The Dallas Cowboys need to add a big-time difference-maker on defense in the 2014 NFL Draft, and it will be interesting to see which position they decide to upgrade with the 16th overall pick. They could go for a top safety if Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is available, and an upgrade at the defensive end position can’t be ruled out. But even though they were able to sign star defensive tackle Henry Melton in an utter coup this offseason, the Cowboys are expected to go with a defensive tackle, as there is a talented crop of players available at the position.
While Louis Nix is a strong option and a few people would mention Timmy Jernigan in there (I honestly wouldn’t, but that’s because I view him as an early second-rounder), the best bet for the Cowboys at DT would be Pittsburgh Panthers product Aaron Donald. According to draft insider Tony Pauline, the New York Giants and Chicago Bears will, unsurprisingly, show interest in Donald, and he adds that the Atlanta Falcons could even consider him with the sixth overall pick. Thus, Donald probably won’t last until the 16th pick after his incredibly dominant 2013 season (best defensive player in college football), but there’s always a chance.
If he does fall to the Cowboys, then Pauline writes that it would be a “manna from heaven”. He reports that Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, who surely knows a thing or two about DTs, told Donald that he would like to draft him. One of the top ten most talented players in this draft, the only knocks on Donald are size-related. He may get pushed a bit in the running game, but he’s an excellent pass rusher who would form an elite pass rushing duo with Melton at the heart of the Cowboys defense.