Michigan State defensive lineman Malik McDowell is visiting The Star at Frisco this week, according to sources.
McDowell, projected as a first-round choice, likely plays strongside defensive end after playing both inside and outside in college. He had 7.5 sacks and 24.5 tackles for loss in his three seasons.
McDowell is one of several defensive linemen among the Cowboys’ 30 national visitors. Tennessee’s Derek Barnett, Michigan’s Taco Charlton, Missouri’s Charles Harris, Wisconsin’s T.J. Watt and UCLA’s Takkarist McKinley also visited.
The Cowboys also invited most of the top cornerback prospects, including USC’s Adoree Jackson, UCLA’s Fabian Moreau, Florida’s Quincy Wilson and Teez Tabor, Washington’s Kevin King, LSU’s Tre’Davious White, Ohio State’s Gareon Conley and Colorado’s Chidobe Awuzie.
Connecticut’s Obi Melifonwu was among the safeties to visit.
The Cowboys expect to use most of their seven draft choices on defensive help, which is why only two offensive players were among their 30 national visitors.
Only twice in the past 12 years has the Cowboys’ top choice not taken a pre-draft visit: DeMarcus Ware, a first-round choice in 2005, and Morris Claiborne, a first-rounder in 2012.
The Cowboys ranked 14th in total defense, including 26th against the pass last season, and had only 36 sacks and nine interceptions. They lost seven defensive players in free agency, including two cornerbacks and two safeties.