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Cowboys en Español: Guía Para Entender el NFL Draft

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys en Español: Guía Para Entender el NFL Draft

El NFL Draft es uno de los eventos más emocionantes y anticipados de la liga en todo el año. Los aficionados alrededor del mundo lo esperan casi con la misma intensidad que al kickoff de la temporada regular y la misma emoción inexplicable con la que ansían el Super Bowl.

No hay jugadores (al menos no equipados y uniformados), no hay campo, no hay balón, no hay marcador, no hay árbitros. Pero si hay sorpresas, en forma de trades o selecciones inesperadas y momentos que dejan a aficionados con ganas de llorar, a veces de alegría, a veces de frustración.

El Draft es, al final de cuentas, el evento que define futuros de franquicias. Donde estrellas como Peyton Manning son seleccionadas con la selección número uno del Draft y donde jugadores como Tom Brady caen hasta la sexta ronda, cambiando el rumbo de la historia de una franquicia, así como de la liga entera.

Pero ¿cómo funciona?

Lamentablemente, en países de habla hispana es difícil encontrar cobertura de este evento tan importante, y muchos aficionados empedernidos del football americano no están seguros de como funciona exactamente este evento tan entretenido.

Por eso, en esta edición de Cowboys en Español, les comparto una guía para entender el NFL Draft. Siendo un evento tan complejo e importante, me parecía indispensable escribir esto. Si tienen preguntas, no duden en preguntar en la sección de comentarios abajo, o escríbanme un tweet en @PepoR99

Lo Básico

El objetivo del Draft es mantener un nivel igualado entre los equipos de la NFL para lograr que esta sea competitiva año tras año. El evento está conformado de siete rondas, en las que los equipos seleccionan jugadores salientes de universidad que están listos para llegar al nivel profesional.

Al ser tomado por un equipo, los jugadores son firmados a contratos con una duración de cuatro años, sin excepción. Sin embargo, los contratos de aquellos jugadores que son seleccionados en la primera ronda, incluyen una "opción de quinto año."

Depende del desempeño del jugador, al final de su tercer temporada, el equipo puede decidir ejercer la opción, y así quedarse un año más con él.

El orden de las selecciones (frecuentemente llamados "picks") en cada ronda, se define por récord en la temporada el año anterior. El peor equipo tiene la primer selección y el campeón la última.  Este 2018, por ejemplo, los Cleveland Browns sostienen el primer pick global, mientras que los Philadelphia Eagles escogerán al final de la primera ronda, con la selección #32.

En teoría, este orden se repetirá durante las siete rondas, las cuales están dividas en tres días.

  • Día 1: Primera ronda.
  • Día 2: Segunda y tercera ronda.
  • Día 3: Cuarta, quinta, sexta y séptima ronda.

Este año, el Draft comenzará el jueves 26 de abril y terminará el sábado 28. Será una experiencia única ya que será la primera vez que se lleva a cabo en un estadio. El AT&T Stadium hará historia, y todos sabemos que Jerry Jones y compañía saben hacer un espectáculo.

Mauricio's 2018 NFL Mock Draft 1.0: Cowboys Steal Defensive Talent

(Cal Sports Media / AP Images)

De Trades y Otros Detalles Complicados

Muchos se han de estar preguntando, "Si los picks se deciden del peor al mejor equipo, ¿por qué Cleveland tiene el pick #1 y el #4 en la primera ronda?" Es aquí donde entra uno de los elementos más divertidos del Draft... los trades. 

Así como equipos pueden cambiar jugadores entre sí, también se pueden cambiar picks. De hecho, la mayoría de los trades en la NFL contienen picks. Es rarísimo ver un intercambio de jugadores exclusivamente.

Recientemente, por ejemplo, los Jets intercambiaron picks con los Indianapolis Colts. Así se verán las primeras seis selecciones este año:

  1. Cleveland Browns
  2. New York Giants
  3. New York Jets (pick adquirido via trade con Indianapolis)
  4. Cleveland Browns (pick adquirido via trade con Houston el año pasado)
  5. Denver Broncos
  6. Indianapolis Colts (pick adquirido via trade con New York Jets)

Lógicamente, los Jets tuvieron que pagar por subir esas tres selecciones. De esta manera, los Colts lograron embolsarse tres selecciones de segunda ronda, sólo por bajar tres lugares en el Draft, donde probablemente encuentren a uno de los jugadores que buscarían con su pick original.

Y los Jets, ¿qué consiguen? Un quarterback para el futuro que probablemente no estaría disponible en el #6.

Así funciona el Draft, en la primera ronda es siempre importante considerar que los equipos pagarán de más sólo por llevarse a un QB, sin importar si es digno o no de tal selección. Es simplemente un reflejo de lo importante que es dicha posición en el deporte.

Los trades son una parte enorme del NFL Draft. Algún equipo que quiere evitar que otra franquicia se robe a su jugador del futuro está dispuesto a pagar (a veces de más) para poder llevárselo antes que nadie.

Además de los 32 picks que debería haber en cada ronda (uno por cada día), existen selecciones extras, llamados "picks compensatorios." Estos son otorgados a los equipos por la liga dependiendo a si sufrieron pérdidas de jugadores durante la agencia libre. Esta es otra razón por la cual el formato del Draft cambia año tras año, aunque no de manera mayor.

Tomemos a los Dallas Cowboys como ejemplo. Después de perder al Linebacker Anthony Hitchens en la agencia libre, probablemente conseguirán una selección compensatoria en el 2019. Muchos subestiman estos picks, pero al final de cuentas, Dak Prescott llegó a los Cowboys por medio de un pick compensatorio.

Jerry Jones Weighs in on Cowboys Need for "Dak-Friendly" Offense

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (Jason Bridge / USA TODAY Sports)

Naturalmente, los mejores jugadores son tomados en la primera ronda, y conforme avanzan las selecciones es menos probable conseguir un jugador relevante para la franquicia, pero son las rondas tardías las que pueden marcar el rumbo de franquicias.

Tom Brady, sexta ronda. Antonio Brown, sexta ronda. Richard Sherman, quinta ronda. Russel Wilson, tercera ronda.

Y obviamente, año tras año, cientos de jugadores no consiguen ser seleccionados en el Draft. E incluso aquí, estrellas como Kurt Warner y Tony Romo pueden ser contratados y pueden terminar sorprendiendo al mundo.

Quizá no haya partidos de NFL en Abril, pero el Draft es igual de importante que la temporada. En un simple evento, se escribe la historia de la liga. Así que este Abril, en vez de llorar por la falta de acción en la pantalla, es tiempo de ver el NFL Draft, y de ver como los equipos intentan escribir su propia historia seleccionando futuros novatos que como bien pueden ser pésimos jugadores, bien pueden ser futuros miembros del Salón de la Fama.

Datos Extras del NFL Draft

  • El último jugador seleccionado en el Draft se le llama "Mr. Irrelevant."
  • El primer Draft en la historia se realizó en 1936, en el hotel Ritz Carlton de Philadelphia. Los dueños se reunieron en un cuarto de hotel.
  • La primera selección en la historia fue Jay Berwanger, quien nunca jugó en la NFL.
  • La primera transmisión del Draft tomó lugar en 1980. Ahora, el Draft es televisado intensamente por NFL Network y ESPN.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Guía Para Entender el NFL Draft" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @MauNFL.

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Star Blog

Could Loaded FA Safety Market Drive Down Earl Thomas’ Value?

Brian Martin

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Could Loaded FA Safety Class Drive Down Earl Thomas' Price Tag?

It's no secret the Dallas Cowboys and Earl Thomas share a mutual interest in one another. Thomas has publicly stated his desire to join America's Team and the Cowboys did their darndest to make that happen last offseason. Nothing ever materialized a year ago, but it's looking as if the stars have finally aligned and a union between the two could merely be just weeks away.

Surprisingly enough, the Dallas Cowboys may have dodged a bullet last year when the Seattle Seahawks refused to part ways with their All-Pro safety. Not only would they have had to surrender a high draft pick, but they would've also had to extend Thomas' contract. Fortunately, timing is everything and now the Cowboys might just have to do the latter.

A potential contract between the Cowboys and Thomas is of course what I want to dive in today. I'm not going to get into numbers right now, because it's nearly impossible to project any kind of contract for any safety this offseason, especially for the former Seahawk, Earl Thomas.

Earl Thomas

Free Agent FS Earl Thomas (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Right now, it's a little difficult to know who might have the advantage in contract negotiations, Earl Thomas or the Dallas Cowboys. A lot of times the one that has the leverage, however slight, is the one that gets the better of the deal. As surprising as it may be, the Cowboys might just have the advantage here and I'll tell you why.

First off, this year's market for free agent safeties is pretty stacked with starting caliber players. See below:

  • Earl Thomas
  • Landon Collins
  • Lamarcus Joyner
  • Tyrann Mathieu
  • Adrian Amos
  • Clayton Geathers
  • Ha-Ha Clinton Dix
  • Glover Quinn
  • Tre Boston
  • Kenny Vaccaro
  • George Iloka
  • Jimmie Ward
  • Adrian Phillips

Earl Thomas is obviously the headliner here amongst the free agent safeties, but having so many starting caliber players available could drive down Thomas' market value just a bit. This is especially true when you take into consideration the market for FA safeties just a year ago. It was almost a complete standstill last year, with only Kurt Coleman signing a three-year $16.5 million deal with the New Orleans Saints. Not even the "Honey Badger" Tyrann Mathieu could get more than a one-year deal.

With all of these safeties available in free agency, we could be looking at another stingy market. This of course could be good or bad news for the Dallas Cowboys, especially as it pertains to Earl Thomas. Since he is the top FA safety available, everything could once again be at a standstill until he is signed.

Earl Thomas

Free Agent FS Earl Thomas (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Of course, we all know this will ultimately come down to determining Earl Thomas' market value. There is no denying he is still arguably the best free safety in the game today, but there are concerns about his age (30) and the two lower leg injuries he's sustained in the past three years.

Even with the loaded free agent market of starting caliber safeties and Thomas' age and recent injury history, he's still likely to receive a contract that earns him $10 million annually, give or take. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he gets another four-year deal worth $40 million, $25.7 million guaranteed, with a $9.5 million signing bonus like he signed with the Seahawks back in 2014.

The Cowboys of course would probably find a four-year $40 million deal for Earl Thomas acceptable. They would more than likely frontload the contract with a lot of protection in the details. They have the cap space to make this happen and still be able to sign their own, so money shouldn't be a problem.

Now, whether or not Thomas' market value may dip a little due to all of the above mentioned reasons will be something we will have to wait and find out. Regardless, I'd be a little shocked if Earl Thomas doesn't finish his career with the Dallas Cowboys.

Do you think Earl Thomas' market value will take a little hit this offseason?



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Star Blog

Acquiring Brown Will Give Dallas Twin Turbo Terrors

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Acquiring Brown Will Give Dallas Twin Turbo Terrors

What a difference a receiver makes, right? As Dallas fans, we know the impact of a player who can shake coverage, get open, and catch the ball. How was the season going before the Cowboys pulled the trigger for Amari Cooper in the deal with the Raiders? Cooper proved to be the lightning rod and a turning point in a season that was growing increasingly dismal. Dak Prescott and Cooper went together like peanut butter and jelly, while the Cowboys stormed to a division title and a postseason berth.

Now, imagine all of that times two… maybe even two and a half if Antonio Brown could be had from the Steelers. Scary right? We understand there’s only one ball to go around but that didn’t stop Kevin Durant from joining the Warriors, did it?

As of this writing, the best online sportsbooks like Intertops, are dealing Dallas as the seventh of 16 choices to win the NFC championship at odds of 12-1. Imagine how those odds would shrink if Brown wore a Cowboys uniform next season, giving Prescott the luxury of not one upper echelon wideout but that plus an elite receiver. Hut, hut, hut and a few clouds of smoke later the Cowboys would be moving the chains or celebrating in the endzone.

Brown and Cooper would be a devastating combination with Ezekiel Elliott coming out of the backfield. Brown was made for Dallas, it gives him an even grander stage than the one he shared with Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell in Pittsburgh.

Despite the fact that the 'Boys haven’t won a Super Bowl since Barry Switzer was roaming the sidelines in the mid-90s, America’s Team still resides in Dallas. But we need a game-changer and Brown is just such an athlete. But what do we give in return and will that cost be worth whatever productive years Brown has left after this one? Let’s not forget that the mercurial Miami native will be 31 when the season begins and men who make a living with their legs don’t get better at that age. But Brown is so good and so unique that, even if he drops half a click, he's still amongst the best in the game.

That level of talent is hard to replicate and it could be the missing piece which allows Dallas to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender next season and the year after.

However, up to this point, we’ve been very good at dreaming of a Brown to Dallas trade but haven’t quite worked out the details. It takes two to tango and if we expect to get the Steelers’ attention we need to give them something valuable in return. Dallas surrendered their first-round pick (27th) this season when they traded for Cooper so that’s no longer an asset.

Pittsburgh would be vying for a first-round pick (and likely more) for Brown's services but some have speculated Dallas would consider dealing rookie-standout Leighton Vander Esch.

Wait... what? We know, you’re clutching your pearls, and the words are stuck in your gasp. We get it. The kid was a home run this past season, leading the Dallas defense in tackles and earning a Pro Bowl invitation in his inaugural NFL season. But this would be a Faustian deal.

The Cowboys give up a player who is poised to be a stud for years to come for a playmaker in Brown that could render a Super Bowl in the immediate future. Brown's expiration date will surely turn his milk sour sooner rather than later, but in the here and now, Antonio Brown could be the bell cow who leads the Cowboys to the promised land before he’s put out to pasture.

Just something to think about...



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Star Blog

2018 In Review: CB Anthony Brown Bounces Back

Kevin Brady

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Anthony Brown's Resurgence A Great Sign for Cowboys Defense
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

To say it's been an up-and-down start to the career of young cornerback Anthony Brown would be an understatement.

As a sixth round pick in 2016, everything Brown contributed during his rookie season was a plus. Due to injury he was asked to step into a greater role as the season went on, and he performed well enough to make the front office comfortable allowing multiple veterans to walk for nothing in free agency the following Spring. Brown looked like a legitimate starting cornerback in the league, and when Dallas brought in Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis during the next draft, the young secondary seemed set.

Then 2017 happened. And Anthony Brown struggled. Really struggled.

These struggles, coupled with the emergence of both Lewis and Awuzie during their own rookie seasons, made Brown's status heading into 2018 rather uncertain. Some wondered if they would trade him for a day three pick, others thought Brown could even end up being cut. Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown were slated to compete for the nickel cornerback job in training camp, and as it turned out, all Brown needed was that one extra chance to compete.

Brown won the job outright during the preseason, and began 2018 as the starting nickel. A fan favorite, most thought Lewis would reclaim his rightful spot on the depth chart sooner or later, but Anthony Brown's play (and Kris Richard's preferences) kept Lewis on the bench for much of the season.

Simply put, Anthony Brown balled in 2018, and was the Cowboys' second best corner for most of the year. By the end of the season Chidobe Awuzie had regained form, but Brown and Byron Jones were the most consistently reliable corners on the roster all of 2018.

Brown tallied 44 tackles, 2 sacks, and an interception in 2018, and finished third on the team in pass breakups with 8. As the slot corner Brown had an excellent season, especially for a former sixth round pick.

Now he enters a contract year, and with the Cowboys having so many guys to pay over the next two offseasons, he could find himself as an unrestricted free agent in 2020. And if he can keep up his play from last year moving forward, he could be in for a nice payday that Spring.



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