses cna never have enough quality pass-rushers. Cornerback: Signing Brandon Carr was a bold stroke. The Cowboys now have under contract for the next five seasons two cornerbacks who should be entering their prime in Carr and Orlando Scandrick. However, the $75 million they're due and the Cowboys are committed to paying in the coming years is one reason that Dallas may be figuring that they can not afford to resign Mike Jenkins. The NFL is a passing league now. The Cowboys need to continue to add talented cover men to keep up with the game's most high-powered offenses. Safety: This position has been treated as an illegitimate step-child for some time now... The veteran on a one-year deal has become awfully commonplace for the Cowboys safety in recent years. Ken Hamlin got one of those in 2007, betting on himself in hopes of a long-termed deal, which he landed after a Pro Bowl season. After being cut by the Raiders, Keith Davis got a final year with the Cowboys in 2008. Then came Gerald Sensabaugh on no-commital contracts in 2009, 2010, and 2011, until the team granted him a five year extension last fall. Abe Elam joined the Cowboys on a one year deal for 2011. But he has been replaced. At least for 2012, Brodney Pool is the second at safety. Wouldn't it be nice to have an up and coming safety for the foreseeable future?