Jerry Jones’ NFL Draft reveal shows Giants took Cowboys top players

Did the Giants top the Cowboys by nabbing the top offensive and defensive player on the Cowboys ’2022 NFL Draft board?

It seemed so after Dallas owner / general manager Jerry Jones showed off a laminated sheet to reporters last week that apparently showed the first two rounds of the Cowboys’ draft board.

According to The Athletic, the sheet included 39 players with first-or-second-round grades on the Cowboys’ board. Dallas reportedly had 14 players with first-round grades on the sheet, and the top two players on the list were the Giants’ Nos. 5 and 7 picks – Oregon edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux and Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal.

Jones had shown the team’s draft paper in a press conference last week after there was skepticism over a comment he made after the first round of the NFL Draft last Thursday.

Jones said Dallas had its first-round pick, Tyler Smith, a left tackle out of Tulsa graded ahead of offensive guards Zion Johnson and Kenyon Green. But many believed the Cowboys preferred Johnson and Green, both of whom were off the board by pick no. 17.

Dallas, though, wound up taking Smith, at pick no. 24. By the time the Cowboys were on the clock, 13 of the 14 players on the sheet were already off the board in the first round of the draft. The remaining player left was safety Lewis Cine, who was eventually selected by the Vikings with the final pick of the first round.

According to the paper Jones had displayed, Smith was the second player with a second-round grade on Jones’ list. Another NFC East rival, the Eagles, reportedly picked up Dallas’ No. 11-graded player, Jordan Davis, at No. 13 overall.

Kayvon Thibodeaux (left) and Evan Neal after being drafted by the Giants.
Robert Sabo

Cowboys vice presidents Stephen Jones and Will McClay appeared to caution Jones about sharing the draft sheet with reporters in social media videos filmed at the press conference.

If accurate, the paper showed that the Cowboys did have Smith graded ahead of Green and Johnson.

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