It’s looking more and more like Jerry Jones is going to get his way.
Earlier this month, the Cowboys officially submitted a formal bid to host the 2018 NFL Draft, and despite the fact that Philadelphia drew high marks and rave reviews, it seems that Dallas is the favorite to land the event.
“As great a job as Philly did, my understanding is it’s going to be difficult for Philly to repeat,” ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter told 97.5 The Fanatic’s Anthony Gargano on his Wednesday morning show.
Schefter didn’t completely rule out Philadelphia’s chances of hosting the NFL draft for a second straight year, but said that based on what he’s hearing, he would “be a little surprised” if the draft ended up back on the Parkway next year.
“I’ve been hearing since April that Dallas is a really strong contender,” Schefter said. “I continue to hear the very same thing.”
The NFL did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It is unknown when the league will make its final decision, though while in Philadelphia for the draft, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the pick will be announced “probably in the next couple months.”
If Dallas lands the 2018 NFL Draft, the event would be split up across two venues - AT&T Stadium in Arlington and the team’s new headquarters and training facility 45 minutes north in Frisco.
"We don't know exactly what they'll want to do,” said Cowboys COO, executive V.P., and director of player personnel Stephen Jones told the Dallas Morning News earlier this month. ”We're waiting to hear on that.''
Philadelphia broke draft attendance records, with an estimated 250,000 fans descending on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway over the course of the three-day event. According to Philadelphia police, not only were there zero arrests, authorities didn’t even hand out any draft-related citations.
“The crowd and the setting Thursday set a new draft night standard,” wrote NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal. “The NFL might have to run this back.”
Even Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Gil LeBreton thinks it'll be tough for Dallas to top what Philadelphia was able to accomplish.
"What a Cowboys draft would be missing, however, is the Rocky ambiance, and I’m not talking about the movie or the statue," LeBreton wrote. "The Philadelphia attitude, the fans’ passion for their Eagles, would be impossible for a Cowboys crowd to match."