At the Senior Bowl, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was often asked if he must draft a quarterback this year. His strong response had no intent to deceive.
What star college player will secure the Dallas Cowboys coveted 4th overall draft selection? With each passing day the million dollar question looms larger.
Hiding draft intentions is common practice for all NFL teams. No general manager wants to tip his hand in this high stakes game of poker.
Last week at the Senior Bowl, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was often asked if he must draft a quarterback this year. His combative response had no intent to deceive.
"There are many options. There’s free agency … We have to (draft a QB) to do what? We have to win a Super Bowl next year? Do we have to compete for a Super Bowl in the future? Do you have to have it in place after this draft? There’s no have-to here, in my mind, because we have the luxury of having Romo here for three, four, five more years. — Cowboys owner Jerry Jones"
There is little doubt Jones is weighing Tony Romo‘s future value along with each college passer’s value in the draft.
By even mentioning free agency in general, Jones is signaling what worthy draft predictors should already know…necessary information is still missing.
The following are key NFL calendar dates which affect the draft process:
Feb. 23-29: NFL Scouting Combine
March 15: Start of new league year ; Free Agency Period begins
April 28-30: 2016 NFL Draft
There are still 19 days until the Cowboys staff gets a first-hand look at most of their early round player options.
The testing, drills, and interviews administered at the combine will strongly influence player value scores.
Once March begins (after the combine), Dallas will finally be able to rate a player’s entire package and rank them accordingly.
FREE AGENCY ADJUSTMENTS
More from The Landry Hat
- 3 ways Cowboys’ Dak Prescott can have a bounce-back season in 2023
- Cowboys News: Dallas sets pre-draft visit with potential Dalton Schultz upgrade
- NFL executives heaping praise on offseason is uncharted territory for Cowboys
- 3 free agent signings from NFC East rivals that left Cowboys fans laughing
- Cowboys News: Brandin Cooks sends flattering message to CeeDee Lamb, Stephon Gilmore
The free agency feeding frenzy begins on March 15. Teams spend roughly five weeks seeking veterans to fill roster holes before shifting the focus solely on the draft.
Transactions made during the initial five weeks of free agency often alter draft strategy, be it slightly or significantly.
One must determine what roster holes were filled, and also what need positions were relieved of solid free agent options by other teams.
For instance, Buffalo will likely release Pro Bowl pass rusher Mario Williams. If Dallas signed him before the draft, their options would change instantly.
The Cowboys would no longer consider using their high value pick on a defensive end like Joey Bosa or Noah Spence.
Options would also change if Dallas adds a promising veteran quarterback like Robert Griffin III before the draft. A rookie QB would remain a target, yet urgency decreases.
Currently no player is a glaring lock for selection with the 4th overall pick. There’s even a good chance Dallas trades back to add picks.
Quarterback, defensive end, linebacker, and cornerback are all very legitimate options at #4. Even selecting the draft’s top receiver makes sense.
If forced to make a guess today with limited information, my early money is on trading back and adding another second round pick.
At this point no player blows me away enough to stay put at Pick 4. There’s more value in waiting five picks, selecting a talented starter, and adding an extra top 50 selection.
This early prediction should change in time. As Coach Garrett says, “it’s a process”.
Thank you for reading the above article. It’s our sincere hope you’ll visit our site often as we work really hard to provide Cowboys fans with fresh, daily content about their favorite team. Please feel free to take part in further discussions about this topic below in our comment section. All we ask is that each participant is respectful in both their responses and towards others. Thanks again and…Go Cowboys!