Jalen Ramsey Reveals Cowboys Said They'd Draft Him in 2016; DAL Chose Ezekiel ElliottApril 3, 2022
The Dallas Cowboys might want a mulligan for the first round of the 2016 NFL draft.
During an interview on The Pivot Podcast (via Brice Paterik of the Dallas Morning News), Los Angeles Rams star Jalen Ramsey said he had received a commitment from the Cowboys to draft him:
"I was in that conversation of ‘Who was going to be the first defensive player taken off the board?’ And I just wanted to be it. But, if it didn’t happen, I always grew up a Dallas Cowboys fan, really, Titans and Cowboys. So, if I go four, that’s like a dream come true. When I was on my visit to Dallas, they told me straight up to my face, ‘If you’re there at four, we’re taking you. But we don’t think you’re gonna be there at four.’ They said, ‘We think [the Chargers] are gonna get you at three, but if you’re there at four, if you’re on that board, we’re taking you.'"
Although Ramsey was still available when Dallas was on the clock, the team opted instead for Ezekiel Elliott.
Elliott made an immediate impact, leading the NFL in rushing in two of his first three seasons. But his early success ultimately resulted in a six-year, $90 million extension that hasn't aged well.
In February, Bleacher Report's David Kenyon listed Elliott's deal as one of seven that an NFL team would love to strike from its books altogether.
By comparison, the five-year, $100 million pact Ramsey signed with the Rams represents a much better use of cap space. The 27-year-old was an All-Pro in each of his first two full seasons in Los Angeles, helping the team win a Super Bowl in 2021.
Would the Cowboys have a championship by now if they had taken Ramsey over Elliott? It's tough to say, but Dallas' decision certainly looks like a mistake in retrospect.