FRISCO, Texas -- As Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones watched the coverage of the first round of the NFL draft from Philadelphia, he had a feeling you wouldn't think he would normally have.
"I'm envious," Jones said. "It's exciting and it excites the fan base of the franchise that is in that area. I think it creates proprietorship. It creates some investment in the community in the event. I could have never dreamed that the draft would be what it is today when you look back years ago, but it is. That has made it even more exciting, particularly for that fan base."
The Cowboys hope to lure the draft to Texas as soon as next year.
The NFL estimated that nearly 100,000 attended the events Thursday in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and along the Ben Franklin Parkway.
The Cowboys had 7,761 fans at their draft event inside Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. The Star not only houses the Cowboys, but an Omni hotel is soon to be finished and a series of shops and restaurants will open in the next few months.
It has all of the amenities necessary to hold the draft, including a 12,000-seat stadium, but after Thursday's showing in Philadelphia, the Cowboys would likely use two sites in their pitch: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, which can seat more than 100,000, for the first night of the draft and The Star for Days 2 and 3.
"It's really a good thing," Jones said. "I think the Chicago draft [in 2016] has really been a big thing. You know, a lot of fans still don't quite grasp that everybody is not sitting in Philadelphia. All the teams aren't sitting there. I can't tell you the hundreds of people I run into that think we are wherever the draft is being shown."