Why the Dallas Cowboys are their own worst enemies

Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys (Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports)
Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys (Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Dallas Cowboys may be their own enemy as the season comes to a close

It’s Week 14 of the regular season, which means there are only four weeks of football until the playoffs. With the Dallas Cowboys in the last place in the NFC East, hopes to make the playoffs appear out of reach. As weird as it sounds, the Dallas Cowboys are their own enemies right now.

Everyone wants to see their team compete and make the playoffs. That is especially true for owner Jerry Jones. That’s usually a good thing, but not at this exact moment.

With the standings where they were heading into Week 14, the Cowboys would draft with the fourth overall pick. It would be the same spot they drafted at in the 2016 draft, which was followed by a playoff appearance.

Left on Dallas’ schedule are the Cincinnati Bengals, the San Francisco 49ers, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the New York Giants. You can make the argument that the Cowboys can win two of those games. That’s an issue.

The more games Dallas wins, the worse their draft pick becomes. Those two wins can be the difference between drafting third overall to drafting around the eighth spot. The difference in value between those two draft picks is massive.

To draft quarterback Sam Darnold, the New York Jets traded up from the sixth overall to the third overall pick. In addition to the three spot difference, the Indianapolis Colts received three second-round draft picks. Let me emphasize again this was to move up only three spots.

The Cowboys could receive a very similar haul to trade down. That is why the team can’t go out and try to win games. It will stop them from the chance to significantly improve multiple spots on their roster for the next couple of seasons.

What could they acquire around the eighth spot? The Buffalo Bills traded their 12th overall pick for the seventh overall pick, which was held by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa also traded away one seventh-round pick for two second-round picks.

Both of the trades listed were from the 2018 NFL Draft. The Colts acquired one extra second-round pick, dropped two fewer spots, and they saved a seventh-round draft pick.

ALSO READ: The Cowboys three biggest needs heading into the 2021 draft

Returning players will do the team wrong

To help compete this season, Dallas could bring back their injured players. That includes cornerback Trevon Diggs and offensive lineman Zack Martin.

Why shouldn’t the Cowboys bring them back? The only thing the team gains by bringing them back is being more competitive. The bad thing is they can re-aggravate their injury. Or, you can hold them out, let them heal, and not compete.

In the meantime, allow the depth and young players to get more snaps. That will help them develop and get ready for next season. While Diggs is a young player, the risk of injury eliminates him from that list of young players.

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There is a lot that can go wrong if Jerry Jones decides he wants his Dallas Cowboys to compete. That competitive bug in him is the team’s worst enemy. That’s because, well, you can lose a lot while trying to gain nothing.