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Cowboys strongly considered drafting Falcons LG Matthew Bergeron at 26

Bergeron was Dallas’ 12th or 13th ranked player. The Falcons drafted him at 38.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons Training Camp Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons likely had a bunch of spirited debates about who to select with its first-round pick. Before ultimately picking Bijan Robinson, some coaches and staff were likely making the case for the likes of Jalen Carter, Darnell Wright, Peter Skoronski, Broderick Jones and Luke Van Ness. We didn’t see any of that discussion as the Falcons ran up the pick for Robinson once it got on the clock.

The Dallas Cowboys, on the other hand, released its top discussions ahead of its first-round pick, which apparently consisted of Jerry Jones doing 95% of the talking. Jones doing a lot of talking isn’t really anything new or interesting. What was interesting is the team was heavily weighing selecting the eventual Falcons selection Matthew Bergeron.

Below is the clip.

Waiting for its pick with selection 25 on the board, Jerry Jones says the team’s 12th and 13th overall players were still available in Bergeron and Mazi Smith. Spoiler alert: the Cowboys take Smith with the Falcons drafting Bergeron 12 spots later. While it isn’t clear which player was 12th or 13th, the assumption is that Bergeron was likely the 13th.

The discussion is fascinating in that Dallas ultimately went with need, believing that Bergeron would be more of a luxury vs. fixing a current roster hole. Jones believed that a premium nose tackle could make big improvements to the run defense while giving guys like Micah Parsons more opportunity.

As part of the process, Jones asked to try to sell Bergeron over Smith. An unidentified Dallas employee, who has like a 25% chance of being related to Jones, said this: “He’s strong, he’s very technical. I think he’s got swing tackle ability.” Jones states the two players have the same “football” grade, with the team’s need along its defensive line resulting in a much bigger impact from Smith over Bergeron.

Also notable is the Kansas City Chiefs tried trading a third-round pick to move up from 31. Jones was adamant against the trade as the risk of losing both Bergeron and Smith was not worth the extra pick. It was clear that the Cowboys had these two players well above anyone else remaining.

Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith clearly had a similar evaluation on Bergeron. The Falcons moved up from 44th overall to 38th overall to secure Bergeron. He was one of the top ranked run blockers in the draft, with plenty of athleticism to boot, making him a great fit for Arthur Smith’s blocking scheme.

While still early, Bergeron has looked stout taking snaps through preseason, even registering a nice grade from PFF after Week 2 of preseason.

A tackle in college, Bergeron was expected, and has so far, been plugged in at left guard. He should fix the very problematic position which has been a rotation of fringe talents and injuries for years. At the very least, we know the pick got the stamp of approval from Jerry Jones.