NBC's Bob Costas appeared at an event at the University of Texas at Arlington, moderated by Charlotte Jones Anderson of the Cowboys. He seems to get it about America's Team.
"The Cowboys are like the Yankees, they're like Duke, they're like Notre Dame," Costas said. "Many, many people love them. Some love to root against them, but people are always interested in them. And even when the Cowboys have had relatively mediocre seasons, 8-8 seasons, they always have compelling characters, bigger-than-life characters. Jerry Jones is not a wallflower."
As someone observed, 26 attendees makes an interesting argument for trading down from 27, but it also passes over the players who declined to come, including the top two quarterbacks. Some key names of interest to Cowboys fans are Bud Dupree, Melvin Gordon, Todd Gurley, Kevin Johnson, Byron Jones and Benardrick McKinney, all of whom paid a visit to Valley Ranch.
The final medicals before the draft include some players that the Cowboys have a lot of interest in. Gurley is the top name, but not the only one.
, RB, Indiana
Coleman suffered a toe injury last October and played through the pain, but needed postseason tendon surgery that knocked him out of the combine. He is scheduled to have his personal pro day this week and his medical reports will be crucial.
Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut
Jones has a history of shoulder issues, including missing the second half of 2014 with a separated left shoulder that required surgery. He has first-round talent but the long-term prognosis on his shoulder is a legitimate concern for some teams.
Todd Archer usually makes a lot of sense. In addition to the obvious lack of defensive tackles invited to Dallas, he muses on the direction the Cowboys might make if they indulge their frequent penchant for draft day trades.
I wonder if trading down is more of an option for the Cowboys than moving up at this point. If you look at the top prospects they brought in, most of them are pegged to go anywhere from No. 20 through the end of the first round. There are two exceptions: Georgia running back Todd Gurley, who will have his knee re-checked this week in Indianapolis and Kentucky defensive end Bud Dupree. I don't see the Cowboys moving up for Gurley because of the amount of runners available in the second and third rounds. Dupree, however, is interesting. Last year the Cowboys targeted DeMarcus Lawrence and moved up in Day 2 to take him No. 34 overall by giving up their second- and third-round picks to the Washington Redskins. If Dupree starts to slip a little, I wonder if the Cowboys would make a play for him.
The answers are much more succinct, but David Helman agrees that the option of moving back has some benefits.
As always, it depends on the deal. But if it was a good offer, I'd certainly be interested. It'd be hard to give up the fifth-year option on a first-round pick, but I would do it for an extra second or third-round pick. It sounds awfully tempting to have three picks on the second day of the draft.
The Cowboys went full out to make a good impression on Gordon, but the best impression had nothing to do with the coaching staff, and a lot to do with a group that includes a fellow product of the Wisconsin Badgers.
"It would be sweet to run behind that line," said Gordon in recapping his visit with the Cowboys. "That line is strong and smart. I saw Travis (Frederick) on my visit. It would be great. But I'm just excited to see where my next family is going to be."
Don't sleep on Coleman as a potential target for the Cowboys, He checks off an awful lot of the boxes for what you want in a running back.
Asked to describe his best assets, Coleman said, "My speed, size, burst and my vision and my ability to hit the holes fast."
Watch Coleman's highlight tape and it's easy to see all of those qualities. In a loss to Iowa last season, he tormented the Hawkeyes' defense, rushing for 219 yards — 197 of which came on three carries.
On one memorable run, he breezed by players in Iowa's secondary who were in position to tackle him.
This performance came a week after he says he broke the sesamoid bone in his right foot. Nursing the injury, Coleman pressed on and waited until after the season to have surgery, sacrificing a chance to participate in the combine as a result.
Byron Jones has emerged on fans' radar big time of late. He is beginning to look like the real deal, and could be a multiple threat player for the defense.
Before he switched to cornerback in 2013, Jones was a 12-game starter at safety. He's got the versatility to play both positions, though the Cowboys would likely expect him to claim one of the top three cornerback jobs. Regardless of how it would shake out, he'd create some depth at the cornerback spot.
Nick Eatman looks at some draft possibilities for Dallas, and includes a couple of lesser known names, like this one.
Alex Carter, Stanford - A solid starter for the Cardinal, Carter could be a candidate for the Cowboys at No. 60 in the second round if they don't grab one in the first. He might even slide into the third as well. Carter is a physical corner who likes to jam receivers at the line and also shows great awareness skills to play different schemes. His speed isn't elite, which is one reason he's not considered a first-day pick but good enough to have his name called on Day 2.
Dorial Green-Beckahm is not a player linked to the Cowboys, but you never know what might happen in the draft, and the Sturminator does his due diligence on him. Hmm, what was Helman saying about extra day two picks?
Seldom does someone come along that could be the best receiver of a class on one hand, yet perhaps available on Day 2 of the draft on the other hand. If you are willing to take a chance on a player like this, it could represent value of the highest order. However, there are plenty that would not place him on their board at any level. But, again, at some time you have to look carefully at the highlights and see his unlimited potential and ponder what could happen if Green-Beckham gets his act together and the proper coaching and fire in his belly.
There was a smattering of non-draft stuff as well.
This could at least alleviate some of the off-the-field issues for Rolando McClain.
Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain's attorneys filed a motion in an Alabama county court to have two misdemeanor charges stemming from a 2013 arrest dismissed.
Last July, McClain was sentenced to 18 days in jail after he was found guilty of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Rob Phillips at the mothership looks at all the current cornerbacks on the roster, but his opening sums up the many issues the team is dealing with.
The position's highest-paid player, Brandon Carr, may or may not be on the team by training camp.
The 2012 sixth overall draft pick, Mo Claiborne, is coming off two knee surgeries since October.
The solid nickel guy from last season, Sterling Moore, is no longer here.
As things stand in mid-April, just over two weeks from opening draft night, there's no question about it: The Cowboys' cornerback situation has far more questions than answers.
It is always wise to keep an eye on the rest of the NFC East. Scott McCloughan, the new general manager in Washington, is facing some major issues, not unlike those facing the Cowboys after the team parted ways with Wade Phillips in 2010. And for a change, there are signs of adult supervision going on there.
Unlike many previous free agency classes in Washington, there were no big name signings this year. Coming off a 4-12 campaign, the Redskins have been disciplined with their salary cap space. The draft will be used to fill many of their needs.
Dallas connection: Former Cowboys offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Bill Callahan was one of several new additions to Washington's coaching staff, becoming the team's O-line coach.