Stephen Jones said the Dallas Cowboys were prepared to trade to get back into the third round for an offensive lineman, but their target was taken a few picks before they were ready.
“We had a neat little deal set up,” the Cowboys’ executive vice president said Saturday. “It was going to be a nice pick for us, too, if it would have worked out. It’s probably not fair to share, but it was something that was real close.”
Jones said the Cowboys would have traded a future pick, not a 2014 pick.
Five linemen went in the last 12 picks of the third round.
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They were guard Chris Watt to the Chargers, guard Trai Turner to the Panthers, guard Brandon Linder to the Jaguars, tackle Michael Schofield to the Broncos and tackle Brandon Thomas to the 49ers.
“We got the rug pulled out from us about two picks away at the bottom of the third,” Jones said.
No high safety
The Cowboys came away with no safeties in the high rounds, although they liked Jimmie Ward of Northern Illinois, who went late in the first round.
“After that, we felt like we were getting a lot of what we had,” Stephen Jones said.
“We like J.J. [Wilcox]. We like [Barry] Church. We like [Jeff] Heath. We will see how these guys play out,” Jones said. “We got a little on the come in Jakar Hamilton, and we’ll see what Matt Johnson does.
“I feel pretty comfortable there. More comfortable than people from the outside looking in.”
Linebacker Anthony Hitchens said when he was 12 years old, he moved away from home because he didn’t want to go to a rough high school.
He went to live with his quarterback’s parents.
“His parents took me in, so they put me into a good high school that produced college — not just college athletes — but just college kids, just to go get a degree, and I was fortunate enough to get a scholarship,” he said.
At Clearview High School in Lorain, Ohio, he was an all-state player as a junior and senior, set a school record for points in a season and helped win a state championship.
“I grew up with a rough family, and my mom was going to send me to a high school that wasn’t the best for me,” he said. “And I wanted to go to college and play football in high school.
“I just wanted to take a different path. I didn’t want to be like everybody else in my family that didn’t go to college.”
Pitt receiver Devin Street said he had such a good workout with the Cowboys, they were his top choice for where he wanted to go.
“Going through this whole process, Dallas was my No. 1 choice,” he said. “I know I didn’t have any say in it, but just getting a feel for them, I felt like they had a lot of faith in me at the combine.”
Street, taken in the fifth round by the Cowboys on Saturday, said his belief was reinforced by a workout with Cowboys receivers coach Derek Dooley that he didn’t want to end.
“I wanted to keep going,” Street said. “I can remember him telling me to get a water break, and I didn’t want it. I wanted to show him what I was capable of and that I am going to go into a place and work hard.”
The 6-foot-2 Street, the all-time leader in receptions at Pitt, said he showed the Cowboys that he can run inside and outside routes.