Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones and Jason Garrett held a pre-draft press conference on Tuesday where they went over a series of expectations for this year’s draft.
As always, the trio did not reveal much information as to what we can expect, but they offered insight on their approach to filling gaps on the Cowboys roster this year.
When asked how the release of Dez Bryant effects the draft needs, Jerry lays down some honesty in the expectations the Cowboys hold if presented with the opportunity to land a star receiver.
“We recognize we’ve got a hole to fill. We have known that we probably won’t have what we would call a pure x receiver to take the place of Dez. Even if we draft one… as a rookie, he’s not going to come in here and give us that type of performance.”
The priority for a receiver isn’t being placed on the first or second rounds, Jerry explains. It’s a process that requires discipline and Jerry exhibits confidence in the receiver talent that could potentially be available in the third and fourth rounds.
Jaylon Smith put on an outstanding performance last season and is in line to have an even bigger season this year, said Stephen. The team is confident with the current depth on the roster, but Stephen admits they are definitely keeping the option open for defensive players, specifically at linebacker, who stand out in this draft and could contribute quickly.
“I think for everyone concerned that was a good a time as any,” Jerry said in regards to the timing of Dez’s release. The mutual respect between Jerry and Dez has always been transparent, but Jerry makes it clear that the team “needs to move on knowing we don’t have Dez.” So far, moving on from Dez is a point lot a lot of Cowboys fans haven’t gotten to quite yet.
Beefing up the line is never not an option for Jerry. “If we get an opportunity to do something very special for our team then I would really be for giving that a lot consideration.” Jerry and Stephen both touched on the flexibility to be able to look at both guards and tackles this week.
The main attribute they are looking for in a tackle is the ability to pressure. It’s more than just the run, it’s about being able to create pressure on the passer, that’s what’s going to truly sell the Cowboys on a player during this draft.
Is tight end a priority for this team right now? Not necessarily, according to Stephen. As long as Jason Witten is playing at tight end he’ll be the number one guy for the Cowboys every time. But like anything else, the Cowboys are open to looking at a tightened deeper into the draft.
With Byron now at corner, the safety position will more than likely be addressed at some point in the draft, said Stephen. Just as the linebacker position, a safety (or two) would take the competition on the team to a higher level, something Jason Garrett strives for in every training camp.
“You ought to overall pick a players that’s going to ultimately be the best player because you hope you’re picking a player, especially in the first, second or third rounds, that will be in this organization for 10 years,” said Stephen.
“You have high expectations that these players are going to work themselves into starting roles and ultimately be awarded a second contract by us.”
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