3 pre-draft Cowboys rumors that were clearly a smokescreen

Jul 26, 2022; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy (left) and owner Jerry Jones at
Jul 26, 2022; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy (left) and owner Jerry Jones at / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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The 2023 NFL Draft concluded as quickly as it arrived. The Dallas Cowboys didn't make any obvious home run picks and took fans for a loop with a multitude of their selections. Was there any single pick that was predicted beforehand?

Take the Cowboys drafting Mazi Smith with the No. 26 pick for example. Dallas had their pick of Georgia edge Nolan Smith, Penn State corner Joey Porter Jr. and all of the top tight ends sans Dalton Kincaid and interior offensive linemen.

Mazi Smith arguably was the last player folks thought would be the pick. That's a testament to how close the Cowboys kept their actual draft plans to the vest.

Whether it be self-induced or from the media, a multitude of pre-draft Cowboys rumors surfaced throughout the lead up to the draft. Now that the event has concluded, it's become clear those rumblings were just a smokescreen.

Cowboys: 3 pre-draft rumors that were clearly a smokescreen

3. High possibility of Steve Avila in first round

Before the tight end floodgates opened, Avila was considered a high possibility for the Cowboys in the first round. A lifelong Texas resident, the TCU standout took a top-30 visit to Dallas and revealed pre-draft it would've been a dream come true to say in-state and get drafted by America's Team.

That only amplified the Avila-Cowboys noise.

At the very least, Avila was considered a realistic first-round option. When push came to shove, though, he wasn't even their top-rated interior linemen. In fact, the post-draft buzz suggests Dallas had a fourth-round grade (!) on Avila so who knows if he would've been in contention at No. 58 overall if he was available.

The Cowboys' war room footage shows Syracuse OT Matthew Bergeron was the other player in consideration alongside Mazi Smith. We admittedly heard of Dallas' attraction to Bergeron pre-draft, but not as a round one possibility.