While 30 to 40 friends and family members shared small talk and watched the NFL Draft in the main area of a third-floor suite at Red Rock Resort, DeMarco Murray just couldn't relax and needed his own space.
In a private room, Murray played with a football and nervously paced while his agent, Bill Johnson, wore out a cell phone talking to teams.
Then Murray's phone sounded.
"That's a Dallas area code," Johnson told him. "Pick it up."
Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones was on the line telling Murray that Dallas was getting ready to draft him.
Jones followed through by taking Murray, a Bishop Gorman High School graduate who became a big-play running back at Oklahoma, early in the third round Friday with the 71st overall pick.
"He lit up like a Christmas tree," Johnson said.
Murray (6 feet, 213 pounds) was the only player with local ties chosen through the third round. The final four rounds are today, and at least two more locals are expected to be selected.
Murray called being drafted by perhaps the NFL's most famous team "unbelievable, a blessed feeling. I'm so humbled by it. That's a prideful organization. It's a dream come true, and it's so unreal."
He is expected to leave today for a news conference, but after a 48-hour period can't officially associate with the Cowboys because a federal ruling was issued Friday allowing the NFL to reinstate its lockout.
Murray can't receive a playbook until the lockout ends, but he can work out with his new teammates and said he already knows some Cowboys.
"I definitely plan on meeting with (quarterback) Tony Romo and picking his brain a little before we get going," Murray said. "Whatever I can do to try to help myself and get a leg up, I'm definitely going to do."
The Cowboys expect Murray -- who last season had 1,214 yards rushing and 594 yards receiving -- to possibly return punts and to push for playing time at running back. The team's official website, in fact, wrote Murray's selection could mean the end of veteran Marion Barber's playing days in Dallas.
"I think I'll make an impact the first year I'm there," Murray said.
Jones consulted with former Cowboys and Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer before choosing Murray. The Cowboys showed they were interested in Murray by making him one of the 30 players they could bring in for a predraft visit.
"So we knew they were one of our targets," Johnson said.
As joyous as it was for Murray at Red Rock, it was disappointing for his former Sooners teammate 20 minutes away.
Safety Quinton Carter (6-1, 208), a Cheyenne High product, watched the draft from upstairs in his North Las Vegas home while 25 to 30 family members and friends ate a buffet dinner and watched the draft on TV.
Carter, who had hoped to be taken in the second or third round, was clearly nervous. Those nerves weren't calmed as selection after selection went by without his name being mentioned. He left his home minutes after the draft ended.
The long-awaited phone call is expected to come today for Carter, as it is for defensive tackle Lawrence Guy (6-4, 305), who starred at Western High and Arizona State.
Former UNLV offensive linemen Matt Murphy (6-3, 304) and John Gianninoto (6-3, 297) could also be drafted.
Contact reporter Mark Anderson at email@example.com or 702-387-2914. Follow him on Twitter: @markanderson65.