The way last year ended (with Tony Romo running for his life every time the ball was snapped) locks in the first choice for the Cowboys.

The first round pick will be an offensive lineman.

However, a first round pick is going to be a cornerstone of your franchise, no matter who you pick.  It's only possible to fail by selecting a bust.

The second and third rounds, which take place a day after the first round, are a key to building a successful TEAM.  Players who might have the talent to be drafted in the first round are still available, grades on available players begin to vary between teams, and some of the less character-conscious teams begin to take risks.

These two rounds often provide starting-caliber players, so successful picks can fill weaknesses on cap strapped teams like the Cowboys (who have almost enough room under the cap to re-pave a parking lot).

Round Two possibilities

Although the Cowboys will likely pick an offensive lineman in the first round (Chance Warmack if they're lucky), it doesn't mean they won't take a lineman in the second round.  This is a deep draft for either kind of lineman, and a player like Barrett Jones should be considered by the Cowboys if still available.

It's also possible that the Cowboys select a starting safety here, a sudden need after they cut Gerald Sensabaugh.  Eric Reid, a safety from LSU, fits into the Cowboys' new Tampa 2 defense, and should be available in the second round.

Round Three possibilities.

At this point, part time players start to come into consideration.

Depending on who they took in round two, and who is available, the Cowboys could consider another offensive lineman or a first safety here, but I'm thinking they go a different direction here with starting caliber players getting harder to find.

This is the perfect spot to pick a player like Le'Veon Bell or Stepfan Taylor, a possible starting back to take some of the work off DeMarco Murray and help him stay healthy. 

This year's running back class is deep, and the Cowboys could possibly put this pick off until the fourth round, as can most teams in the NFL.

Jerry Jones loves splashy offensive picks.  Dallas won't wait.

*** 

It's too early to be sure of any of this.  Players are still holding pro days and the Cowboys may yet go on a spending spree with cap space created by extensions for Romo and/or Anthony Spencer.

The smart move is to wait, use the draft to fill holes in the lineup and continuity to help the offensive linemen get in sync with each other.

It all depends on whether or not Jason Garrett still has the ear of Jerry Jones.