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Pointing To Depth Of Draft, Jones Hints At Possible Trades


IRVING, Texas – Staying put on draft day. It's just something that rarely happens here at Valley Ranch, especially with Jerry Jones running the show.

Since he took over in 1989, there has been just one draft that didn't include a single trade, either before the draft or in most cases, while the draft is in session.

Ironically enough, that no-trade draft occurred in 2011, when the Cowboys stayed put on their eight picks and drafted eight players, including Tyron Smith, Bruce Carter and DeMarco Murray with the top three picks.

Will that happen again, even though the Cowboys have just six picks with which to work?

History says it won't. In fact, Jones himself said Monday in a pre-draft press conference at Valley Ranch that it probably makes sense to trade down if possible, just to stockpile picks in what is being considered a deep draft.

Of course, what a GM says three days before the actual draft shouldn't always be taken so seriously.

"We will be open to improving where we are," Jones said Monday, sitting between head coach Jason Garrett and his son Stephen Jones, the Cowboys' vice president and director of player personnel. "There's a lot of depth at a lot of positions in this draft, and so you could maybe get where you want to be at certain positions and gain a pick or gain some collateral there through the trade. That's what it's always been about."

Jones went on to discuss his philosophy of sticking to his draft board and how trading up or down doesn't exactly go against the board, but in his terms, can sometimes "honor" the board if they can find a way to take players at better positions than their slotted spots.

But when it comes to trades, Jones said he hasn't fielded any offers just yet, mainly because it's too early. That stuff typically happens when he's on the clock, or a few picks before. But if Jones told us anything Monday, he reiterated that he would likely be open to making a trade, especially to move down.

"Just my assessment, there's enough depth in this draft that you sure want to keep your ears open for trades because you very well could get as good or a better player at another level," Jones said. "And I will, and we will have our minds open and we won't be doing a lot before the draft. When I say doing a lot, probably fielding many calls. It'll probably be happening right there on draft day." [embedded_ad]

Jones has made a habit of trading on draft day, but it's not always to move down. In recent years, the Cowboys actually made more headlines by moving up, like they did last year when the Cowboys jumped from No. 14 to sixth overall to get Morris Claiborne.

In 2010, the Cowboys went from 27th up to 24th in the first round to grab Dez Bryant. Later in the second round, they also moved up a few spots to take Sean Lee.

But over the years, Jones has made a habit out of wheeling and dealing from the War Room. Of the 133 total trades the Cowboys have made since Jones bought the team, 59 of those have occurred on draft day.

Will that number jump to the 60s this week? History certainly suggests it will.

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