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Shazier camp on phone with Dallas as Steelers picked

Jerry Jones has acknowledged that new Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel was the No. 1 player on the Dallas Cowboys' draft board at No. 16 overall.

The story behind the story is that Manziel was only atop the Cowboys' board because Pittsburgh had snatched linebacker Ryan Shazier out from under them just minutes earlier.

Steelers sources tell the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the Cowboys were on the phone with Shazier's agent and were ready to select him over offensive lineman Zack Martinwith the 16th pick.

"I'm in the middle of writing a text that Dallas is going to take him and the phone rings and it's the Steelers," Vernon Shazier, Ryan's father, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Good thing I didn't send out that text ... I think he ended up in the right place."

Jones confirmed after the first round that the Cowboys were targeting Shazier, Martin, Anthony Barr (No. 9, Vikings) and Aaron Donald (No. 13, Rams) entering the draft.

The Steelers, on the other hand, had planned to select cornerback Justin Gilbert (No. 8, Browns) or LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham (No. 12, Giants). Once those players were gone, general manager Kevin Colbert said it was "an easy evaluation" to switch gears and grab the best player on their board.

"The young man has no holes," coach Mike Tomlin said of Shazier. "... He's a defensive playmaker. Bigger than positional needs, what we needed was a defensive playmaker."

Tomlin and Colbert are thrilled to land their third option, a dynamic linebacker poised to help transform Dick LeBeau's defense from old and slow to younger and more athletic.

*The "Around The League Podcast" wrapped up the draft by picking our winners and losers. *

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