Jerry Jones is a moron. We all know it. Football is a game that is won and lost in the trenches, but any time some shiny new bobble pierces the haze of glory holes and senility that surrounds JJ he reacts like any infant, screaming "Mine! Mine!" The Cowboys will never win until Jerry learns to put the toys away and focus on the beef up front.
Too bad none of that is true.
The fact of the matter is, since 2007 only 2 teams have spend fewer draft picks on the skill positions, (QB, WR, RB, and TE). 2! The list looks like this:
NO 8 picks on skill positions
ATL 12 picks on skill positions
DAL/CHI 13 picks on skill positions.
In the past 7 drafts we have averaged less than 2 picks per draft on the skill position. Let that stew in your cranium for a bit. Here's the list:
1. Isiah Stanbach 2007
2. Felix Jones 2008
3. Martellus Bennett 2008
4. Tashard Choice 2008
5. Stephen McGee 2009
6. Manuel Johnson 2009
7. Dez Bryant 2010
8. DeMarco Murray 2011
9. Danny Coale 2012
10. James Hannah 2012
11. Gavin Escobar 2013
12. Terrance Williams 2013
13. Joseph Randle 2013
So how do the Cowboys compare to the rest of the league when it comes to collecting the shiny stuff? To answer that I looked at two main things; total picks spent, and premium picks, (picks made in rounds 1-3). A look at the numbers show that contrary to popular belief, Jerry isn't senile and easily distracted by shiny new things. He's just senile and easily distracted.
Dallas: Total Picks (13) Premium Picks (6) QB's (1) WR's (5) RB's (4) TE (3)
League Average Total Picks (17.25) Premium Picks (6.8) QB's (2.56) WR's (7) RB's (4.5) TE (3.18)
Whoa! Look at the TE's again. As much as we complain about Dallas drafting ANOTHER TIGHT END!!! The numbers show that, over the last 7 years Dallas has actually been below the league average in drafting TE's. Crazy huh?
A few things really stood out when looking at the league as a whole. When you think about the AFC North you generally envision smash mouth tough guy football. But the Bengals lead the league in drafting skill position players with 25, closely followed by Pittsburgh and Baltimore at 19 apiece. Poor Cleveland comes in last even here, with 16 skill position players chosen.
It doesn't really seem that there is a correlation between how a team spends it's draft picks and winning. Many of our fans really want us to be the Jaguars...4 premium picks spent on the offensive line over the last 5 years, only 3 spent on skill position players. But that hasn't really worked out well for the Jungle Cats now has it? On the flip side neither Atlanta nor the Big Easy have devoted many resources to the skill positions and both have seen great success in recent years.
So what's the secret to drafting then? If you listen to Bill Barnwell it's to get lucky. The draft is really a crapshoot...surefire picks bust out, (Aaron Curry anybody), and afterthoughts turn into Pro-Bowlers, (Jay Ratliff!). Stockpile picks, and hope you get lucky. Oh, and keep Jerry Jones away from buttons and small items he can choke on.