In 4 years of drafts the only starters Dallas picked up are Mike Jenkins, Doug Free, and soon-to-be-released Anthony Spencer. Everyone else is a part-time player (Marty B, Felix, Scandrick, John Phillips, Jason Hatcher, and Victor Butler).
They say it takes 3 years to grade a draft. This year marks year #3 for the class of 2009. As of this week we now have conclusive data on the draft classes of 2006-2009 to grade out each player and see how successful they were. How successful were these drafts? As successful as the Titanic.
The rule-of-thumb is that you need 2-3 starters every draft class. That means the Cowboys should have gotten 8-12 starters in that time period. Instead we got 3. When everyone else in the NFL is getting 10 new play-makers and you're getting 2 how can you expect to be a competitive team?
Why are the Saints Superbowl champions and playoff favorites while the Cowboys sit at home? Many people think it's because Sean Payton is a better coach than Garret or that Drew Brees is a better QB that Romo. These are not the comparisons I think should be made. Instead, let's compare the starters the Saints drafted in 2006-2009 to the starters the Cowboys drafted
- Mike Jenkins - WR (pro-bowl)
- Doug Free - OT
- Anthony Spencer - OLB
- Roman Harper - S (pro-bowl)
- Maldom Jenkins - S
- Tracy Porter - CB
- Jahri Evans - G (pro-bowl)
- Jermon Bushrod - OT (pro-bowl)
- Carl Nicks - OT (pro-bowl)
- Marques Colson - WR
- Robert Meachem - WR
- Sedrick Ellis - DT
That is 9 starters vs. the Cowboys 3. The saints drafted two safeties, one of whom is a pro-bowler. The Cowboys drafted none and try to fill the hole with other teams' cast-offs. The Saints added two starting WRs to create an elite ariel attack while the Cowboys ruined their salary cap on Roy Williams. The Saints added 3 pro-bowl O-linemen to give Brees all the time he needs to skewer offenses while the Cowboys were drafting Robert Brewster and James Marteen.
How can we expect Romo and Garrett to carry us to the playoffs when our competition is drafting great new players at a rate of 3:1 to the Cowboys? Are we supposed to be surprised and blame Rob Ryan as our secondary looks slow against the Eagles when the Saints secondary added 3 young starters while the Cowboys have 3 starters over 29?
So you can rant and rave about Wade or Garrett or Rob Ryan or Romo or Ware only having 18 sacks instead of 50. But when you look at the difference between the teams that are winning and the Cowboys who are constantly 9-7 the difference is the draft. The Cowboys are not talented enough to play with the big boys. The Cowboys have been game enough to make Sunday interesting but ultimately lose to the more talented team.
With a better General Manager how different would the Cowboys look if it had two young safeties? How different would the Cowboys look if they had 3 pro-bowl O-linemen keeping Romo's pocket clean and his hand/clavicle uninjured?
The lack of talent on this team is because of 4 years of bad drafting at the helm of a bad general manager. If you want to point the finger for the Cowboys' lack of success it only points to one fact - Jerry Jones is a bad General Manager.