Jerry Jones, Top QB Conduct Cowboys’ First-Ever Virtual Draft Interview [WATCH]

Jalen Hurts NFL Draft profile, projections, and comparisons

Getty Jalen Hurts of the Oklahoma Sooners

The answer to a future trivia question — who was the first NFL draft prospect the Dallas Cowboys interviewed remotely? — is Jalen Hurts.

In the absence of traditional top-30 pre-draft meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cowboys turned to technology to bridge the gap. As shared on the team’s Instagram account, owner Jerry Jones held an inaugural virtual sitdown with the dual-threat Oklahoma quarterback, a potential Day 2 pick.

Take a look:

The Cowboys did not meet Hurts during February’s Scouting Combine, so their interest may simply be a case of due diligence. There are other roster holes that need replenishing before the club adds another QB, even one as talented as the 2019 Heisman Trophy runner-up.

That said, Hurts, 21, is a dynamic athlete equally capable of burning defenses through the air and on the ground. The one-and-done Sooners standout and 2018 Alabama national champion threw for 3,851 yards and 32 touchdowns and ran for 1,298 yards and 20 scores last season alone, en route to first-team All-Big 12 and Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year honors.

Hurts clocked a 4.59 forty time and recorded a 35.0-inch vertical jump at the Combine. He checked in at 6-foot-1, 222 pounds with 9 3/4-inch hands and 31 3/4-inch arms. He’s a natural-born leader and winner (38-4 career record as a starter) who boasts a knack for delivering in the clutch.

To this end, draft analyst Lance Zierlein compares Hurts to ex-Florida Gators superstar and short-lived Denver Broncos savior Tim Tebow.

“Like Tim Tebow, Hurts is a winning dual-threat quarterback known for his strength, toughness and character,” Zierlein wrote in his scouting profile. “Hurts is a more accurate passer and better runner than Tebow but is inconsistent as a decision-maker and tends to break the pocket when throws are there to be made. His deep-ball touch and intermediate accuracy improved this year so teams may see him as a developmental talent who will keep getting better in the right scheme. He’ll struggle to beat NFL defenses from the pocket, but his ability to grind out yards on the ground and make off-schedule plays should make him a solid backup with upward mobility.”

Buried below the likes of Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa in this year’s top-heavy QB class, Hurts is projected to come off the board in the second or third round. He’s not an option for the Cowboys’ No. 17 overall selection, but Nos. 51 and 82 are his target ranges. If he’s still available, Jones and the brain trust could heavily weigh their options.

Dallas currently has just one QB — Cooper Rush, who recently signed his $2.1 million restricted free-agent tender for 2020 — stationed behind franchise-tagged starter Dak Prescott.

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Cowboys ‘Perfect Landing Spot’ for Jameis Winston

FS1’s Nick Wright argued Friday the Cowboys are an ideal suitor for free-agent quarterback Jameis Winston. Wright pointed to the arrival of offensive-minded head coach Mike McCarthy and the team’s ongoing contractual standoff with Prescott as reason enough to sign the former Pro Bowl passer.

The intimation: It’s cheaper — and arguably wiser — to pay Jameis than give in to Dak’s demands.

“It would be a shot across the bow to the agent of their starting quarterback who seems really deadset on his client becoming one of the two or three highest-paid people in the history of the sport. All the Dallas Cowboys have done is send love letters to Dak Prescott. Jerry and Stephen Jones, for two years, have been saying, ‘He’s our franchise quarterback.’ Saying how much they love him. How they know he’s the face of the franchise, the future of the team. They’ve been doing all that despite the fact he’s not under contract. They thought they were gonna get a deal done last September, and then they didn’t. Then all year long, they didn’t. And then this offseason, they offer him reportedly $110 million guaranteed, around $33 million per year … and Dak Prescott is coming off a season where the team’s healthy, no one in the division runs away with it, where they don’t make the playoffs. Dak Prescott and his agent look at that offer and says, ‘If it doesn’t have record-setting numbers, I’m not interested.’

“I do wonder what bringing in a former number one overall pick to back up Dak Prescott would do to those negotiations. Because, right now, Dak Prescott seems to want a pay grade that is not commensurate with his production.”

McCarthy is seeking to build on Prescott’s impressive 2019 campaign in which he set new career highs in passing yards and touchdowns, and help him evolve further. That same exercise would be entirely futile, and counterproductive, with Winston, who led the league with a whopping 30 interceptions last year.

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL