The NFL draft is really an un-American idea when you think about it. Players coming out of college get zero say about where they go if they are good enough to be drafted. Only the ones who aren't seen as being talented enough to use even a seventh round pick on have any control over what happens to them, and of course they are long shots at best if that happens.
I understand the reasons for the draft. The league would likely just be the same five or six teams with the deepest pockets playing in the Super Bowl year after year otherwise. The draft as it is currently constructed is one of the biggest contributors to parity in the NFL and the fastest and most cost effective way for a smart team to become more competitive after a down year. But still, you wonder what players would do if they had a say in the matter.
Dallas Cowboys fans like to think that most college players would absolutely love to wear the Star. In a couple of respects, that is probably true. Dallas is certainly a better city to live in than many other NFL locations, the team has a pretty good history, you keep more of your paycheck since there is no state income tax, and the owner is not exactly hesitant to pay his players. Still, not all players see things the same.
Charean Williams of the Ft Worth Star Telegram decided to ask a couple of players who could be Dallas draftees on day one what they thought about being picked by the Cowboys. Jonathan Cooper didn't object to the idea - he just had a problem with still being available at 18.
"I probably wouldn't like to fall that far," the North Carolina guard said with a laugh Wednesday. "But if they want to come up and get me, that would be exciting that I meant that much to them, that I was a good enough player for them to do that."
Some people who read that here may get their feelings hurt when they see that, but they shouldn't. First off, if you are reading this site, you are probably a fan, and nobody cares about your tender little ego. Second, I like that kind of attitude in a player. He is proud of himself, and wants to shine. A little attitude can go a long way in the NFL, and that kind of statement has a certain bit of RKG about it. Of course, he also has probably been seeing all the talk about how he and Chance Warmack are going to be two of the highest selected guards in the history of the draft, so I imagine sitting around for half the first round would be a let down for him.
Kenny Vaccaro is not feeling the pressure to go higher than 18, however. Most mocks and draft boards show him lower than Cooper, so his expectations probably haven't been fed as much. He comes right out and says how much he would like to get a phone call from Jerry Jones.
"I played high school football in Texas and then in college, and then to get to play for Dallas, it'd be crazy to play in my state for my whole career. It's close to home, so I'd see get to see my family all the time."
I don't know that too many of our readers would be heartbroken to see either of these possibilities get chosen by the Cowboys. And in the long run, I think either would see it as a good thing to come to Dallas. Although I suspect Cooper would hear about it a bit in the locker room at some point.