Cowboys fill 'need' with 'best player'

IRVING, Texas -- In the perfect world, teams always select the best player available and never draft for need.

The NFL draft is hardly ever a perfect world.

The Cowboys acknowledged selecting defensive end Demarcus Lawrence in the second round after trading up in a deal with the Washington Redskins was a "need" pick.

But it was also the best available player in their eyes

“The way I would differentiate with that is he was very worthy of that pick,” executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “So a lot of times, what you do is you move picks, no different than we did with [Travis] Frederick. Where we would have messed up, had we taken Lawrence with the 16th pick. That’s called ‘need.’ That’s where you don’t draft for need. I think a lot of people move around in the draft and do things in the draft to maybe make their needs work with where their players should be picked. We didn’t reach for Lawrence here. We actually feel like we had a great value here. What we did do is pay a little extra in terms of draft picks to get him."