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Imagining If the Cowboys Actually Drafted Jalen Ramsey in the 2016 NFL Draft

In a recent with the Pivot Podcast, hosted by former NFL stars Ryan Clark, Channing Crowder and Fred Taylor, said the were promising him that he was going to be their choice at Pick 4 in the .

Ramsey, who grew up a Cowboys fan, said he was excited when heard the news, but was also hoping to be the first defensive player taken off the board, so he didn't mind if the then- selected him over Dallas.

As the started, the Los Angeles Rams and both took Quarterbacks, and Ramsey figured his name was being called next. While the Chargers selected Ohio State , Ramsey was a little upset since he wasn't the first defender off of the board but was excited to be heading to his favorite team.

(Well, he thought he was.)

Once Ramsey realized that the Cowboys were going against their word and taking Ohio State Ezekiel Elliott over him, he said felt betrayed by the franchise, but it put a huge chip on his shoulder to work twice as hard to make them regret passing on him.

To imagine what life could have been like if the franchise would have gone with their original choice, I decided to do a piece over the “what-if” scenario, so check it out below.

“Jalen Ramsey could've given the franchise a true, lockdown corner that they haven't had in years.”

Now I get that I can't go back in time and change the franchise's pick to select Ramsey, but man I wish the classic movie “Back to the Future” was real so I could make things right. Going into the 2016 NFL Draft, there was no debate that Elliott was one of the top RBs coming out of college, and given the franchise needed an upgrade at running back–it felt like a no-brainer to select Zeke.

(I mean c'mon, he had an All-Pro rookie season off the bat and still ranks among the top running backs in the league. Well, maybe not so high anymore, but still garners the respect of his peers.)

However, if you look at the room for the Cowboys heading into that year's draft, you had and , who were decent starters, but Ramsey would have given a huge boost to your defensive back room.

Since entering the league, Ramsey has been named to five consecutive Pro Bowls, has been a First-Team All-Pro player in three of his last five seasons, and also has a recent trophy on his resume.

While Elliott has been an impactful playmaker for the club over the years with two All-Pro selections and two rushing titles to show, it's evident that he has started to decline a bit. Additionally, with the trend of top RBs getting paid and them underproducing after they got their money, Elliott has unfortunately been a part of that club.

Yes, the Cowboys would have missed out on getting a once-touted “generational back” by analysts, but there was another All-Pro RB they have got in the 2nd Round of the NFL Draft, and that's Mr. . The thought of them potentially having arguably the Top Corner and Running Back combo in the league blows my mind, but we can only forever live on “what-ifs”.

Rocky Garza Jr
Rocky Garza Jr
Rolling with the Boyz since 96'. Chop up sports with me on Twitter @rockssjr.

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The question is, how exposed would Dak have ended up being that first season if they hadn’t taken Zeke and then passed on Henry as well?

I believe Dak would have floundered without Zeke being there and literally carrying the load.

That brings up the next question, would that have led them to switch back to Romo ASAP? And if so, would Romo have stayed another season? Probably yes on both accounts. Which means Dak would likely have been viewed in a much different light when he came up for a new contract and wouldn’t have had the leverage to bend the team over a barrel. Made all the worse by Zeke doing the same thing.

Makes drafting Zeke look even worse in retrospect.

Chuck Wright

A very “real world” take. Dak is a 20-25 passes a game style QB who needs play action.

Zeke would have been fine if Dallas does not over pay him. Rumors were Da RayDuhs were offering their Bama RB and their 1st rounder for Zeke, I said it then TAKE IT.

So net net, Ramsey does not help win the division like Zeke did but long term (and if Da Boys paid him) would have been a better selection.

Jess Haynie

You just made the argument for why Zeke was a great pick. Dallas went 13-3 that season and it sounds like Elliott was a major reason why.


In the short term, yes. In the long term, it was a bad decision.

Ninety-nine times out of one hundred, RB’s are a short term commodity.

In the long run, we would have been better off with Romo coming back to finish that season and play one more while finding and developing a better QB prospect than Dak. Preferably, one that didn’t bend the team over a barrel for elite pay while playing at a less than elite level and padding stats against inferior teams or in garbage time.

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