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2013 NFL Draft Fallout: Dallas Cowboys

The 2013 NFL Draft transformed 32 NFL rosters. Around The League will examine the aftershocks in our Draft Fallout series. Next up: The Dallas Cowboys.

The Big Question: Will ignoring defense hurt Cowboys?

Ignoring might be a little strong. But the Cowboys didn't take a defensive player until their fourth pick, Georgia Southern safety J.J. Wilcox. They went with another small-school defensive back in the fourth round, William & Mary cornerback B.W. Webb. They added an outside linebacker in the sixth round.

The Cowboys continue to insist that the transition to defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin's 4-3 defense will be smooth. They say their defensive line is a strength. But we were perplexed to see them pass on a great value in Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd in the first round, instead trading down for nasty centerTravis Frederick. This partly is why I called 2013 a "no-win" draft for team owner Jerry Jones.

Jay Ratliff hasn't been effective or healthy for two years. He's an overpaid starter. And who is going to start next to him at defensive tackle? Is Jason Hatcher changing to a new position?

The depth at the position seriously is lacking. I'd be worried about the team's run defense. The Cowboys also have a scary lack of depth at the rest of the front seven positions. There was a dramatic defensive change schematically in Dallas this offseason, which usually is followed by adding a lot of new players to fit the new scheme.

Instead, Dallas is counting on all the same players to learn new positions.

Three Takeaways

  1. Second-round tight end selection Gavin Escobar should be on the field plenty as a rookie. He's more talented than the candidates for the No. 3 wide receiver role, including third-round pick wide receiver Terrance Williams.
  1. Williams probably will be asked to play more than he should as a rookie. There aren't a lot of great options for Tony Romo off the bench, plus Miles Austin or Dez Bryant usually miss some games.
  1. Running back Joseph Randle, a fifth-round pick, is the favorite to back up DeMarco Murray. A running theme with all these picks, including the ones in the secondary: The Cowboys needs them to contribute right away.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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