FRISCO - Did the Dallas Cowboys almost draft Jalen Hurts?
We often note in this space, with respect, that Jerry Jones enjoys "stories.'' He enjoys weaving them, and he enjoys starring in them. That's why the myth that "Johnny Manziel was almost a Cowboy'' will not die; the Dallas Cowboys owner keeps pumping life into it.
Now are we on the verge of a won't-go-away "Jalen Hurts was almost a Cowboy'' myth?
“We looked at him really hard,” COO Stephen Jones said this week on 105.3 The Fan as part of the buildup to Sunday's NFL Week 16 visit to AT&T Stadium of the Philadelphia Eagles, who are now quarterbacked by the rookie. “Obviously, our guy is Dak (Prescott), but at the same time, Mike is a big proponent of continuing to look at quarterback.''
Stephen demonstrated wisdom in turning the "Hurts talk'' into "Dak talk.
“We certainly had interest in (Hurts), but as I’ve said all along, our complete commitment is to Dak Prescott and look forward to getting his deal at some point finished and getting him back on the field,'' Stephen said. "He’s certainly the leader of this team and we certainly miss him.”
Dak isn't really a story this weekend (though we might be a week away from the season-ending chance to open contract negotiations between the two sides). .. Except for the fact that Dak's presence is why Dallas was never going to use a high pick on a QB.
Ben DiNucci in the seventh round? Sure.
Jalen Hurts in the second round? No way.
The Eagles actually seemed to have wasted a pick, in the minds of some, when they used the 53rd overall pick on Hurts, who had starred at the University of Oklahoma. As this year's gone on, however, Carson Wentz has faded. Hurts has taken over.
“We talked about him a lot,” Dallas coach McCarthy said of Hurts. “We had a great virtual interview with him. Very impressive young man. Went back through his history both at Alabama and Oklahoma. We thought of him very highly in our building. ... You always keep an eye on the local guys.''
Ah, the "local guys.'' McCarthy even mentioned Hurts' impressive stint in the Webex online pre-Draft interview conducted by the Cowboys and Jerry Jones. We thought it was a bit of a "stunt,'' Dallas wishing to show off its technology while putting the OU kid and Jerry on the same screen.
At some point, based on their board, Dallas would have theoretically taken the kid who, on his college recruiting visits, went to Mississippi State and was hosted by none other than Prescott. There are even similarities in the two, Stephen Jones notes.
To some degree,'' Stephen said, "his leadership, competitiveness, and the success he’s having quickly reminds me a lot of our guy Dak.''
But the Eagles thought more of TCU wide receiver Jalen Reagor, who they took 21st overall. And the Cowboys thought more of Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb than they did Reagor, so Dallas took Lamb four spots higher.
And then in the second round? Hurts was drafted 53rd overall, two picks after Dallas selected cornerback Trevon Diggs in the second round. So that tells you a truth about what they thought of both of those players with Alabama ties.
The Cowboys were never going to take Hurts over Diggs, and they were never going to invest in a legit backup QB over defensive needs, which is why Dallas drafted OU defensive tackle Neville Gallimore at No. 82 overall. And it's why they waited on a QB until the DiNucci pick
DiNucci hasn't proven anything yet. Too many of the Cowboys kids haven't, either. Hurts, however, has.
“You have to admire what he’s doing,” Stephen Jones said. “He’s just amazing — what he’s doing as a rookie, just stepping right in, the things you hear. He’s got a ton of respect on the (Eagles) team.''
And so much respect in Dallas that the Cowboys are having fun being tied to him when it's story time.