Cowboys wanted LB Ryan Shazier in first round

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 08: Ryan Shazier of the Ohio State Buckeyes poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after he was picked #15 overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on May 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Elsa/Getty Images

There were some nervous faces in the Valley Ranch draft room Thursday night while the Dallas Cowboys were on the clock.

With the 16th overall pick, the Cowboys were focused on improving their defense with either UCLA pass rusher Anthony Barr, Pittsburgh tackle Aaron Donald or Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier.

Barr went ninth to Minnesota and Donald was drafted by St. Louis at 13.

Shazier looked to be on his way to the Cowboys as the weakside linebacker’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, was on the phone with Dallas, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

But Pittsburgh snatched up the speedy 6-1, 237-pound linebacker one pick ahead of the Cowboys, which explains the tense moments that were captured by the team’s draft room camera.

"I’m in the middle of writing a text that Dallas is going to take him and the phone rings and it’s the Steelers," Ryan’s father, Vernon Shazier, told the Post-Gazette. "Good thing I didn’t send out that text."

The Cowboys front office was forced to scramble while on the clock, looking to trade back before eventually selecting Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin.

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said Martin had the same grade as the other three players, but it appears that adding Shazier was their preference.