Before the Dallas Cowboys went 13-3 a year ago, and before they drafted running back Ezekiel Elliott with their fourth overall selection, one player was consistently mocked to Dallas in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
That player was former Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa. And, of course, it made sense that people would expect the Cowboys to draft the pass rushing specialist. Though DeMarcus Lawrence and David Irving have come on as top-tier pass rushers this season, Dallas had no real expectations that they'd have a double digit sack player heading into the 2016 draft.
Joey Bosa himself told the media this week that he expected to be drafted by the Cowboys, and was somewhat surprised he didn't end up in Dallas on draft day.
Joey Bosa on the Cowboys? The Chargers' DE thought Dallas was "for sure" going to draft him.
Now a Los Angeles Charger, Bosa is coming off a rookie season in which he was named the Defensive Rookie of the Year. He finished 2016 with 10.5 sacks while playing in just 12.5 games, and has matched that total this year.
While Bosa claims he thought he'd “for sure” be a Dallas Cowboy, pre-draft rumors didn't seem to agree. NFL.com's Lance Zierlein reported in March of 2016 that the Cowboys were not high on Bosa, and said rather bluntly that Bosa would not be a Cowboy.
Cowboys Nation wasn't very high on Bosa as a prospect either. Most fans wanted the team to draft either cornerback Jalen Ramsey or running back Ezekiel Elliott. They ended up getting their wish, but the vast skepticism of Bosa's ability turned out to be dead-wrong.
Unfortunately, the Chargers drafted Joey Bosa third overall, meaning we will never know for sure what the Cowboys would have done if both Bosa and Elliott were on the board.
Regardless, I can't help but wonder if Joey Bosa will try to make the Cowboys see what they missed out on when lining up against them this Thursday.