Jan 3, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Kony Ealy (47) during the game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the 2014 Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium. Missouri won 41-31. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Inside The Cowboys First Round Decisions

So about a week ago I had a small conversation with someone with some inside knowledge of the Dallas Cowboys. Of course, we started talking about the draft. We talked about the first few founds of the draft and I was surprised when I heard mention of a few things. It made me think about all of the options the Cowboys had in the first round and how that would impact other rounds. As the conversation kept going there were more things that surprised me, made me a little mad, and made me imagine the perfect scenarios. So what are the Cowboys options and what was said? Well funny you should ask…

So of course we started talking about Donald right away in the draft. The Dallas Cowboys currently believe that he will not get past the Chicago Bears. If he does, well that is who the Dallas Cowboys will draft. There are some exceptions to this apparently, but I will get into that later. If in fact Donald is gone then the next guys are Hageman and Nix. So for all of you out there wanting D line, it looks like as of today that is exactly what the Dallas Cowboys are looking at in the first round.

Now for the one exception. If somehow Mack were to fall in the draft the Cowboys would be willing to trade up if he is within a reasonable range. I would not be against getting a talent like Mack, and I am pretty sure many fans out there would not hate it either. If they do in fact get Mack then look for Jeffcoat in the second round.

What about a safety? Well we talked about that and I specifically brought up safety in the first round. Apparently, the staff is high on the safeties on this team and are not really looking at a safety unless a few things fall through on the draft and it is the best play available. What boggled my mind about this is how they are high on a guy who hasn’t played a snap (Johnson), a guy who has been injured (Wilcox), and an under-performing, underwhelming player (Heath). So for those looking safety in the first, you may have to wait a little later in the draft.

There is a possibility the Cowboys go WR in the first or second round. This made me scratch my head on a few levels. First, this team has two starting WRs and some really good slot players. Second, this is a really deep draft in WR, and the desire to get one early is odd to me. I realize that if Dez Bryant were to go down there is little behind him, but to pick one early seems a little misguided. I am not sure I agree with this, but the staff is really high on Sammy Watkins.

I then asked about a backup QB and a FB. I brought up a few names and while Johnny Manziel’s name was dropped by who I was speaking with, I was surprised that they would go that direction. It was mentioned how he would bring revenue to the Cowboys and how Jerry kind of liked him. I for one am against Manziel as an NFL prospect, but I am not in the scouting department, I just call them like I see them. As for the FB, I dropped J.C. Copeland’s name, and the response almost made me laugh. The person said, “Only if he can play tight end.” That is how the Cowboys look for a FB, if they can play TE. Once I said his size and history as a lineman, the response was more like, “Oh, he needs to be looked at more, I would not be against that.”

The Cowboys might just trade down as well. It is well known Jerry likes to have draft picks and without a 6 rounder there is a possibility Jerry pulls off a trade to get that pick back. If they trade down then look for either a DT, DE, or WR in the first. The only caveat to that is if the top safety is still on the board if they trade down.

So there it is, some of the options the Dallas Cowboys have in the first round. Could all of this change? Yup. When I said no one knows what Jerry is really going to do there was a chuckle from both of us. It was good to hear that the staff feels the same as many fans as the needs of this team. I, for one, will be watching for some of the smoke and mirrors as well as whose pro day the Cowboys attend in the next few weeks. But, it will be an interesting draft for sure.

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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Dallas Cowboys

  • Old Frog

    So nowhere in this conversation is O line either at 16 or trading down like last year for Frederick. What’s up with that?

    • n0ble

      There was never the O line brought up in the first or second round. I gathered that if they do upgrade the OL it will be later than the first 2 rounds. I thought it was odd no OL was mentioned. But there has been some sentiment that they are happy for the most part with it, except maybe a guard.

      • Alex Darden

        This may also be a smokescreen in itself.

        • n0ble

          Good point. That is the strange thing about this time of year. So much of what is said and thought is a cover or changes daily.

  • Tony Hernandez, III

    Excellent reporting. Thanks

    • n0ble

      No Problem. I hope they really are in line for a DL.

  • Scott.

    You mentioned move back in draft and pick up the 6th rounder that they don’t have. I’d hope they get a bit more than that. I’m sure you meant additional pick plus the 6th.

    • n0ble

      I did, I kind of thought that was pretty obvious.

  • ctcowboy1968

    April fools joke? No way anyone associated with the Cowboys is going to be talking about this subject.
    Watkins and Mack will be gone in the top 10. The Boys will never sniff either of those players. Manziel would destroy this team. The one position that a team can absolutely NOT miss on in the first round is a QB. That sets the whole team back 10 years. Just ask Cleveland (multiple times), Minnesota and Jacksonville. Take Murray in the 4th. Draft a FB? No way. The Boys have proven that the FBs they pick never make the team.
    Yes, the Bears are the biggest problem. They have the same issues as us. Our pick is somewhat determined by their selection. IMO, neither Hageman or Nix is worth the 16th pick. Making a pick based on if a player goes down (ie, Dez) is stupid. What if Tyrone goes down? What if Fred goes down? We could play that all day.
    Stick to the plan. Don’t be stupid. Don’t take risks. DL in the first. Donald, Jernigan, Ealy. For you, Old Frog, let’s get a G, but none are worth a 1st round pick.

    • David

      Ealy is not worth the 16th pick. Id rather see them draft either Dix or Pryor in the 1st round and then go DE in the 2nd round where there should be plenty of value for them. That would upgrade this defense immensely. If they dont upgrade the FS position I dont care if they get Charles Haley and and his D-line in their prime this defense will be only average and still get lit up by legit playoff teams with good O-lines..

      • ctcowboy1968

        I think there are a couple of safeties that can be had in the 2-3 rounds. Like Jimmie Ward, Deone Bucannon and Dion Bailey. The DL is such a huge need right now. I have no faith in Matt Johnson or Heath. Wilcox needs time to develop. So it’s a trade off. I agree that S and DL are the biggest needs.

        • David

          So try another small school guy? Or keep trying safeites in the mid rounds when they have had zer success doing that. No thanks..

        • n0ble

          Ward is borderline 1st right now, which means he may or may not be there in the 2nd by the time we pick. While I think Safety is a huge need the rumblings at Valley Ranch seem to say it isn’t as big as we fans think. I hope that is a little bit of a screen.

    • n0ble

      Look, the conversation wasn’t like here is EXACTLY what we are going to do, it was more of what everyone is kind of talking about. I agree with the Manziel thing, but if Jerry goes out and tries to get him would anyone be surprised? I wouldn’t. Now I am not sure about the Hageman or Nix being a 16 pick just yet. But I will say is that I would not be surprised if they trade down if their guy isn’t there and they feel they can get better value later. I am in complete agreement with DL in the first. The ONLY way I would be okay is if SOMEHOW Mack drops or one of the safeties is there. Other than that, yes DL is the way to go.

      • ctcowboy1968

        First, thanks for your service in the military. I am not a Nix fan. I like Hageman, but only in the mid 20′s. Trading back for an extra 2nd is fine. Just have to be careful since the Cards (pick 20), GB (21) and Bengals (24) are all looking for DL.

        • n0ble

          You are welcome. I really enjoyed what I did in the military. Shame I got hurt, but hey, then I might not get to do this :)

          I think they will let the chips fall and feel out for trades. If Donald is there I think they stay put OR if one of the top guys fall they stay put as well. Other than that it is probable they trade back a little to get an extra pick and get a little better value in their eyes in the 1st.

  • David

    No offense Daniel but I find more than a few things highly suspect in the article. I will only cover the main one. I find it hard to believe they would draft either Hageman or Nix in the 1st round. They would both mostl likely considered 1 tech’s and if history and Marinelli’s philosopy mean anything he does not place great value on the 1 tech. Especially not in the 1st round. All you have to do for evidence of that is look at least years draft when the Boys had Floyd as their highest rated player on the board when they went to pick. Marinelli told them not to draft him because he was a projected 1 tech. i also find it hard to believe they will draft a D-lineman in the 1st round for a couple of reasons. One being is that Marinelli has already said that Dallas will rotate 8 to 9 guys on the line to keep guys fresh. Also they have signed 3 guys already in FA to be a part of that rotation and the DE position they do need to address can be done in the 2nd round because none of the DE’s at 16 will be worth the right value unless Barr slides for some reason and they want him to play DE. So I would find it hard to believe they would draft a D-lineman with the 16th pick to be a part time player. Unless Donald fell to them and they think he is the 2nd coming, but if thats the case I doubt he would slide to them. Dallas has huge needs at FS wheather they admit it or not.

    • n0ble

      First let me say I was simply stating the conversation that we had. Second I agree with the need at FS, but I keep hearing how the Cowboys think Johnson and Wilcox will fill the hole. While I do not agree, it seems they are quite content…at least on the outside looking in. As for the DL, it seems that they realize this is still a position of need. I do hope that they do their research and get the best player available within reason. I mean if they get a DE instead of a DT I would not be upset at all, but if they get a TE in the first then I think many of us will be quite upset. Does any of this mean this is exactly what they will do? No. Remember a few things. Jerry is Jerry, and what they say outside of Valley Ranch isn’t always what they say inside Valley Ranch.

      • David

        I would seriously not be happy if they went DE in the 1st round unless it was Barr and they plan to play him there. Kony to me would be a big reach at 16. Check this article out from dallascowboys.com. It talks about how it would be unlikely that they draft a Jernigan or Nix in the 1st round.


        • n0ble

          Maybe, but remember smoke screens are out there. I would think that while the Cowboys have pretty much said Donald is the preference, knowing he will most likely be gone makes them have to reconsider things. Would I be mad? Probably not, it is a position of need and these guys aren’t exactly 3rd round players.

  • brian basile

    My draft wish list is Pryor/Dix 1st, Creighton/Murphy 2nd, Richardson/Dozier 3rd, Christian Jones 4th, Brad Smith 5th, trade into 6th and get Michael Schofield and if Aaron Lynch is there in seventh….Im stoked…EVERY one of these players I can see contributing right away and spot is possible….We may even be able to trade back a few spots and still ge one of the Safeties, lets say with Jets and pick up a 4th..With that pick I take McCullers DT Tenn

    • n0ble

      I would be fine with that draft. I still would like to see Copeland somewhere on this team and if they got Jeffcoat in the 2nd I would not be mad either.

  • Guy Smith

    Wow, Dallas trades Claiborne to the NY Jets for a second this year and a third next year.

    • n0ble


  • John Mason

    Should give whatever it takes to draft Clowny

    • n0ble

      Probably not going to happen. While I think the idea of him is great, what it would cost to move up to the top 2 would be too much.