Based purely on the talent he demonstrated in college, Myles Jack is one of the truly elite players in this year's draft. He is arguably the best defensive talent, and certainly the best linebacker now that Jaylon Smith is going to have to sit out his rookie year due to his knee injury. But Jack also had a knee injury. Although it was less severe, it raised flags with several teams, and the Dallas Cowboys have repeatedly been reported as one of them. This week's medical recheck was seen as crucial to Jack's draft stock And the word is that many teams were not happy with the results. Given the previous concerns, it is no surprise that Dallas is being included in that group.
Mentioned this on the @TheDraftShow today, but I don't think the Cowboys will draft Jack. I'll leave it at that. https://t.co/QD5IZafBgv— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) April 15, 2016
Dallas has shown a willingness to take a chance on players with injury history. Sean Lee is one of the best and most successful examples. But those risks have not been taken in the first round, and certainly not with the fourth-overall pick. Given that the Cowboys already had concerns while many other teams were being reported as satisfied with the results of his earlier medical exams, it is almost certain that Brugler and other knowledgeable reporters stating he is no longer in the picture for Dallas' first pick are correct.
However, that does not mean that he is no longer a possibility at all. The question becomes how far the mixed reports could cause him to slide. If he should still be there when Dallas goes on the clock at 34 (assuming they have not used that in a trade), then he may be very much in the mix. This depends on just how serious the team feels the injury is, but should they believe he would be more of a PUP candidate than a player that would have to miss an entire season or more, then they might see the value in taking him.
Of course, if they determine there is an appreciable risk that his injury is going to keep him from ever being truly effective, then he is likely off the board entirely for them. Should his career be cut down, it would be a tragedy for him. College players face this risk every game. It is one of the arguments against the current NCAA rules regarding compensation for their players, but that is a subject for other places.
What this does do for the Cowboys is clarify their decision at four. The list of truly elite players was already a short one this year, and Jack's injury may just have made it one player shorter. This is disappointing for those who were big fans of Jack coming to Dallas. But the draft, as with all aspects of the NFL, is a harsh business. And with the valuable draft capital the Cowboys wield this year, they need all the clarity they can find. It sucks for Jack, but making the right call on his recovery is crucial to Dallas.