As we get closer to the NFL draft, it is time for not only the Dallas Cowboys to send smokescreens, but the entire NFL.
Ah, tis the season for the Dallas Cowboys and the rest of the NFL. It is a time when you can’t believe most of what you hear. Sure, some of it could be true, but a bunch of it isn’t.
How can we tell what to believe? Well, you can’t, but you can make some educated guesses.
You can’t just right off the bat believe everything you here about the Dallas Cowboys, no matter who is saying it. It is like this for all teams right now, and Jerry Jones is one of the best at smokescreens. This isn’t to say all information is false, it is saying take it all with a grain of salt.
First, if you are unfamiliar with what goes on just before the NFL draft, I will summarize for you. Teams start positioning for who they want to draft. What they don’t want is other teams to know what they want to do. So to combat this, teams put out misinformation to mask the real information, in order to keep everyone guessing.
If you have been to the Dallas Cowboys headquarters before a draft, you would know that they close certain areas for tours. This may seem silly, but they are looking for any way possible to protect their plans for the draft. Even the insiders don’t have all of the answers this time of year.
Insiders like Todd Archer, Mikey Spagnola, Bryan Broaddus, et al. who work out of The Star. These are usually the guys who break news regarding the Dallas Cowboys. They are the first to get news and people like Adam Schefter use them to get information about the Cowboys. However, during this time of year, even they don’t have all the answers.
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We can make some educated guesses based off of who they have come to visit for workouts. We can make more guesses based on how they played free agency and who they kept and lost in the offseason. We can also make some guesses by how Jerry and Stephen Jones either talk or don’t talk about certain position groups.
However, some of what is put out could be nothing more than a smokescreen.
The Cowboys have only drafted one player in the first round whom they didn’t have for a pre-draft visit in the Garrett era.
That would be none other than Morris Claiborne.
That was the ultimate example of a smokescreen. It didn’t look like the Cowboys were interested in him, then when he fell, they moved up and grabbed him.
What happens at this point of the offseason is teams have a small handful of guys they have targeted. Usually they have a favorite for their position in the draft, based off of a ton of simulations they run to guess who will be available. So of course teams don’t want teams to know who they want, they want “their guy”.
So as we inch closer to the draft, be cautious where you get information from and what you believe. Right now there is a lot of conjecture, and not a lot of actual fact. It is what makes this part of the offseason so much fun, and so maddening all at once. Welcome to the season of the smokescreen.