Another angle for a draft-day trade


If you go to the Patriots’ official website, you can get a peek into how the team pulled off its first-round trade with Dallas (and a couple other trades as well).

And if you go to the Cowboys’ site, you can get the audio of the ensuing (and rather awkward) phone call from Jerry Jones to Dez Bryant.

Want another look at a rather significant draft-day deal? Here’s what it looked like in New York City, according to my guy Rick “Goose” Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News.

The Cowboys send their video director Robert Blackwell to the NFL draft every April. He sits at the Cowboys table at Radio City Music Hall, connected to the Dallas war room by telephone. When the brain trust at Valley Ranch tells Blackwell the name of each Cowboys draft pick, he writes it on a card and hands it to an NFL official, then the pick is announced from the podium on stage at Radio City.

My seat along press row at the 2010 draft was directly behind the New England table. When the Patriots went on the clock for the 24th pick of the first round, all eyes in the packed theater were on the New England table.

But not mine.

I was watching Blackwell a few tables over and one row up. For more
than seven minutes of the 10-minute window the Patriots had to make a
pick, Blackwell sat staring fixated at the New England table. As the
clock wound down to two minutes, Blackwell finally broke his gaze.

That’s when I knew the Cowboys were drafting Dez Bryant. If the Cowboys
were going to trade up for the Oklahoma State wide receiver, they
needed to leapfrog the Baltimore Ravens at 25.

Blackwell’s eyes shifted quickly from the New England table to the work
space on his own desk and he started writing. I knew the deal had been
consummated. A few seconds later a trade was announced between the
Patriots and Cowboys. A little while after that, NFL commissioner Roger
Goodell announced Bryant as the first-round draft pick of the Dallas

Pretty interesting, how this months-long staredown between teams lying to one another and trying to deceive everyone comes to an end. With intentions right out there in the open.


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