As we all already know, on Thursday night during the first round of the NFL draft, with the Cowboys on the clock at 18 and Florida DT Sharrif Floyd still on the board, the Cowboys decided to trade back to pick #31. They did this despite having a significant need to add youth to a DT position that includes starters Jay Ratliff (32 in August) and Jason Hatcher (31 in July), a hustle guy in Sean Lissemore, and 2012 3rd round pick Tyrone Crawford.
According to CBS Dallas’ Mike Fisher, the Cowboys came into the day with Floyd as at least the 7th ranked player on their board:
The double-pronged error began when Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd experienced a precipitous fall from the top of the draft. Most viewed him as a top-10 talent. I am told the Cowboys not only had a first-round grade on Sharrif but also entered the day with him ranked in the top seven on their board.
So why did the Cowboys change their minds? According to Fisher:
It was a no-brainer. An upfield, high-motor 3-technique defensive tackle, the key to the new 4-3 defense being installed by assistant Monte Kiffin.
But 15 months of study that made Floyd a worthy selection was undone in 15 minutes.
I’m told the Cowboys reviewed Floyd’s work and recalculated their own thoughts … considered the fact that Floyd only had 4.5 sacks in his college career … and committed the cardinal draft-day sin of shuffling their board.
Frankly, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that Jerry Jones and Co passed on Floyd. Ever since Bill Parcells left Dallas after the 2006 season, the Cowboys have put a lower premium on drafting defensive linemen than any other team in the league. Here is a chart of how many defensive linemen teams around the league have drafted over the last 7 seasons:
|Team||Overall||1st round||2nd round||3rd round||4 through 7|
If you’ll note, the Cowboys have drafted 3 defensive lineman during that span (tied for last), and are the only team in the league not to have drafted a defensive lineman in the first two rounds. Additionally, both of the defensive linemen they drafted in rounds 4-7 were 7th round picks, and one of those two was supplemental pick Josh Brent.
In addition to ignoring his defensive line, Jones has also ignored his offensive line for years, which has been the primary reason the team has failed over the last 3 years. Not to mention, he has put his team in cap hell.
Jerry Jones is a horrible GM. Instead of just taking the player that was at least 7th on his board (assuming Fisher’s report is accurate), Jones got cute, traded out, and wound up drafting a player that he and his staff had rated as a second round talent. There is really no defense for him at this point.