Senior Bowl watch for the Cowboys

January, 26, 2013
1/26/13
1:17
PM ET
The Senior Bowl is today in Mobile, Ala., and we have some thoughts on players you should watch out for in regard to the Dallas Cowboys.

1. Jay Ratliff's status with the team didn't seem in doubt when the Cowboys arrived at the Senior Bowl. But after being arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated raises questions about his future. The Cowboys are headed to a new defensive scheme, switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3, and we've got a few players who might fit into that defensive-tackle, three-technique scheme, who will play today. Penn State's Jordan Hill (6-foot-1, 294 pounds), Kawann Short (6-foot-3, 280 pounds) from Purdue and Brandon Williams (6-foot-2, 341 pounds) from Missouri Southern play for the North. Williams, because of his size, might be more of a nose in a 3-4.

2. The Cowboys spoke with two defensive ends who will play for the North in SMU's Margus Hunt, measured as the tallest player at the Senior Bowl at 6-foot-8, and Texas' Alex Okafor, who is 6-foot-4 and 261 pounds. Okafor said he can play either as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme or defensive end in a 4-3. It's too early to determine if Okafor or Hunt are first round picks, but if the Cowboys don't re-sign or franchise Anthony Spencer in the offseason, drafting an end could be a realistic possibility.

3. The Cowboys need at least three tackles to go with during game days. Tyron Smith, Doug Free and Jermey Parnell were the trio during the season. Free was inconsistent in 2012 and there is concern about his future with the team. Should the Cowboys invest a draft pick on a tackle? The South roster has 6-foot-6, 302 pounder Lane Johnson from Oklahoma, who will get snaps at right tackle in the Senior Bowl. It's also worth checking out Eric Fisher, a tackle from Central Michigan from the North.

4. The Cowboys could release veteran fullback Lawrence Vickers this offseason and go younger at the position. When you see how bad the running game was in 2012, you have to look at more than the running backs coach, who was released. There are two fullbacks -- Tommy Bohanon from Wake Forest and Kyle Juszczyk of Harvard -- who are worth looking at on Saturday.

5. Tony Romo isn't going anywhere, so talking about his demise with the Cowboys is pointless. However, drafting a quarterback in the middle rounds might be something the Cowboys consider. Mike Glennon, the 6-foot-6 quarterback from N.C. State, could increase his stock among NFL teams with a strong performance today. Glennon might be worth taking a pick on in the second round.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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