FRISCO, Texas - For the first time in three years, the Cowboys were able to hold their annual pre-draft press conference at The Star with media in person.
And while Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones and Mike McCarthy were on stage, it's unlikely they gave away any key secrets as we approach the start of the NFL Draft on Thursday.
But it was a time to catch up on several topics, ranging from draft strategy to free agency and even the status of players such as Michael Gallup and Kelvin Joseph.
Highlights from the Press Conference
- Contrary to many fans and media that believe the Cowboys have to get an offensive lineman or wide receiver early in this draft, Stephen Jones said "there are no musts" for his team as they enter the draft. That doesn't mean they don't have specific needs, and those two positions have to be included. But as for the word "must," Jones said that's not the case.
- Stephen Jones did add that "free agency isn't over" and even hinted that there are more than a couple of ways to add veteran talent.
- Jerry Jones was quoted last week as stating he could trade up in the draft. When asked on Tuesday to clarify which round, Jones said he was "generally" speaking. He added, "It'd be maddening to not consider anything. Trading can be a big part of things. I would not not-consider anything."
- Stephen Jones said the Cowboys will have about 15 players with first-round grades, which he said is "a little lower" than usual. With the Cowboys having the No. 24 pick, it's unlikely they will get a player with the first-round grade but won't rule out a trade-up scenario if a player falls into the range that makes sense.
- Stephen Jones also added that while the first round is a little thin, he said the middle of the drafts – rounds 3 to 5 – is deeper than usual. The Cowboys actually have six players in those three rounds, including four in the fifth round.
- While the Cowboys made it clear they wanted to re-sign Randy Gregory in free agency, it doesn't sound as if they are dwelling on the moment. Jerry Jones mentioned that getting both Dorance Armstrong and Dante Fowler Jr. for cheaper than it would've cost to get Gregory is an upgrade. "I'd rather have two than one."
- One of the lighter moments of the press conference occurred when Jones was explaining the process in decision-making and "who makes the call?" Jones gave a dig at Stephen and a former draft pick as well. Jones said "Taco was Stephen's call," referring to the team taking Taco Charlton in the first round in 2017. Charlton played just two years in Dallas. While the room of reporters busted out in laughter, Stephen Jones said "this isn't that funny to me." Jerry then added that Micah Parsons was "his call." Although later on, in all seriousness, Jones discussed in detail how the decision-making reaches far more than one person.
- Wide receiver Michael Gallup (torn ACL) is "doing very well on his rehab," according to McCarthy. "Once we get to training camp, we'll get a tighter view on when he will be available." Gallup suffered injury in early January and his chances of being ready to play Week 1 of the 2022 regular season remain in question.
- McCarthy also praised his team for having "100 percent player participation" in the voluntary workout program that began last week. McCarthy said there have been times when players couldn't attend the workouts but have participated in meetings virtually.
- Before the press conference went deep into draft talk, the Cowboys were asked to discuss CB Kelvin Joseph, who was connected to a Dallas murder case. Jones said he has no information to report and said the incident does not affect the Cowboys' draft strategy in any way.