Prior to last weekend's NFL Draft the Cowboys' front office held a press conference. The Cowboys didn't really go into any details on their draft plans of course. But leave it to Jerry Jones to make news anyway.
Toward the end he was asked about Vice President of Player Personnel Will McClay, a man who would make a fantastic general manager for any NFL team. He really should be the Cowboys' General Manager already.
“I can't make him the general manager,” Jones answered in response to a question about McClay. “We have one.”
And therein lies the problem. The Cowboys do have a general manager – and arguably the worst one in the NFL. Jerry Jones. The most damning evidence against Jones in that role was on display over this last weekend's draft.
In a draft that saw a record 41 trades made, the Cowboys were involved in just one – sending a 2024 fifth round pick to Kansas City in return for the first pick of this year's sixth round. They selected defensive back Eric Scott. But look at what a lot of other teams were doing.
Buffalo brazenly swiped Dalton Kincaid out of Dallas' grasp, trading up to the 25th pick to grab him one pick before the Cowboys turn. If Kincaid was truly Dallas' top target they should have done what the Bills did and moved up.
Philadelphia, Houston, Detroit and Arizona were wheeling and dealing at breakneck speed, especially on Thursday. All four of those teams vastly improved themselves with solid trades and draft picks.
Dallas Fiddled While The NFL Burned
The same cannot be said of Dallas. Yes, they filled some holes, but not nearly as well as they could have. For the most part they sat around and watched everyone else enrich themselves.
The other issue from the draft came in the second round and underscores why McClay needs to have the title – and the authority – of General Manager at The Star. While I don't have an inside pipeline to the war room, I find it hard to believe that McClay made the call to draft Luke Schoonmaker in the second round.
That pick has Jerry Jones written all over it. The last three tight ends the Cowboys have drafted in the second round have been: Gavin Escobar, Martellus Bennett, and Anthony Fasano.
This was back when Jerry had full control of the draft board. How did they work out again?
Patience Drafting Tight Ends Has Paid Off
When they have waited – with McClay having a say — they've drafted Jason Witten (3rd), Dalton Schultz (4th), and Jake Ferguson (4th). I'd bet lunch that Jerry weighed in and pushed for yet another ill-advised second-round tight end pick.
As my colleague here, Jermaine Arvie, pointed out, Jones' ham-handed handling of trading Amari Cooper led to a trade that should never have happened. It was also one that yielded very little in return given what Dallas gave up to get him in the first place.
Toss in many unwise contract decisions – over-paying some players, keeping players too long, etc. – and the weakest link in the Cowboys' organization is exposed. The man signing the checks isn't a very good general manager. The only reason why he hasn't been fired already, is because he's the owner too.
The Al Davis Of Dallas
Basically, he's the Al Davis of Dallas. Riding the coattails of early glory and unable to see he's holding the franchise back. Remember the JaMarcus Russell fiasco in Oakland?
In the case of the Raiders, Al's son took over following Al's death. Mark Davis is doing his best to prove he's as bad as his dad was in his final decade at the helm.
The Cowboys have Stephen Jones in line to take over once his dad cedes control. Here's hoping that either before Jerry turns over the reins, or when Stephen takes over, they realize what the rest of us already know.
The Dallas Cowboys need a general manager whose last name isn't Jones. It needs to be Will McClay before some other NFL organization lures him away from Dallas.