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Dallas Cowboys go without a first-day pick 

Second-round choice is traded to Bills; Dallas has 12 selections Sunday

03:32 AM CDT on Sunday, April 26, 2009

By CALVIN WATKINS / The Dallas Morning News

IRVING – Saturday afternoon, Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones admitted he was antsy. He wanted to do something on the first day of the NFL draft.

Jerry Jones discusses Dallas Cowboys' strategy on first day of NFL draft
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He eventually did by deciding to wait.

On the first day of the draft, the Cowboys traded their only selection, a second-round pick (No. 51 overall), to the Buffalo Bills for a third- and fourth-rounder.

Today, the Cowboys will have 12 picks, including three picks each in the fourth and fifth rounds. The Cowboys will begin the day in the third round with the 69th overall selection.

It's the first time since Jones has owned the team that he has not made a first-day draft pick.

"We are excited about [today] and about what we're going to be doing," Jones said. "Obviously we had a pick to use if we wanted to use it in the second round, and we liked the odds of going in the third round and getting that [player] with what we could do."

Before this year, the latest the Cowboys started their draft under the current seven-round format was in 2001 when they picked quarterback Quincy Carter in the second round with the 53rd overall pick. The Cowboys also started their draft in the third round in 1967 and 1980.

As the second round unfolded Saturday, five players who had visited Valley Ranch were picked by other teams before the Cowboys could select.

Jones said the Cowboys were interested in center Max Unger of Oregon, but he was grabbed by Seattle, which traded up with Chicago to get him at No. 49 overall.

Georgia wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, who visited Valley Ranch last week, was picked next by Cleveland.

Once Unger was gone, the Cowboys were prepared to take four to five players who had second-round grades. But Buffalo called when the Cowboys were on the clock, and Jones decided to make a deal.

Jerry Jones said the team didn't have any one player targeted for the 51st pick.

"I just think sometimes you put your [draft] board up and sometimes the guys happen to fall to you," team vice president Stephen Jones said. "And most of the time they do, and in some cases you just happen to have it not fall right for you. I just think you don't push something into that spot."

The Cowboys didn't get any trade offers to move into the first round and felt to move up in the second round it would take picks in 2010 to make that happen. Once the Cowboys moved out of the second round, Jerry Jones said nothing came up strong enough to get back in.

Last season's trade for Roy Williams (11) is the reason the Dallas Cowboys didn't have a first-round pick.

So the goal for today is to find players who can make an impact on special teams, and if necessary push the bottom 20 of the roster.

"You look at where we are positioned and where we are with our board beginning at 9 a.m. and you could get excited about what we have a chance to do [today]," Jerry Jones said.

The second day

Where the Cowboys will draft today, with number of picks in each round in parenthesis:

3rd round (2): 69, 75 overall

4th round (3): 101, 110, 117 overall

5th round (3): 156, 166, 172 overall

6th round (2): 197, 208 overall

7th round (2): 210, 227 overall

Notable second-day draft picks by the Cowboys in the last five years:
Year Rnd. Player Pos.
2008 4 Tashard Choice RB
COMMENT: Earned the start in Pittsburgh and rushed for 88 yards on 23 carries
2008 5 Orlando Scandrick CB
COMMENT: Was the slot cornerback in the nickel
2007 6 Nick Folk K
COMMENT: Earned a Pro Bowl berth in his rookie year
2007 6 Deon Anderson FB
COMMENT: Emerged as a solid contributor his rookie year, is now the starter
2006 5 Patrick Watkins S
COMMENT: Started nine games rookie year and led team in special teams tackles
2005 4 Marion Barber RB
COMMENT: Is ninth on the Cowboys' all-time rushing yards list with 3,052 yards
2005 7 Jay Ratliff DT
COMMENT: Earned his first Pro Bowl berth in 2008
2004 7 Patrick Crayton WR
COMMENT: Started 13 games in 2007 with career highs in yards, catches and TDs


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