Dallas Cowboys

Jason Garrett lauds the Cowboys draft-board discipline

Byron Jones holds a team jersey with Stephen Jones (left), Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett (right) on Friday.
Byron Jones holds a team jersey with Stephen Jones (left), Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett (right) on Friday. Special to the Star-Telegram

The Cowboys made history in the 2015 NFL Draft by not selecting a skill-position player for the first time.

No running back. No quarterback. No receiver.

That they didn’t take a running back was surprising because of the perceived need at the position following the loss of the league’s leading rusher, DeMarco Murray, in free agency.

The Cowboys leaned heavily toward defense in the draft with five of the first six picks going to that side of the ball. It was also an area of great need with the Cowboys having ranked 19th in total defense last season.

But the picks, just like the decision not to take a skill position player, were more about how the draft came to them and their discipline in taking the best player available rather than forcing a need.

“We try to be disciplined to the draft board,” coach Jason Garrett said. “Certainly there were some needs or perceived needs on the team in areas that we needed to address. But one of the best things we have done around here in the last four or five drafts is we haven’t reached for things. We have been very disciplined. This player is someone we like at this particular time and he fits here. Having a vision for him now and having a vision for him going forward. It turns out we drafted more guys on defense. Maybe we wanted to address some the situations a little more there, but I do think within that we did a good job having discipline. We drafted an offensive player when we thought that was appropriate and a defensive players when we thought that was appropriate. Hopefully that will give us a good chance to bring some good players in here.”