Things are currently very murky regarding the Cowboys' draft plans.
Remember when Fox Sports SouthWest's Matt Mosley reported about two weeks before the draft last year that the Cowboys were 'not there' on Tyron Smith? Quoting 'multiple conversations' Mosley said it was time to think about new names like J.J. Watt.
Well, in hindsight, it turns out that Mosley was spectacularly wrong, but I wouldn't hold that against him. In fact, I'm inclined to believe that the multiple conversations Mosley had went exactly as described, except that his sources were purposely feeding him false information.
Happens every year. Among the chief sources of late-breaking draft information: Rumors spread by NFL general managers, who are lying, and agents, who are lying even more.
Nevertheless, we'll take a leisurely Sunday stroll through the latest draft rumors after the break. Keep in mind that we're now in the middle of "Liar's Month", where misinformation is the name of the game.Leading off, Stephen Jones talked to the media a couple of days ago and let fly with a couple of choice quotes. On the topic of potentially moving down:
"If the right players are there when you pick, you pick them. If not, then you have to be more open minded to moving around if you need to.’’
Not sure how much should be read into this. The way the draft boards are shaping up, there are bound to be a couple of interesting players available for the Cowboys. And Jones confirmed that when asked whether the quantity and quality of talent at No. 14 would likely be on defense:
"On our initial look see, that seems to be the case for us."
"Obviously there are some good guards up there, but historically you don’t see the offensive guards taken in the top half of the draft. That’s a position where you can get by until late first or early second. We do think there are some good defensive players who can obviously step in and help our team out."
Okay, so the Cowboys won't pick a guard at No. 14 because other teams haven't done it either in the past? Whether you believe the Cowboys should or shouldn't draft DeCastro, that's got to count as one of the weakest arguments ever constructed against drafting a guard.
So does that mean the Cowboys are off the DeCastro train, like they appeared to be off the Tyron Smith train last year?
Not so fast. Tony Pauline of SI.com fame writes on draftinsider.net that the Cowboys remain high on DeCastro:
Speaking of the Dallas Cowboys, we’ve been pretty good about knowing the teams moves in advance but their draft plans have been a bit tougher to pinpoint this year. Cordy Glenn was the name passed around at the combine and over the past few weeks we’ve spoken about Dontari Poe and Mark Barron being targets for the team. The latest we hear is the team is very high on David DeCastro and will also explore opportunities to trade down in round one.
Now let's take a look at some other prospects not named DeCastro. Perhaps the most telling quote about the Cowboys' draft plans again comes from Stephen Jones, and is about the need for more pressure:
"I think the other thing is we have to get pressure. We obviously have one of the elite pressure players in the league in DeMarcus Ware. I think we have to get Spencer more involved in terms of productivity. Then you look at our defensive linemen. Ratliff and Hatcher and those guys, I think we have to get better there but I think we can do that."
Mike Mayock doesn't like DE Quinton Coples. On a recent Path To The Draft that episode, Mayock said he wouldn't draft Coples in the first round. Of course, there's a reason Mayock is not a GM, and there's bound to be a GM who disagrees with Mayock, but Coples' stock has been sliding a little of late.
Bob Sturm wrote on Friday that the Cowboys aren't particularly taken with Coples either.
I have heard it on rather strong authority that the Cowboys just do not trust his motor and have no plans on allowing Coples to bring his talents to Dallas.
Sturm goes on to suggest that the top three on the Cowboys' board are, in order, Fletcher Cox, Mark Barron, and Courtney Upshaw.
Upshaw is an intriguing choice in that third spot. However, Stephen Jones was quite circumspect in his description of Upshaw.
"He’s a guy we’re really going to have to take a long, hard look at over the next couple of weeks to see is he a SAM linebacker for us, what is his more natural position or is he more of a defensive end.’’
- Translation option no. 1: The guy has issues we're not yet comfortable with and we don't know where he would fit on our team.
- Translation option no. 2: His versatility will be a great asset to our team, but we are going to publicly tap the brakes here a little because we're planning on tradingt down to get him.
On Thursday, the Star-Telegrams's Clarence Hill wrote that Mississippi State's Fletcher Cox is likely the Cowboys' top choice, but that Dontari Poe of Memphis and Michael Brockers of LSU are also among the players vying for the Cowboys' pick at 14.
The Cowboys like Cox but believe he will be gone by the time they pick. Poe and Brockers are the only defensive prospects on that list they didn't bring in to visit. And yes, every top pick since 2006 has been among the team's pre-draft visitors.
But don't be misled. According to a team source, the Cowboys "like both players and know all they need to know."
Linebacker Courtney Upshaw was one of three Alabama players brought in for a pre-draft visit last week along with Kirkpatrick and Barron. But don't look for him to be among the considerations at 14, a source said.
Tony Pauline has DE Cam Johnson getting heavy interest from 3-4 teams, including the Cowboys.
Scouts are mixed as to where Cam Johnson of Virginia best fits at the next level; as a 4-3 defensive end or 3-4 outside linebacker. We feel he’s best suited for the former as do many around him. That said Johnson is receiving heavy interest from a number of 3-4 teams including the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Cecil Lammey of ESPN Denver hears that the Cowboys like Orson Charles in the second round.
Georgia TE Orson Charles has switched agents per- draft stock slipping but heard Cowboys like his value in 2nd round
As I review the rumors I've pulled together in this post, a great sense of calm descends upon me as my confidence grows that there will be more than one stud player available for the Cowboys in this draft.
Then again, it may just be the meds speaking