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NFL Dallas Cowboys

5 Worst-Case Scenarios for Dallas Cowboys’ First-Round Draft Pick

5 Worst-Case Scenarios for Dallas Cowboys' First-Round Draft Pick

stephen jones, jerry jones
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 NFL Draft will be the determining factor for the Dallas Cowboys' future. Dallas has Super Bowl aspirations despite having one of the worst defenses in NFL history in 2013. The Cowboys need to upgrade their defense and it will be crucial to find a few impact players in the draft. Here are the five worst-case scenarios for their first-round pick.

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5. Calvin Pryor

calvin pryor
David Manning-USA Today Sports

5. Calvin Pryor

calvin pryor
David Manning-USA Today Sports

Many have mocked Calvin Pryor to the Cowboys for quite awhile. Pryor plays with a ton of swagger and tenacity that allows him to make his presence felt in the defensive backfield. He has the ball-hawking mindset that NFL free safeties need, and the Cowboys are in the market for a safety. J.J. Wilcox wasn't awful in 2013, but he lost his job to Jeff Heath after an injury. I believe the Cowboys can wait until the middle rounds to draft a safety.

4. Taylor Lewan

taylor lewan
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

4. Taylor Lewan

taylor lewan
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

While defense is a big concern, Dallas' offensive line could use some adjustments. Doug Free was bad down the stretch last year, and he may be moving inside. That being said, the Cowboys could draft a tackle. I like Zack Martin over Taylor Lewan, but the latter will likely be available because of his character concerns. That is a headache the Cowboys don't need to deal with.

3. Jimmie Ward

jimmie ward
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

3. Jimmie Ward

jimmie ward
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmie Ward has a lot of playmaking ability. He is extremely thin and small, but Ward has the ability to be a good safety in the NFL. If he played at a bigger school, Ward would be a surefire first-round pick. Ward could go anywhere between the middle of the first round to the middle of the second round. He would be a good fit in Dallas, but he would be a big reach.

2. Kony Ealy

kony ealy
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

2. Kony Ealy

kony ealy
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Kony Ealy was not the best defensive end on his college team. There is no denying his potential with his frame if he can add some bulk. The problem with Ealy is that he would be a big gamble at no. 16. Ealy will likely not be a starter in his rookie season, and that is something that should bother the Cowboys. A more polished player would be a better fit, rather than a high-risk, high-potential guy.

1. Louis Nix III

louis nix iii
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

1. Louis Nix III

louis nix iii
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

After last season, many people thought Dallas' biggest need heading in draft season was at the 3-technique defensive tackle position. Instead, the Cowboys went out and signed Henry Melton to man the position. Now, Dallas has to add a 1-technique player, and many have said Louis Nix III would be a good fit. Nix III is better suited to play in the 3-4, and the Cowboys have said how they would like to pair two 3-techniques next to each other.