Nov 10, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones prior to a game against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Why the Dallas Cowboys Must Hit .545 in This Year's Draft

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 NFL Draft is only hours away. With the addition of compensatory picks and picks acquired from trades in the 2013 draft the Dallas Cowboys have a total of 11 picks in 2014. Not all Cowboy fans have faith in this organization to make the right selections, but with the last drafts there is some hope. This team has a lot of holes on the defensive side and hasn’t been able to avoid injuries lately on that side of the ball. That means that the importance of finding immediate starters and impact players is huge.

If the Cowboys can hit on at least 6 of their 11 picks in this year’s draft, which is 55%, they can accomplish that. They have 1 pick in each of the first 5 rounds followed by none in the 6th and 6 in the 7th round. Unless someone unexpectedly falls into their lap at 16, Dallas should use their first 3 picks to improve the defense. A lot of talk and hope is that Johnny Manziel falls to them and that they should take him. I however, believe that Dallas will wait till round 4 or later to grab a QB. Manziel has the possibility of being a great NFL player but would not play in Dallas for 3 to 4 years unless Romo gets injured.

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With so many needs this team must draft players that immediately play and produce in 2014. Losing DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher really hurts a defense that ranked last in the NFL in 2013. Signing Henry Melton and re-signing Anthony Spencer to 1-year deals helps but with this team’s recent injury history defense should be and must be addressed early and often. It’s clear that the team likes Aaron Donald and Anthony Barr and would take no time in picking them if they landed in their lap at 16.

Another reason and possibly the most important reason they need to hit on at least 6 of their 11 picks is free agency. In 2015 Dez Bryant, Bruce Carter, Morris Claiborne and DeMarco Murray all hit free agency. The Cowboys have lived in salary-cap hell for the past few seasons, by over paying and guaranteeing contracts to older players. This season they have made vast improvements and seem to be fixing that problem. The ability to re-sign some of these players is dictated by the players they draft this season. If they can find some players in the draft they will be able to have team control of young players for several years and free up money to extend contracts and get free agents.

The Cowboys MUST hit on at least 6 players in this draft!

Tags: Aaron Donald Anthony Barr Dallas Cowboys Dez Bryant

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