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Some bits and pieces to keep in mind with the NFL Draft bearing down on us."It’s almost here. The long wait for the NFL Draft is nearly over. For the Dallas Cowboys Leighton Vander Esch Jersey Stitched , it is not quite as exciting as for most teams, because of that missing first round pick. They are still a team that uses draft picks as the primary tool to build and improve the roster, however. And with six selections (currently) on days two and three, there will still be reason to pay close attention. Let’s not forget the best thing: No more avalanche of mock drafts for a while. OK, not everyone gets burned out by those, but will still be good to have some actual names to talk about. For now here are some points that may not warrant a full post, but are rather interesting. Well, to me, at least.Trading away that first pick seems to have really worked outPart of the calculation in shipping what turned into pick 27 off to the Oakland Raiders for wide receiver Amari Cooper was that there was not likely to be a receiver nearly as good as Cooper available in the first round. At the time, of course, Dallas was desperate for an answer after their self-designed “receiver by committee approach” had failed miserably. Had they not made the trade, receiver would almost certainly have been their greatest need barring a major free agent acquisition which is not the kind of thing they like to do. Tim Heitman-USA TODAY SportsSince then there seems to be a consensus that they were exactly right in their calculation. Most pre-draft boards have only one or two receivers with first round grades (for an excellent, and free Youth Connor Williams Jersey , example, you can link here to read or download Jonah Tuls’ board, which has only two). But the secondand third rounds are chock full of talent that fit the value of the picks. That is great for the Cowboys now and leads to an interesting question: Should they be on the lookout for future trades like that? The way to cash in with a first round pick is to get an immediate starter that upgrades the roster. If you can get and afford a veteran on his rookie deal who is likely to see the full length of a second contract, then that may be a smart move any year. You get a known quantity, reducing the always present level of risk with a draft pick. With the excellent scouting organization headed by Will McClay, Dallas is in a great position to go back to that well if they choose.Speaking of organizations, we should be grateful for what the Cowboys haveOver the years, a lot of derision has been directed towards the Jerry Jones regime. But they have been drafting excellently the past few years, particularly in the first round, and now the second round picks are starting to show up a lot. And as mentioned, McClay is doing an absolutely superb jobs in all facets. They are stronger with the college prospects, but this offseason looks like it brought some really good free agents as well. And that is not the way it is everywhere. Just imagine the fecal hurricane if that had happened at The Star. Sometimes we just don’t appreciate what Jerry has done in the past few years. Most of the mockery is based on his earlier years when he obviously had a lot to learn. But he has proven an old dog can indeed learn some new and better tricks.It’s so good to have your quarterbackThere are some years when multiple teams get their franchise quarterback in the draft, like 2016 which brought Jared Goff Connor Williams Jersey Stitched , Carson Wentz, and of course Dak Prescott to the NFL. That was a year when the quarterback talent pool in college was deep.Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty ImagesThis isn’t one of those years. There are many who question if any of the current crop of passers is truly worth a first round pick, including the aforementioned Tuls. It should be mentioned though that this is not going to stop teams from spending a first round pick on them because there are so many quarterback-hungry teams. Given how important the position is to success in the league, they are almost forced into grabbing the best one available (at least in their minds) no matter the cost. They just have to hope they can make something out of those players.What may turn out to be a real failure for those unfortunates is of course good news for Dallas. Every player who is overdrafted pushes someone else down the board and since the Cowboys are way down the list, then that just helps them. And no position gets overdrafted like quarterback.The intent seems clear this yearA little while back, I did a post looking at where the 30 pre-draft visitors are seen as going in the draft to try and sort out what the team would like to do. And it was one of the clearest pictures I can remember. They want a safety at 58. The fallbacks seem to be composed of wide receiver, running back, edge rusher, with defensive tackles and tight ends as additional third-round wishes.Those are particularly important, as Bob Sturm noted in a recent post at The Athletic. He looked back five years to see how the pre-draft picks matched up with who was actually taken by Dallas, and found that the day three picks have almost no correlation. But the first three rounds are a different story.(Yeah, I included that last sentence to brag just a bit.)Based on that history, it is highly likely that the names called for the Cowboys’ picks on day two of the draft Youth Michael Gallup Jersey , which are still considered premium picks, are going to be ones we have seen coming in for a visit. This just looks like a good draft class for the CowboysThe depth of this class, and where the talent is seen as slotting, matches up very well with the places where Dallas can use upgrades. That certainly doesn’t happen for every team (just ask those grinding away on the quarterbacks to find a diamond in the detritus). It is a matter of good luck, but never discount the importance of that in the NFL.Day one of the draft will be a bit boring and even disappointing for most, but have patience. (And it could be worse. The Chicago Bears don’t currently have a pick at all until 87, and only five overall.) Day two in particular could see some very pleasing acquisitions, and we place our trust in McClay to get some nice bang for the buck on day three.The draft is soon. Carry on. Earl Thomas' issues with the Seattle Seahawks front office aren't going away, even as he continues to play like one of the best safeties in the NFL.How much longer the Seahawks are willing to put up with an unhappy star is now the big question.After a few days of uncertainty, Thomas was on the field Sunday creating problems for opponents in Seattle's 24-13 win over the Dallas Cowboys. In what he acknowledged could end up being his last game in Seattle, Thomas had two interceptions and tied for a team high with seven tackles."I don't know if it was," Thomas said, "but I had a damn good time and I'll go out like that if I have to."His displeasure with his situation in Seattle remains evident. Thomas' holdout from Seattle's offseason program and training camp didn't result in a contract extension or a trade. He's now banking that skipping two days of practice this past week 鈥?and then playing great Sunday 鈥?may finally force Seattle's hand to make some sort of move Michael Gallup Jersey Stitched , either offering him a long-term contract extension or sending him to another team that might be willing to secure his future beyond this season."I love Seattle," Thomas said. "My family is here. I'm hopeful these guys will call my agent and we'll work something out. I want to be taken care of."Since he reported on the Wednesday before the season opener, Thomas had not taken any overt actions to express his displeasure with his contract situation, a deal with Seattle that expires after this season. That changed this week when he sat out practices Wednesday and Friday without any injury designation. Seattle coach Pete Carroll said Friday that Thomas missed the practices for personal reasons and was not injury related.Thomas said Sunday he sat out because he's "invested in myself.""If they were invested in me, I'd be out there practicing, but if I feel like anything 鈥?I don't give a damn if it's small, I got a headache 鈥?I'm not practicing," Thomas said.Carroll offered no explanations for the situation."Really, I haven't even talked to him about it other than we made it through and we talk next week," Carroll said. "There's nothing even to really tell you about it. I'll let you know next week."Thomas said he understood that decision would likely come with some financial repercussions 鈥?from the Seahawks."They definitely gonna tax me," Thomas said. "I'm sure I'll have a slip in my locker."Thomas' absence from practice 鈥?or the lingering uncertainty about his future 鈥?didn't seem to bother his teammates."He keeps playing like greatness, he's playing like he deserves one of those yellow jackets," defensive end Frank Clark said. "At the end of the day Cheap Allen Hurns Youth Jersey , that's Earl. Earl is going to do Earl. I think we all know that. Everybody is panicking and wondering where Earl is at, but I'm sure he's getting better somewhere in his little cave or something."Thomas' first interception came in the first quarter after he pinned a deflected pass against his shin and kept it from hitting the turf. His second pick also came off a deflection and stopped a drive by Dallas deep in Seattle territory in the fourth quarter. After the second interception, Thomas turned to Dallas' sideline and bowed.Thomas has never hid his desire to one day play for the Cowboys and last year after the Seahawks won in Dallas, Thomas made the odd move of running into the Cowboys' locker room to give a message to coach Jason Garrett: "If they kick me to the curb, come get me."It was the second time in his career Thomas had two interceptions in a game, and the bow was a bit of a shot at Dallas for not getting a deal done."I felt like that was just in the moment and if they were going to trade for me and extend me, they should have did it," Thomas said of his gesture that drew a 15-yard penalty.
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