Cowboys ready for Scouting Combine

IRVING, Texas -- The NFL Scouting Combine officially starts today but many of the Cowboys front office personnel, scouting staff, coaches and medical team have already made their way to Indianapolis for the annual event.

For example, executive vice president Stephen Jones has been there for most of the week because of his work with the Competition Committee.

Over the next week, the Cowboys will get the chance to meet with some of the 300-plus players in attendance, watch them work out and, most importantly, get the results of medical testing. The Cowboys can interview up to 60 players in 15-minute sessions at night.

Do not get too excited if you hear the Cowboys have talked to Player X or have not talked to Player Y. This is a feeling out process, not necessarily a sign one way or the other that a team is interested in a player. The more telling aspect of interest is when the team brings visitors to Valley Ranch in April.

The Combine workouts can be superfluous because that does not directly translate into somebody being a football player or not. Owner and general manager Jerry Jones has said the most importance piece of information he has is the reports gathered during the season from the scouts because that relates most to football.

The combine should be viewed as a tool for a team to learn more about a player and not make a final determination positively or negatively about a player. Sometimes teams get fooled by the workout warriors.

This is an especially important draft for the Cowboys, who hold the ninth overall pick in the first round. Coming off a 6-10 season they need all the immediate help they can get. They have one pick in each round thanks to the trade with San Diego for wide receiver Patrick Crayton. If not for that deal, the Cowboys would have been without their seventh rounder after selecting nose tackle Josh Brent in the supplemental draft.

Calvin Watkins and I will be at the Combine, starting today. Stay tuned for updates – blogs, tweets, videos - from Indianapolis through Monday. Coach Jason Garrett is expected to meet with the media today, so we will get his thoughts on his coaching staff and the draft process.