Apr. 27, 2017
Where Do We Go From Here?
I thought about how I could start out my pro football blog for a very long time. It's just too bad that it was in front of me the entire time. We live in a society where hardly anything is certain, but if there's one thing I can always count on, it's Cowboys Nation.
I feel like we've stepped into an alternate universe, where the Dallas Cowboys are actually being talked about as contenders for the big game. I am a die-hard Cowboys fan, but I'll always be a football fan first. So, what I'm about to say may shock you...
Looking at this team, it's hard to understand why they would be considered for such recognition.
I won't put that in the same category as Heath Evans predicting an 8-8 season on live TV, but it's close. When you break down what we have in front of us with our very difficult schedule, the draft, and a deflating defense, it's easy to jump on that "The Cowboys are going to flop" band wagon.
I see you, though, Jerry Jones. I see what you're doing and what you see. I'll never understand the old man, but I see it. In a very minor, low tone, Jerry Jones is screaming that this team needs to be younger, faster, and have more attitude than teams of recent memory (looking at you Vinny Testaverde). So let me tell you a story about last year's NFL Draft.
I'm sitting in a hotel room in Bethlehem, PA. I'm alone, and rocking Cowboys gear from head to toe. Pick #1, Jared Goff to the Rams. Well, that's OK, we have Tony. Pick #2, Carson Wentz to the Eagles. Yeah... but it's the Eagles. Pick #3, Joey Bosa to the Chargers. Alright, that one hurts a little. Now the Cowboys are on the clock. In my head and my heart, I'm screaming, "TAKE JALEN RAMSEY!" Here comes our "beloved" commissioner. "With the fourth pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select..."
I took a very big, deep breath. Then I heard it.
"Ezekiel Elliot, running back, Ohio State." Those 6 words shifted my entire way of thinking and helped me see Jerry. Tony Romo was nearing the end of his career, but no one knew what would transpire 4 months later in Seattle. Darren McFadden was a solid back behind a great O-Line, but had an injury prone career. Our defense was making strides in the right direction. In one solid pick, Jerry Jones brought our 2014 success back to Dallas. When Demarco Murray sold out... I mean, signed with Philly, our success went with him. Not because Murray was a 1600 yard back, but because the team was back on the shoulders of Tony.
Round 2 - Jaylon Smith. While this pick didn't do anything immediately, it set us up for a solid future at the LB spot, given that Jaylon would heal to 100%.
Round 3 - Maliek Collins. Big, bad defensive tackle. Rod Marinelli's ideal DT.
Round 4 - Charles Tapper. For a big guy, he can run.
Round 4 - Dak friggin' Prescott. Out of all the quarterbacks in this draft class, he was the one I hoped we would steal. Dak is a winner. Plain and simple.
Round 6 - Anthony Brown.
Round 6 - Kavon Frazier
Round 6 - Darius Jackson.
Round 6 - Rico Gathers. (The basketball player? Really?)
Now let's look at this from a different angle.
New: Zeke, Old: McFadden
New: Jaylon: Old: Sean Lee (but still amazing)
New: Maliek Collins, Old: Nick Hayden
New: Charles Tapper, Old: Jeremy Mincey
New: Dak, Old: Tony
New: Rico Gathers, Old: Jason Witten (HOF)
Jerry did it. He took vital, aging positions and insured them. What Jerry didn't know, was how quickly he would see his magic being put to work.
We enter the 2017 Draft with glaring holes. Who takes over for Carr and Mo? Can Jeff Heath and Kavon Frazier hold down the safety positions, with Byron Jones stepping up as well? Is Jaylon alright?
So, where do we go from here?
This draft class has such a deep defensive back pool, it would be silly not to draft a DB in the first round. Adoree' Jackson? Jabrill Peppers?
I look forward to seeing Jerry work his magic this year. If I see anything but a defensive player come off that board at number 28, I might lose my mind. Behind Jerry, we conquered the mountain 5 times. Behind Dak, Zeke and whatever young talent he brings in this year, we may conquer number six.
Deep in the heart of Texas lies a monster who has been sleeping for 20 years. It's time to wake up and get our ring.