Over the last four months here on Blogging The Boys, we've looked at hundreds, if not thousands of mock drafts. You've seen mock drafts in front page posts and in FanPosts, you couldn't avoid seeing them in the signatures of some of the board members, you may have even created one yourself in the two mock draft challenges we've had here on BTB, or on the biggest source of spam during draft season, fanspeak.com.
What most of those mocks had in common is that they almost always had a combination of DE, RB, CB and LB in the top three picks.
Over the last three days, the Cowboys have brought in up to 30 usually high-profile draft prospects for official pre-draft visits. We don't yet know the names of all the prospects that have been brought in, but we've gathered 24 names so far in our Pre-draft Visit Tracker.
We know that the Cowboys like to bring in players they have a strong interest in, and we've also seen in the past that when the Cowboys invite a lot of players from a specific position group, odds are they'll end up drafting players from that position group. As such, it's interesting to see how those 24 pre-draft visitors are split by position:
6 Defense Ends
5 Running Backs
1 Wide Receiver
So the invite list seems to confirm what many mock drafts are predicting: The Cowboys will focus on a combination of DE, RB, CB, and LB with their top picks in the draft.
But what if that isn't what the Cowboys end up doing draft day?
Last year for example, the Cowboys brought in seven defensive tackles for a pre-draft visit, including such illustrious names as Aaron Donald, Timmy Jernigan, Dominique Easley, and Will Sutton, but didn't select a defensive tackle until the 251st pick of the 256-pick draft.
In 2013, they brought in six defensive linmen but didn't pick a single one in the entire draft - although they did pick guys from every other position they went heavy on during the pre-draft visits.
You've been following this team for years, probably even decades, so you know that there's a good chance the team goes in an entirely different direction, especially in the early rounds, than many of us expect. You have exactly 20 more days to prepare for that eventuality.
What if the Cowboys, just as an example, go LB Eric Kendricks - WR Devin Smith - FS Damarious Randall in the first three rounds? All three players were brought in for pre-draft visits, so an outcome like that is not as far-fetched as you may think, even though you may have been very vocal in your demands for a running back, a corner or a defensive end with either of the first two picks of the draft.
This is almost certain to happen: At some point during the draft the Cowboys' selections will leave you scratching your head (Anthony who? - Nobody drafts a center that high!!! - Did they just draft a tight end?!?) and it may even get pretty ugly in our little corner of the internet for a little while.
But there is one universal truth to your Cowboys fanhood: Eventually, you will learn to accept those picks, as you have done with so many in the past. You will come to understand the rationale behind those picks in the weeks and months following the draft. There's a chance you might start defending those picks at some point. Over time, you may even grow to love those picks. It is what we do.
After all, we are Cowboys fans.