3 Educated Guesses from Inside Cowboys Draft HQ
MAY 05, 2014 10:49p ET
IRVING, Texas - A trio of educated Dallas Cowboys guesses from inside Valley Ranch as we approach Thursday's launching of the NFL Draft:
Educated Guess 1: The confluence of two philosophies ('Best Available Player' and 'Build From The Inside Out') is producing a wish list with the 16th overall pick highlighted by UCLA pass-rusher Anthony Barr, 3-tech defensive tackle Aaron Donald from Pitt and versatile Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin. If one of those three prospects are there (increasingly unlikely as that seems) Dallas might have an easy trigger to pull.
Educated Guess 2: There seem to be a number of clubs that covet some of the wide receivers and quarterbacks that could be available at 16. If Dallas' pinpointed group is unavailable, a trade-back will be in play. In fact, smart money tells me the Cowboys have already engaged in those "contingency" conversations with Cleveland at 26 and San Francisco at 30. (I haven't confirmed rumors of Philadelphia at 22 wishing to discuss a trade-up while targeting LSU receiver Odell Beckham. But it fits.)
The Cowboys likely think highly of Beckham and USC receiver Marquise Lee. But the idea here: Dallas would still get a value player in the later spot plus a pick or picks as its move-back reward.
Educated Guess 3: Johnny Manziel has created lots of Dallas buzz (and not just because he's the No. 1 QB on the Cowboys board, which I believe he is). Manziel is in recent days living the highlife in the Uptown section of Dallas, relaxing at nightclubs and "day-clubs," too - Vegas-style pool parties in the presence of folks like Cowboys players Dez Bryant and Henry Melton.
Nothing illegal about this, but it goes against the advice of football people who believe this is the time when prospects should go home to their parents, lock their doors and ignore their phones until Thursday.
In the case of Manziel's future? Even if the Texas A&M star's not landing in Dallas permanently, he's still "landing in Dallas" occasionally - as long as the Vegas-style pool parties are on.