Cowboys Finally Address Pass Rush in Draft With Oklahoma DE

The Dallas Cowboys finally addressed their pass rush early in the fourth round of the NFL draft, taking Oklahoma defensive end Charles Tapper with the 101st overall pick Saturday.

Tapper started 38 of 39 games over his final three seasons with the Sooners, recording 15 1/2 sacks and 26 1/2 tackles for loss. He was a first-team All-Big 12 pick by The Associated Press in 2012.

The Cowboys took Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott with the fourth overall pick before getting Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith and Nebraska defensive tackle Maliek Collins in the second and third rounds.

Dallas has finished in the bottom third of the league in sacks in recent seasons and won't have any proven pass rushers when the season starts.

DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory, second-round picks each of the past two years, will be serving four-game suspensions. Also, owner and general manager Jerry Jones said Friday the team has ruled out bringing back polarizing defensive end Greg Hardy after one tumultuous season with the Cowboys.

The Cowboys also face the question of drafting a potential backup to quarterback Tony Romo after slipping to 4-12 last season when Romo missed 12 games with a twice-broken left collarbone.

Dallas made a strong push to get another first-round pick and take Paxton Lynch before Denver got the deal done and grabbed the former Memphis quarterback at No. 26.

Michigan State's Connor Cook went to Oakland a pick before the Cowboys drafted Tapper.

Dallas has another pick in the fourth round and four sixth-round selections.

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