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Jerry Jones knows Cowboys can’t take a second-round risk in 2019 NFL draft

Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones loves winning the deal. And over the years, Jones has viewed the second round of the NFL draft as the best chance to win a deal.

Jones can point to second-round gambles — just with the players currently on the Cowboys’ roster — that have paid off perhaps more than most thought despite some issues that remain.

In 2010, the Cowboys had linebacker Sean Lee rated as a first-round pick on their draft board. They knew he had a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee that might fully tear and require surgery. With the No. 55 overall pick, the Cowboys drafted Lee, who missed his third season at Penn State with a torn ACL in his right knee. While he battled through injuries throughout his career, the left ACL did not tear until 2014.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

In 2015, the Cowboys viewed Randy Gregory as one of the best pass-rushers available in the draft. Off-field issues and a failed drug test at the NFL scouting combine kept Gregory from being selected in the first round, but the Cowboys took a chance on the defensive end with the No. 60 overall pick.5

In 2016, outside linebacker Jaylon Smith was off a number of teams’ draft boards because of a serious knee injury he suffered in the Fiesta Bowl while playing for Notre Dame. There was a risk of permanent nerve damage that could have ended Smith’s career before it even began. But one of the Cowboys’ team physicians, Dr. Daniel Cooper, performed Smith’s surgery and was confident Smith could return at his top level some day. With the No. 34 overall pick, the Cowboys chose Smith, knowing he would not play his rookie season.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Smith finished second on the Cowboys in tackles in 2018, played in 32 straight regular-season games and has the potential to be a yearly Pro Bowl pick. When healthy, Lee has been one of the Cowboys’ best defenders since the Cowboys picked him. He made the Pro Bowl in 2015 and ’16. Gregory’s issues remain and he is suspended indefinitely, but he showed he still has a chance to deliver on his pass-rush promise with six sacks last season.

If there was one commonality between those three drafts (2010, 2015 and 2016), it’s that the Cowboys had a first-round pick in each of those years, taking Dez Bryant before Lee, Byron Jones before Gregory and Ezekiel Elliott before Smith.

The Cowboys did not make a pick in Thursday’s first round because of their trade for Amari Cooper last October with the Oakland Raiders.

“I think you’re operating without a net a little bit,” Jones said when asked about making a risky second-round selection in 2019. “By not being able to have [drafted in the] first round someone you hope gives you a contribution in the first year, if you start going into the second pick with a real question mark as to this coming year’s contribution, I think logic would dictate for me slowing down a little bit there.”