It’s hard not get sucked in.
Johnny Mainzel scrambles out of the pocket, jumps into his own offensive lineman, stays on his feet and keeps his eyes downfield, then flicks the ball to a wide-open back for a touchdown.
Sammy Watkins takes a seemingly innocuous screen pass, makes two defenders miss at the line of scrimmage and outruns the rest of the defense on his way to a(nother) long touchdown.
Jadeveon Clowney busts through the line of scrimmage and hammers the running back just a nanosecond after the quarterback completes the handoff.
Every year, fans see amazing plays like that from top college prospects and immediately think, “Wow. We need that guy on our team!”
For three lucky fan bases, those wishes will come true. But the Cowboys won’t be one of those fan bases, nor should they be.
This is not to say that any or all of those guys won’t end up being terrific professional players, but it makes no sense at all for Dallas to give up the type of package that it would require to move up into a position to draft any of them.
As it stands now, the Cowboys will pick either 16th or 17th (depending on a coin flip). It would take at least a move into the Top 10 to nab any of those guys, very possibly even into the Top 5.
In 2012, Dallas moved from 14th to 6th, and took Morris Claiborne, giving away their second round pick in the process. Although it’s too early to declare a definitive judgment on that move, the early returns haven’t exactly been great.
It’s not just that Claiborne has struggled with injuries and adjusting to a new system (which isn’t his fault, but that’s another issue).
It’s that Dallas gave up TWO players in order to get ONE. And right now, the Cowboys aren’t really in a position where they can be giving up draft picks.
With so many holes to fill, Dallas needs as many picks as it can get. Not just for starters, but to increase depth.
This rings especially true in the case of Manziel. The former Texas A&M QB is a unique prospect, yet so intriguing that it’s hard to imagine he’ll slip outside of the Top 5. It would likely cost Dallas not only their first round pick this year, but quite possibly next year’s first round pick as well as several other additional picks in order to move into a position to guarantee they could draft Manziel.
There is just no logical reason that I can come up to justify giving away so many picks and players to make a move that essentially means you’re starting over.
For as disappointing as this season was, the 2013 Cowboys lost five games by a COMBINED eight points. That isn’t the type of team that needs to go all-in and draft a new franchise QB in the Top 5.
Right now, the Cowboys need as many draft picks as they can get to address holes all over the defense, and improve depth on the offensive line. They don’t have the luxury to be able move into the Top 5 and cherry pick.
Sometimes, being logical is no fun.