What if the Cowboys had stayed at 18? What if the Cowboys had not traded all the way back to 31?
Wasn't it Rudyard Kipling that declared,
"If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss..."
then you will be a world champion one day; or something like that?
I get ol' Rudyard's point. What is done is done and once it is done, it is always best to simply move on and focus on the next move. But ol' Rudyard obviously wasn't a fan of the Dallas Cowboys and I know this for a fact. For you see, ol' Rudyard was dead by the time our Beloved Franchise came into existence. So Rudyard didn't know about this little thing called The Day After the NFL Draft. To second guess and speculate about your team's draft choices is as natural to the male psyche as trying to score on Prom Night.
So I will take a stab at the glorious "IF" possibilities presented by looking back at the 2013 Cowboys' Draft. I will simply pick where they picked and look at the players they drafted and those behind them to see if Dallas could have drafted better. If I could not find a reasonable player around the pick, I stayed with the Cowboys' choice. Also, I only took players that were graded higher by NFL.com's "expert" panel than the original player chosen.
Player Taken: Fredrickson, C, Wisconsin
IF: Matt Elam, S, FLorida
I'm not upset about acquiring Fredrickson, I'm really just disappointed we take Elam. Have you seen this guy hit people? I swear when I first watched him, I thought he was an undersized LB. This guy can run too (4.54) and he would have been our Day 1 starter at one of the Safety spots. I really think we missed out on a special player. Think about it like this, Baltimore drafted this guy to take future Hall of Famer Ed Reed's spot.
Player Taken: Escobar, TE, San Diego St.
IF: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State U.
No one will convince me Escobar was a good pick at 47. I don't care how well you can catch from the TE position, if you can't block. This kid can't block... period! I would have rather had our instant starter at the 1 technique. Hankins is a man-child. He had round 1 talent, but analysts worried about his off-and-on motor. But most teams don't have Kiffin and Marinelli overseeing the growth of Hankins. Hankins would have reduced the loss of Brent and allowed Lissemore to return to back up duty (where he is much more effective). Also, this move strengthens our D-line because this moves obviously announces Ratliff as the 3 technique and allows Hatcher to back him up.
Player Taken: Williams, WR, Baylor
IF: Terrence Williams, WR, Baylor
You have to give credit where credit is due. This was an excellent pick. Not even I can second-guess this one! I love this kid and what he will bring to our offense. Bryant, Miles, AND Williams on the field at the same time WITH Witten?! Good luck, Defensive Coordinators! We could average 30 points a game... easy! Can you tell by the exclamation points how excited I am about this kid?!
Player Taken: Wilcox, S
IF: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Don't get me wrong, I liked the Wilcox kid. But Round 3 is a little too early to take a project and that is exactly what Wilcox is. I would have rather had a big-time player from a big-time conference with the 3rd Round pick. Moore obviously had his critics due to the bad combine workout. However, tape says the kid can play and play well against elite competition. I take him and get him some quality snaps early which should help alleviate the wear and tear on Ware. Plus, we already took arguably the best S in the draft in Round 1 (Don't you just love doing this thing over again?)!
Player Taken: Webb, CB
IF: Khaseem Greene, OLB, Rutgers
Once again, this is a situation where this isn't really a bad pick by the Cowboys the first time around. But where is Webb going to play? We already have a slot corner (unless we're thinking of moving our $50 million corner to safety and starting Scandrick... but that is another FanPost). Greene offers us an immediate competitor for the starting SLB spot. At worst, Greene would have been a back up and a special teams contributor on this team. Kid has pretty good range and has some definite STRIKE to his game. Great leader and teammate as well by all accounts.
Player Taken: Randle, RB
IF: Branden Jenkins, DE, FSU.
Actually really loved the Randle pick. But seeing how DeMarcus Ware is skipping around 30 and was breaking down last year, I had to go with another DE. Jenkins is coming off an injury but we already took a potential starting DE in the 3rd in Moore. We have time to give Jenkins time to heal. This kid can get to the QB. We now would have had 2 buys wanting in the wings behind Ware and Spencer, which means we don't have to re-up Spencer at Franchise Tag pricing.
Player Taken: DeVonte Holloman, OLB, S. Carolina
IF: Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson
I love old Hindsight... isn't it always 20/20? We get a dynamic, do-it-all playmaker in Ellington. He is more of a threat to take it all the way than Randle. Is he an every down back? He was in college. No reason why he can't be that in the NFL. He can block, catch, and of course he can run. Also, the kid can return kick offs so there goes the need for Webb's return ability. Also remember, we didn't need another OLB, we already got one in the 4th.
So there it is!
Hats off to Ol' Rudyard who inspired this post. I'm sure if Kipling was here, he would love to see what your IF Drafts would have looked like as much as me.
Looking at my draft, I'm thinking where is the O-Line Help? Whoever made up this draft is stupid! But isn't that how it always is. It is easy to criticize any draft... even your own.
Think you can do better than my IF Draft? Well, let's see... my, son!