The Dallas Cowboys’ draft history is well documented. The mediocre record year-after-year is a direct result of poor drafts. Whether it is picking a guy too early or passing on a future star, it seems Dallas just cannot get it right each spring when the draft rolls around. When it comes to drafting, Dallas’ problem is that they refuse to keep it simple.
Jerry Jones loves his team being in the spotlight, and he loves to “wheel and deal.” Jerry feels the need to make the flashy pick or trade instead of just picking the solid football player who could help his team. While most teams stick to their big board, Jerry likes to go off the path and blaze his own trail. Jerry fails to realize that successful teams simply stick to their boards.
A perfect example of Dallas not sticking to their board came in last year’s draft. Sharrif Floyd, who was the No. 5 player on the Cowboys’ board, was still available when the Cowboys’ pick came up at No. 18. The simple thing to do would have been to take Floyd and move on. Instead, Dallas passed on Floyd and traded down in the draft 13 spots in order to get an extra pick in round three of the draft. At No. 31, Dallas did end up getting center, Travis Frederick, who is a solid player. The point is they could have taken Floyd at 18 and probably still selected Frederick in the second round.
Dallas must realize that they don’t have to get cute at the draft every year. They don’t have to give up a second-round pick in order to trade up as they did in the 2012 draft to get Morris Claiborne. They would have been better off staying put, taking Dre Kirkpatrick, keeping the second-round pick and then selecting LB Bobby Wagner.
I am not saying Dallas should never trade up or down. If you feel there is a player who can change the fortune of your franchise for years to come, then by all means make the deal.
As the Cowboys start making their plans for the Combine and the NFL Draft, they should forget about trying to get the flashy name or making the big trade. Instead, they should just trust their scouts, trust their board and keep it simple.