Here's my shot at how I would approach FA and the draft, assuming that we do convert to an attacking 43 defense that utilizes some Tampa concepts. I am of the opinion that our OL is likely to change somewhat less than many anticipate - I think that Jerry's mind is on the defense, and I think that the late season evidence of improvement on the OL will make Jason promote the idea of maintaining as much continuity as possible to continue that improvement. (I suspect this will annoy many fans) We have moderate ability to restructure contracts and sign FAs, but I'm guessing this is the year that we use FA to shore up the safety spot that has been too weak for too long now. I am skeptical that we will put FA dollars into offensive linemen as many have guessed, and I think our signings are likely to include one very good addition and several journeyman-quality players at positions in need of depth. For the draftable players, I've based positioning on NFLDraftScout's rankings, although I'm fairly skeptical of some of their rankings and have shamelessly exploited that here. Defensive Backfield (6) QB: Tony Romo, Kyle Orton HB: Demarco Murray, Rex Burkhead (R), Lance Dunbar FB: Lawrence Vickers Receivers/Tight Ends (9) WR: Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, Dwayne Harris, Chris Harper, Cole Beasley, Danny Coale TE: Jason Witten, James Hanna, Ben Hartsock (FA) Offensive Line (10) LT: Tyron Smith LG: Nate Livings C: Phil Costa RG: Travis Frederick (R) RT: Doug Free (Yes, really) Reserves: Mackenzie Bernadeau, John Wetzel, Ryan Cook, Jermey Parnell, David Arkin Defensive Line (9) LDE: Sam Montgomery (R), Tyrone Crawford LDT: Jason Hatcher, Marcus Spears RDT: Jay Ratliff, Sean Lissemore RDE: Demarcus Ware, Kyle Wilber, Alex Albright Linebackers (7) WLB: Bruce Carter, Ernie Sims (FA) MLB: Sean Lee, Dan Connor, Orie Lemon SLB: Chase Thomas (R), Geno Hayes (FA) Defensive Backs (9) CB: Brandon Carr, Mo Claiborne, DJ Moore (FA), Orlando Scandrick, Melvin White (R) FS: Jairus Byrd (FA), Charlie Peprah SS: Barry Church, Matt Johnson ST (3) LS: LP K: Dan Bailey P: Chris Jones Free Agent Acquisitions 1. Jairus Byrd - FS 2. DJ Moore - CB 3. Ernie Sims - WLB 4. Geno Hayes - SLB 5. Ben Hartsock - TE Draft Round 1: Sam Montgomery - DE - LSU I don't see us spending a #1 on offensive line. I just don't - the changes to the coaching staff will be mirrored in the draft, and we'll see a replacement for Anthony Spencer in Round 1. Montgomery, by far the most productive defensive player for a terrific defense, has the potential to play as a prototype strong-side end in a 43 defense. Has a lot of Spencer's skill set, but has the potential to be a larger, even more physical force in the run game. Doesn't have the pass rush move set to be as effective in the pass rushing game, but I hear we have someone on the roster who might be able to teach him something. Round 2: Travis Frederick - C/G - Wisconsin There's a lot of talk about Barrett Jones, and for good reason, since he has a huge body of work. It's Travis Frederick who I think ends up being the best interior lineman of this class, however, although I'll admit to being partial to both Wisconsin and Wisconsin linemen. More athletic than he looks, this is a giant but versatile swingman who could immediately step in at either Center or Right Guard. I would pencil him in as our starting right guard with Costa/Bernadeau competing for the starting Center position. Travis Frederick is a bad, bad man. Round 3: Chase Thomas - LB - Stanford I may be stretching a bit here, but I think there's a possibility that Thomas is still available to us here. As for the 43 conversion, I would slot him in as a potential starter at the SAM position, although he may need to develop some strength. I like watching him, like his leadership and like his potential to settle in at NFL-starter quality play. Not a super-star in the making, perhaps, but a good round 3 pickup. Round 4: Chris Harper - WR - Kansas State There seems to be a general feeling that we'd be drafting for a slot guy, but I'm of the opinion that we're drafting to find Miles Austin's replacement. Chris Harper is a big, more-athletic-than-you'd think receiver (he'll run under 4.5) who has a little bit of Dez in him when he's in the air. Might not be the "next Cowboys receiver", but feels very underrated to me based on what I saw in the Big 12 this season. Round 5: Melvin White - CB - Louisiana-Lafayette This is a bit cheeky, since NFLDraftScout's ranking is simply uninformed, and I'm unabashedly taking advantage of it here. In reality, this is a guy who gets taken far earlier. He's got Brandon Browner size potential, and is legitimately fast for that level of speed. Raw in technique, but has the potential to be an effective player in a 43 scheme that requires corners to be more aggressive against the run. Freeport, Texas native - near my hometown - so I'm a bit partial, but it's clear he evolved into a leader over his time at La-La. (It's also one of the few reasons I've seen him play. I don't exactly watch a lot of the Rajin Cajuns...) Round 6: Rex Burkhead - RB - Nebraska This local boy is sure to be brought in for the local workouts, and the Academic All-American and decent kid will impress the heck out of Jason and whomever the new RB czar ends up being. He works hard (2x lifter of the year) and runs hard, only falling off the radar because of his knee injury earlier in the senior season. This is a guy I see Jason falling in love with, and will be vastly underrated coming into the draft. Round 7: John Wetzel - RT - Boston College Bit of Sam Young in this guy, but I don't feel like he's quite as much of a waist-bender. A bit more natural and flexible out of the right tackle position. Quality run blocker already who has the potential to bulk up, develop technique and compete for a roster spot.