The culmination of a long couple of months will finally happen this upcoming weekend when the Dallas Cowboys bring in their newest batch of rookies. Sitting with the fourth-overall pick, there have been a variety of names at a plethora of positions of need that have been linked to the Cowboys. But as the months have gone on, their shortlist of options at the pick have gone down. And despite the variables of free agency and the suspension to Randy Gregory and pending suspension of DeMarcus Lawrence putting some additional pressure on, the reality is that the Cowboys' options at the No. 4 pick seem to be down to just two players: Florida State's Jalen Ramsey and Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott. That is just an opinion, but one based on some comments out of the pre-draft press conference.
Over the past few years, there has been a rise of power for the combination of Will McClay and Stephen Jones in the front office and the team decisions that come with it. Adding into that, it seems that Jerry Jones' trigger finger has become a bit of the past, as the Cowboys have stayed away from making headlines. This was the exact case when the Cowboys drafted Zack Martin rather than Johnny Manziel. With the rising influence of S. Jones and McClay the Cowboys are benefiting. But Jerry will always have the final say in terms of the decisions. And in this year's draft, another huge decision will have to be made and both sides seem split.
Who Does Jerry Want?
It may not be just about making the headline move, but Jerry's idea of wanting Elliott stems from decisions that have been made in the past. Jerry was a proponent of re-signing DeMarco Murray in free agency just a year ago. Ultimately, the Cowboys made the better franchise decision, but Jerry knows of the talent and immediate impact Elliott can bring to this offense.
For the Cowboys to maximize the remaining space of Tony Romo's window, Elliott could come in as a rookie and establish himself as a a Pro Bowl type of running back. The Ohio State product behind an offensive line as good as the Cowboys' could cause headaches for opposing defenses. On top of that, once Romo decides to hang up the cleats, having a player like Elliott would make it much more easier for the Cowboys' future quarterback to develop.
Who Do Stephen and McClay Want?
Dallas' biggest need may not necessarily be the cornerback position, but the fact remains that the addition of Jalen Ramsey to this secondary would give the Cowboys a much more talented bunch. Because secondaries and the pass rush work hand in hand, getting another stud, young defensive back could help counteract that weakness that is the Cowboys' pass rush.
By adding Ramsey, the Cowboys will be getting another defense back, after drafting Byron Jones atop last year's draft, that has the versatility to play both cornerback and safety. That value will be of good use whether he plays as a cornerback or as a safety next to Jones in the back-end.
What Factors Will Play Into the Decision?
Four words: The San Diego Chargers. As of now, the Chargers seemed to be interested in the likes of Ramsey, DeForest Buckner, Laremy Tunsil, and Joey Bosa. Depending on whether the Chargers select Ramsey, the Cowboys will be faced with the decision of Ramsey and Elliott. San Diego is in position to nab a real good player, but there is also the possibility of a team trading into the No. 3 pick to select any of the aforementioned players. Regardless of what happens with the Chargers' pick, the Cowboys face a win-win with the decision of Ramsey or Elliott. It's truly about which one will provide better value and which one will be the better football player.
Could Demand for Defensive End Make Joey Bosa in Play?
Of course, we can't forget about Bosa, a guy who, despite the skeptics, may be in play with the fourth-overall pick. In recent years, the Cowboys have drafted positions of needs over best player available. Fortunately, their draft picks have given them excellent value. If the idea is to pick for position of need, Bosa could emerge as the favorite in that regard. However, there are concerns over Bosa's ability to win at the next level. A top defensive end warrants a top-five pick in most classes, but this class truly lacks that elite caliber type of guy at the position.