- Associated Press - Saturday, April 30, 2011

IRVING, TEXAS (AP) - The Dallas Cowboys are bulking up in the NFL draft.

Dallas added its second offensive linemen in its first four picks, selecting Missouri State’s David Arkin with the 110th overall pick Saturday.

The 6-foot-5, 302-pound Arkin started all 44 of his games at Missouri State, where he was on The Associated Press FCS All-American team last season. He is also smart, with a 3.71 GPA in construction management.

Dallas got 6-5, 310-pound offensive tackle Tyron Smith from Southern Cal with the ninth overall pick. Smith was the first lineman the Cowboys drafted in the first round under Jerry Jones‘ ownership.

At Missouri State, Arkin played right guard for three seasons before moving to left tackle as a senior. He believes his versatility and a “bit of a mean streak” likely caught the attention of NFL teams, though he was a bit surprised to get a call from Jerry Jones.

“It wasn’t a team that I figured targeted me or whatever. You talk to a lot of teams, and think some are looking at you more than others,” Arkin said. “I talked to (the Cowboys) at the combine. Beside that, they hadn’t really had contact with me.”

Arkin wasn’t even watching the NFL draft on television Saturday. To ease his anxious emotions waiting for a call, he had decided to get out of the house and go to the mall to pick up a case for his phone.

He was walking into the mall when his phone rang, and Jones told him the Cowboys were drafting him.

“I walked around for a couple of minutes,” he said of what happened after the call. “I couldn’t do anything and just drove back home.”

The Cowboys used their fifth-round selection, the 143rd overall pick, to get Buffalo cornerback Josh Thomas.

Before going to Buffalo, Thomas played high school in the Dallas suburb of Cedar Hill, where he played for a Texas 5A state championship team in 2006. At 5-11, 196 pounds, Thomas is a bit undersized at cornerback, but is a speedster who also competed as a sprinter on Buffalo’s track and field team.

The Cowboys still had three more picks Saturday, including two seventh-rounders.

With only a handful of NCAA Division II and junior college offers out of high school in Wichita, Kansas, Arkin took the only Division I offer he had _ from Missouri State.

He played in the East-West Shrine Classic in January, which he called a good test. Now the kid who was spurned by home state universities Kansas and Kansas State is a fourth-round NFL draft pick.

“That’s something that put a chip on my shoulder. Coming out of high school, I didn’t get an offer from the local teams,” Arkin said. “It worked out for the best.”

Arkin described himself as a “late bloomer physically,” having been a decent player coming out of high school who grew into his big body.

The Cowboys on Friday got North Carolina linebacker Bruce Carter with the 40th overall pick in the second round and selected Oklahoma running back DeMarco Murray 71st overall in the third round.

This is the third time in eight years the Cowboys have used two of their first four draft picks on offensive linemen. The only of those four previous linemen who panned out for Dallas was Doug Free, who started 16 games for the Cowboys last season.

Free and James Marten were picked in the first three rounds in 2007. In 2004, the Cowboys selected Jacob Rogers and Stephen Peterman in the first three rounds.

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