Almost every mock draft had Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain or South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn going to the Cowboys at No. 10. The Cowboys’ own mocks, though, had Surtain and Horn already off the board.
Dallas did not expect either cornerback to be an option at 10, and neither was.
“We’ve been talking about the cornerbacks being gone at 8 and 9 for days,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, via Jon Machota of TheAthletic.com. “But certainly [Thursday], we intensively talked about the possibility all day long, about being ready. There were no surprises, no consternation about the circumstances to make this pick.”
The two teams picking ahead of the Cowboys — the Panthers and Broncos — drafted Horn and Surtain respectively. With Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons and Northwestern offensive lineman Rashawn Slater still on the board, Dallas traded back two spots.
The Cowboys had pre-draft conversations with the Eagles regarding a trade back.
Jones said Parson was the highest-rated defensive player on their draft board, and the Cowboys selected him 12th overall rather than try to trade back again.
“We didn’t have the stomach to risk losing [Parsons] relative to our evaluation of him,” Jones said.