Could a free-falling Dez Bryant be too much for Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to resist?
In talking to scouts around the league and perusing dozens of mock drafts, it's pretty clear that Oklahoma State's Dez Bryant is the top wide receiver in this draft. But for a variety of reasons, a lot of folks have him falling into the 20s in Thursday's first round. Most scouts I've visited with agree that Bryant is essentially a "good kid."
It's annoying to hear folks talk about "character" issues and then not back it up with anything of substance. We all know about Bryant's harsh punishment for not being truthful with the NCAA about a meeting with Deion Sanders. But I don't think that's what is causing his stock to drop. He's represented by the same agent, Eugene Parker, as 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree. And you'll recall that Crabtree didn't exactly have a smooth entry into the league. Crabtree's uncle, David Wells, was very involved in that process. Wells is now advising Bryant. After watching what happened with Crabtree last season, you can see why teams might be leery of Bryant early in the draft.
That said, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has met with Bryant and he's very familiar with both Parker and Wells. If Bryant slips into the 20s -- as many mock drafts are now suggesting -- Jones could make a play for him. Some draft gurus (Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News for one) even have Bryant slipping all the way to the Cowboys at No. 27. If that happens, I'm almost certain the Cowboys would select him. But also keep in mind that the Ravens are sitting at No. 25. Something tells me they'll want to see what the Cowboys are willing to give up for Bryant.
I think Bryant might be the most compelling player in the first round. Don't be surprised if the Cowboys take the story to the next level.