What a headline, right?
Well, if you were wondering what type of players the Dallas Cowboys were targeting in the 2014 NFL Draft, we just got our answer. It wasn’t hard hitters, or “team captains” like many people thought that they were targeting. Instead, it was just players who wouldn’t “pee their pants” and could deal with what being a part of the Cowboys’ roster really meant.
For those of you who are curious, just think about the type of criticism that quarterback Tony Romo goes through on a consistent basis while being the face of the Cowboys. It’s a year in and year out type of thing, and if you make a mistake with the Cowboys, it’s shown on a completely different level. Romo knows about the pressure, and he, like many other players, have come to accept consistently being in the spotlight and being the “team to watch,” and even the “team to hate on” in many situations as well.
In case you didn’t know, during this draft the Cowboys had a new talent evaluator handling most things related to the picks, and that was Will McClay. Jerry Jones gave him an excellent review after the draft, but McClay summed it up simply by saying that the players who they drafted needed to be players who they felt could handle playing at the next level, specifically for a team like the Cowboys.
McClay stated, “If we’re going to build this thing and get to a point where we can win now, who has been able to handle the pressure of a big-time program?” Their target was indeed “grown men who can handle the situation.”
Think about where the players who they drafted came from. Zack Martin from Notre Dame, Demarcus Lawrence from one of the more exciting and intriguing teams in Boise State, Anthony Hitchens from Iowa, Devin Street from Pittsburgh, Ben Gardner from Stanford, Will Smith from Texas Tech, Ahmad Dixon from Baylor, Ken Bishop from Northern Illinois and Terrance Mitchell from Oregon.
None of those players fall under schools that you’ve never heard of, or who care very little about football. These players played on the big stage, got a ton of attention, and played in front of a ton of fans consistently. They know about pressure, which should make the transition to the Cowboys’ roster just a bit easier.
Solid job by McClay and the draft team, and an interesting angle for draft picks that I really didn’t consider until reading it.