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Ravens were targeting Jalen Ramsey, not Ezekiel Elliott, in potential trade

Ezekiel Elliott of Ohio State holds up a jersey with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being picked No. 4 overall by the Dallas Cowboys during the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois.
Ezekiel Elliott of Ohio State holds up a jersey with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being picked No. 4 overall by the Dallas Cowboys during the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois. (Jon Durr / Getty Images)

Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones acknowledged late Thursday night that he spoke to the Ravens about a trade that would have resulted in the teams changing places in the first round, and the Ravens sending the Cowboys one of their four fourth-round picks.

The Cowboys opted to stay at No. 4, and got the player they coveted in Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott, while the Ravens remained at No. 6 and took Notre Dame offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley.

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The Cowboys and Ravens also couldn't seem to agree on what the real story behind their non-trade was.

Jones told reporters in Dallas that the team had an inkling the Ravens would've taken Elliott and he later learned that would indeed have been the case.

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That, of course, is not the story coming out of the Ravens' facility. The Ravens wanted the fourth overall pick to select Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey, who they knew would not have been there at six because Jacksonville coveted him -- and sure enough took him -- at No. 5.

It wasn't exactly a secret over the past couple of months that the Ravens loved Ramsey. Not only do the Ravens need a cornerback, but they've prioritized becoming quicker and more athletic on defense, and Ramsey just might be the most athletic player in the draft.

The Ravens liked Elliott too, and what's not to like? However, the team's dream scenario in the first round included either Ramsey or Ohio State pass rusher Joey Bosa. Bosa was taken third by the San Diego Chargers and then Ramsey came agonizingly close to getting to the Ravens before the Jaguars took him at five.

It's unclear if Jones got inaccurate information on who the Ravens would have taken at four, or if he was just telling stories. He's certainly right in his assessment that the Ravens liked Elliott. But the Ravens would not have traded up to get him.

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Either way, you can't blame the Cowboys for standing pat. If they swapped picks with the Ravens, and the Ravens picked Ramsey, the Jaguars could have traded the fifth pick to the Miami Dolphins or Chicago Bears, who both reportedly coveted Elliott.

The Cowboys would have been left with no Bosa, no Ramsey and no Elliott. It's easy to say now that the Cowboys could have gotten Elliott at six and then used the extra fourth-rounder they would have gotten from the Ravens to get back in the first round and take Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch. But that's all hindsight.

Dallas is thrilled with Elliott and the Ravens believe that Stanley will be their left tackle for a long time.

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