Cowboys hope to catch a break

Throughout the offseason, the Cowboys have insisted that wide receiver is not a position of high priority on their offseason wish list.

Miles Austin, they insist, will be re-signed … and chances are good that he will. Roy Williams will find some level of consistency and prove to be worth at least something close to the three draft picks Dallas sent the Detroit Lions for him. Patrick Crayton really is a legitimate No. 3 receiver. Sam Hurd is not just a special teams guy. Kevin Ogletree is going to be a consistent threat.

Don't believe all of that — most of it, maybe, but not all of it. There's just too much evidence that the Cowboys are targeting a receiver, possibly in the first round.

Some of the first names to escape the Fort Knox that has been Valley Ranch this offseason were receivers: Ohio's Taylor Price, Citadel's Andre Roberts, Tulane's Jeremy Williams, SMU's Emmanuel Sanders. Some of the bigger-name players with whom the Cowboys will meet also play the position: LSU's Brandon LaFell and Arrelious Benn of Illinois.

Perhaps the best indicator is that after getting suspended for most of the 2009 season and then struggling on his individual Pro Day, Oklahoma State target was scheduled to have dinner Wednesday with Dallas owner Jerry Jones.

No, a ribeye doesn't mean Bryant gets drafted. But isn't he the perfect Jones selection?

Bryant missed the majority of the other (OSU) Cowboys' 2009 season after it was learned he lied about having had lunch with former Cowboy Deion Sanders. Considering the close relationship Jones and Sanders had when Sanders played in Dallas, that shouldn't bother Jones, who instead will focus on the fact that Bryant measured in at the NFL Combine at 6-foot-2 and weighed a chiseled 225 pounds, and has been timed repeatedly in the 4.5s in the 40-yard dash. He has good-but-not-great speed and reliable hands, and is a productive target with a nose for the end zone (in his two full seasons at OSU, he played in 25 games, caught 130 passes for 2,102 yards and 25 of his 29 career touchdown receptions … including a ridiculous 19 as a sophomore).

At his Pro Day in his hometown of Lufkin, Texas, Bryant tested well, but didn't do anything extraordinary. He ran a 4.5 and a 4.6 in the 40, and reportedly "quit" after 14 reps on the NFL-standard 225-pound bench press.

The buzz coming out of Lufkin after Bryant's Pro Day centered around the fact that he stopped the bench press and had modest speed. Despite that, he remains the top receiver on many teams' draft boards, even though the idea that he should go in the top five or 10 picks no longer seems to be unanimous. There is some speculation that he could slide all the way to the Cowboys at the 27th pick. It's also not out of the realm of possibility that Dallas could trade up to grab Bryant.

A source told that Jones is "enamored" with Bryant, and that was before their dinner. Jones has, in the past, reached for some draft choices (Shante Carver, anyone?) in moves some said were an effort to prove his acumen for spotting talent.

If he really is as obsessed with Bryant as many seem to think, don't be surprised to see Jones do whatever it takes to make sure Bryant trades in his black and orange Cowboys gear for the silver and blue variety.

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