FRISCO, Texas --In the speculative world of the NFL draft, narrative has a way of trumping reality. Speaking at the conclusion of the draft's first round on Thursday night, Cowboys officials were happy to set the record straight.
For months, the talk has been that the Cowboys needed to draft a wide receiver. Even before the team released Dez Bryant in April, there was speculation that his heir apparent was on the way to Dallas with the No. 19 overall pick. When Bryant was finally released, that speculation reached a fever pitch.
To hear it from Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones, though, the need isn't as drastic as many might believe.
"We really like what's there at receiver and didn't feel the urgency, based on what we did in free agency, to really have to go out and reach and stretch for a receiver," he said.
That's a pretty sensible statement. The Cowboys didn't break the bank to address the receiver position this spring, but they also weren't idle. In the weeks before Bryant's departure, they added veteran wide out Allen Hurns on a team-friendly deal.
Before that, they signed veteran speedster Deonte Thompson to a one-year contract that effectively offset the loss of Brice Butler.
"We're really pleased with what we did in free agency, with Hurns and Deonte and adding that," Jones said. "We're already plus one – if you think about us losing a receiver, we added two."
None of this is to say the Cowboys aren't eying a new receiver. The front office brought Calvin Ridley and D.J. Moore to their facility, as they weighed the possibility of drafting them in the first round. The Cowboys have also been linked to a dozen other receivers – from SMU's Courtland Sutton to LSU's D.J. Chark to Oklahoma State's James Washington, among others.
Jones said Thursday that the Cowboys see value at receiver in all seven rounds of this year's draft. So even if they bypassed the position at pick No. 19, there are nine more picks to make.
"Obviously, the receivers that are in the first part of the draft – the first, second and third round – are going to be a little more seasoned and not as developmental," Jones said. "But we really like a handful of those guys, so I still think there's an opportunity to bring some competition in here."