Jerry Jones knows what you are thinking.
As host of the 2018 NFL Draft, set for April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium, there is no way the attention-hungry, circus-creating, pot-stirring owner of the Dallas Cowboys is going to find a way to make a splash when it comes to his turn with the 19th overall pick.
So Jones says just go with it.
“Well, the rumors of the wildcatter’s demise has certainly been exaggerated,” Jones said with a smile and a wink at the NFL owners meeting. “I’m not going to but I would like to, apart from a couple of player personnels, I’d like to show a few other decisions that I’ve made around here, and they’ve got more hair on them then you’d ever seen. So I will take a chance. Still.”
Jones still has it in him.
And with a cadre of 10 picks, the Cowboys have the selections to trade up to get the player they want.
But Jones believes there is a good chance the Cowboys could stand pat and still get their guy at 19.
With so many teams moving up to get a quarterback and the possibility of several running backs and offensive linemen going high, Jones said the draft is setting up nicely for the Cowboys.
"We are positioned in the way the makeup is if a number of quarterbacks are taken, a number of running backs are taken, two or three or those offensive tackles hit,” Jones said. “Really as much as anything there could be a couple of guards taken ahead of us. And it’s positioned for a situation to drop. … But with what is happening with a little bit of ambiguity on the number of quarterbacks and what we just talked about, there could be an active draft there in the first round."
The Cowboys are likely targeting a receiver, linebacker, defensive lineman or safety in the first round.
Among potential targets are linebackers Roquan Smith, Leighton Vander Esch and Rashaan Evanns; receivers Calvin Ridley and D.J. Moore; safety Derwin James; and defensive tackles Vita Vea, Maurice Hurst, Taven Bryan and Da’Ron Payne.
“They got a lot of receivers in this draft, for instance,” Jones said. “I am not sure how many first-round receivers. But there are down-the-line receivers. That is not bad. That might work. There are certainly some linebackers there. There is some defensive talent that has a chance to drop. Therein lies your opportunity there at positions that you certainly aren’t stacked up in that you might not say is the position you are interested in. ... Obviously, you could see that Dez Bryant dropping to you at the 20th spot.”
Bryant was a top-10 talent who fell to the Cowboys in 2010 because of off-field concerns.
Now the Cowboys could be positioned to land his replacement in Ridley if they get a fortuitous drop in 2018.