IRVING, Texas – Wednesday might have been Carson Wentz's first trip to Valley Ranch, but it hardly felt like a new experience for the highly-touted quarterback prospect.
After all, it was this organization and this coaching staff that oversaw Wentz's trip to the Senior Bowl back in January. Given that week of experience working with the Cowboys, Wentz's pre-draft visit offered a unique opportunity to reconnect.
"Being with them in Mobile was fun," Wentz said. "It was fun from the standpoint that I love football – I love talking football, I'm passionate about it and I can tell they are too."
That much is obvious. Considering that they hold the No. 4 overall pick in this month's NFL draft, the Cowboys are leaving no stone unturned as they prepare their pecking order for their eventual pick. It's telling that, despite spending a week with Wentz at the Senior Bowl, the front office used one of their 30 pre-draft visits to have Wentz tour their facility, meeting with owner/general manager Jerry Jones, coach Jason Garrett and the rest of the football operations staff.
"That week in Mobile and now coming here again today, it's kind of been the same. Getting to know even some more people and being around it, this is a great place," Wentz said. "Obviously it's changing soon and that's probably an exciting time for the organization, but it's been cool to see some people again and then go into more discussion – especially meeting with Jerry Jones. It's good to just feel it all out."
It's the latest step in what has been a grueling few months since Wentz helped capture a fifth-straight FCS national championship for North Dakota State – in nearby Frisco, Texas, of all places. Wentz began the draft process by preparing for the NFL Combine in Orange County, Calif. When he was done with the annual workouts in Indianapolis, he made his way back to Fargo, N.D., for his Pro Day – not to mention a litany of private workouts for NFL clubs.
"You just keep checking these boxes, and more than anything at this point, try to fight the anxiousness of what's next – seeing what'll happen here," Wentz said.
That's a fascinating question for Wentz and the Cowboys, for reasons that have been well-documented. Dallas sits at the top of the draft with an obvious need at quarterback, though they clearly boast a Pro Bowl-caliber starter in Tony Romo. It's not a typical scenario for a top-five quarterback prospect, though it could become a reality for Wentz – or other highly-regarded signal-callers like Jared Goff or Paxton Lynch, for that matter.
That's not particularly concerning for Wentz, though, as he said he's not worried about trying to forecast the future regarding his eventual destination – or the circumstances awaiting him when he is finally drafted.
"I'm just here to answer any questions, talk ball and be myself," he said. "If people want to ask about that, by all means – I'll embrace it. But if no one wants to tell me anything, that's fine too. I can only control what I can control."
It still makes for a surreal feeling. Wentz's draft process kicked into high gear in Mobile, alongside the Cowboys coaching staff. Wednesday's visit with the Cowboys marks the beginning of the end, as he's a mere three weeks away from seeing the payoff for his efforts.
"Come April 28, which I'm very excited for, I'll know where the heck I'm going," he said.