While many of us have been discussing just how well the 2012 draft went, I would just like to applaud the work our new Head Coach and Staff have done in their first two official drafts as a unit. Leading up to the draft there was a lot of discussion on whether or not teams are better off drafting for need or BPA (best player available). While we all know it is too early to applaud Garrett, the Joneses, and the rest of the crew for trading up to select Pick Six, the staff not only filled a glaring need, but was able to select the best defensive player in the draft. I heard a lot of complaining from some fans that giving up a second round pick was too steep of a price, but you have to realize that Dallas was not only able to fill a glaring need, but also select the BPA by jumping up in the draft. The thing that has stood out to me the most is how much more conservative we have been in the last two years with regards to not only our selections but our lack of movement. In the past two drafts Jerry has only made the one move for Claiborne on draft day.
We have seen a lot of wheeling and dealing by Jerry in the past but I truly believe we have not seen a trade that will improve our team as much as this will. Recently, we have seen Jerry and the crew "overthink" their draft picks. Dare I mention the dreaded nightmare that was the 2009 draft....
This draft seemed to be based solely on a theory of Best Athlete available. Jason Williams the combine warrior, and the potential of Robert Brewter, the scrambling ability of Stephen McGee etc. Even our Kicker was a workout warrior that year. With Garrett at the helm we have seen a transition to an infusion of the two draft theories. The wheeling and dealing of Jerry was very prevalent in this draft, and might just show that moving up and down and all around might be the ideal draft strategy. However, if we look to our draft where the COwboys stood firm and let the players come to them, we see a much higher success rate. (Well as much of a success rate as one years work can tell).
Looking back to the 2011 draft the most glaring need of our beloved team was the offensive line. How does Jason Garrett fix this glaring need, he lets the best offensive lineman fall straight into his lap. Once again in the first round he gets THE BEST PLAYER AVAILABLE AT A POSITION OF NEED, with a safe pick, not overthinking the selection. While others might argue he was not rated the BPA, it is very rare that the best O-lineman in the draft drops all the way to 9. With the next pick we see Bruce Carter, a little more of that athlete pick we saw in years past that I am sure Jerry had a lot to do with. We still do not know what Carter has to offer, but it strays from that conservative approach I believe Garrett wishes to stick to. But then we see the DeMarco Murray pick. We always saw Garrett hesitant to allow Tashard Choice to take over the reigns at HB and I just know this was his pick. Another safe pick...a guy that beat Adrian Peterson's records in the THIRD. Everyone thought we were set at Rb but Garrett thought otherwise. Bringing an uproar to the Blogging the Boys site, but finding a true diamond in the rough. You see later in the draft the Boys selected two more O-lineman truly going after positions of need, addressing positions where we needed to become younger, and provide more depth. Not to mention, we still might see a lot more playing time from Dwayne Harris.
This year we saw a similar approach. While we certainly moved up for Claiborne, I am certain Garrett approved the pick, as he confirmed it in his press conference. What you have to note in this years draft is that there was not any other trades made. I am sure it was killing Jerry to stay away from that phone, but Garrett did it. You saw guys like Matt Johnson and Danny Coale in the fourth and fifth guys that have the numbers, are selected in the right rounds, and were both safe picks. While Johnson is a bit of a flier because he played in a lower division his numbers do not lie, 17 picks is something to notice and was drafted right where he should have been according to scouts. While the Crawford pick in my estimate seems to be one of those riskier picks like Bruce Carter (who was drafted with an injury) because he has so little football experience, the guy still fits into Garretts RKG mold, rather than just a workout warrior!! James Hannah also comes from a big program and probably slipped a little more than he should have. I am not completely sure if this was a Garrett selection, because his numbers are disappointing, but once again it was a selection in the correct round not trying to over think anything.
Overall, I am just starting to notice the more conservative draft approach under the Garrett reign. It worked out with a great draft class in 2011, here is hoping the same approach works in 2012!!!!