The Cowboys were bound and determined to improve the offensive line in the 2013 NFL Draft. They believe they did so with Wisconsin center/guard Travis Frederick with the 31st overall pick in the first round.
But there were two other players the Cowboys were eyeing earlier in the draft that they would have moved up from the 18th pick to get but both went in the top ten, according to Jones.
Clearly, Jones was talking about North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper, who went seventh to the Arizona Cardinals and Alabama guard Chance Warmack, who went 10th to the Tennessee Titans. Both had been linked to the Cowboys in many mocked drafts leading up to the draft.
With those two gone and then Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro and Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richarsdon also gone by the time the Cowboys were teady to pick at 18, Jones decided to pull the trigger on a trade with the San Francisco 49ers that moved them back 31 and netted them an extra third round pick. In the end, Jones was satisfied with getting Frederick and the extra pick.
“We had two players but that was over by the time we got to the eighth pick, ninth pick, that we might have considered moving up for,” Jones said. “We ended up getting a player that I don’t know if I would’ve wanted to give up a three rather than to have the player we might have moved up for and had Frederick and gained a three. We’re two threes better off by having not moved up and picked another guard to move up and go get him.”
But there is no doubt the focus was on getting quarterback Tony Romo some help by improving the offensive line. The Cowboys believe they did that with Frederick.
“What is the very best thing we can do for this team? We’re in pretty good shape with defensive personnel,” Jones said. “Buy [Tony] Romo a half a second. Better than a ‘wow’ receiver to add to our receivers. Better than a ‘wow’ tight end, have a lot of three tight end, two tight end sets. Candidly, our consensus was after everything we’ve done in this draft, the best thing we could do to help us win football games is to get him another half a second. I’m talking about for the next 36 months, 48 months. That’s really the meat of where we are.”