Two of Four Potential Cowboys' Draft Picks Were Gone At Ninth

Dallas Cowboys director of scouting Tom Ciskowski said at the team’s pre-draft press conference on Tuesday that the team would be considering around four players for the ninth overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Ciskowski didn’t name any names--it would have been remarkably strange if he had--so we were left to wonder, after the Cowboys selected USC tackle Tyron Smith in the first round, who else might have been on the short list for the team.

We still don’t know, but owner and general manager Jerry Jones gave us something of a hint on Thursday, when he was asked how many of the four remained on the board when Dallas selected.

"We had two [on the board],” Jones said, per the Dallas Morning News. “The others had been taken. ... Certainly, one of them was Smith.”

What’s weird about this is that only three of the first eight picks would have addressed a need for the Cowboys; without trading up, the Cowboys didn’t have a realistic shot at two of these three--Alabama DT Marcel Dareus and LSU CB Patrick Peterson--who were projected as top five picks across the board.

Aside from these, two quarterbacks, two receivers and a linebacker--read: not pressing needs for Dallas--went ahead of the Cowboys’ pick, leaving Missouri defensive end Aldon Smith as the lone player taken ahead of the teams selection that we could see (a) being that high on the Cowboys draft board and (b) being around when Dallas picked at ninth.

As it was, Smith went seventh overall to the 49ers.

Which leaves us to wonder--assuming that Smith was one the two players being considered by Dallas before being taken in the first eight picks--who was the other?

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