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Mailbag: What's The Value Of Pre-Draft Visits?

Stephen and Jerry Jones

I am probably the greatest Cowboys fan in Louisiana. Just was thinking, what is looked for when the pre-draft visits are brought in? Do they give physicals, check their football knowledge, or do anything on the field? And what places one athlete above another? - BOBBY WASHINGTON / SHREVEPORT, LA

Bryan: Physicals can be involved. Players meet with front office, coaches and support staff. They will be put on the board and tested on knowledge. Coaches will also watch tape with them to get a little more insight of their playing ability. It just a good way to get to know the player on a personal level.

Rob: That's quite a title, Bobby. The 30 allotted national visits offer a more extensive interview process than the Combine, where teams only get to speak with prospects in 15-minute intervals. No workouts are permitted during the 30 visits, but you can get a better idea about a player's personality, injury history, etc. Often the visits confirm what teams already know and like about a prospect. Sometimes a visit helps teams learn more about something that concerns them, like a player's off-the-field history.

Seeing as the Cowboys have no glaring needs since free agency additions, do you think it would be wise to use this year to stockpile picks for the future by trading down in rounds 3-7? We could still have a potential starter at 58 and maybe find some depth and developmental guys by going the opposite direction. - DAVE REDWINE / STATESBORO, GA

Bryan: In my opinion this draft is too good in the middle rounds to trade back. The fact that they have two selections in the fourth round is something I want them to take advantage of. 

Rob: Completely disagree, Dave. I'd worry more about quality of talent than quantity. This is a huge draft in those middle rounds. They need future starters in there, as well as No. 58. Think about the number of big contracts they're about to dish out at the top of the roster. You need to find major contributors – if not this year, then next – because you've got north of 20 players set to be unrestricted free agents in 2020. The bulk of your roster can't all be on big-money deals.

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