Irving, TX – There are football decisions, and there are football decisions. And in the realm of football decisions, the Dallas Cowboys’ decision to trade down from their original 18th overall draft pick and move down the 31st pick formerly owned by the San Francisco 49ers is being questioned by just about everybody. Not so much because they traded down, but because of the player they took when they did so — Wisconsin center Travis Frederick, a player many analysts had with a second- to third-round grade… Brandon Jones of the Dallas Morning News recalled an exchange between Assistant Director of Player Personnel Tom Ciskowski and Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President, and Director of Player Personnel Stephen Jones during the team’s live feed of the “war room” during the first round. “[Head coach Jason] Garrett, at one point, had a blank look across his face as he started rubbing his forehead with his hand. Ciskowski and Stephen Jones also had an animated exchange. It was a rare show of emotion by Ciskowski. There’s good reason for the Cowboys’ actual football people to be incensed by the pick.” Jones, whose only real football qualification appear to be his status as owner Jerry Jones’ son, later told the media that the team had LSU safety Eric Reid, at the top of its board, but thought there was more value in trading down and grabbing an extra third-round pick. The 49ers, a team that seems to know a thing or two about player personnel, immediately took Reid with the pick Dallas vacated. And Frederick, for his part, told a Dallas radio station that even he didn’t believe he’d be taken when he was.
Ordinarily what goes on in the Cowboys’ war room wouldn’t mean jack squat to me. But this story just makes my heart glow. You know, Boston Barstool gets accused all the time of honking the Patriots bone and people rip me all the time for being too into them. Well this is the reason why. This exact kind of incompetence, power struggles and dysfunction is what I grew up on. This is the Patriots of my formative years, to a tee. Jerry Jones is just a much richer version of Billy Sullivan. And in-over-his-head buffoon, savvy enough of a businessman to buy himself an NFL team and thinks that makes him a football expert. And arrogant enough to put his bumbling, lucky spermer son in charge of running the operation. Stephen Jones is Patrick Sullivan. These Cowboys are just like the Patriots that stole my childhood. It’s history repeating itself. Rich nitwits making decisions over football lifers. I just caught the “30 for 30: Elway to Marino” about the ’83 draft. And when they get to the Pats taking Tony Eason, head coach Ron Meyer says not only was he not consulted on the pick, the coaches weren’t even allowed to look at the scouting reports. I’m not saying Meyer wasn’t an asshat- he sure was- or that Jason Garrett is the second coming of Chuck Noll. And for all we know Frederick will be a better pro than Reid. All I’m saying is this is what you get when an owner and his kid meddle in football affairs. Believe me, I lived it. Mr. Kraft did that once with the Terry Glenn pick in ’96, it cost him a great coach, he learned his lesson and never did it again. I blog this just as a reminder to count your blessings today. There but for the grace of Mr. Kraft go I. @JerryThornton1
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