Jason Garrett Says Cowboys ‘Very Strongly’ Considered Drafting Patriots Lineman Nate Solder

FOXBORO, Mass. — The Cowboys were in a position to take the first offensive tackle off the draft board in April, and they decided on Tyron Smith from USC.

Yet it doesn't sound like Nate Solder was too far behind.

"Absolutely, we had him very high on our draft board," Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said Wednesday. "We liked him very much."

Solder, who was taken 17th by the Patriots, was the second tackle off the board. Garrett said he spent a lot of time with Solder at the Cowboys' facility. However, Garrett wouldn't commit when asked if the Cowboys were prepared to take Solder at No. 9 if Smith was off the board.

"I think there were a lot of discussions that you have on a lot of different players, so I don't think it's fair to say that we would take this guy or wouldn't have taken this guy," Garrett said. "You never know what you would do until that situation comes up. But we had him here to Valley Ranch. We spent a lot of time with him. We certainly watched a lot of tape of him. He certainly was in that top tackle group that we were considering very strongly."

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