I haven't seen this done yet, so I'm on it.
There have been mixed reviews about the leak of the draft board, ranging from Bryan Broaddus chastising the blog for leaking it, to the story on NFL.com which was less critical, and brought up a good point at the end, regarding changes that may be made.
I also saw earlier what if memory serves was an article written by Marc Sessler (I could be wrong) calling the leak "intrepid reporting." Personally, that's where I stand, but I can no longer find any reference to the article. Ah, online news, no paper trail.
So my question is this: Was it right or wrong?
My take: Neither. It just happened.
Part of the job of the press, which at this level can include blogging, (depending on the quality of the site and who you ask), is to gain access to information and report ethically.
Now I can understand where Broaddus and the organization may be upset with this information becoming publicly available. However, let us keep in mind this was not done until well after the draft was completed. In my opinion, this gives no competitive advantage.
Teams can only infer what they choose to by the draft board, the same as if they cross referenced the draft selectees. Does seeing who was there and where they were ranked tell you anything? I see little gain other than something to talk about.
I suppose it could lead you to get a feel for what they cowboys scouts see in players, but let's be realistic, this isn't the CIA.
First, I think that draft boards should go public, period. There is little accountability between teams and their fan bases, except through ticket and merchandising sales. This wouldn't change much, but would certainly show everyone whether the entire staff was working cohesively, slightly more than the war room cameras.
I think this is either a publicity ploy, or just really bad planning. Let me explain.
1) Bad, I mean REALLY bad situational awareness.
This falls squarely on the shoulders of the GM. You allowed cameras in your war room. Let me say that once more, so it sinks in.
You allowed cameras in your war room.
What does one expect will happen? Pictures will be taken. They will be viewed. When you position the draft board directly behind your smiling face, do you suppose that is the only thing in the photo people will look at? I don't.
There is a reason that cell phones and cameras are not allowed in restricted areas. Because pictures get taken. And people look at them. Then they get shared.
2) Poor board placement.
OK, you're saying, "But we have to have cameras in there, for the publicity aspect and the fans."
That's easy enough. If the camera can see it, so can we. Place stationary cameras where they can see you for happy snaps, but not the board.
This is your war room, so manage it like you don't want to lose a competitive advantage if your board is seen.
Then again, this has generated a fireball of attention, and the Cowboys were the top story for a minute. No such thing as bad publicity. If this is the worst thing the organization has to endure this year, they and we should count ourselves extremely lucky.
I for one have found the conversations about where other teams drafted players vs. where the Cowboys had them graded to be interesting only in that there is such a difference among scouting opinions.
There is precious little transparency in the drafting process; it's all speculation. We readers like to get a little factual nugget every now and then, and this was a good one.
The draft is already over, how can the board be useful to another team? You're afraid they're going to quick snatch up a guy you were scoping as a UDFA because they saw you graded him highly? If that is so, I think the other team is really poorly managed, and you're being paranoid.
Anyway, I support the decision to publish the board. It's news, after all.