DALLAS Teams

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

Jerry Jones compared Leighton Vander Esch to Rolando McClain, who had a great 2014 season with the Cowboys. Rod Marinelli had Brian Urlacher with the Chicago Bears. “That's it,” Jones said. “That's an example of what you get when you get a three-down backer that can also get the offense the ball himself.”

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

Jerry Jones said the Cowboys were not tempted to move up at all in the first round even as Derwin James fell closer to No. 19. Leighton Vander Esch was their guy and did not give any thought to moving down either.

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

Leighton Vander Esch on where he plays with the Cowboys: "They can throw me anywhere but I feel like middle is my premier position." He lauded Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith and said he could not wait to get on the field.

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

For the 12th time in the last 14 years, the Cowboys' first pick has been among their pre-draft visitors. Leighton Vander Esch was at The Star earlier in the month for a visit. The only picks not to make a visit were DeMarcus Ware (2005) and Morris Claiborne (2012).

Vander Esch taken by Dallas, hypes up home crowd (0:28)

Bill Barnwell ESPN Staff Writer 

The Cowboys have a lot invested in linebackers with injury concerns after drafting Leighton Vander Esch, who joins up with Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith. It's a bit of a surprise in a league where teams spend the majority of the time in their sub packages with five defensive backs on the field, but Vander Esch might help ensure that the Cowboys have two of their three talented, athletic linebackers healthy and on the field at all times.

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

The Cowboys have selected Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch with the 19th pick in the first round. He is their first off-the-ball linebacker picked in the first round by the Cowboys since Robert Jones in 1992. Vander Esch had a staggering 141 tackles with 8.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, four forced fumbles, seven pass deflections and three interceptions last season.

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

All is relatively quiet in the Cowboys' draft room but defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli and passing game coordinator Kris Richard are in view. Linebackers Leighton Vander Esch and Rashaan Evans visited The Star and are available.

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

As pick No. 19 comes into focus, safety Derwin James and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds are still available. Not sure many thought that would be possible at the start of the draft.

Goodell takes the stage with Cowboys' greats (0:17)

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

The Cowboys get to see Saquon Barkley, the No. 2 overall pick, up close in Week 2 when the New York Giants come to AT&T Stadium. In their last nine games against New York, the Cowboys have not allowed a Giants runner to have more than 75 yards on the ground.

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

Just spoke with Dak Prescott, who is at AT&T Stadium for an appearance for Courtyard Hotels, and he said the atmosphere is similar to a gameday. “You see the other 31 teams now and you don't see that (on gameday), but there's a lot of Cowboys fans here and they'll make sure everybody knows this is Dallas, this is home, this is our stadium.”

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

As the start of the draft closes in, the Cowboys have the following selections over the next three days: No. 19, first round; No. 50, second round; No. 81, third round; No. 116, fourth round; No. 137, fourth round, No. 171, fifth round, No. 192, sixth round, No. 193, sixth round; No. 208, sixth round, No. 236, seventh round.

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Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images
16hTodd Archer

Cowboys stars to flank Goodell onto draft stage

To perhaps help combat potential boos, commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to be flanked by Cowboys greats when he takes the stage for the NFL draft Thursday night at AT&T Stadium.

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