By now we’ve all heard about Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his hectic draft day. To recap, Jones was at the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library at Southern Methodist University on Thursday, only to rush back to Valley Ranch for the draft.
Ashley Fox of ESPN.com reports that this played a role in Jones getting fleeced by the San Francisco 49ers in the trade that sent the Cowboys first round pick to the Niners for a later pick in the round and a third round choice. Fox referred to it as Jones’ “Cabo moment,” making the connection with Tony Romo’s infamous trip to Mexico before the Cowboys playoff loss to the New York Giants in early 2008.
It’s common shot at Romo but I’m guessing Fox didn’t really watch that game closely and her childish attempt, or anyone else’s, to blame everything on Romo rings hollow. I suppose it was Romo’s fault that Patrick Crayton dropped that pass for a huge gain or he’s to blame when Crayton stopped his route when he was wide open for a touchdown with under a minute to play, ruining Romo’s comeback chance?
I digress because this is more about the assumption that Jones didn’t put his all into the Cowboys draft. That might be true but what’s more likely is that Jones already knew what he wanted to do in the draft and his preparation was already finished. Anyone who knows the Cowboys and Jones could have told you exactly what the Cowboys were going to do if the two elite guards were gone.
Jones had his mind made up that he was going to trade the 18th pick unless something unlikely happened, which was almost the case. If Star Lotulelei falls to the Cowboys at 18, then Dallas rushes the card up, but when that didn’t happen Jones worked the phones for a deal he likely had in place already. There were rumors the Cowboys and Niners were talking trade a few days before the draft and that’s exactly what happened.
So back to the question, did Jones spread himself too thin and not put all his concentration on the Cowboys draft? No, I don’t see it that way at all. It wasn’t that he didn’t put all his time and effort into the draft; it’s that he his mind was closed to begin with. If his mind was already made up, what more could he give? Jones had already put in his time and effort preparing for the Cowboys draft so by Thursday he knew exactly what he was going to do.
The bigger question is, how could he have made up his mind about something as unpredictable as the 2013 NFL Draft? It’s not that he spread himself too thin; it’s that his mind wasn’t open. And that is why he’ll continue to receive criticism until the Cowboys win more than one playoff game in this decade.