Just when we think that maybe this team is going to get what it needs this off-season personnel-wise, here goes Jerry Jones flapping away about the … ready for it? The best player available.

First thing that comes to mind when I think about him saying that is last years draft … that was the mentality that went into drafting Felix Jones, Tashard Choice, Mike Jenkins, Orlando Scandrick, and Martellus Bennett. Maybe Bennett needs to keep his rap career on hold, but a year later and that guy certainly fits the idea of “best player available.” Same goes for any one of those guys.

But the second thing that comes to my mind … and this kind of a big one … we have needs to be filled this year beyond just taking talent. Our safety corps need help.

Hamlin is really living up to the stereotypical mold of a player just looking for his payday. He came in a short term deal after some issues arose in his career, played well enough to deserve a nice contract, and instead got a huge contract. Talk about adding insult to injury, this guy didn’t even earn what should have been a nice contract in 2008, let alone the huge contract he signed.

Roy Williams is gone, and so the Cowboys sign Gerald Sensabaugh. Coming out of Jacksonville to sign a one year deal, he’s got a few decent seasons under his belt and looks to be a major upgrade over Roy Williams. He’s still no Ed Reed but the guy can still play in a 3-4 though. He’s had some off-the-field issues, and while we don’t need another one of those, it’s hard to say the guy is trouble when you see what his legal issues have been.

He’s been charged with reckless driving on his motorcycle, which got him a suspended license that later got him charged with driving with a suspended license. That’s two of his three issues right there and they don’t worry me at all, aside from wondering if he’ll have a wreck at some point during the season anyway. His lone concerning issue was a charge for possession of a firearm. It’s not a traffic incident but it’s not an outright crime either.

Tank Johnson had similar issues and he turned out okay, yeah he was a total moron after the Philly game shouting about being a free agent heading into the locker room after that beating, but he didn’t cause problems for the team on the field, and he stayed out of trouble.

Then you have the likes of Pat Watkins, a guy that can’t seem to stay healthy for even half a season; Courtney Brown, who hasn’t done much to talk about yet; and Tra Battle, a guy that was signed for depth mid-season and made a noticeable impact on special teams on the opening kickoff of his first game. Three developmental players at best, though Battle seems to have a leg up on the other two.

And now we have talks coming about switching another corner to safety at least part-time. I say another because Anthony Henry was the leading candidate for that change before he was traded to the Lions for Jon Kitna. Henry was a logical choice for the simple reason that he was struggling in the man coverage scheme that Phillips began using religiously by mid-season. Henry had always been a zone type of guy, and his age only seemed to expose that fact even more.

Terrence Newman was the first to bring it up publicly that Orlando Scandrick, the perennial cover guy in the slot in his rookie season, could be switched to safety. I understand the temptation in such times of bad play at safety to take your best corner in the middle of the field and move him to safety, it almost makes sense because the area of the field is largely the same, but Scandrick isn’t a safety, and playing safety verses playing corner does not come down to position on the field.

Aside from the media speculation that seemed to pour over Newman’s comments, we haven’t really heard anything else about that. Instead we’re now hearing that Scandrick is likely safe at corner and Alan Ball has taken his place under the speculative guillotine.

Same argument applies to Ball as Scandrick; the only difference is that Ball hasn’t been as productive as Scandrick even with the extra time in the league. It doesn’t even matter that much that we’re lacking depth at corner without Ball in the lineup because we’re short even with Ball playing corner because he can’t be relied upon to contribute. I say move him to safety and see if he can finally play good enough to justify keeping his spot on the roster, and if not, cut him loose next year.

That’s just at safety, folks, and here Jerry Jones is saying we can take the best player available. I know it’s get old, but it’s still true to say that Jerry need some help getting the General Manager stuff done.

Check out Part 2 of this article at ACowboyNation.com. (Link updated to the right post on Inside the Star. May, 2015)

9 COMMENTS

  1. I think you need to calm down a little, it’s not like any NFL team in its right mind would come out and say exactly who it is targeting or what positions before the draft. That would be insane. If gives your opposition a chance to prohibit you from getting the guys you need and want. Let Jerry say all he wants that the team will draft the best available and not for need. The scouting team and coaches know the areas that need fixing and I’m sure they are doing their work. Our last couple of drafts have been really good at filling holes that we have, there is no reason to think this year will be any different.

  2. All I know is that when Jerry has said in the past the thing about drafting the best player on the board, he has stuck with it.

    By the way … when has a team ever taken that chance to prohibit a rival from getting a player? Each team will draft what they need or want for their team. There is some risk of this happening, of course, but it’s more like the risk of having a bus crash into your house.

    Thanks for reading though =P

  3. Bryson…what is the problem with drafting the “best available” player?  You made a case for it with your statement in the second paragraph. Look who was drafted from last year. If we can do the same this year, I would say that would go a long way to helping this team get better.

  4. I know about the second paragraph … and my point with it was how well it turned out for us. But who was really looking at the roster before the draft last year thinking, “We really need a new RB or TE?”

    Yeah we needed something at RB for depth, here we got two RB’s and both could start for us this year … easily. We got a third tight end that ended up being the second, making the former second expendable, and actually showing up Witten for a period this year.

    We got two cornerbacks and both have started at some point last year, we only took them because they were the best available when it came time to pick.

    This year though, I agree with getting the best players, but there are some very specific needs this season and it’s not just at one or two positions. So we should be looking at the best player available from just a few positions, with DT, LB, CB, and S at the top of the list. Then we can move on to OL, DE, QB, and maybe even WR.

    I felt the statement was far too general for the roster condition this year. Wouldn’t you agree?

  5. With Henry being released, Pacman packing his shit up, and the rumors of Scandrick to safety, you can damn sure bet we will draft a CB with one of our first two picks. Bet on it. Value or not, we will.

    Jerry isn’t the best in the world at evaluating talent, and even worse at running a football team. Unless he listens to people that know what they’re talking about, we will go CB high.

    http://www.CowboysFanRebellion.com

  6. IMHO, we are fine at CB. We have Scandrick, Newman, and Jenkins with Alan Ball to back them up.

    We need a safety, and we don’t need to move Scandrick over to compensate. This hole has been a glaring one for years now. Really every since Woodson. Let’s just finally solidify it and move on.

    No more CB’s high in the draft. Please.

    http://www.CowboysFanRebellion.com

  7. Well, last word was to leave Scandrick at corner, and move Ball to safety. I like the move simply because Ball is on his last chance by now at corner, he needs to develop into something worth keeping, and he’s not a good corner.

    But I agree, CB’s drafted early are a risk, I like 2-3 rounds for a CB, just look at Jenkins. One bad fuck up, but the rest has been good though.

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