Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys' 2011 NFL Draft: My Top 10 Observer-ations

10. The pick of Southern Cal offensive lineman Tyron Smith isn't sexy, but it's savvy. Thumbs up. And he says he doesn't like jewelry. Two thumbs up.

9. Fifth-rounder and former Cedar Hill star Josh Thomas is physical and a good tackler in the secondary, but you wonder about a four-year cornerback starter in college with only two interceptions. Don't you?

8. If the season opened today I'm not sure who would start at safety for the Cowboys. Gerald Sensabaugh and Alan Ball? By Sept. 11 surely Sensabaugh will be gone and Ball will be merely a nickel back.

7. The Cowboys have had only two coaches (duh) and two quarterbacks (double duh) to win Super Bowls. But they've also had only two left tackles -- Ralph Neely and Mark Tuinei.

6. Like you, I would've liked to have seen the Cowboys trade down with Jacksonville, pick up another second-round pick and still nab Smith. But in line with him being No. 5 on their board, that would have been a greedy, risky move. First time Jerry Jones has been criticized for being too conservative? 

5. I'm all for athletic inside linebackers that can shove Keith Brooking into his best role as a cheerleader, but North Carolina's Bruce Carter is coming off ACL surgery and won't be full-speed for the start of training camp. Isn't that a little high to be gambling on damaged goods? Then again, Smith also had knee surgery in December.

4. Gone from Dallas' 2011 roster: Marion Barber and Marc Colombo.

3. Oklahoma running back DeMarco Murray has potential. But staying healthy is a big part of the game. Right, Emmitt Smith?

2. It's "TIE-run" Smith, as in Byron Nelson.

1. The Cowboys went 6-10 last year and had the worst pass defense in the history of the franchise. So in the draft they select only two defensive players, fewest since 1962. Dallas is obviously counting heavily on two things: Free agency and Ryan.

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Richie Whitt
Contact: Richie Whitt