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April 24, 2013

Jonathan Cooper hopes he is gone by No. 18, but Kenny Vaccaro is willing to wait for the Cowboys

Jonathan Cooper hopes the Cowboys don’t pick him 18th for one reason: He hopes to be long gone by the time they are slotted to draft.

“I probably wouldn’t like to fall that far,” the North Carolina guard said with a laugh Wednesday. “But if they want to come up and get me, that would be exciting that I meant that much to them, that I was a good enough player for them to do that.”

The Cowboys are more likely to trade down than they are to trade up, but if one of the draft’s top guards falls to them, they might stand pat. The chances of Alabama guard Chance Warmack falling to 18 are remote at best, but if there is a run on quarterbacks and receivers in the top 17, Cooper might be available.

Cooper visited Dallas-Fort Worth, and he had a private workout with them in North Carolina.

“It was almost like the professional version of Alabama,” Cooper said of the Cowboys. “You could see tradition, and the stadium is unreal. Dallas is huge. I met with Jerry Jones, and that was pretty cool. It was a great trip.”

Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro, on the other hand, doesn’t hide the fact that he wants the Cowboys to draft him. He gladly will wait until the 18th choice if it means spending his NFL career in Dallas.

“It’d be crazy,” Vaccaro said. “I played high school football in Texas and then in college, and then to get to play for Dallas, it’d be crazy to play in my state for my whole career. It’s close to home, so I’d see get to see my family all the time.”

-- Charean Williams

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