I’mmmm baaack…sorry for running out during the NFL Draft, but I couldn’t help when my honeymoon was. As some of you may know the saying, “happy wife, almost happy life.”
Anyway, I did pay attention to the Dallas Cowboys and who they drafted last week; while Taco Charlton probably wouldn’t have been my pick at 28, it appeared to be the only minor issue anyone could have with what Dallas did. By most accounts, the Cowboys had a really strong draft; the cornerback selections of Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis were great selections, Xavier Woods was a freaking steal in the sixth round and Ryan Switzer will terrorize defenses from the start and gives the return game some much needed juice.
Those are all positives.
However, the selection of Taco seemed to bring a pretty big divide amongst Cowboys Nation. Everyone knew the team needed a pass rusher in the worst way and it pretty much came down to Charlton or T.J. Watt as their top options. We can debate whether the Cowboys made the right choice or not, and it will likely rage on for years, but the team took the guy they liked the most.
Read that sentence again, ‘the team took the guy they liked the most.’
Let’s remember, no matter how many of us scout, break down film or write about which player Dallas should have taken (any player included) after studying the draft, these guys are professionals. People like Will McClay, Rod Marinelli, Jason Garrett and the scouts believe in Taco Charlton, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. They know more than we do.
It’s time to give this staff their due and trust them. They’ve put together a really good team and the recent drafts bear that out. Look at their recent track record and see just how good this team has been at drafting since 2010:
2010: Dez Bryant, Sean Lee – Both are Pro Bowl players and major contributors for the Cowboys.
2011: Tyron Smith, DeMarco Murray – We probably don’t need to talk about how good Smith is and Murray was a heck of a third round pick, making a few Pro Bowls in a Cowboys uniform before moving on.
2012: Morris Claiborne, Tyrone Crawford, Kyle Wilber, James Hanna – We all know what happened with Mo, but when healthy, he can play. Crawford is the source of much consternation of fans, but he’s a good player who does well when asked to do less, a solid player on the defense. Wilber and Hanna are good role players, valuable assets to any successful team.
2013: Travis Frederick, Terrance Williams, J.J. Wilcox, DeVonte Holloman – Remember when there was an uproar over trading back and selecting Fredbeard? Now, he’s one of the best (if not the best) centers in the NFL. Williams plays a big role on the team, Wilcox was a significant contributor and Holloman had the makings of a steal before a career ending injury.
2014: Zack Martin, DeMarcus Lawrence, Anthony Hitchens – This front office picked Martin over Manziel, that appears to be a pretty smart move, drafted Lawrence, who has shown flashes and Hitch, a mainstay at linebacker since he’s come aboard.
2015: Byron Jones, Chaz Green, Damien Wilson, Geoff Swaim – Jones is already a very good player, with a chance to be playing in multiple Pro Bowls, while Green might be the starting right tackle and Wilson might be starting at outside linebacker (something that might have occurred in 2016 without an odd paintball accident). Swaim, meanwhile, has also become an integral part of the running game.
2016: Ezekiel Elliott, Jaylon Smith, Maliek Collins, Charles Tapper, Dak Prescott, Anthony Brown, Kavon Frazier, Rico Gathers – This list is pretty self-explanatory. There are Pro Bowlers, stars and key contributors from this draft, and we haven’t even talked about the potential of Smith and possibly Uncle Rico. This was an outstanding haul from the front office in last year’s draft.
There are a lot of Pro Bowlers, stars, future stars and big-time players for the Cowboys that have been drafted since Jason Garrett arrived, especially since McClay has taken a larger role. Of course there have been some swing and misses (cough-cough Gavin Escobar), but that happens, drafting isn’t an exact science. For the most part, though, this regime has done a very good job of building through the draft and finding the right players, even when fans felt it was the wrong pick (cough-cough Travis Frederick).
So if you feel that Taco Charlton was the wrong decision, be patient, let’s see what happens. The Dallas Cowboys coaches and scouts have earned the benefit of the doubt, especially over the last few drafts.
Have faith in your Dallas Cowboys and remember, Shawne Merriman was considered a better player than DeMarcus Ware after their rookie seasons.
You can chat with or follow Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi