For the past few years, Jerry Jones has had a "win now" attitude when it came to making personnel decisions for the Dallas Cowboys. Jones's obsession with winning a Super Bowl led him to sign "bad locker room" players such as Tank Johnson, Adam "Pacman" Jones, and of course, Terrell Owens. But who can blame him? He had his celebrity pro bowl quarterback, future hall of famers at receiver and tight end, the barbarian plowing through defensive lines, and a defense that featured beasts like DeMarcus Ware. The philosophy has been Super Bowl or bust, however, with the 2009 NFL Draft over I have come realize that the Jerry Jones might be rethinking the price of that "win now" attitude.
Personally, draft day is always an exciting time. The combines, the projections, and Mel Kiper's incredibly flawless hair gracing ESPN every single day. Plus, I have become spoiled by Jerry Jones moving up in the draft and doing something exciting. Last year being the best when Jones moved up to take Felix Jones (excuse my bias I graduated from Arkansas). However, this year the draft was horrible. Maybe not from a personnel standpoint, but the edge of your seat anticipation was definitely lacking. The only thing I had to look forward to was the Cowboys 51st pick, and than they gave that up! According to ESPN, Jones instituted a new draft philosophy: trade down and collect picks in order to draft a high amount of players to fill back up positions. I was shocked. That's not the Jerry Jones I have come to know and love. Where is the blockbuster trade to grab Michael Crabtree? Why do I not see Mark Sanchez holding up a Cowboys jersey? Just on entertainment value, Jones disappointed me.
In the days following the draft all I kept hearing and reading was analysis of the 'new Cowboys drafting philosophy'. The overall argument was that the Cowboys are following the Patriots model of trading down in order to acquire a large amount of picks anticipating that most of the players drafted will be a bust. I refuse to believe this. Jerry Jones doesn't draft down! Jerry Jones trades up to draft number one just so the Cowboys star is in its rightful place, next to the number 1!
In all seriousness, I'm starting to wonder if the economy is effecting Jerry's bank account. The new Cowboys stadium is costing him over a billion dollars to construct, T.O. alone is earning millions from Jones to play for the Bills next year, and the naming rights to stadium have still not been sold. Perhaps the 2009 draft isn't evidence of a shift in philosophy, but simply a result of tough economic times. Jones needs to draft down so he doesn't have to pay big money for first round draft picks. And the draft is not the only evidence supporting this argument. For the past few years, Jones has acquired free agents like money grew on trees. This year with players like Ray Lewis and Torry Holt available, the Cowboys remained quiet. Think about it, when did the Cowboys have this boring of an off season and draft? It could be a new philosophy, and if it is, it will be interesting to see how it effects the win column. But it could also be a direct result of a tough economic times hurting the amount of money a new stadium typically brings it. Just look at the Yankees new stadium. The entire bottom section is empty because people are not spending thousands of dollars to go see one game after their 401K has been destroyed. Jones knows this, and his new philosophy might not be drafting down, but an attempt to save money.