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Posts Tagged ‘Travis Frederick’

2013 NFL Draft: What Dallas Cowboys GM Jerry Jones and Weathermen Have in Common

In Sports on April 29, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Cowboys draft picks 2013

The 2013 NFL Draft is complete, and all of the priority rookie free agents have been signed.  Grades on the draft are pouring in from all over the country today.  While accurate grades on this year’s draft can’t truly be given for another three years (once these players have an NFL body of work to evaluate), the bottom line is that Dallas Cowboys GM, Jerry Jones, has once again left experts and fans scratching their heads for not addressing the most glaring needs on the team.  Fortunately for Jones, he has one of the two jobs in the world that has no penalty for constantly making mistakes.  The other being a weatherman.

Outside of the Cowboys organization, it is difficult to find people who thought that their first round trade (which dropped them down 13 picks), returned fair compensation.  But more importantly, it is impossible to find anyone who believes that Wisconsin Center, Travis Frederick, should have been chosen in the first round, including Fredrick himself, who expected to get picked no earlier than the second round.

Assuming that Frederick would have been available when the Cowboys picked in the second round (which is a very safe assumption), the trade should be evaluated over time by answering the following questions:

[1]     Is Gavin Escobar a productive NFL Tight End, and how does he compare to Tyler Eifert (the TE that the Cowboys could have drafted with the 18th pick in the first round)?

[2]     Is Terrence Williams a productive NFL Wide Receiver?

[3]     Is the combination of Escobar and Williams as good, or better than, Eifert or Shariff Floyd, the DT out of Florida that was considered by many to be a top five talent?

All first round picks will be under pressure to produce, but Frederick may have the most pressure on him because of his draft position, team needs and the fact that Jones did nothing to address the offensive line after the first round.

The offensive line was the biggest weakness of the Cowboys going into the draft, and yet only one pick was used to address the position.  To make matters worse, the Cowboys signed 15 rookie free agents after the draft, none of which are offensive lineman.  Even though undrafted linemen are unlikely to earn a starting role, their presence would at least push last year’s underachievers to play to their potential.

By all accounts, Frederick should provide an upgrade to the middle of the offensive line.  However, even if he is better than the Cowboys expected, and he justifies his draft position, what happens if he goes down with a season-ending injury?  Who is going to help protect the $100 million quarterback?  Escobar, the pass-catching TE with limited blocking skills?  Williams, the projected third WR?

In a featured article on DallasNews.com after the draft was completed, Cowboys Head Coach, Jason Garrett, stated “games are won up front on the offensive and defensive lines.”

The post-draft comments from many experts state that Garrett has now been given the tools to create a prolific offense, but based on his comments about the importance of offensive and defensive lines, it seems as though he has been set up to fail and lose his job after yet another disappointing season.

Many teams passed on Floyd (Florida DT), so the Cowboys can’t be totally faulted for doing so as well, but they can be heavily criticized for failing to draft a defensive lineman with any of their seven picks.  Adding insult to injury, none of their 15 rookie free agent signings were defensive lineman, despite the fact that it is an obvious area of need for the Cowboys.

However, according to Jones, defensive line is a position of strength for the Cowboys.  He better hope that aging DT’s Jay Ratliff and Jason Hatcher stay healthy and out of trouble if they plan on having a pass rush up the middle, a key component of Monte Kiffin’s “Tampa 2 Defense.”

Sadly, the most exciting Cowboys pick of this year’s draft was 5th round RB, Joseph Randle (Oklahoma State).  He is the one proven commodity that was looked at as a “value” pick while also filling a need.

The rest of the Cowboys draft consisted of players with tons of upside potential, which is great for teams with deep rosters like the San Franscisco Forty Niners and New England Patriots, but not for an underachieving team with salary cap issues and aging stars trying to make a run before their window of opportunity closes.  This strategy even makes sense for teams that have entered a period of rebuilding because they have time to see the potential realized.

Will J.J. Wilcox transition from a small school Safety with one year of experience into an NFL star?  Possibly, but the odds of him doing so this season are fairly remote.

Even if small school prospect, B.W. Webb, becomes the team’s 4th CB, the only way to justify picking him over a lineman is if he becomes a game-changer as a return man.

LB DeVonte Holloman fills a need, and has value in the 6th round, but you have to wonder what the thought process was in drafting someone who slid in the draft because of a DUI conviction, in light of what happened with Josh Brent, who will miss the entire 2013 season and may very well end up doing significant jail time for killing a fellow teammate while driving drunk.

Ever since Jimmy Johnson left the Cowboys, Jones has been trying to prove that he is capable of orchestrating a Super Bowl victory on his own.  Based on this year’s draft picks and crop of rookie free agents, it doesn’t seem like the Cowboys are any closer to making the playoffs this year, much less a Super Bowl.

Luckily for Jones, even if the Cowboys deliver another 8-8 season, he is at no risk of losing his GM position.  After all, his boss has tolerated mediocrity for the past 17 years.   Like weathermen, Jones’ inability to forecast carries no consequence, so Cowboy fans can look forward to another pedestrian year of football in the coming season.

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Jerry Jones: Dallas Cowboys GM Once Again Suckered Like a Bad Fantasy Football GM

In Sports on April 26, 2013 at 3:45 pm

jerry jones

The first round of the 2013 NFL Draft has left Dallas Cowboy fans shaking their heads in disbelief once again, courtesy of the only GM in the league that could survive a 17-year stretch with only one playoff victory.  After signing QB Tony Romo to an unbelievable contract extension this offseason, Jerry Jones knew that he needed to get some protection for his overpriced investment.

With two outstanding offensive guard prospects on the board, the Cowboys should have been in position to take one with the 18th pick, but the demand for offensive lineman and the lack of stars at the skill positions left them on the outside looking in.  One by one, the top offensive lineman came off the board, and a trade down looked like it might be the best option for the Cowboys until Florida DT Shariff Floyd inexplicably landed in their lap.  The dominant defensive lineman was projected by most experts as a top three pick, and with aging defensive tackles and a new defensive scheme, Floyd seemed like a no-brainer.

Cowboy fans were celebrating their unlikely good fortune when the announcement was made that the 18th pick had been traded to the San Francisco 49ers.  Dropping down 13 spots with a blue-chip player on the board surely meant that the Cowboys were offered a king’s ransom that was too good to pass up.  And given the fact that the reigning NFC Champion 49ers had more picks than they could even use (13), Cowboy fans anxiously waited to hear the details of the trade.

Jaws dropped across the country as the trade details revealed that the Cowboys dropped down 13 spots for a mere 3rd round pick, a rip-off by the point value charts that are used around the NFL.  Of course, according to the spin doctors in Dallas, their charts say that they got the best of the deal.  Truly absurd!  Even if the Cowboys had gotten fair value in the trade by everyone else’s standards, the fact remains that they still passed up on an impact player in a draft devoid of stars.

When the Cowboys finally made their pick, it was announced that had they selected Travis Frederick, a Center from Wisconsin who had one of the worst combine workouts in recent memory.  Considered the top player at his position, most teams and experts still had him ranked as no more than a third round prospect.  Even Frederick himself admitted that he was surprised to get the call in the first round.

In 1998, the Cowboys desperately needed a top WR, and the whole world expected them to take Randy Moss with the 8th pick in the draft.  They chose DE Greg Ellis instead, and Moss haunted the Cowboys for several years with the Minnesota Vikings.  It is quite possible that history is going to repeat itself for Cowboy fans.  After the Cowboys passed on Floyd, the Vikings snatched him up.

It won’t take long for the Cowboys to see if they made the right choice by trading down in the draft.  On November 3, 2013, Floyd and Frederick will line up head-to-head at Cowboys Stadium.

If Floyd ends up becoming a dominant player, Cowboy fans will be left once again to wonder what might have been if not for “Trader Jerry” desperately trying to prove that he can win a Super Bowl without Jimmy Johnson by making moves that most GMs would never consider.  Ironically, the one person who might think that Jones is doing a good job is former Vikings GM Mike Lynn, who essentially handed the Cowboys a championship roster by giving away the farm to acquire Herschel Walker in 1989.  Come to think of it, maybe Jones is just trying to repay the Vikings for their past generosity.

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