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Best player available: How true have the Cowboys been to their draft board in the past?

One of the biggest ironies of the NFL offseason is how the entire mock draft industry (and yes, it is an industry, people make real money with mock drafts) is built around the concept of drafting for need, yet every draftnik will insist teams must draft the best player available (BPA) or at least, in a minor concession to draft-day reality, the best player at position of need (BPAPON) or some similarly abbreviated derivative.

Underlying the BPA approach is, of course, someone’s arbitrary ranking of who exactly those best players are. And draftniks will talk themselves into a holy furor if teams don’t draft the exact player the draftnik had ranked as the BPA.