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Cowboys' Jones curiously stands pat at No. 9

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Recent posts by Eric Edholm

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Posted April 28, 2011 @ 10:28 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

Something is wrong with this picture.

The Cowboys had the perfect scenario unfold, or so it would seem. When the Titans shocked many by taking Jake Locker — a QB that one team graded out at a fourth-round level this year — with the eighth pick, the signals that Jerry Jones had sent out all offseason long ("TRADE? ANYONE?!") appeared to be coming to fruition.

That's because Blaine Gabbert, a player many thought would go in the first seven picks, was suddenly available. Although the Cowboys' Draft Cam was in full effect, our first sign that things were not Cowboys kosher was that Jerry Jones was not doing backflips.

Everything appeared lined up for Jones magic. He could wheel down in the draft and still get a player he loves.

And then the card was turned in … and it was USC OT Tyron Smith.

Crickets. Tumbleweed.

I mean, look, the kid clearly is an athletic freak who could be special. Those arms, my goodness. So much God-given ability. And it's not like we didn't hear about Jones liking Smith all along.

But who would have thought that this was how it actually played out, really? Jones taking an offensive lineman, the first time he ever has done so in the first round.

More shocking: Jones not trading out when trades were lighting up the boards on both sides.

The Browns pulled off the fleecing of the day, maybe the best in a few years, by collecting five picks, including two first-rounders, for the sixth pick. The Redskins, after Smith was Dallas' choice, moved down only six spots and picked up a second-rounder.

Was Jones afraid he wouldn't get Smith at No. 16? Did Jacksonville not call to move up? Did Jones and his big-market buddies make a vow to blackball small-potatoes franchises like the Jags? (OK, that was a cheap shot.)

Whatever happened, Jones clearly liked his guy. Don't they all on Draft Day? Yes, but Jones had to love Smith here not to get in on the trade talk and take advantage of the QB derby that was happening around him.

Smith should end up starting from Day One at right tackle with Marc Colombo appearing on the outs. And maybe it ends up being a strong pick if Smith's work ethic is not an issue and he can bulk up for the position sufficiently.

But right now those aren't my biggest questions. On a wild draft night, all I can wonder is: What has gotten into Jerry Jones?

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