So this article was supposed to be the beginning of my draft breakdown. Instead, I have spent the better part of the last three days questioning everything I know about the NFL and the Dallas Cowboys. First, everything we know about playoff wins and playoff runs is hilariously wrong. San Francisco beat the hottest team in football with a mediocre quarterback, a rookie head coach and stellar defensive play. Secondly, Tom Brady is about 5 heads and 2 shoulders above anyone else in this league. Sorry, Peyton Manning, I can defend you no longer. Third, the Dallas Cowboys are not anywhere close to being ready for the big time.
I guess that last point is not all that surprising. With that in mind, I was having a conversation with a YouTube follower that I respect a great deal. Mrdconti23 is the screen name for Mr. Conti’s webpage. He left a comment on my video of the last Giants’ game that expressed his desire to keep several players and “to hell with the rest.” I could understand such outrage at this team’s poor performance but what I could not understand was his omission of DeMarcus Ware from his list. I quipped in response that he must have forgotten to type Ware in the box and hopefully he would fix it so that I knew he was not crazy. Mr. Conti replied that Ware’s sack stats are empty, he has yet to take over a game in all his years in Dallas and he would be more valuable in a trade than he ever would playing out the rest of his contract.
At first I was outraged. How can a follower of the team that I respect so much be so wrong? I had to get some validation of my thinking from other Cowboys’ fans/writers whose opinion actually matters. I contacted DCFanatic (rival blogger who never misses a Dallas Cowboy sneeze without reporting it) and Bryan Broaddus (former Cowboys scout and current ESPNDallas contributor).
DCFanatic replied that trading DeMarcus Ware is, “way down the list of ways to get this team back in the playoffs but Ware will be Bruce Smith, Jr. if he never gets a ring.” Fair and pointed. In other words, he believes Ware should be doing more but trading him away does not get us any closer to the playoffs next season.
Bryan Broaddus (ESPN Dallas) replied, “I feel that Ware should be more dominating in games. Plenty of chances to be that way.” Also fair but even more specific. A former Dallas Cowboys SCOUT, whose job it is to study film, believes DeMarcus is missing opportunities to dominate and take over games. I attempted to reach DeMarcus Ware for his thoughts but my tweets went unanswered. This is the part where I shamelessly plug my Twitter feed (@MrCowboy74).
Anyways, none of this should surprise the diehard fan. However, it got me thinking about the direction of this team. DeMarcus Ware is far and away the best player on the Dallas Cowboys roster. He is the only All-Pro and the only player on the entire roster that is considered the best at his position in the entire league. Perhaps the best player at his position and yet he is still not able to deliver for this team like he should. Adding to that, the Parcells core is growing old. The newer players that Jerry Jones has been drafting are not as talented and have yet to add any significant depth to the 53-man roster whatsoever. In fact, the most impactful players on the roster seem to be undrafted free agents. Is it time to start over?
Surely not, RIGHT? We’re only a secondary and an offensive line away from a deep playoff run, RIGHT? Well let’s pretend that Jason Garrett’s process works. How long is it going to take? The Cowboys have an outstanding quarterback and starting outside linebacker. How old are they going to be when the offensive line and secondary catch up? When are those players going to be enough to beat the San Francisco 49ers, the New Orleans Saints and the dynasty-in-the-making Green Bay Packers?
Maybe I am overthinking this a bit. Maybe the Cowboys can have a quick turnaround as the 49ers have this season. I do know this: the 49ers had a significant amount of HIGH first-round picks in that locker room. Dallas has two. Maybe it is time Garrett asks the advice of his mentor, Mr. Jimmy Johnson, on how to conduct a “Great Train Robbery.” I don’t know if the Cowboys will be lucky enough to find the Minnesota Vikings in desperation mode as they did in 1989, but I do know that DeMarcus Ware would turn the head of all 31 rival General Managers in the NFL.
I guess the question is simple. It’s not any question that DeMarcus Ware and Company give us the best chance to win IMMEDIATELY but perhaps long term is a different story. My rebuttal is that Jerry Jones would find a way to screw up the draft picks (unless Jason Garrett has more control than we all cynically believe he does). My rebuttal to my rebuttal is that it cannot get much worse than the past sixteen years and perhaps believing in Jason Garrett (as I do) means trusting he will find a way to make the right picks (as he did in 2011). My rebuttal to my rebuttal’s rebuttal is that none of us know what the hell we are talking about anyways and we are all just bitter that Alex Smith and the 9-7 Giants are still in the playoffs while the Cowboys are parked on their couches yet again; embarrassing our Cowboy pride. I don’t know what I believe anymore.
Your thoughts, diehards?