Evaluating Jerry Jones' 2011 Cowboys: Who Should We Blame?

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A few consecutive bad drafts will cripple any team.

2. Poor drafting. The drafts after 2005 have been pretty damn bad. There have been 48 picks in the last 6 years (assuming my math is correct). Using the roster for the last game against the Giants leads to the following conclusions: of those 48 picks, only SEVEN have become starters: Jason Hatcher, Doug Free, Anthony Spencer, Mike Jenkins, Tyron Smith, Dez Bryant, and Sean Lee.

To make matters worse, only SEVEN others make any sizable contribution to the team: Alan Ball, Martellus Bennett, Orlando Scandrick, Stephen McGee, Victor Butler, John Phillips. Sean Lissemore. I wasn’t sure how to include Felix Jones and DeMarco Murray. In total then, they have made 48 choices in 6 years, and only 16 of those players help the team in any recognizable fashion (some would argue that neither McGee nor Ball should be on the list, but I am trying to be as forgiving as possible).

It is possible to be hopeful that the last two years, starting with Bryant, Lee, and Lissemore in 2010, are a change in the right direction. It is hard to evaluate the 2011 draft at this time, but it has the potential to be a strong class with Smith, Carter, Murray, all likely to start next year, while Arkin and Nagy will presumably be back-ups at least. Dwayne Harris also looks like he my have a role on the team as a returner.

Regardless of the eventual success of the 2011 draftees, one of the biggest problems with this team is a severe lack of talented players once you get past the top 6-8 ‘stars’ (Romo, Witten, Austin, Lee, Ratliff, Ware, and to a lesser extent Bryant and Robinson). The lack of talented players is a direct result of poor drafting. (To make this whole situation a bigger mess, just add the salary cap problems caused by ill-advised free agent signings).

Who is to blame for the ineffective drafting? Well, if you want to include just the top decisions makers you would have to include Bill Parcells, Wade Phillips, Jerry Jones, and the various Scouting Directors since Larry Lacewell retired in January of 2005. It is tempting to blame Jerry Jones because many fans believe that he makes all the final decisions, but year after year we hear people on the inside say that Jones “defers to his advisors much more than people would think.” Again, it is foolish to blame six years of sub-standard drafting on just one or two people. It takes more than a person or two to mess up this convincingly on a regular basis.

Click on link to read about the last major problem.

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