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
Zack Martin #70 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

A trade up for Aaron

No, not that Aaron, I am talking about the 2014 NFL draft when the Dallas Cowboys selected Zack Martin with the 16th pick but the team had Aaron Donald ahead of him on their draft board. I was obsessed with Aaron Donald the prospect but the knock on him was his size at the defensive tackle position was smaller than most would prefer.

This is the only scenario in which a trade-up is involved. The Dallas Cowboys should have done everything they could have to try and jump up three maybe four spots for a player they had ahead of Zack Martin on their big board.

I knew in my heart that the Dallas Cowboys would only have drafted him if he were to fall to the 16th pick. When the Rams went on the clock with the 13th pick that year, I began to hope he would fall to Dallas.

My hopes and dreams were dashed and the Dallas Cowboys settled on Zack Martin. Now Martin is on a Hall of Fame trajectory but Donald is no doubt a sure first-ballot Hall of Famer. The question in this scenario is which player would you rather have?

The Dallas Cowboys’ identity lies within their offensive line but what type of impact would Donald have on our current defenders?

Sure, the team’s offensive line would be a patchwork unit but if you have been keeping track, this defense could have a defensive line consisting of Aaron Donald, J.J. Watt, Micheal Brockers, DeMarcus Lawrence, and T.J. Watt. A cornerback tandem of Byron Jones and Jalen Ramsey sounds really nice also. How about Bobby Wagner and Leighton Vander Esch patrolling the middle of such a star-studded line?

I know that every selection has an impact moving forward and the needs of a team would change but if the team followed through on their best player available mantra, this dream team defense could have been a reality.