Von Miller wants to play for the hometown Cowboys

Most draft picks are careful to be politically correct in the days before the NFL Draft, and go out of their way not to ruffle any feathers. After all, potential employers are paying close attention. But defensive end Von Miller was born in Texas, raised in Texas and played his college ball at Texas A&M. It’s hard to pretend that he doesn’t have a preferred team.

The question was, would you mind if you weren’t one of the top five picks?

“Actually, I want to play for the Cowboys,” a smiling Miller said Wednesday in New York. “So if I can go to nine, that would be great for me. I’ve never been worried about the numbers. I’m happy to have a chance to be a first-round draft pick. There’s not too many people who can be a first-round draft pick. Hopefully, I can go to No. 9, and I’ll be more than happy.”

Miller most likely won’t even last until No. 5, much less No. 9. But if he does drop and Dallas passes on him?

“Then it’ll be cool. The Houston Texans are right at No. 11,” Miller said.

But wait, the Redskins pick at No. 10. And they happen to be in desperate need of a pass rusher. Could Miller play for the Cowboys’ rivals?

“Oh yeah, that way I can beat up on the Cowboys for passing on me,” he said.

Miller is definitely on the Redskins’ radar, but if they really want him, Washington coaches know they’ll have to trade to move up in the draft. Miller made trips to eight of the top 10 teams. He was in Washington on April 18-19 to visit with Redskins’ coaches.

“It was great. It was laid back. I enjoyed being there with those guys. Coach [Mike] Shanahan and all those guys there, they’ve all worked with [Texas A&M Coach Mike] Sherman. So it was kind of the same feel that I had with Coach Sherman. It was great. I would enjoy playing for the Redskins.”

(There’s that politically correct talk we were looking for.)

Miller played defensive end in college, but many project him to play outside linebacker in the NFL, especially for a team that runs a 3-4 scheme.

“I’ll be more than comfortable with that,” Miller said of a possible position change. “I was in a 3-4 scheme my senior year. It’d be great to play in the same scheme two years in a row -- I’ve never played in the same scheme two years in a row -- so it’d be great.”

Rick Maese is a sports features writer for The Washington Post.

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