Dallas Day Gifts

More than two dozen prospective draft gifts showed up in the Valley Ranch "in-box" on Friday. Some came wrapped in fancy packages, others in plain brown paper, and others. ... well, they might not fully arrive until after the draft.

The Cowboys must wait two more weeks before they open the prizes, but they did get to spend the day poking and peeking and shaking 'em at "Dallas Day,'' a recruiting visit of sorts for draft-eligible players from the DFW area.

Let's take a quick glance at one package from each of the categories:

From the Fancy Wrapping Dept:

The Cowboys had their eye on Texas tackle Jonathan Scott from the start, and took another look at him Friday. What do they see? A guy who is certainly not a workout wonder -- and therefore not a front-of-the-first-round pick.

At the same time, according to one scout, when you watch Scott on film, you forget about Underwear Olympics stuff like "vertical jump'' and such. What the Cowboys cannot get out of their heads: Scott against Ohio State, when he made A.J. Hawk disappear. Scott against USC, when he pushed blue-chippers all over the field.

"He's slipped because in comparison to some of the other O-linemen, he doesn't dominate in the measurables,'' said one Valley Rancher. "But he sure dominated at Texas.''

If Scott skids out of the first round -- and remember, Flozell Adams and Larry Allen once did the same -- somebody is going to get themselves a value pick, a tackle that might be a solid 10-year pro.

From the Plain Brown Paper Dept: * Eric Bassey is a Dallas-area product, a 6-1, 200-pounder from Garland who played solidly as a defensive back at Oklahoma. Could he be a big corner? Is he a fit at free at free safety, a Cowboys position of need?

Bassey didn't even go to the Scouting Combine, so we're not talking blue-chip prospect here. But, at the recent Oklahoma Pro Day, he surprised scouts with a 4.3 time in the 40.

Thus, his all-but-gold-lettered invitation to Valley Ranch.

The Cowboys have their problems at free safety (despite the news that Keith Davis is staying), and as I've reported in this space before, free safety, offensive tackle and linebacker are the positions coach Bill Parcells has ordered the scouting department to focus on regarding the club's No. 1 pick. Bassey isn't considered to be anywhere near that special, but I gather that the Cowboys do like him as a second-day selection. From the Late Arrival Dept:

* Shane Simms was something short of dominant at TCU. But at 6-3, 290, the offensive lineman deserves at least a look. He's considered a guy who may end up as a seventh-rounder, or more likely as an undrafted free agent. But that level of player, when he's a local kid, has of late been worth checking out: Tyson Thompson from Irving was a Dallas Day guy. Reciever Patrick Crayton from DeSoto and cornerback Jacques Reeves from Lancaster were end-of-round athletes that paid off.

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