The result is a fascinating peek into the thought process of one NFL team.
The Cowboys had just 18 players with a first-round grade. All but Tyler Eifert, Sharrif Floyd, Bjoern Werner, Xavier Rhodes and Cordarrelle Patterson were off the board before Dallas was slated to pick at No. 18 overall. This bolsters the notion that the team's brass already had decided to trade down well before their pick came around. It's interesting to note that three of the 18 players whom the Cowboys gave first-round grades ended up with the Minnesota Vikings.
If the Cowboys were high on the Vikings' draft haul, they didn't think much of the Buffalo Bills' first-round selection. Quarterback EJ Manuel carried a fourth-round grade in Dallas, behind the likes of Ryan Nassib, Matt Barkley and Geno Smith (all graded as second-rounders). The Cowboys similarly were down on Kyle Long (No. 20 overall), Desmond Trufant (No. 22) and Datone Jones (No. 26), all graded as third-rounders. Cornerback Johnthan Banks, the No. 43 overall pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, received a sixth-round grade.
Several teams reportedly had late-round grades on No. 31 overall pick Travis Frederick. In fact, the Cowboys didn't even grade their new starting center as a first-rounder. Frederick, second-round pick Gavin Escobar (tight end) and third-round pick Terrance Williams (wide receiver) were all graded as second-rounders. Fifth-round selection Joseph Randle (running back) carried a third-round grade, which explains the team's expectation that he will beat out Phillip Tanner and Lance Dunbar for backup duties behind DeMarco Murray.
Among the players taken off the Cowboys' board presumably due to injury or character concerns were first-rounders Jarvis Jones, Alec Ogletree and Matt Elam. Also conspicuously absent were running backs Marcus Lattimore and Christine Michael, wide receivers Robert Woods and Keenan Allen and defensive back Tyrann Mathieu.
It's incredible that Blogging the Boys has been able to cobble this list together twice now without an adjustment from Jones. While the inside access is appreciated by fans and beat writers, it's a good bet the Cowboys will put the kibosh on Jones' whiteboard interviews, citing competitive disadvantage.