FRISCO - "Chum in the water,'' we used to call it, maybe because of how the fellas tried to capture the murderous shark in "Jaws.''
"Chum in the water,'' that is, throw appetizingly bloody chucks of gunk out there to see who bites.
Maybe that's what the Dallas Cowboys are doing here ... though COO Stephen Jones sounds sincere and sensible when he says, "Barring something very opportunistic,” Dallas is leaning heavily toward using the No. 10 overall pick in next week's NFL Draft on defense.
“We’ve made no bones about it: Barring something very opportunistic, we certainly want to improve our defensive football team,'' Jones tells 105.3 The Fan.
Dallas has not hidden its admiration for top defensive prospects like Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain and South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn. Jones mentioned Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons. We also know the Cowboys hold a trio of offensive players - Florida tight end Kyle Pitts, Oregon O-lineman Penei Sewell and Northwestern O-lineman Rashawn Slater - in high regard.
D-line. Cornerback. Safety. Linebacker. Stephen rattled off the needs.
“You can never have enough defensive linemen, and we lost (cornerback) Chidobe (Awuzie) in free agency, and obviously our ongoin annual need for safety, which never seems to end either in terms of draft pick resource or dollar resource. It’s been at the low end of the totem pole,” he said. “And then with the game becoming such a game that’s played in space, you can’t have enough of those linebackers that can cover.”
And that pretty much covers it.
Are Jones and the Cowboys bluffing, misdirecting, "throwing chum into the water''? Maybe, as that is part of the pre-Draft game. Stephen even went so far as to note that Jerry's open flirtation with the Pitts idea comes with an innocuous explanation.
“I think he’s a unique player that doesn’t come around every year,'' Stephen said. "Jerry was just acknowledging that.”
READ MORE: WATCH: Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones Meets Pitts