There is no reason for Jerry Jones to ever admit he made a mistake during the 2013 draft. First of all, no NFL general manager would do that and secondly, one of Jones’ many responsibilities is to sell his product to the public. You don’t do that by saying “Oops, I screwed this sucker up pretty good!”
By reading between the lines, however, this was clearly not the plan the Cowboys had going into the draft. Jerry loves to put a positive spin on whatever move he makes, but when the words form an inconsistent jumbled mess, it definitely gives the appearance that Dallas wasn’t prepared for what happened in the draft.
The biggest argument about the Cowboys’ draft came after the first round when Jones passed on a supposed top five talent in Shariff Floyd as well as big time safety Eric Reid to trade down 13 spots in the draft to select a center who only had a second round grade.
Do the Cowboys have a top end defensive line unit, or did Jones just not see anyone he liked?
For the trouble, the Cowboys received only an extra third round pick, which is far less than any team has recently gotten for making such a move.
When questioned about his move, Jones first said that he didn’t think the team needed a defensive lineman because the defensive line was a position of strength on the Cowboys.
That statement raised some eyebrows seeing that most of the proven defensive linemen on this team are north of 30 years old and the unit lost another productive player due to a drunk driving accident last season.
The situation became murkier the next day when Jerry, hounded by press questions about the validity of his statement about the defensive line’s strength, appeared to contradict himself when he told reporters that actually he would have drafted a defensive lineman in the first round had there been one he liked.
Which is it? Do the Cowboys have a top end defensive line unit, or did Jones just not see anyone he liked there? The situation reads like someone getting in trouble and then going through a variety of excuses to talk their way out of it.
Adding fuel to the Jerry general manager fire, rumors have surfaced that many in the Cowboys draft room were not happy with Jones’ move. Talent scouts, who spent more than a year following future NFL talent for this draft, were apparently ignored by Jones when selection time came.
Video coverage shows head coach Jason Garrett slumped in his chair after Jones made the trade and several sources report that assistant director of player personnel Tom Ciskowski got into a heated exchange with Jones’ son Stephen after the move.
Jones then apparently felt the need to hold an hour-long conference call with season ticket holders after the draft. He was typical positive Jerry, telling fans how everything worked out perfectly for the team.
But the fact that Jones felt the need to spend an hour reassuring Cowboys fans shows just how aware he is of the growing unrest about the performance of his team.
We won’t know how well the Cowboys performed in the 2013 draft for a few years, but there is currently nearly 20 years worth of evidence proving that Jones can’t be trusted to run a successful draft.
The championship window is closing quickly on this current crop of Dallas Cowboys and although Jerry has the gift of gab, actions speak louder than words. Unless the Cowboys make the necessary improvements and become real contenders, even diehard Dallas fans might be forced to show their displeasure at the ticket window.