After an unexpected bad season, the Dallas Cowboys will have the 9th pick in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft on Thursday April 28th. The Cowboys have more than a few holes they need to fill when it comes to this draft and free agency. They can fill big holes come the three days of the NFL Draft at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

The Cowboys usually make solid picks with their first round choices and this year could turn out to be the same way for Dallas as they possess a top 10 pick. Here are the five best options for the Cowboys for their first round pick on Thursday.

Option 1:

Tyron Smith OT USC

The Dallas Cowboys had poor play on the offensive line last year thanks to injury and inexperience. The Cowboys could make the smartest draft pick, need wise, by selecting Smith out of USC. The Cowboys need to fill a vacancy at Right Tackle.

Smith is also a solid pick for the Cowboys as he would be able to step in and start immediately. This pick could easily become the staple for the Dallas OL for years to come.

Option 2:

Patrick Peterson CB LSU

This one is a long shot but should Peterson fall, and other teams not trade up to get him, the Cowboys could make the biggest steal in the draft with Peterson at pick #9. Dallas is looking for the next big playmaker on defense with Terrance Newman slowing with age and Michael Jenkins still a season away from veteran skills.

It’s a true long shot but a magnificent pick should Peterson somehow fall. Don’t plan on it though.

Option 3:

Prince Amukamara CB Nebraska

It might take hell freezing over for Peterson to fall in the Cowboys lap. Amukamara would be considered plan B in this situation.

The speedster from Nebraska is still extremely high on many team’s big boards, and this would fill the need for the Cowboys. It may be a slightly high pick for Amukamara, but it would be a safe pick for Dallas.

Option 4:

J.J. Watt DE Wisconsin

The Cowboys are looking for help on the defensive line, especially at defensive end. Watt is a special kind of athlete that possesses the speed, strength and size to play DE for the Cowboys.

Watt, combined with Pro-Bowl tackle Jay Ratliff, could create havoc for both the pass rush and run stopping. Watt isn’t the top dog on the big board for DE but is most likely the one that will be available for the Cowboys. It would still be a great pickup for Dallas.

Option 5:

Trade Down

The position needs that the Cowboys are in search of filling are quite deep in the draft this year. Dallas could still make solid selections in the middle and late first round while picking up other high draft picks along the way.

After Tyron Smith and a freak free fall for Peterson, this is the smartest option for Dallas. Dallas has traded down in the past and it could be another real possibility come Thursday evening.

If you were in the draft room for the Dallas Cowboys, who would you take with the first round pick?