Is it just me or does the draft every year seem like the scene from the last Indiana Jones movie where he has to choose the grail from an endless assortment of cups meant to distract and entice?
Do you go with the glitzy jewel encrusted container that dazzles and shines with a beauty that is apparent to the eye but fails in its purpose? Do you look deeper on the shelves at the worn, dull, well used instruments that have shown time and again that no matter what, they will perform and hold all that you wish for them to contain?
The choice that is made has the same effect in both endevours: Immortality or Death.
After the season has ended, and we've taken a couple of weeks to regain our sanity, purchase new TV's, and convinced our loved ones that there is no longer any need to keep us on suicide watch, we turn our thoughts toward ways that our team can improve itself in the offseason. Round 1 begins with free agency. How this period is handled goes a long way to determining how the second round of team improvement is conducted.
Looking at the free agent crop in this years opening round is more than a little disconcerting. Adding to this scarcity of top level talent hitting the open market the limited funds that we have at our disposal and the large amount of holes that we need to address and it seems more than a little daunting the task of improving this team.
Many different opinions have been presented on this page and it is the biggest virtue of this community that many of them are sound and have a great deal of thought behind them. More so many of us would wager then what goes on at Valley Ranch many years. Unfortunately we cannot count on Jerry Jones selecting the wrong chalise, becoming a large pile of dust, tho every year that we don't have a successful draft JJ starts looking more and more like Al Davis (RIP).
This is the time of year that makes or breaks a coaches legacy. After the final whistle blows in the Super Bowl every single team has an equal shot at making a difference the following year. You have to accurately and truthfully evaluate the talent that you have on your team, the potential for future growth, the weaknesses that need to be addressed, and find ways to not lose the strengths that are already there. Free Agency and the Draft are the tools that the coach has to make his vision reality and if the talent that he selects are not the correct ones for what he has envisioned, he will be the one to suffer the fate of so many before him instead of achieving the dream of the few.
Jason Garrett has a clear vision for this team. For the past year and a half he has been holding the reins without any doubt as to who gets the finger pointed towards them. In that short amount of time he has dumped players who have failed to perform, been a cancer on the team, whose play and contracts were crippling to the franchise and dragging it down into the depths. This wasn't going to be a pleasant experience, but Jason knew what had to be done and was willing to take the heat from a rapid fan base that wouldn't settle for anything less than instant success.
Every year is another year to dream big about the outcome. Jason's quest as head coach of this franchise is to select the best players available that match the vision he has for this team. Watching the combine and watching the players perform the drills you have to imagine that they too have dreams just as big as ours.
With every contract signed sealed and delivered to the league office for approval, the coach in question ties his life and the future of the franchise to his selection. Should we sign a CB or draft one? How about a Guard for the offensive line? Good talent availabe but again sign the FA or draft one? Filling one hole thru FA leaves a gaping one that needs to be addressed in the draft. Choose one player wrong and that huge contract that you just signed him too becomes your epitath.
A lot no doubt will be made of Jerry Jones recent comment that we don't really have very many needs and can compete for a Super Bowl with the talent we have if the season were to start tomorrow. Before you go postal and start listing every single reason why this is a load of feltercarb you have to consider who the message was meant for. It comes not too long after Brandon Carr is "leaked" as a huge target for the Cowboys as a FA. That quote wasn't meant for us as fans. It was JerrySpeak for yes we are going to be players in FA but there isn't a big name out there that we feel we have to overpay to add to our roster. Along those lines I think you can cross Nicks, Mario Williams, and possibly even Carr himself out of the equation as possible signings this year. Not to burst anyones bubble but at least the current management seems to be learning that we are more than one player away from making the Super Bowl. Again note how he said the message. We can "compete" for a Super Bowl. Every team including those selecting in the top 10 of the draft can "compete" for a Super Bowl. It's called the regular season.
Notice how the only one that the media is really talking to is Jerry? Yes we have tidbits from Stephen, the occassional soundbite from Jason. Does this mean they have nothing to say or are just too busy crunching numbers, losing sleep in the film room, or playing hide the checkbook with Jerry? Decide for yourself but I think the ones that actually are doing the work thats needed are the ones that have the least to say.
Until the picks are on paper and this team has gone thru the paces we won't know the end result. This ordeal that we as fans go thru called the offseason, hopefully never to be called "The Great Suckage" again is both a blessing and a curse. The hope that the offseason brings with it renews itself every year with the choices that are made.
Let's hope that in the end we can say that Jason Garrett has "chosen wisely"