2014 NFL Draft: What If The Cowboys Draft Players You Weren't Expecting?

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Fans tend to be quite vocal about what they want their favorite team to do. But what if the team doesn't do what you wanted them to do?

Over the last four months here on Blogging The Boys, we've looked at hundreds, if not thousands of mock drafts. You've seen mock drafts in front page posts and in fanposts, you couldn't avoid seeing them in the signatures of some of the board members, you may have even created one yourself in the two mock draft challenges we've had here on BTB.

What many of those mocks had in common is that they had a built-in logic that required at least two of the top three picks to be defensive linemen, with the remaining pick often reserved for an offensive lineman. Last night, our own rabblerousr espoused just such a logic:

Via email, BTB member Danny Phantom recently proposed the following thought experiment: the Cowboys must draft one offensive and two defensive linemen in the first three rounds; which ones do I choose? I like this scenario for several reasons, one of them being that it correlates to the Cowboys apparent plan: hit DE, DT and OG early.

Three big boys for the Cowboys in the first three rounds and 90% of Cowboys fans will be happy. Here are some examples of what adhering to that "plan" could look like:

  • Rabble's ideal scenario would be DT Aaron Donald - DE Demarcus Lawrence - OG Trai Turner
  • An alternative scenario could possibly yield DT Aaron Donald - DE Scott Crichton - OG Gabe Jackson
  • Another popular option could be DE Anthony Barr - DT Will Sutton - OG Billy Turner
  • The Cowboys could also lead with the O-line: OG Zack Martin - DT Dominique Easley - DE Will Clarke.
  • Or how about doubling up on DTs: DT Timmy Jernigan - DE Kareem Martin - DT Daquan Jones

But what if that isn't a logic the Cowboys will follow on draft day?

Last year, exactly one week before the draft, we asked BTB members to submit their mock drafts, and then asked the community to vote on the most popular mocks. Below are the first three picks of the four most popular mocks as voted by the BTB community before last year's draft:

BTB Mock Draft overview (April 2013)

Pick Rena (45 rec's) HonorTheStar (23) MosesArt (23) timani (20)
Pick #1
Sylvester Williams, DT, UNC
Larry Warford, OG, Kentucky Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Pick #2
Tank Carradine, DE, FSU
Kawann Short , DT, Purdue

Kawann Short , DT, Purdue Menelik Watson, OT, Florida St
Pick #3
Justin Pugh, OG, Syracuse Sio Moore, LB, UConn Justin Pugh, OG, Syracuse Justin Pugh, OG, Syracuse

Two things stand out here:

1. Notice how the positions mocked last year (DT, DE, OG, OT) look eerily similar to many of the mocks for the Cowboys you see this year?

2. Notice how the positions the Cowboys actually picked (C, TE, WR, S) in the first three rounds last year don't show up even once in any of these mocks?

You've been following this team for years, probably even decades, so you know that there's a good chance the team goes in an entirely different direction, especially in the early rounds, than many of us expect. That DL/OL combo you are so excited about? Probably not going to happen. You have exactly two more weeks to prepare for that eventuality.

What if the Cowboys go LB Ryan Shazier - CB Lamarcus Joyner - WR Paul Richardson in the first three rounds? All three players were brought in for pre-draft visits, so an outcome like that may not be that far fetched - certainly no more than the C - TE - WR selections were last year. Or how about TE Eric Ebron, QB Tom Savage and RB Jeremy Hill? Okay, now I'm just messing with you (I hope), but you get the drift.

There is one universal truth to your Cowboys fanhood: More often than not, the Cowboys' selections on draft day will leave you scratching your head at best, at worst it's going to get pretty ugly in our little corner of the internet for a while.

But then you will learn to accept those picks, as you have done with so many in the past. You will come to understand the rationale behind those picks in the weeks and months following the draft. There's a chance you might start defending those picks at some point. Over time, you may even grow to love those picks. It is what we do.

After all, we are Cowboys fans.

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