In the 2011 NFL draft, the Cowboys and Redskins picked back-to-back at #9 and #10, respectively. The Redskins traded back from 10 to 16 with the Jaguars, and picked up the Jags’ 2nd round pick (#49 overall) in the process. It was a move that (taking a few small liberties here) essentially parlayed that 10th overall pick into the following players:
Ryan Kerrigan, Leonard Hankerson, Roy Helu, Aldrick Robinson, and Maurice Hurt.
In case you missed my previous post on this, here’s how they did it. I’m not sure how the above five players will ultimately pan out, but Bruce Allen’s wheeling and dealing was an absolute mastery of how to run a draft. Apparently, that initial trade was only on the table because the Cowboys turned it down first.
The decision for the Cowboys to stay put at 9 may have seriously affected the future of both their own and the Redskins’ franchises. They turned the offer down, but apparently seriously considered doing the deal, in hopes of taking their own 2nd round pick (40th overall) and their new 2nd rounder from the Jags (49th overall), and pairing them to move back into the first round to select Mark Ingram. Per Calvin Watkins:
The Cowboys were looking to upgrade the running back position and in reality wanted to draft Alabama’s Mark Ingram if they had been able to make that trade with Jacksonville. The Cowboys would have used that second second-round pick and gotten back in the first round with the goal of getting Ingram. Instead, the team didn’t make the deal and got DeMarco Murray, somebody who will challenge Tashard Choice for playing time in 2011 and quite possibly Felix Jones. (Yeah, we don’t think Marion Barber will be with us in 2011).
That would have been a classic Jerry Jones move. During the Parcells era, the Cowboys whiffed on their OL picks. Post-Parcells, they basically neglected the OL. I think they did the right thing by not getting cute and just taking the best offensive lineman in the draft, Tyron Smith, at 9. The Cowboys already know that Doug Free can play. If Smith turns out to be what they hope he is and they’re able to get a long-term deal done with Free, they’ll have two high-quality bookends for the next 6-8 years, something they’ve been lacking for years.
With all of that being said, and hindsight being 20-20, the Cowboys probably would have been able to accomplish getting back into the first round and grabbing Ingram, since he fell all the way down to the Saints at 28. Just for fun, using the draft value chart (disclaimer – I hate the draft value chart), the Cowboys could have paired their 40th overall pick (worth 500 points) and 49th overall pick (410), and gotten as far up as the 18th overall pick (900). Let’s pretend for a minute that the Cowboys successfully traded up anywhere between the 18th and 27th pick (just before the Saints), and drafted Ingram:
(cont after the jump)…
Dallas fans – What outcome would you have rather had?
A) Tyron Smith, Bruce Carter, and DeMarco Murray (how it actually played out)
B) Some other offensive/defensive lineman at 16 (Nate Solder, Anthony Castonzo, Danny Watkins, Gabe Carimi, Phil Taylor or Cameron Jordan, etc), Mark Ingram, and your choice of any player drafted after Demarco Murray in the 3rd round (since Murray would have likely not been the pick after drafting Ingram)
As I noted, I think the Cowboys ultimately did the right thing. The draft is like the Wild West, and with so many wildcard front offices out there you really have no idea what can happen. The Cowboys could have made that deal with the intent of getting Ingram somewhere in the late teens to early 20’s and had it fall to crap if say… the Dolphins took Ingram at 15 instead of Maurkice Pouncey, in which case they would have likely deeply regretted not standing put and taking Tyron Smith. But you have to admit, the way the draft actually unfolded, “option B” looks better, or at least it does to me.
And Redskin fans – What would you have rather had?
A) Ryan Kerrigan, Leonard Hankerson, Roy Helu, Aldrick Robinson, and Maurice Hurt.
B) Your choice of the best available player on the board at 10 (with Tyron Smith still available, but minus Blaine Gabbert, who the Jags would have taken at 9).
I think I like “A” better.