Cowboys draft missteps: Should’ve, could’ve, would’ve but didn’t

Dallas Cowboys Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Cowboys Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dallas Cowboys
Tyron Smith, #9 overall pick by the Dallas Cowboys, (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images) /

J.J. Watt over Tyron Smith

The 2011 NFL Draft talk was which offensive tackle the Dallas Cowboys would end up selecting. A replacement for incumbent Doug Free was needed and the Cowboys had a few choices. Right tackle Marc Colombo was also on his last legs so an upgrade was clearly needed.

One of the choices that rarely came up was a rising draft stud J.J. Watt whom people loved to talk about but blasted the Texans for picking him so high. I attribute some of Watt’s rise due to the exposure Mike Mayock gave him on NFL Network but why didn’t the Cowboys consider Watt in the first place?

I love Tyron Smith and I still think he has a few good years left in him but is that enough to bypass a three-time defensive player of the year player?

It is a very difficult decision and to be honest, I am ok with either of these players. Tyron is a year younger than Watt and contrary to all of the replacement talk, I still think that he is a valued member of this team while J.J. Watt is dealing with real trade talk.

It might work out for the Cowboys if they decide to entertain the notion of adding Watt via trade.

Drafting Watt still did not solve their offensive line issues but both Orlando Franklin and Marcus Gilbert, two serviceable starters, would also have been available in the second round. The Cowboys drafted UNC linebacker Bruce Carter whose elite athleticism blinded everyone from his unsteady play.

Coming away with an NFL defensive MVP and a starting tackle in the first two rounds is a great draft no matter how you slice it.