FRISCO, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys hold the 10th pick in Thursday night's NFL Draft, and team owner Jerry Jones intends to use the pick wisely, even if that means the best player available doesn't come at a position of overwhelming need.
"Don't be stupid over your needs," Jones said in the Cowboys pre-draft press conference on Tuesday afternoon. "Don't be ridiculous."
There is one very tangible possibility that Jones is alluding to, and that's the possibility that stud Florida tight end Kyle Pitts falls to Dallas at number 10. If that happens, Dallas will pick him. You can believe that with your heart. The likelihood is, though, that he won't get that far.
And so begins the discussion of need.
Dallas needs defensive players. And there's a very good chance that some great ones are available when the Cowboys make their pick at the end of the top 10.
In fact, each of the nine picks before Dallas could be offensive players. That's not likely, per se... but it's possible. That means Dallas could have the whole defensive board in front of them, when their turn comes around.
"I really think we've got a good chance to have a top defensive player -- the top, one of the top -- be there," said Jones.
Jones, his son and Cowboys VP Stephen Jones, and head coach Mike McCarthy didn't divulge who they believe is the top defensive player in this draft. But chances are good it's one of three players -- CB Patrick Surtain II out of Alabama, CB Jaycee Horn out of South Carolina, or LB Micah Parsons out of Penn State.
Any one of those three will make the Cowboys defense better the moment Dallas turns in their card. And all three come at a position of need.
But there's also the possibility of trading back.
"There's a lot of action that can happen there," Jones said.
He said he expects his phone to ring quite a bit during the run-up to pick 10th.
But the likeliest outcome is that Dallas stays pat at number 10, and makes their pick, taking a high-end defensive talent that can -- and should, provided they make the right choice -- be a foundational piece of their defense for the next several years.
"Mid-1st round, late-1st round, top of the second -- [those players] don't necessarily check all the boxes," Stephen Jones said. "So, that gets difficult."
Dallas doesn't have that problem, picking 10th. They should get a stud, hands down.
"We're certainly looking to get that type of football player with the 10th pick, that can check all the boxes," said Stephen Jones.
The first check mark needs to read "defense," unless it's Kyle Pitts.