Leaked Cowboys draft board shows division rival Giants got top two players in draft

In an attempt to prove that the team’s first-round pick, former Tulsa offensive lineman Tyler Smith, ranked higher on his draft board than two players who were drafted before him, the owner/general manager of the Dallas Cowboys manager Jerry Jones pulled out a sheet of paper last week that contained what appeared to be the Cowboys’ first two round draft picks. Unsurprisingly, the team’s vice presidents, Stephen Jones and Will McClay, reprimanded Jerry for showing the board, but he apparently held it there long enough for them to figure it out.

Our friends at The Athletic enlarged and enhanced the photo and were able to decipher the top 34 of what appeared to be 39 players with first or second round ratings on the Cowboys board. According to Jon Machota, the Cowboys had 14 players with first-round qualifications. That group appears to be the following:

Range Player Team Choose
one Kayvon Thibodeaux, ED, Oregon New York 5
two Evan Neal, OT, Alabama New York 7
3 Aidan Hutchinson, ED, Michigan THE two
4 Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio Street NYJ 10
5 Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati NYJ 4
6 Derek Stingley, CB, LSU NEW 3
7 Travon Walker, ED, Ga. JAX one
8 Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame IT WAS 14
9 Ikem Ekwonu, OT, North Carolina St. CAR 6
10 Drake London, WR, USC ATL 8
eleven Jordan Davis, IDL, Georgia FI 13
12 Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi St. SEA 9
13 Lewis Cinema, St., Ga. MIN 32
14 Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama THE 12

Notably, the top two players in the Dallas draft were selected at Nos. 5 and 7 overall by the division rival New York Giants, giving the team the best offensive and defensive player in the draft, according to Dallas. The Philadelphia Eagles caught Dallas’ No. 11-ranked player Jordan Davis at No. 13 overall.

Among that group of 14 players, 13 were already off the board when the Cowboys entered the clock with the 24th pick in the first round. The only one left was safety Lewis Cine, who was ultimately selected by the Vikings with the final first-round pick.

The Cowboys have shown us over the years that they don’t value safety too much, having not selected a safety in either the first or second round since Roy Williams in 2002. Instead of Cine, the Cowboys took a player three places lower on the board, who had one of their two best scores in the second round.

Range Player Team Choose
fifteen Chris Olave, WR, Ohio St. NOT eleven
sixteen Tyler Smith, OG, Tulsa DAL 24
17 Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah JAX 27
18 Daxton Hill, S., Michigan IAS 31
19 Breece Hall, RB, Michigan Street NYJ 36
twenty Kenyon Green, OG, Texas A&M NEW fifteen
twenty-one George Karlaftis, ED, Purdue KC 30
22 Zion Johnson, OG, Boston University LACQUER 17
23 Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas TEN 18
24 Kyler Gordon, BC, Washington CHI 39
25 Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa BAL 25
26 David Ojabo, ED, Michigan BAL Four. Five
27 Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn St. IT WAS sixteen
28 Jermaine Johnson, ED, Florida Street NYJ 26
29 Kaiir Elam, BC, Florida BUFF 23
30 Arnold Ebiketie, ED, Penn St. ATL 38
31 Trent McDuffie, BC, Washington KC twenty-one
32 Quay Walker, LB, Ga. IT IS 22
33 Devonte Wyatt, IDL, Georgia IT IS 28
3. 4 Logan Hall, DL, Houston tuberculosis 33

The low firsts and high seconds are often fairly close to one another, but the sequence makes one wonder if the Cowboys may have missed a potential trade opportunity. Stephen Jones said during the team’s post-Round 1 news conference that they had a trade option, but was later told by the team trying to get to No. 24 that they would have selected Tyler Smith with that pick. Had they moved down and seen Smith come off the board, the Cowboys likely would have been drafting from a group that included Cine, Devin Lloyd, Daxton Hill, Breece Hall and George Karlaftis.

Give this to Jerry though, the board does show the team had Smith rated ahead of Kenyon Green and Zion Johnson, who were the two players many thought the Cowboys would be targeting at No. 24. So at least I was. I’m not lying about that.

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