IRVING ,Texas -- In my experiences of being in draft rooms for 13 seasons, I have never went into that process with the thought of having just one player or position in my mind that we were going to select.
I have always believed that you have to keep an open mind about what potential opportunities might present themselves. You don’t go into a draft expecting your player to be there unless you have the first overall pick.
Leading up to this draft, there has been plenty of discussion about whether the Cowboys should just focus on a defensive player with that 16th overall selection?
I believe the answer would be “not at all.” With where they sit on that board, they have to be willing to make that selection, move up in the round or be prepared to drop back to a comfortable level and make the pick. What I do know is that there will be options to execute all three of these possibilities, but as you are working through these scenarios, you have to keep the big picture in mind.
In this big picture thinking, Jerry Jones and the staff have to be willing to keep an open mind -- especially if they trade back, because you are really at the mercy of the board and who is on it. But even if they don’t trade back and stand in there to make a selection, there is no way that I am just focusing on one position, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
As nice as it would be just to add an offensive lineman, they have to be prepared to consider one of these receivers or quarterbacks if they are sitting there on the board.
We had this exact situation happened to us on the Draft Show on Friday morning, when we went through our mock draft for the Cowboys. Defensive tackle Aaron Donald went off the board just ahead of us. The discussion came down among the group: would we take wide receiver Mike Evans, safety Calvin Pryor, linebacker C.J. Mosley or guard Zack Martin?
What was good about this exercise was that all four were players the Cowboys could surly use. As the clocked ticked down, it was clear that as much as we all liked Pryor and Mosley and even Martin, the thought of having Mike Evans to be a part of this receiving corps was just too good not to make that selection.
There is no doubt this squad needs defensive help and this was something that was discussed, but we selected one of the most dynamic offensive players in this draft and didn’t look back.
As Jerry Jones and his staff prepare for this upcoming draft, they have to be ready to have the exact same approach. If there is not a defensive player on the board that stands out above the others, don’t paint yourself into a corner and force a pick.
There needs to be a willingness to take the best player on the board, even if he helps the offense --whether it is Zack Martin, Mike Evans or even Johnny Manziel.
That’s how you get the draft off to a positive start.