FRISCO, Texas – Jerry Jones will not rule it out.
Making an agreement on a draft weekend? Cowboy’s owner / general manager is open to that.
“I would trade this draft,” he said Wednesday when asked about his philosophy of acting. “I would swap up since we are down as low as we are in the first two, three rounds if we had a chance at it and there was one we really coveted sitting at the bottom if (a Travis) Frederick sat down there at the bottom and we were able to shop up there and get them. ”
The Cowboys are first scheduled to draft with the 24th overall pick. They then return in round 2 for the 56th overall pick followed by place 88 in round 3. The team is scheduled to draft six more times between No. 129 and 193.
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Last year, the Cowboys held the 10th overall pick and sought an elite cornerback. But the Panthers hit Jaycee Horn at 8. The Broncos then got Patrick Surtain II at 9. The Cowboys switched down from 10th to 12th place before selecting linebacker Micah Parsons. The hybrid-pass rusher / mid-linebacker got 13 sacks, three forced fumbles and 84 tackles en route to a unanimous NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
Could the Cowboys find another defensive gem like Parsons this year? Jones told Dallas reporters at the Senior Bowl that the team would not rule out an expense available to the best player if a talent like Parsons or the receiver CeeDee Lamb (Dallas’ 2020 pick in 17th place overall) fell their way and proclaimed strong value.
But offensive line is a position the Cowboys desperately need to upgrade. Their starting left guard post is open for competition after Connor Williams traveled to Miami in free agency. Their midfield, a place where Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones expressed interest in introducing competition to, muddy game plans in 2021. The Cowboys also released starting right tackle La’el Collins, which the Bengals signed. Third-year-old free agent Terence Steele is expected to start just opposite eight-time Pro Bowl left-handed tackle Tyron Smith, but Dallas must still consider his left-handed tackle prospect: Injuries have put Smith on the sidelines in at least three games each of the last six seasons. He played only two before the end of the season of a neck operation in 2020 and was healthy in 11 out of 17 matches in 2021.
The Cowboys will protect $ 40 million a year quarterback Dak Prescott.
“When I look at what’s happened since we signed (Dak)’s contract, reps, the way Dak has evolved in what we do here to look for players to complement what he does best,” Jones said. . “They are the ones we supplement in my opinion, whether we block them out or whether we’re basically trying to get him a field position. So yeah, we’m glad we got him.”
Expect the Cowboys to also pursue receiver, tight-end and pass rusher depth in the draft. Dallas traded top recipient Amari Cooper and his $ 22 million salary to Cleveland last month; lost recipients Cedrick Wilson (Miami) and Malik Turner (San Francisco) in free tender; and released the big goal, Blake Jarwin, after tight ends hip surgery threatened his career. Dallas’ pass rush depth earned some victories – the return of DeMarcus Lawrence, the addition of Dante Fowler Jr. – even when Randy Gregory, the Cowboys’ second-round pick in 2015, traveled to Denver.
Jones said draft preparation builds toward a “crescendo,” medical questions and prospect visits swirling around in his mind. Not only is he considering swapping the first round, he’s also eager to consider moving up from his second and third round spots in a year where eight teams have swapped their first round picks away, defending Super Bowl champion Rams not in fight until election No. 104, the penultimate place in the third round.
Jones is not aiming to emulate teams like the Broncos, Browns and Colts who chose to acquire veteran quarterbacks in exchange for draft picks. He also does not want to emulate the Browns’ latest quarterback contract, in which Deshaun Watson achieved $ 230 million fully guaranteed over five years.
Jones instead sighed in relief Wednesday from the atrium of the team’s headquarters at Star, just inches from where he celebrated Prescott’s $ 160 million extension 13 months earlier. The contract is still lucrative – but also more team-friendly in both annual value and with its $ 126 million in guarantees.
“I’m proud we have it,” Jones said. “Deshaun’s contract was big. It just reinforces that it only takes one or two teams to really covet a player, and they really get those numbers up there.”
Follow USA TODAY Sports Jori Epstein on Twitter @JoriEpstein.