As the offseason moves along and we inch towards the slowest time of the NFL calendar, June always gives us a good chance to look back on decision making in prior years.
Bleacher Report’s Gary Davenport recently wrote an article naming each NFL team’s biggest mistake of the past decade. Moves like the Cleveland Browns hiring Hue Jackson in 2016 and the Broncos trading up to draft Paxton Lynch were named, but the Cowboys selection was their signing of defensive end Greg Hardy in 2015.
“Hardy was a problem from the get-go. The Dallas Morning News‘ Brandon George reported he was regularly late for meetings, and Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports noted he made strange comments about Gisele Bundchen (Tom Brady’s wife) and argued with Dez Bryant on the sideline after shoving a Cowboys assistant.”
There’s no arguing with Gary’s individual points here. Greg Hardy offered just about nothing positive for the Cowboys during his time there, while simultaneously being the (alleged) trash human being he tends to be. Hardy was suspended the first four games of 2015, and was not brought back by the Cowboys (or the rest of the NFL) in 2016.
Still, though, there have been bigger mistakes made by the Cowboys in the past decade football wise.
For example, Dallas traded a first and third round pick to bring wide receiver Roy Williams to them before the deadline in 2008. The thought was he and Terrell Owens would be a dynamic receiving duo for Tony Romo to work with as they looked to take the next step after a disappointing end to 2007. Instead, Williams was basically a complete bust and the Cowboys 2009 draft class was historically bad.
Just a couple years later the Cowboys decided to trade up for cornerback Morris Claiborne, who while ended up becoming a decent player, was never worth the draft compensation the Cowboys gave up to acquire him.
Then there was 2015, when the Cowboys failed to have an adequate backup plan to keep their heads above water when franchise quarterback Tony Romo went down.
And, of course, the Cowboys used their 2017 first round pick on Taco Charlton rather than TJ Watt and are still paying that price to this day. Though, to be fair, Charlton will have a chance to fix things this season.