When I sit down to write something for Inside The Star I like to toss on some music and find my zone. I’ve got a playlist that has various songs that either get me pumped or calm me down so that my brain can find the proper sweet spot. A surprising member of this playlist is “That’s The Way It Is” by Celine Dion.
This song seems really appropriate to the way that Cowboys Nation is feeling about Tuesday’s news surrounding Randy Gregory.
Randy missed another drug test, which is treated identically to a failed test, and is now facing an even longer suspension than the 4-Game one already hanging over his 2016 season. As Tuesday wore on word trickled out that some within the Cowboys believe Randy Gregory will never play for them again. That’s just awesome, isn’t it?
It’s been 454 days since the Dallas Cowboys exercised the 60th Overall Pick in the 2015 NFL Draft on the talented pass rusher out of Nebraska. At that point it had only been 358 days since the Cowboys had selected Boise State’s DeMarcus Lawrence with the 34th Overall Pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Today they are both suspended for significant periods of time to begin the 2016 season.
The Cowboys, who boast the 2014 NFL Executive of the Year in Jerry Jones, have made some categorically large mistakes in the 2nd Round of the NFL Draft in the Jason Garrett era (which fully began in 2011).
Last 4 Dallas 2nd Round Picks: 2013- Gavin Escobar 2014- DeMarcus Lawrence 2015- Randy Gregory 2016- Jaylon Smith 0 will play to begin ’16
To be totally fair here, Gavin Escobar could technically miraculously be healthy enough for Week 1’s date against the New York Giants. Even then, the Cowboys have shown a blatant disregard for Escobar’s services so it’s not like he’d play much anyway.
Putting The 2nd Round Failures In Perspective
This whole thing got me curious, though. How bad are the Cowboys in the 2nd Round? This tweet doesn’t tell the whole story, but then again neither does including Escobar since our current gripe isn’t with him. Here is every 2nd Round Pick since 2014 broken down by team, including the number of games they’ve played in their NFL careers.
At first glance this doesn’t seem so bad. The Cowboys have gotten 73% usage out DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory in this span. Six teams have gotten less from their picks so hey… whatever, right? We’re the Cowboys. It’s all good.
Digesting The Failure
I’ve spent a lot of time on Inside The Star, Ocho Live, and the RJOShow blasting the Cowboys for their drafting of Jaylon Smith with this year’s 34th Overall Pick. For the record, I like Jaylon. I hope he becomes a star for the Cowboys… but it was an insanely arrogant thing to do.
Let’s talk about that word – arrogant.
The Cowboys believe that Jaylon Smith’s nerve will regain full function and that will make him a beast. Ok cool. That’s not happening until 2017 so we need something in the interim, right? Good thing Rolando McClain is here!
Oh wait, he’s suspended? Well that’s ok. I’ve got Sean Lee! He’s missed 42% of games throughout his career, but I trust you. Silver and blue!
We’re going to have an elite pass rush so I don’t have to worry about Sean Lee? Alright sweet! Cool cool cool.That’s where the two 2nd Round Picks preceding Jaylon Smith were devoted so that makes sense.
They’re suspended, too?!
Alright I suppose I can still make this work. This is a lot of settling, but I’m a die hard. Let’s do this. DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory will both be back after four games. We’re Super Bowl bound, baby!
THE COWBOYS BELIEVE THAT RANDY GREGORY WILL NEVER PLAY AGAIN? WHAT ON EARTH? WE JUST DRAFTED HIM IN THE 2ND ROUND A YEAR AGO.
This is an appropriate reaction. You are 100% entitled to be enraged about this.
A House Built On Failure
I want to circle back to that handy-dandy color-coded chart up above. The Cowboys have gotten 73% usage from their last two 2nd Round Picks (no division rival has less than 98% mind you). Let’s project this number into the future so we can understand just how flimsy the supposed foundation of the Dallas Cowboys 2nd Round Picks is:
- As of now the Cowboys have gotten 73% usage from Lawrence and Gregory.
- DeMarcus Lawrence will miss at least 4 games in 2016.
- Randy Gregory will likely miss all of 2016.
- Jaylon Smith will likely miss all of 2016.
This means that even if we were looking at things through the most optimistic lens possible that the last three Dallas Cowboys 2nd Round Picks will AT MOST play 12/48 games in 2016. 25%. That is eight million types of pathetic.
What other NFL team is getting 25% production in 2016 from their last three second round picks? Seriously? Name one. I dare you. Double dog. NAME A TEAM THIS DYSFUNCTIONAL.
Circling all the way back to when this “Tripod of Excellence” era began in 2014, let’s take a painful but necessary look at this broken down:
|2nd Round Pick (2014-2016)||DeMarcus Lawrence||Randy Gregory||Jaylon Smith|
|# of Games Played in 2014||7||N/A||N/A|
|# of Games Played in 2015||16||12||N/A|
|# of Games Played in 2016 (most likely)||12||0||0|
When the 2016 season is all said and done, the previous three 2nd Round Draft Picks will have likely played 47 out of a possible 96 games.
49%. Let that sink in. These are supposed to be cornerstones.
But hey. We’re the Cowboys, right? We’ve got a “right kinda guy” aka RKG mentality here.
Arrogant should be spelled arRKGant. That’s the way it is.