Wailing. And Gnashing Even.

So with all of this wailing and gnashing of teeth I thought I'd investigate more thoroughly how we did.

I see three issues people are upset with:
1. 49ers "fleeced" us
2. Passed on Sharif Floyd
3. Took a bad player in Travis Frederick.

First, we don't actually know what the Dallas Cowboys current trade value chart is. We know it has changed and adapted. However, all of the charts that I've seen are the same ones that JJ invented 25 years ago.

I also know that Stephen specifically said that in their current chart that the Cowboys got the advantage. That could just be BS but we don't know. I see no reason to doubt his word at the moment, but I'm open to other evidence.

Just as an exercise, and with all of those caveats, here is the math of the actual trades and some other Dallas-SF possible trades according to Chart v1.0.

Dallas and San Francisco

18 for 31 and 74 = 900 for 820 (600 + 220). Minor advantage to the 49ers. Ratio of 91.1, meaning it is 8.9% in favor of the 49ers.

18 for 31 and 34 = 900 for 1160 (600 + 560). Major advantage to us. No way the 49ers do that.

18 for 31 and 61 = 900 for 892 (600 + 292). Essentially even.

18 for 31 and 74 and 128 = 900 for 864 (600 + 220 + 44). Even though this is technically in favor of the 49ers, I doubt they trade 3 picks for 1 here.

OK, now to the NE and Minnesota trade.

29 for 52, 83, 102, 229 = 640 for 648. Essentially even. Given that 229 is 1 point, maybe you can say the Patriots got an extra 7th out of the deal. Ratio of 1.01, or the Patriots got 1% extra out of the deal.

How about Atlanta and St. Louis.

22 plus 2015 7th for 30, 92, 198 = 781 for 764. Slight advantage for the Falcons. Ratio .978, or the Falcons gave up 2.2% less than even on the deal.

Bills and Rams

8 and 71 for 16, 46, 78, 222 = 1635 for 1641. Ratio 1.00. Almost dead even.

Raiders and Dolphins

3 for 12 and 42 = 2200 for 1680. Ratio .764, or the Dolphins paid 23.6% less than point value in this trade. Wow the Dolphins sure raped the Raiders. Although, from the Raiders perspective, everyone said this was a buyer's market and I'm wondering if they had any options. This one is definitely an outlier.

So, according to the chart we know, the Cowboys came out worse than anyone at an 8.9% differential (I'm excluding the outlier of the Raiders). However, that's only 13 spots in the round or a late 4th. To me, that's a difference that can easily be explained by an updated chart. The Cowboys have repeatedly said that their chart has changed. If anyone (Birddog) can get us the new chart that would be great.

My speculation is that because 18 is in a weird part of the round, that pick declined more, proportionately, than the picks in the late part of the 1st round in the new chart. This would not surprise me. If the Cowboys routinely only have somewhere around 15-25 1st round grades, than the 18th pick might like be much more in the same kind of tier as the later picks in the 1st round than they originally thought when they made the chart up around 1990. Looking at the chart, it's definitely steeper at the top. Maybe the current one is even steeper than the old one. That would not surprise me.

Given that this was supposed to be a buyer's market, and none of the sellers got a great advantage, this 80 point differential doesn't seem like a "fleecing" to me. I doubt they would have left a 4th on the table if it was there, but assuming they did, it's not the end of the world. 4th round picks go from around 100 to 40 in pick value. If I weren't so lazy I'd do this for all of the trades in 2012. I bet if I do, we don't see this as a huge anomaly around the league.

So, if either the market set a slightly lower price or the chart is different, than this is a non-issue. They got what they could get. *Perception* makes it seem worse than it really is.

Secondly, watching how Jerry danced around the Sharif Floyd questions, I'm of the belief that there's something non-RKG about him we don't know that means that he would *never* have been taken by the Cowboys. Given that the other teams seem down on him too, there's fire to that smoke.

So, basically, people are upset because they *perceive* that Sharif Floyd was fantastic value. The Cowboys, and others, did not.

Finally, there's the question of Frederick. I'll admit I thought he'd be there later. But, I'm not positive. We have been repeatedly told that there's a top tier, and then a tier of 40-60 players with similar grades. Not much height on the curve, but lots of depth. It's clear Frederick is not Chance or Cooper. Ergo, he's in the second tier. Ergo, he's essentially graded about the same as all the rest of this tier.

I heard one scouting report rave about him. Absolutely rave. That tells me it's possible somebody else had him high as well. Thus, we don't know for sure he would have been available at 47.

So he's in the mix of a muddle of 40-60 players that you could make slight judgements plus or minus to come up with some sort of ranking. However, these ranking differences are slight. Again, not as big of a deal.

Does anyone feel he won't be an improvement to our OLine? Bueller? No, I thought not. All the critics are saying is that we didn't get enough *value* for the pick. If he's a quality 10 year starter on our line, we'll look back at this as a good pick. We have yet to see, and right now all we know is that he's part of this muddle of players that everyone graded differently but are all essentially the same overall value.

Finally, before we look at this as the worst evening ever, let's look at this strategy again.

Accept that at 18 there was no one from the top tier of 15 or so remaining.

Accept that all of this muddle of 40-60 players are essentially the same overall quality. Starters, though not probably stars.

Assume that the Boys believe the muddle is larger than smaller, and there are about 60 in this muddle. I can't cite my sources, but this seems to resonate in my head as something I heard them say somewhere.

Well, then based on those qualifications, then the tiers are something like 1-15, 16-75, 76 and onward. Hmmm, another pick in the top 75 might mean something here. This way they think they can get 3 out of that second tier instead of 2. I think we might just like that at the end of the day.

Now, I'm not saying that this was a slam dunk best evah kind of start to this draft. What I am saying is that we our letting our perceptions guide us more in judging this than the reality. I, for one, want to see how it all shakes out and to be honest, we won't know for 3-4 years. For now, let's let the process work and try to understand what they are thinking, not what we think they should be thinking.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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