Dallas Cowboys use four of five second-day picks on offense


Saturday, April 20th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6



IRVING, Texas (AP) _ The Dallas Cowboys focused on their offense Sunday, using four of their final five picks in the NFL draft on offensive players.

After a series of offseason moves to improve the defense, and then the addition of All-American safety Roy Williams from Oklahoma with their first pick Saturday, the Cowboys spent the second day of the draft adding depth on offense.

``I really feel that we have added players that will push our younger players and make us make some hard decisions on our veteran players,'' owner Jerry Jones said. ``I do expect us to be a better team and a better competitor.''

The Cowboys took Ohio State fullback Jamar Martin (5-11, 245 pounds) in the fourth round (129th overall).

``Jamar Martin is the best blocking fullback in the draft,'' Jones said. ``We all got up trying to figure out how we were going to get in position to draft him and we couldn't do it and yet there he fell to us.''

In the fifth round, with a pick it got in a trade with New England for the seventh-round pick Sunday and a fifth-round selection next year, Dallas took cornerback Ralph Hunter (6-2, 193) from Virginia Union 168th.

Dallas had three sixth-round picks, two of them compensatory picks, and selected three more offensive players: Ohio State tackle Tyson Walter (6-5, 303) at 179, Sacred Heart receiver Deveren Johnson (6-6, 223) at 208 and Virginia Tech tight end Bob Slowikowski (6-5, 255) at 211.

On Saturday, the Cowboys drafted Williams, 6-foot-4, 316-pound guard Andre Gurode from Colorado and All-American receiver Antonio Bryant from Pittsburgh in the second round, and Ohio State cornerback Derek Ross in the third round.

Coach Dave Campo was especially pleased with the Cowboys' first five picks, but said the second day provided some bonuses.

``The biggest thing to me is that in our first five picks we got three players who were first-round picks in our opinion,'' Campo said. ``And we got our third cornerback on the board and the best blocking fullback in the draft.''

Before the draft, Jones had already spent some big money on free agent defenders. The Cowboys have room to deal after going through last year with more than $24 million in dead money _ salaries going to former players _ counting toward their salary cap.

The Cowboys got defensive tackle La'Roi Glover, cornerback Bryant Westbrook and linebacker Kevin Hardy through free agency. They also re-signed linebacker Dat Nguyen to a big contract.

The only defender the Cowboys drafted Sunday was Hunter, a player they traded up to get. Hunter had seven interceptions last season.

``He's got speed, and you know at that size (6-2, 193) he can hit,'' Campo said. ``He went to the Hula Bowl last year and he held his own.''