As we close in on the 2015 NFL Draft, the Cowboys front office sat down for a press conference. Jerry Jones, son Stephen Jones and head coach Jason Garrett addressed the press today and discussed many aspects of the upcoming draft. Jerry spent much of the conference waxing philosophical on the Cowboys front office and how they go about making decisions picking players. I won't go through all of that that except for a few comments that stood out.
Here are some of the stand-out comments from the press conference.
1. Jerry Jones says that drafting a running back is not urgent, is not a must. Dallas could walk out of the draft without a running back. He emphasized that it is an area of interest, but not a must. Jason Garrett later said that if a running back is available that could help, they might take him, but that they are confident in their current roster of running backs.
2. On the other hand, Jerry made it clear that helping the defense is a must, that they must help the defense by "hook or crook" in his words.
3. Jerry acknowledged that the fact that Dallas drafts at #27 in the first round increases the likelihood of them moving around on Thursday, either up or down, if they can get another team interested. Jerry and Stephen repeatedly mentioned the uncertainty and risk at a position at the back end of the round, they sounded like a team that will try desperately to trade.
4. Stephen Jones was asked about a cornerback in light of the issues with Morris Claiborne's injuries, Orlando Scandrick not attending workouts and Brandon Carr's situation. Stephen did not dissuade the idea that Carr is a "situation", that likely means the Cowboys must be contemplating shaving his contract, or the possibility of outright releasing him if he balks. That's speculation on my part, but Stephen did nothing to throw water on it.
5. Jason Garrett made the point that just because a potential draft pick has an arrest, a drug offense or other character issues, that does not automatically remove them from the Cowboys' board. He stressed that the context of what happened, how long ago it was, how the player handled the situation, what others say about him makes a huge difference. He also thinks the vets in his locker room are strong and can be positive influences. So guys with off-the-field issues could end up in Dallas during the draft.
6. Jerry talked a long time about how draft picks are made by consensus with everybody having input, especially Jason and Stephen. To make the point, without naming the player, he mentioned that last year he wanted to do one thing and the consensus wanted to do another, so the consensus won. You can pretty much surmise that was about Johnny Manziel.