Jalen Ramsey reveals Cowboys broke draft-day promise to him: ‘If you’re on that board, we’re taking you’

Jalen Ramsey was the No. 5 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Evidently, he wasn’t happy about it.

Ramsey appeared on a recent episode of “The Pivot Podcast” with Ryan Clark and discussed being the fifth overall selection. The Rams cornerback explained that he was not upset because he went to the Jaguars; it was because the Cowboys had broken a promise to him.

“I always grew up a Dallas Cowboys fan. So if I went to them fourth, that’s a dream come true,” Ramsey said, per The Dallas Morning News. “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.'”

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Of course, the Cowboys didn’t end up doing that. Despite the Chargers opting to select Joey Bosa with the third pick, Dallas took Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott with the No. 4 overall pick.

Ramsey found out he wouldn’t be the pick during the draft. He came to the realization as TV cameras zoomed in on Elliott during the Cowboys’ pick while Ramsey received a phone call from Jacksonville.

“And then as soon as they announced his pick, my phone started ringing [with the] 904 [area code],” Ramsey said. “And I knew, right when my phone started ringing 904, it was Jacksonville. So, that’s why I was mad. I was mad because I didn’t go three or four.”

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The Cowboys may regret passing on Ramsey. Elliott was a good short-term pick for the franchise, as he was prolific to start his career. He earned an All-Pro nod as a rookie and led the NFL in rushing yards per game in each of his first three seasons.

However, Elliott’s production has waned in recent years. He has averaged 4.1 yards per carry over the last two seasons with just 61.9 rushing yards per game. Those are average marks for an NFL running back.

Meanwhile, Ramsey put together an All-Pro season with the Jaguars in 2017 and has earned All-Pro nods in each of his first two full seasons with the Rams in 2020 and 2021. He graded as PFF’s No. 1 corner in 2021 and won a Super Bowl as well.

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As such, the Cowboys would probably choose to roll with Ramsey if given a chance to re-do their pick. After all, he has been at his peak longer than Elliott and possesses more positional value than the veteran running back.