The draft for our Dallas Cowboys started with a bang, as expected, when Jerry Jones traded up in the first round from their spot at 27 to slot 24, jumping ahead of Baltimore and snatching up arguably the best receiver in this year’s draft, Dez Bryant from Oklahoma State.
As many of us sat watching the live war room cam, many of us expected a trade up to 12 with Miami. The player many of us expected them to target was Texas’ Earl Thomas, a playmaking safety with a skill set most of us would be thrilled to have start from day one in place of the recently released, Ken Hamlin. That didn’t happen as San Francisco traded up to 11 with Denver and took OT Anthony Davis. The next pick that Miami held was traded to San Diego for RB Ryan Matthews.
I’m not exactly sure of the timing of these two picks as compared to the reaction in the Cowboys war-room, but how I saw it, the jaws dropped as San Francisco jumped Miami by trading with Denver, one spot ahead of our proposed trade partner, taking a very coveted offensive tackle. To me, this doesn’t coincide with their recent comments supporting Doug Free as our starting left tackle in 2010. I truly believe Anthony Davis was their target all along and there’s no way they would admit that now, unless somehow this info is leaked, which would only hurt us in the long run.
In hindsight, what would have been given up for that pick at 12, compared to what was given up for Dez, wouldn’t have been worth it. Unless you fast forward to round two.
In round two, Philadelphia as expected, took their play making safety, Nate Allen from Mike Jenkins’ alma mater USF. That proved to be the end, of what the Cowboys brass viewed, the immediate starters from the safety class.
Other safeties projected in that range were Morgan Burnett, Chad Jones and Major Wright who all ended up going in the third round, proving us mock drafters only know relative position, not actual.
Getting closer to the Cowboys pick at 59, Jerry and co. saw New England sitting one spot ahead at 58 and licking their chops for the coveted linebacker, Sean Lee from Penn State. Not to be out-done, they made their move with Philadelphia, trading pick 59 and their late 4th round pick to jump to 55 and snatch their guy.
Nick Eatman was giving hints about them targeting Lee in recent weeks and believed if he was there for them at 59, that would be their pick. Again, the Cowboys moves were out in the open for everyone to see plenty ahead of time for others to strategize against. The Cowboys again had to give up a mid-round pick to take their guy.
Sean Lee, if he stay healthy, looks to be the future at one of the two inside linebacker spots. Weather that be the mic or the mo, it remains to be seen. Jason Williams, last year’s top pick will also be in the mix.
Each of these picks will be highly scrutinized in the future, should one or both prove to be the wrong decision. Both are high risk high reward in their own way. Dez with his character issues and Lee with his knee injury. Solid players were still available at both spots (27, 59 and 90, possibly 125 depending on how today goes)
Time will tell and the sceptic will be watching closely.