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2011 NFL Draft: Cowboys Saw DeMarco Murray As First Round Talent

Jerry Jones said something that slipped right past me during the Cowboys' Day 2 press conference until I listened to it a second time. A theme for the Cowboys in their weekend meetings with the local media was that they chose to pick according to their board pretty strictly, rather than leaning toward needs. Jones made no secret of their opinion that second rounder Bruce Carter was a mid-first round talent that fell because of his knee injury in the middle of the football season.

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He also said that DeMarco Murray was the top player on their board when they made their selection with the seventh pick in the third round, No. 71 overall. Then he muttered, "by a round." Doing a little arithmetic here, assuming that Jerry is telling the truth (and we have no reason to suspect that he isn't), and realizing that at least Will Rackley and probably others were ranked several spots higher on their board than 71, Murray basically had to have a first round grade.

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That just further drives home the point that the Cowboys viewed Murray as a difference making back, not someone who they expect to come in and run third string. That almost had to be the case for them to choose Murray over some other solid options at need positions with the 71st pick.

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.