Dallas Cowboys

With no first-round pick, former GM says Cowboys must approach NFL Draft with “patience”

The Dallas Cowboys should have a nice picture of Amari Cooper sitting in their war room when the NFL Draft gets underway on Thursday night.

At least that’s what former NFL general manager Mark Dominik would do, an easy reminder of why the Cowboys won’t be on the clock in the first round. The Cowboys sent what became the 27th overall pick to Oakland in exchange for Cooper last October.

“It gives you a little bit more patience to sit there and say, ‘We’ve got our first-round pick here,’” said Dominik, a SiriusXM NFL Radio analyst. “Now we’ve got to wait.”

Dominik knows what the Cowboys will be going through from experience. He served as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager from 2009-13, and traded away his first-round pick in the 2013 draft to land cornerback Darrelle Revis from the New York Jets.

The inclination, Dominik said, is to try and trade back into the first round. But the Cowboys aren’t in a realistic position to do so, considering their first pick comes late in the second round at No. 58.

Still, that doesn’t mean the Cowboys haven’t done their homework on the top prospects.

“You try to be patient with it, but you certainly can’t slack off,” Dominik said. “You just don’t know in terms of who’s going to be the guy who may drop. The Jaylon Smith … is he going to continue to fall? Be prepared for him.

“We need to know these guys anyway. The scouts, our area guys, they still need to know their character, still need all the stuff in the computer because one day they’re going to be free agents.”

In the end, though, there’s no denying it’s a long, slow wait. For how much buildup and attention is focused on the draft these days, not having a first-round pick certainly takes away from it.

“You have a full 12-plus hours, or 16 hours, to really look if there’s a guy you want to go get,” Dominik said. “As long as you’ve done your due diligence on all these players, regardless if you have a one or not, you’re in position to do that.

“But you try and keep yourself being patient because it’s a long wait.”

Dominik’s fellow NFL Draft analyst on SiriusXM, Hall of Famer and Cowboys Ring of Honor member Gil Brandt, echoed those thoughts.

Brandt agreed with Dominik that teams such as the Cowboys still have to do homework even on the top prospects.

“Just don’t say, ‘OK, [Iowa TE Noah] Fant isn’t going to be there when we draft, so we’re not going to evaluate him,’” Brandt said. “I think that’s a fallacy. You have to evaluate everybody and, down the line in two years or three years from now, when people call you about a trade, you want to be sure you’ve done your due diligence on those players.”

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