We're a month away from the draft, and the rumor mills are cranking up their output as the silly season shifts into high gear.
Last week we heard Jerry Jones say that the Cowboys had already received two offers to trade down from the number nine spot. This may just have been a signal to other teams that the Cowboys have opened the bidding process, it may be a deliberate smokescreen to hide the fact the Cowboys may want to trade up, or it may be a deliberate lie. Hard to tell either way.
After the break, we look at more draft rumors that have popped up over the last days, some of which may or may not "have the added advantage of being true", as Henry Kissinger used to say.
Tony Pauline, a draft insider for Sports Illustrated, wrote the following on his blog at draftinsider.net:
Where will the Dallas Cowboys go in round one? Evidently the team is not in love with Prince Amukamara and won’t use the 9th selection on him. This on the heels of sources telling us the team will cut veteran Terence Newman. All signs continue to point to an offensive tackle, specifically one that can play the right side.
Dallas then plans to shop the 9th pick and trade down to grab their right tackle. Sources have told us their [sic] is already a plan in place with a team that holds a mid-first round pick if either Blaine Gabbert orare still on the board when Dallas is called to the clock. Right now sources have told us Gabe Carimi sits atop their wish list as they feel he is the only player they feel can quickly move into the starting line-up.
Taken at face value, many fans would likely be happy with this news: Amukamara seems to have fallen out of favor recently, and many have argued that taking an offensive lineman with the ninth pick would be too much of a reach.
But what if all of this is deliberate misinformation? Reading between the lines, the quote above could just as easily be taken to mean that the Cowboys desperately want Amukamara, but are worried that he won't last until the ninth spot, so they are trying to drum up interest from other teams to trade into the top eight for Gabbert or Newton and preferably both, thereby increasing the chances of Amukamara falling to the waiting Cowboys.
Or it may not be Amukamara at all, but a player like Peterson or Miller.
What seems to be clear is that the key to how the draft unfolds lies in where the QBs will be taken. Chris Steuber from CBSSports twittered very early this morning that there might even be three QBs taken with the first eight picks:
Mike Lombardi from NFL.com makes a case for why seven out of the eight top teams in the draft have quarterback as one of their top needs. Pat Kirwan, also from NFL.com, is saying essentially the same thing yesterday:
There are so many teams at the top of the first round looking at the quarterback class, there's just no way they will all be satisfied. After Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert are selected somewhere in the top 10 pick, that will still leave at least five teams hoping to find a worthy QB in this draft to solve a big need.
With the demand for QBs heating up, Dallas appears to be in a position where it can choose from the best of both worlds: choose a true blue chipper who gets pushed down by the run on QBs, or entertain offers from teams wanting to trade up for a blue chip player or QB.
If you believe any of these unsupported rumors and carefully placed half-truths.