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Thursday, April 22, 2010
What we're hearing before the first pick

By Calvin Watkins

The NFL draft is not until 6:30 p.m. but that won't stop all the rumors we're hearing regarding the Cowboys and players connected to them.

We look at a few:

1. Cowboys trade with Miami Dolphins: This surfaced last night that the Cowboys were shopping defensive end Marcus Spears to the Dolphins for possibly the No. 12 pick in the first round. Seems the Dolphins want to move down to No. 27, where Dallas is selecting.

2. Martellus Bennett on trading block: We're not sure if the young tight end will leave the Cowboys this season, but there is some interest in his untapped potential.

3. Teams interested in Alan Ball: Last year, several teams expressed interest in the safety, but the Cowboys turned them away. So far, teams have not reached out about his availability according to his agent.

4. Where will Dez Bryant go? The Cowboys have some interest in Bryant, who was not invited to the NFL Draft in New York. That's a surprise. Bryant, however, will host a draft party at his mentor's house, David Wells, in DeSoto, Texas tonight. There was a report that Bryant acted like a diva on a visit to St. Louis. We've been told that's not the case. Bryant visited St. Louis after being in San Francisco. Before leaving for St. Louis, Bryant ate dinner at the airport in the San Francisco area. When Bryant got to the Rams complex he was asked to go out for dinner, but declined the invite because he wasn't hungry. So, what did the Rams do? They gave him some tokens to play at Dave and Busters. (Rams do that for all their prospective draft picks). Nice.

5. Cowboys will trade three picks to get Earl Thomas: Wow, we heard that one and were kind of shocked. We've been told that price is too much for the Cowboys.

Notes: Backup guard Duke Preston, who hasn't signed his tender offer, is working out at Valley Ranch and is happy with the club and will sign it eventually. ... Jerry Jones ruled out drafting a quarterback but that might not stop the team from signing one as a undrafted free agent. ... In his three seasons as the head coach of the Cowboys, Wade Phillips has seen with the team draft 13 defensive players, including one in the first round, and 11 offensive players, one in the first round, and two kickers. ... Last time the Cowboys drafted an offensive lineman in the first round was 1981 when tackle Howard Richards was taken with the 26th pick of the 1981 draft. Jerry Jones has never drafted one in the first round. ... Jones said the team is open to drafting a inside linebacker but Jason Williams and Stephen Hodge are currently fighting for backup spots there. Jones also said Victor Butler is an outside linebacker but, "not imppossible in there" as well.