How Dallas coaches and scouts worked together…
5. It sure looks like the coaching staff was consulted about the type of players they wanted.
Talk about threading the needle, hitting the sweet spot, or whatever other sports cliché you’d like to employ! McCarthy and his assistant coaches appear to have been very open about the kind of athletes they’d like to have on the team, then sat back and allowed McClay and his staff to figure out the best way to assemble the talent.
That’s absolutely the way it should be done. But this approach is obviously rare. It’s not so easy to give input on player qualities without lobbying for specific players. It requires both wisdom and self-control. Not an easy set of qualities to master.
6. Dallas looks to have found quality players in the later rounds of the draft.
This is really where the men are separated from the boys in the draft process. Any knucklehead can find a supremely talented athlete in the first thirty-two picks. You can’t swing a dead cat in the first round without hitting an All-American.
The real trick is finding a starting caliber, let’s say cornerback, in the fourth-round as Dallas did with Tulsa CB Reggie Robinson II, or a center like Biadasz with the very last pick in the same round (acquired from division rival Philadelphia Eagles for those two fifth-rounders).
That doesn’t mean these late-rounders will necessarily become starting players or even useful contributors right away or ever really. Who knows? None of us are prophets. But as of now, it looks like Dallas found three very good players with their draft picks in the fourth and fifth rounds (the third being Utah defensive end Bradlee Anae, who made 29.5 sacks over his four-year college career).
7. Despite not drafting for need, Dallas was still able to fill most of their needs anyway.
This might be the most amazing point of all. It seems like a miracle. I mean, if you’re going to only draft the best player available, how exactly do you end up checking all the most pressing items off your grocery list?
- First-round quality cornerback? Check
- Another starting-caliber cornerback? Check
- Starting caliber interior offensive and defensive linemen? Check and double-check.
- An edge rusher, and a developmental quarterback with potential? Yup.
- Let’s not forget about finding the best receiver in the draft, which not even the most optimistic pundits predicted.
Bravo Cowboys management and scouting department! You did everything right this year. I don’t know how many of these guys will wind up being as good as we think they can be. But that’s not in your control. Doing the right things, and making the right decisions are all you can do.
The rest is up to the players and coaches. But you’ve set them up for success. Well done! And please, please, please keep operating this way in future years. That’s the way you win the draft.