The competition for Raghib (Rocket) Ismail intensified Thursday as the New England Patriots, who hold the No. 1 choice in Sunday's NFL draft, considered trade offers from the Atlanta Falcons and the Dallas Cowboys.
However, Cowboy owner Jerry Jones said Thursday night that Dallas failed to make a deal. "We came close, but there's no deal," Jones said.
Sam Jankovich, the Patriots' chief executive officer, said he expected added pressure to complete a deal so a team would have time to try to sign Ismail before the draft starts at 9 a.m., PDT, Sunday.
Ismail is a wide receiver and kick returner who is forgoing his senior season at Notre Dame. He also has been wooed by Toronto of the Canadian Football League, which reportedly has made a two-year, $6-million offer.