IRVING, Texas — Right before the Cowboys made official their decision Friday to knowingly overpay for a trade-up to get Boise State defensive end Demarcus Lawrence with the 34th overall selection in the NFL Draft, Dallas personnel boss Will McClay leaned on the war-room table to express his support of the move to Jerry and Stephen Jones.
"Lawrence," McClay said matter-of-factly, is a Quarterback Hunter."
In the first round, Dallas drafted offensive lineman Zack Martin. In doing so the Cowboys adhered to a plan to take the best available guy (while resisting the temptation to instead select the similarly-graded Johnny Manziel, who Jerry jokingly said has an "Elvis" vibe that would’ve been to overwhelming in combination with the existing "America’s Team" circus.) But in the second round, Dallas – admitting a desperate need for a right (pass-rush) defensive end – bent toward need. Trading their second- and third-round picks (Dallas shipped rival Washington the No. 47 and No. 78 overall picks to move up 13 spots) is pricy.
But think if it like you have a toothache. And you are confident a trip to the dentist will fix it.
Would you pay a little extra for the surgery?
"We had to give a little more than the (trade-value) charts read out because we didnt want to lose him," Stephen Jones told me. "We had to sweeten that pot a little bit."
In two seasons at Boise State, the 6-3, 251-pounder recorded 20 sacks and 34 tackles for losses. I asked him to provide a self-scouting report.
"I’m quick, I’m vicious … I’m ruthless," Lawrence said. "I’m just gonna try to kill you, really."
Lawrence was given a trio of one-game suspensions at Boise State for violating team rules. As a ore-draft visitor to Cowboys HQ, the suspensions – "childish behavior," in Lawrence’s words — were discussed and Dallas obviously came away satisfied.
Lawrence, who grew up a Cowboys fan in South Carolina, projects to be the heir to seven-time Pro Bowler DeMarcus Ware. I asked him about his knowledge of the legendary DeMarcus.
"I guess (the Cowboys) know how to breed ’em," said the hopeful Quarterback Hunter.