Dallas Cowboys Shouldn’t Simply Take Best Player Available In The Draft


One of the most famous clichés in sports surfaces during the NFL Draft as every expert and fan opines for teams to take the best player available. However, conventional wisdom should not apply to the Dallas Cowboys this year.

At times the best player available strategy has been the right play for Dallas. Often the Cowboys have gone into the NFL Draft with so many holes to fill that the best player available strategy was the right play. However, the Cowboys are in a different situation this year.

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After being one play away the NFC title game the Cowboys know that their Super Bowl window is open. But with a 35-year-old quarterback in Tony Romo, who has had two back procedures, the window is not going to remain open for long. The Cowboys must draft to their immediate needs in the early rounds of the draft.

The best player available theory worked well for the Cowboys last season as they took guard Zack Martin despite desperately needing defensive line help. The premium defensive line players were gone by the time Dallas drafted so the Cowboys took the best player on their board, a guard, despite feeling like the offensive line was one of the most stable units on the team.

Entering the offseason knowing the team is capable of contending for a title, Dallas must use this year’s draft to meet their most pressing needs, defensive line, cornerback, and running back.

Assuming that Dallas remains at pick No. 27 (which is no guarantee given general manager Jerry Jones’ proclivity for making draft-day trades) and the top player on the board is an offensive lineman or wide receiver, the best player available logic does next year’s team no good. What if Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota has an Aaron Rogers – like tumble to the bottom of the first round? Jones would be foolish to take him because Mariota would not see the field for at least three years, provided that Romo stays healthy.

When pick No. 27 arrives, Dallas should take the best defensive lineman, corner, or running back available. It is a certainty that a top player from one of those three positions will be on the board when the Cowboys pick. Likewise, in the second and third rounds Dallas should be able to draft a quality player to fill another need.

It would not bother most fans if Dallas drafted only defensive linemen, defensive backs and a running back or two. Though, on the final day of the draft, it would make sense for Dallas to draft the best player available to add depth to the team.

While many of the so-called experts on TV would bemoan the Cowboys for passing on a wide receiver like Alabama’s Amari Cooper or West Virginia’s Kevin White should either slide to them at No. 27, the Cowboys must draft to address their weaknesses. If Dallas wants to win, they must throw numbers at their weakest positions giving themselves better odds of finding players that can immediately help this team compete.

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