Question isn't if Cowboys draft a cornerback, but how many

Washington cornerback Kevin King picked off two passes last season. Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys have seven picks in next week’s draft and more needs than selections. This week, we're taking a position-by-position look at the roster to determine which spots they needs are more necessary to fill than others.


What they have: Orlando Scandrick, Nolan Carroll, Anthony Brown, Leon McFadden, Jeremiah McKinnon, Duke Thomas, Sammy Seamster.

What they need: The Cowboys watched Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne leave via free agency and signed Carroll to a three-year deal worth $10 million. He had his best season a year ago in Philadelphia, starting all 16 games for the first time in his career.

Scandrick should be better two years removed from tearing the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his knee, an injury that cost him the 2015 season. Brown was a major find as a sixth-round pick last year. He showed he was unafraid of the moment.

But the Cowboys need more. Carroll and Scandrick are both 30.

In the lead-up to the draft, the Cowboys had 11 cornerbacks among their allotted 30 national visitors. The Cowboys do not use these visits as window dressing. From Kevin King to Fabian Moreau to Cordrea Tankersley, the Cowboys have looked at all kinds of corners.

Carr had just one interception in his final three seasons with the Cowboys, but his value was in his availability. He did not miss a game in his five-year run with the club. Claiborne never played a full season in his five years, but was having his best season last year before a groin injury kept him out for the final nine games.

Claiborne was the Cowboys’ most recent first-round selection. They moved up to No. 6 overall to take him in 2012 and it just didn’t pan out. It should shock nobody to see the Cowboys take a cornerback at No. 28 this year.

Best fit: Kevin King, Washington. At the start of the draft process his teammate, Sidney Jones, drew more attention than King, but as the process winds down, King is finding himself as a first-round lock. He has good size (6-3) and is aggressive. He can make tough plays and has good body control. He led Washington with 15 pass deflections and picked off two passes. He plays with an attitude, and that’s something the secondary needs.

Late-round possibilities: UCF’s Shaq Griffin and Oregon State’s Treston Decoud were among the Cowboys’ national visitors leading up to the draft. Griffin had four of his seven career interceptions last season. He is a gifted athlete, but does not seem to have the best instincts. Decoud had a well-traveled college career before ending up at Oregon State. He had two interceptions last year and is long, but needs to do a better job with his technique.

Feeling a draft: The question isn’t whether the Cowboys will draft one cornerback, it’s whether they will draft two cornerbacks. The last time they took two corners in the same year was 2009, but those selections came in the fifth and seventh rounds. In 2008, they selected Mike Jenkins in the first round and Scandrick in the fifth round.