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Mailbag: Do The Cowboys Draft 30-Visit Prospects?


I'm curious if the Cowboys actually end up drafting many of their 30-visit prospects? Seems like most of the time they don't, at least with their early picks. – Darren Poupore/Asheville, NC

Kurt: Because no official list is provided by the team, figuring out who actually attends as part of the 30 visits is an inexact science. But one thing is certain – the Cowboys take these little get-togethers seriously. Just look at last year's draft. Sam Williams, who was taken in the second round, was reportedly a 30-visit prospect, as was DaRon Bland (fifth) and Devin Harper (sixth). Plus, Markquese Bell and Malik Davis were signed as undrafted free agents. That's probably a higher percentage than in most years, but just about every draft cycle sees players join the team who the brass brought in for a 30-visit evaluation. In fact, from 2005-18, of the Cowboys' 14 first-round picks, 13 had been a 30-visit invitee, including the likes of Zack Martin (2014), Ezekiel Elliott (2016) and Leighton Vander Esch (2018). Outside of Day One, Tony Pollard made a 30 visit, DeMarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory, Xavier Woods, DeMarco Murray, the list goes on and on. So, yes, with 31 other teams making selections they may not wind up with a bunch of the 30-visit guys overall. But the Cowboys have spent valuable time and resources getting to know these players, so you can bet they'll be keeping an eye on them over the three-day draft.

Nick: Not sure, there's much else left to say. Like Kurt said, sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. You have to remember just how long this draft process is for the scouting departments. For most fans, they start getting into the draft around January or February, and some have yet to start until a few days before the draft. For NFL teams, they've been studying these players for the last two years or so. From the scouts being on the road during the football season, to the Senior Bowl, combine, Pro Days and then these 30 visits and Dallas Day visits, there's a lot of chances to meet these players. Some years they are drafting a few of them that come in, but obviously, most of them are not drafted. But don't forget too that a lot of these rookies will be free agents in 3-4 years. It's not like the scouts and coaches throw away their notes. You never know when they'll need them again.

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