Anybody who has spent five minutes with Cowboys scouting director Tom Ciskowski likes Tom Ciskowski. A lot.
And when the long time scout was promoted to the job after Jeff Ireland left to take the Dolphins GM gig everyone was happy for him. You want a guy like him to get that chance. But I'm pretty sure everyone was a bit nervous for him; could he handle Jerry?
I never thought, based on my gut, Ciskowski wanted Dez Bryant. I never saw him as a Tom type of player.
Today after the Cowboys pre-draft press conference I asked him can you tell Jerry 'no'?
"Oh yeah," he said.
I believe him. I also believe Jerry can be charmingly persuasive. Jerry didn't get to where he is by accepting no.
I believe Tom has a very clear idea of what he wants a Cowboys player to look like; that they should fit a certain intellectual and mental makeup. That's why the Dez Byrant thing didn't click. Have the Cowboys been able to draft to the vision that Tom has for a Cowboys player?
"We've attempted to. I think in a lot of cases that is what you are shooting for," he said.
To me that says yes, and no.
Jerry made it a point to say - again - he doesn't meddle with the makeup of a draft board. That he listens and lets the scouts assemble the board the way they want. I believe that. I also believe Jerry owns and runs this team, and once the board is set he's not above saying, "Let's roll the dice on this guy ranked a little lower than this guy."
That's why Ciskowski's job is so hard.