In the 2022 NFL Draft, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones did something no one else has done before him: He shared the team’s draft roster with reporters. Reporters with cameras.
The stunt was designed to prove the Cowboys put Tulsa offensive lineman Tyler Smith ahead of offensive guards Zion Johnson and Kenyon Green. It was spontaneous and drew the ire of Jerry’s son, Stephen Jones.
To prove to reporters that the Cowboys had Tyler Smith ranked higher on their roster than Kenyon Green and Zion Johnson, Jerry Jones showed a copy of the team’s drafting board.
Jerry Jones: “I’m very serious.”
Stephen Jones: “Don’t show them that. … Put down this sheet. pic.twitter.com/vvj2NV4aEr
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) April 29, 2022
“Don’t show them that,” Stephen said. “Put that sheet down!”
And Jerry’s original intent was lost when reporters and internet sleuths began optimizing Cowboys scoreboard photos using video stills and editing software. And while a clear HD version could not be obtained, enough has been deciphered to reveal who Dallas ranked at the top of their chart.
Athletic led the charge and proclaimed they had completed “improving the photo and breaking down player names and school names. … We were able to find what we believe to be the top 34 of the 39 names on this sheet. The last five were just too hard to decipher.
The bottom names are not what is relevant. At least not at the New York Giants. But the first two names on the board certainly are.
- Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon
- Evan Neal, occupational therapist, Alabama
Thibodeaux, of course, was selected by the Giants 5th overall. They then grabbed Neal two picks later. It was an absolute blow for the Giants even before Dallas’ draft board was revealed. But boy does he add a little extra frosting on this cake.
The Cowboys never had a chance to catch Thibodeaux or Neal, but that doesn’t make it any less nice to know that Jerry Jones was probably furious when the Giants landed who they considered the two best players in the draft.