A NFC GM: “The Cowboys are starting to scare me”

May 6, 2016; Irving, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys number one draft pick Ezekiel Elliott (21) during rookie minicamp at Dallas Cowboys headquarters at Valley Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
May 6, 2016; Irving, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys number one draft pick Ezekiel Elliott (21) during rookie minicamp at Dallas Cowboys headquarters at Valley Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /

A NFC general manager says the Dallas Cowboys are starting to scare him as a real Super Bowl-caliber team.

When the Dallas Cowboys elected to draft Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott with the fourth overall pick in last month’s NFL Draft, many analysts and fans believe the Cowboys had lost their way.

For years, Dallas had chosen to stay away from those types of splashy high selections, drafting offensive lineman in the first round three times in the last five years. The other two selections were defensive, both cornerbacks.

Despite some close calls, specifically a near selection of Heisman winning Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel two years ago, cooler heads prevailed and the Cowboys have experienced a resurgence because of it.

But the selection of Elliott scared some into thinking Dallas had gone back to their old ways again. That’s despite the entire Cowboys organization standing behind the pick reportedly before and after it was made.

After years of building the offensive line, Dallas elected to place a stud running back behind what they have built. And although that choice is making some fans uneasy, it’s doing the same to opposing teams who have to face this potentially lethal offensive juggernaut.

"“The Cowboys are starting to scare me,” an unnamed NFC general manager told The Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman. “You could always count on Jerry Jones f—ing things up. That isn’t happening any longer. That’s a Super Bowl-caliber team now.”"

What this unnamed executive is eluding to is the power shift that has taken place in Dallas. Although everyone still agrees that owner and general manager Jerry Jones makes the final call, the combined efforts of vice president Stephen Jones, head coach Jason Garrett and the assistant director of player personnel Will McClay have more influence than ever. And, for at least one NFC foe, that’s a scary proposition.

Under the watchful eye of these three, the Cowboys have become more fiscal responsible. They avoided overpaying for free agents earlier this offseason, electing to fill their needs with veterans who would provide quality play at a value and give the team more options in the draft.

It’s this three-headed monster along with Jerry Jones that decided Elliott was the right selection for this current roster in Dallas. They truly believe this running back’s presence in the backfield will have the most immediate impact on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Heck, even Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli supported the pick.

"“I’m elated because I think you always look at the big picture,” Marinelli told 105.3 The Fan’s [KRLD-FM] draft show last Friday. “We have to go against that offense every day. We play our offense more than anybody. It develops a hardness to your defense. You’ve got to play against a great line, a great back, now you’ve got to match up on an All-Pro receiver, great quarterback.”"

Basically, iron sharpens iron. And Marinelli is a Master Blacksmith when it comes to defense. He plans on using the Cowboys new offensive firepower to pound his defenders into better players. Going up against the likes of Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Ezekiel Elliott and Dallas’ offensive line everyday in practice is likely the best anvil a defensive coach could ask for.

The point is, the Cowboys draft strategy and the core team behind it is still the same. Stephen Jones, Garrett and McClay actually have a bigger influence now than they have ever had before. They will all stand behind this year’s draft. And their only judge will be time. But the fact their collective decisions are making at least one NFC executive nervous is a very good thing.

Next: Dallas Cowboys Rookie Camp: The Undrafted Free Agents

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