- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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This is Part 2 of our daily draft series on the Cowboys draft picks. Today we go up a few rounds and take a look at cornerback Josh Thomas.
Ht., Wt.: 5-foot-10, 191
Round (overall): Fifth (143)
To learn more about Cowboys draft pick Josh Thomas, we talked with Buffalo associate head coach/secondary Ernest Jones. Here's what he had to say:
When you first got him on campus, what was your thoughts?
Jones: It wasn't a great meeting, because Josh is a moody guy. I caught him on a bad day. When he's up, he's up; when he's down, he's down. I was like, "Who is this dude?" After about a week, I got to know him and he's a great guy, passionate about football. Good guy ... soft-spoken guy away from the field. On the field, he's a nasty player. He tries to destroy wide receivers. When I first met him I said, "I'm not going to like this guy. If he fails a test or not go to class, he will take it out on other players." But he doesn't do that. This is a real spiritual guy who loves his teammates.
When did you know he could play on the next level?
Jones: In the spring, after I worked him out. I had left Cincinnati and we coached four pros there. I knew he was a pro. He had the skill set to be a pro and I told him, "You can play in the NFL but you got to have a great year." When we played Bowling Green, he held their best guy to just one pass. He just destroyed that kid, pushed him to the ground ... everything. The kid had a quick slant, and JT just tackled him and snatched the ball and that was his only catch the whole game. The scouts loved it. JT is a physical player, if you watch him on tape. They will love him down there in Dallas. He loves to play physical football.
What does he do away from the field?
Jones: He's a guy that's hard to get next to. Even after the draft, he's up here two to three times a week. I went to the combine and supported him. We did clinics with him about what the pro game was and did some meeting room stuff. Even now that he's drafted, he still comes by the office to talk. He still does community service work at the Big Brothers and Little Sisters. We just talk football. He's about to get married to a real good girl. Everything is working out for him.
Going into this process, did you think he would get drafted?
Jones: I thought he would go higher. I saw every secondary guy come off the board, and I was surprised some of the guys who went ahead of him. He's the highest pick we've had here, and there's no question in my mind he'll play for a long time. You got a kid 5-11, 195, running 4.4, jumping something like a 30-inch vertical, a physical player. I couldn't believe there wouldn't be a player like him in the NFL. It was a pleasure having him here.