See (or hear) what Jerry Jones, Jason Garrett, and Stephen Jones had to say about the Dallas Cowboys 2013 Draft class
RELATED: Cowboys considered moving up, but players went in Top-10
The Dallas Cowboys were bound and determined to improve the offensive line in the 2013 NFL Draft. They believe they did so with Wisconsin center/guard Travis Frederick with the 31st overall pick in the first round.
But there were two other players the Cowboys were eyeing earlier in the draft that they would have moved up from the 18th pick to get but both went in the top ten, according to Jones.
Clearly, Jones was talking about North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper, who went seventh to the Arizona Cardinals and Alabama guard Chance Warmack, who went 10th to the Tennessee Titans. Both had been linked to the Cowboys in many mocked drafts leading up to the draft.
With those two gone and then Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro and Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richarsdon also gone by the time the Cowboys were ready to pick at 18, Jones decided to pull the trigger on a trade with the San Francisco 49ers that moved them back 31 and netted them an extra third round pick. In the end, Jones was satisfied with getting Frederick and the extra pick.
“We had two players but that was over by the time we got to the eighth pick, ninth pick, that we might have considered moving up for,” Jones said. “We ended up getting a player that I don’t know if I would’ve wanted to give up a three rather than to have the player we might have moved up for and had Frederick and gained a three. We’re two threes better off by having not moved up and picked another guard to move up and go get him.”
But there is no doubt the focus was on getting quarterback Tony Romo some help by improving the offensive line. The Cowboys believe they did that with Frederick.
“What is the very best thing we can do for this team? We’re in pretty good shape with defensive personnel,” Jones said. “Buy [Tony] Romo a half a second. Better than a ‘wow’ receiver to add to our receivers. Better than a ‘wow’ tight end, have a lot of three tight end, two tight end sets. Candidly, our consensus was after everything we’ve done in this draft, the best thing we could do to help us win football games is to get him another half a second. I’m talking about for the next 36 months, 48 months. That’s really the meat of where we are.”
RELATED: Frederick’s 40 time and low reps don’t show ability, game tape does
The Cowboys’ first-round draft pick, center Travis Frederick, had a very slow 40 time and low reps on the bench at the combine, and it may have caused his stock to drop.
But he said neither says anything about his playing ability.
“I think the film really shows how I play,” he said Thursday night in a conference call with reporters. “I’m a tough player who run blocks really well … I think that I do a good job of anchoring in against a bull rush or even somebody that’s a zero nose technique.”
Frederick said Wisconsin does not stress high rep numbers in its lifting.
“Wisconsin is not known for doing well at the reps because we’ve always been trained to do low reps, high intensity,” he said. “So we do single reps or double reps, and I do very well on those areas. So I don’t think the 21 reps on the bench was truly indicative of my strength.”
He also said he could have run another 40 at his pro day and might have improved it a little.
Frederick confessed that he thought he would be an early second-round pick, but he knew the Cowboys needed help at guard and center and that they had talked to him a lot.
“I do feel very comfortable at both positions, so I think that’s what helps me out, is being able to play both positions,” he said. “I’m sure that they have some sort of idea for me, but I’m looking forward to getting down there and just seeing where I fit in.”
He said the Cowboys liked his toughness and intelligence.
“I’m a tough player, a tenacious player. I’m also a player who plays with a high football IQ,” he said. “I think that I’m able to pick up on the offense very quickly, and I’m going to be able to make adjustments at the line and be able to help direct everybody, and I think that those are things that they really liked.”
He said he is proud of Wisconsin’s tradition of turning out offensive linemen.
“That tradition is one of the reasons why I chose to go to Wisconsin, just knowing that such great offensive linemen have come out of there and would probably or hopefully give me the opportunity if I worked as hard as I could, to be in the situation that I’m in today,” he said. “I’m excited to join that long line.”