Cowboys play mock draft game too

IRVING, Texas -- Over the last few days the Cowboys have done what Mel Kiper, Todd McShay and every other draft guru does at this time of year: conduct mock drafts.

The Cowboys, and every other team, want to go through all kinds of scenarios so when they are on the clock for real they will have already played it out before the draft started.

In 2007 the Cowboys went through a mock draft in which quarterback Brady Quinn fell to them. They knew Tony Romo was their quarterback, even after just 10 regular-season starts at the time, but played out a scenario in which Quinn fell to them. Would they take Quinn? Would they trade back?

When Quinn did fall, the Cowboys knew what to get in return for a trade down. Cleveland complied and the Cowboys had two first-round picks in 2008.

On Wednesday, Jones said the team played through a scenario in which they traded up from No. 14 to get a player they wanted if there is a run on the handful of players they expected to be there when they picked. Undoubtedly they went through the other end of the story, too, in which all of their guys are gone.

“I don’t want to get into our strategy, but we have done that exercise and in essence said, ‘How many guys we got up there that would cause us to go up?’” Jones said. “And we spent quite a bit of time on that exercise. Again it’s according to the cost. According to how big it is. You get a situation, as you know, where you can move up one or two places that there is a real value that they give you just to swap a couple of spots with you. That’s hard to up there early, but, yes, that it is a possibility. I don’t want to say one player, but there are players we would go for.”

Teams usually take their in-house mock drafts through three rounds because, as Jason Garrett said Wednesday, you’re picking starters (or eventual starters) in those rounds and want to have a feel for what will be available.