The Cowboys have two defensive ends suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season for violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa sat out the season opener in 2015 for a violation of team rules that some have reported was for marijuana.
The Cowboys, though, insist they have no off-the-field concerns with Bosa.
“His character issue would not be a factor in us drafting him,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Monday at a pre-draft press conference.
The Cowboys have a need for defensive ends with Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence both suspended for the first four games of next season.
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“Ability is availability,” Jones said. “That does remind you when you have setbacks from suspensions hitting that equation real good, and so yes, it’ll be accounted for as we’re picking our players in this draft.”
Draft analysts rate Bosa the top defensive end. The Cowboys own the No. 4 overall choice, and Bosa is expected to be there when they select.
The Cowboys did their due diligence on Bosa. He was among their 30 national visitors to Valley Ranch, and they made a trip to Ohio State to work him out along with several other Buckeyes.
“We’ve had great visits with Joey, and one of the things that we really appreciate about this process is you have a lot of opportunity to get to know these players,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “Now you’re not going to know them to the extent that you would if they are in your building, and you are living with them day after day. But we got a chance to visit with Joey at the combine. We got a chance to visit with him here. We went to Ohio State and worked him out. So we’ve gotten to know him as a football player and to the extent that we can as a guy. He’s a young guy. He’s 20 or so years old. He’s had a couple of issues in his life up to this point. That’s not unique to Joey Bosa. What we try to do is we try to determine what the circumstances are around those incidents and talk to a lot of people who know him well, all the way back to high school and college. People we think we can trust. And again we try to make our best evaluations as a player and as a person we make those determinations do we want to bring that guy to our team.”