Draft Central | 2022

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Jerry Jones Always Keeping Draft Options Open


FRISCO, Texas – As usual, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones isn't ruling anything out when it comes to this week's NFL Draft.

That doesn't necessarily mean the club will make a splashy trade up or down in Thursday night's first round. But Jones and the front office will keep their phone on and their options open.

"We always chum," Jones said at Tuesday's pre-draft press conference. "I do it away from the draft. You're always talking about possibilities or things.

"I think flexibility, we have it here. The way to be ready for it is to literally be prepared. If you had been a fly on the wall this morning listening to our conversations, you would have heard some pretty interesting scenarios about, 'What if this happens?'"

The Cowboys have the 24th overall pick Thursday. Earlier this month, Jones told reporters that he'd be open to trading up at some point on draft weekend -- not necessarily in the first round -- depending on what their draft board says and who's on the other line.

"It would be madness to not consider anything as we mentally prepare for the draft, and trading can be a big part of things," Jones said Tuesday. "We've had busy times in drafts and slower times in drafts. But I think the question was that I answered at the time, which I'm not being defensive at all, is would you consider it? Specifically with that, it's more of an answer of I would not not consider anything as we're sitting here getting ready for the draft."

The Cowboys have made 71 draft-day trades since Jones took over the franchise in 1989. In 21 of those 33 drafts, the club has made a trade that included its first-round pick, though that's happened only twice since 2013.

With nine total picks in rounds 1-6, the Cowboys could have some opportunities to move around. Picking 24th Thursday means they've got to be patient -- and flexible -- as the board takes shape.

"I still think we're going to have a great opportunity to really improve our football team," Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones said, "whether it's at the 24th pick, or if we decide to make a move to go up, then there's some players that would fit that category that you might be intrigued by. And then there's always the option if four or five guys sitting there that you really think a lot of, that it's not impossible we might move down a little bit."

That happened in 2021, when the Cowboys traded back two spots to draft All-Pro linebacker Micah Parsons at 12

th overall while also picking up an extra third-rounder to draft defensive end Chauncey Golston the following night. The club had interest in drafting a cornerback early last year, but the top two prospects went off the board just ahead of their original pick (No. 10). Parsons actually had a higher grade -- and it's safe to say that decision worked out quite well.

The Cowboys will hope for similar success Thursday through Saturday, whether that involves a trade or not.


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