The Norman Transcript

National Sports

April 23, 2013

Cowboys could be going OL 1st in draft again

IRVING, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys went 30 years without drafting an offensive lineman in the first round. They might do it for the second time in three drafts Thursday night.

Blockers are among the needs after Dallas signed two free-agent guards last year and still finished second-to-last in rushing in the NFL.

If the Cowboys take a guard in the first round, it will be just the second time in franchise history. John Niland went with the fifth overall pick in 1966, and only made six Pro Bowls in his 10 pro seasons.

Right tackle is a question, too, after Doug Free had a bad year and became a part-time player alongside undrafted free agent Jermey Parnell.

If Dallas gets a guard early, it will probably involve moving up for the third time since 2010, when a sliding Dez Bryant was taken late in the first round. The top two guards, Chance Warmack of Alabama and Jonathan Cooper of North Carolina, are projected as top 10 picks by many draft analysts.

The Cowboys have the 18th pick, and plenty of needs if they stand pat.

One of those is the other part of the running game — the guy carrying the ball. There’s no established backup to the injury-prone DeMarco Murray after Dallas decided not to bring back Felix Jones.

“Running the football is something we have to do better, there is no question about that, so we will try to do that a lot of different ways: how we coach the run game, how our players execute the run game, certainly adding players is a big part of that,” coach Jason Garrett said Monday. “But, again, we want to be true to drafting the best players throughout this whole draft process to help our team get better.”

Depth at safety is an issue after Gerald Sensabaugh became a salary cap casualty. Barry Church is expected to start after missing most of last year with a torn Achilles tendon. Second-year player Matt Johnson, who missed all of his rookie season with a hamstring injury, will be in the mix along with veterans Danny McCray and Will Allen.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Popovich wins Coach of the Year

    The San Antonio Spurs, the model for stability and sustained success in the modern NBA, were still a shaken team when they showed up for training camp in October, less than four months after a devastating loss to Miami in the NBA Finals. ...

    April 23, 2014

  • Tony Allen’s hounding defense a challenge, even for Durant

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant is tired of hearing about Tony Allen’s defense....

    April 23, 2014

  • Albert Pujols hits 500th HR of major league career

    WASHINGTON — Albert Pujols reached 500 homers in a hurry....

    April 23, 2014

  • Lawmakers seek change in MLB Cuban player policy

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Two Florida lawmakers motivated by Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig’s dangerous escape from Cuba are trying to change the way Major League Baseball treats Cuban players and are willing to tie state money for ...

    April 23, 2014

  • Physical stars ruffling Ducks’ feathers

    DALLAS — Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf was asked about the Dallas Stars trying to get under his skin or into his head with their physical play in Game 3. “Trying to hit my head how about?” the already stitched-up and visor-protected ...

    April 23, 2014

  • Pacers need statement game to stay afloat in series with Hawks

    INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s next game is the most important of the season. If the top-seeded Pacers can’t protect their home court Tuesday night, they’ll be down 2-0 heading to Atlanta — where they have only won twice since December 2006....

    April 22, 2014

  • Dwyane Wade looks like his old self, again

    MIAMI — Dwyane Wade is not planning on missing any more games this season, and that means life on the Miami Heat equipment room staff is going to get considerably more demanding....

    April 22, 2014

  • American wins first Boston Marathon after bombing

    BOSTON — “The Star-Spangled Banner” played over Boylston Street in honor of an American winner of the Boston Marathon....

    April 22, 2014

  • St. Louis falls again

    NEW YORK — Jenrry Mejia pitched four-hit ball into the seventh inning, David Wright delivered another key hit and the New York Mets beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-0 Monday night....

    April 22, 2014

  • Portland’s Aldridge primed for Game 2

    HOUSTON — A day after etching his name in Portland’s record books with a franchise playoff-record 46 points in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series against Houston, LaMarcus Aldridge was already looking forward....

    April 22, 2014