Draft Showcase: Dallas Cowboys
Last post, we put the hometown team, Baltimore Ravens, under the scope but this time I want to examine my personal favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys.
My beloved Cowboys have been the laughing stock of the NFL for the past 15 years, only 1 playoff win since 2000. The only thing I can account to the Cowboys' playoffs woes is bad luck and poor performances. When Jerry Jones bought the team in 1989, he made some great and also controversial moves. He fired legendary coach Tom Landry and GM Tex Schramm in 1989, hiring Jimmy Johnson and himself as the successor, traded Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings for 5 players and 8 draft picks, and drafted Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman, and Darren Woodson.
Jerry's moves led to the Cowboys becoming the team of the 90s, winning 3 Super Bowls in 4 seasons. Jerry during the 90s may have been the best GM in the league when you break down the moves he made in the free agency, signing player like Deion Sanders and Charles Haley.
Like Darren Woodson said, Jerry's and the cowboys success came from great football minds being around him. When the new millennium hit, the Cowboys went from being one of the best to leagues worst. Once known for making great moves in the draft, the Cowboys went through a series of bad drafts. From 2000-2001 the Cowboys drafted 14 players, none of which played longer than 8 seasons or in 100 games. Even if the players don't turn out to be hall of famers or pro bowlers, you still want to find consistent starters and some type of longevity out of them. Dave Campo was the head coach during this time, and even though he was apart of the Cowboys dynasty as a defensive back coach, he wasn't great as a head coach, a 15-32 record.
The Cowboys would get better in the draft after the Campo era, mainly because the great Bill Parcells became head coach. During the Parcells years, which only lasted from 2003-2006, he posted a 64-32 record during that time and 2 playoff appearances. The Cowboys found gems late in the draft under Parcell, that would set the Cowboys up for the future. The only problem is Parcells didn't stay long enough to really develop these gems. The Cowboys after 06' would win the NFC East twice, mainly with Parcells players. I always say if Parcells was still head coach of the Cowboys, Tony Romo wouldn't have the reputation he has now.
After Parcells left the Cowboys after the 2006 season, Wade Phillips was next up as head coach and Phillips led the Cowboys to a 13-3 record but NFC Division round lost to the Giants, a team that was built by Parcells.
Players drafted by Parcells
- CB Terrence Newman (1st rd 2003)
- TE Jason Witten (3rd rd 2003)
- LB Bradie James (4th rd 2003)
- DE Demarcus Ware (1st rd 2005)
- DE Marcus Spears (1st rd 2005)
- RB Marion Barber (4th rd 2005)
- DT Jay Ratliff (7th rd 2005)
Since 2010 though, the Cowboys have made some good picks, Dez Bryant, Sean Lee, Tyron Smith, and most recently Mo Claiborne. Still, they haven't seen the playoffs since 2009. I blame that on coaching and Jerry being stubborn but thats for another story. This year, as a fan I think the Cowboys could use a new player at every position (I would like to see my boys enter a rebuilding stage just so I won't have to endure mediocrity anymore).
The main needs for the Cowboys are on the defensive side of the ball. I think Jerry and coach Jason Garrett should imitate what Parcells did in the 2005 draft, selecting 5 defensive players, 4 of which were defensive lineman. After losing Ware, it's surely time to rebuild a defensive line that was old and stale.
There are a few big boys the Cowboys can go after. Louis Nix of Notre Dame and Tommy Jernigan of Florida State are my two favorites and should be there at pick 16. Both are big boys that can clog up the hole, which is perfect for a 3-4 defense, even 4-3. Nix is the heavier of the two but Jernigan is more athletic and to me, better. Aaron Donald is rated the best DT but I doubt he will be there at pick 16.
- Defensive Lineman
- Wide Receiver
- Offensive Tackle
Many of the experts have the Cowboys selecting Anthony Barr from UCLA in the first round, which would be a solid pick. With Sean Lee in the middle, an athletic OLB like Barr would compliment him well. Others have the Cowboys picking a safety, and this reminds me of when the Ravens and Cowboys picked back-to-back in the 2010 draft. The Cowboys traded up ahead of the Ravens to select Dez Bryant, who the Ravens were going to select. With the Cowboys selecting 1 pick ahead of the Ravens and both needing a Free Safety, we could see some drama.