Tonight during the first round excitement of the 2011 NFL draft the Dallas Cowboys passed on trading down with the Jacksonville Jaguars in order to land Tyron Smith the apparent right tackle of the future. The Jacksonville Jaguars offered the Cowboys the same deal (the 16th and 49th overall picks) that they gave the Washington Redskins to move up to No. 10.
It seemed all but certain that the Cowboys would trade down headed into the draft if one bought into the pre-draft scuttlebutt which many of us fanatics did. Gaining an extra pick or two and still being able to land one of the drafts top offensive linemen seemed the way to go this year for a team that has needs on both sides of the ball.
Jerry Jones commented on the decision made on trading back in the draft or taking Smith at the ninth spot by saying, “We didn’t want to risk losing him,” Jones said of not trading down. “I gave myself a test and that was can I live with the missed opportunity of a trade more than the decision of losing him. I can live with the missed opportunity. I couldn’t live with losing him.”
Apparently Jones is a little more enamored with Smith than fans were by passing on more than equal value via the offer from the Jags. Not passing on Jacksonville’s offer would have provided an opportunity for the Cowboys to secure an additional top 50 player and that may have went along way in helping fill a need for the Dallas Cowboys.
Smith is viewed as a young tackle with a lot of upside but projected to be unable to step in right away and start. At 6-foot-5, 307-pound Tyron Smith is the first offensive lineman picked in the first round by the Cowboys since Howard Richards in 1981.
Only time will tell if the right decision was made but for the sake of an aging offensive line let’s hope so. Dallas needed an offensive lineman who could step in right away and start so to spend the ninth overall pick on anything less seems a bit of a stretch but hopefully the coaching staff can get this kid prepared for game action by the time the team flies to New York to face the Jets.