Frank Heinz, NBC DFW
The Dallas Cowboys won’t suit up for another seven months, but owner and general manager Jerry Jones, head coach Jason Garrett and the rest of the staff are hard at work prepping for the 2014 NFL Draft in May.
As far as this week is concerned, that means being in Mobile, Alabama for the Senior Bowl, a week of practices and a game that marks NFL teams’ first chance to get a firsthand look at prospects.
"It's a really important game, an important week," Garrett said, per Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas. "It's our first exposure as coaches to these college players, I spent a lot of time with (scouting director) Tom Ciskowski and the other guys in our personnel department who have seen these guys for a year or two years and have a real comfort level with them and they educate us."
Three of the Cowboys’ seven draft picks in 2013--receiver Terrance Williams, safety J.J. Wilcox and cornerback B.W. Webb--played in the Senior Bowl. Past first rounders to play in the game include Marcus Spears, Anthony Spencer and DeMarcus Ware.
Garrett places a good deal of stock in the game because, unlike at the Scouting Combine, coaches get to see players, y’know, actually play.
"Then we have an impression and we watch practice and say 'Hey who is that guy? Who is that guy? That guy looks good,'” Garrett said. “You ask questions and you challenge each other, the first exposure is an important exposure. You see them playing football, different than the combine. The combine is a great opportunity to visit with them see them move around, what they’re motor skills are how they test all those kinds of things. But this is a chance to see them in football practice."
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