This draft still has me unsure, and probably will right up until we make our first pick. I can’t settle on one idea, our stay firmly committed to one player. It’s just impossible for me this year. You’ll get no "Bobby Carpenter is a lock" this year.
So instead, I’ll take the cowards way out and give you my preliminary draft strategy based on percentages. I call this preliminary because by Saturday morning it could be obsolete. I’m winning the award for most cowardly qualifiers about a prediction in one paragraph.
Here it is:
The Inert Object Theory – 51.7%
The Inert Object Theory says that staying at #22 is the simplest and therefore most likely scenario. To trade up or down, you have to actively pursue that path, you have to want it, and you must have an emotional investment in doing that. You have to believe that trade will make you better. To pick at #22, you simply have to show up at the office. You’re there, it’s your turn, you might as well go ahead and pick somebody. Pick up the phone, place your order, and you got a brand-new football player - without all the hassle of negotiating, second guessing, of putting yourself at risk. Trading takes energy, it takes creating some kind of force to act upon the inert object. Really, it’s just a matter of physics – or something – college is kind of a blur now.
So staying at #22 is the most likely scenario, and if the Cowboys do that, the most likely pick to me is CB Aaron Ross. I’m sticking with Ross, but I’m definitely not as sure now. Brandon Meriweather has crept to a very close second and Dwayne Bowe holds steady in third. And I keep reading about the Cowboys secret love affair with Dwayne Jarrett. It’s all very hush-hush, but it keeps popping up. But Ross solves a few problems that the Cowboys need to get done for the coming year. I think they need another corner that can play this year, in case Aaron Glenn has reached the end. We also need a punt returner, and Ross can do that, too. He’s got good size and good speed, he’s a playmaker, he could help right away.
The Shopper’s Dilemma Theory – 22.3%
The shopper’s dilemma happens when there are too many choices of things at roughly the same value. And you already know they are going to mark down the prices soon, so you could wait, have a lesser range of selection, but end up paying a lot less. The Cowboys may find themselves at #22 with a wide range of players on the board who they have at roughly equivalent talent levels on their draft board. They can then decide to wait, pick up an extra pick from another team, and still get a player who they valued at the #22 pick. It’s a classic maneuver, one the Cowboys – and other teams - have used before, to varying degrees of success. But with a draft that really starts to even out early in the first round and at this point is judged to be weak, making this kind of move, and stocking up for next year, could be genius.
The Jerry’s in Love Theory – 14.5%
I only give this a 14.5% chance of happening, in spite of Jerry Jones’ known penchant for falling in love with certain players. The problem is that events have to happen outside of his control to make it work. First, he needs the object of his affection to slide down the board to - or past - #10. Then he needs a willing partner to make a deal. And that partner can’t want a #1 pick in next year’s draft, because Jerry won’t part with that, even for his new love. So there are some trials and tribulations to get over before Jerry can marry his intended, but never count out love. Well, you can count it out 85.5% of the time, but watch out for that other 14.5%.
I’m guessing that Adrian Peterson is the primary target, but Jerry could have enough love for a few players – LaRon Landry? – for this match to be made in heaven.
The Jerry’s in Like Theory – 10.1%
There’s a corollary to the Jerry’s in Love Theory that should be considered, it’s the Jerry’s in Like Theory. This says if someone who’s rated just outside the top 10 starts sliding, maybe Ted Ginn – although it’s almost impossible to pin down his draft position – or Darrelle Revis or Robert Meachem or somebody else they really liked, Jerry might make a mini-jump to snatch them.
The Leap Frog Theory – 1.4%
This is an abstract theory that says the Cowboys will continually dump picks to move up in rounds. This could start with a Jerry’s in Like Theory, where Dallas moves up in the first round just a bit by dumping a pick later. But then it takes on its own momentum and the Cowboys continually dump some of their 10 picks in order to move up in each round they still have a pick. Possible scenario - they jump from #22 to #17 by trading their 3rd round pick. Then jump from #122 to #102 in the 4th by trading their 5th and a 6th. Or some combination of moves like that to leap frog in rounds while reducing the total number of picks.
Of course, these theories are not mutually exclusive, they can be combined together as shown in the last example. By Saturday morning, I’ll try to be more precise. But that will take some energy, I will need some forward inertia, so I just may rest on what I’ve written here. It’s the easiest way to go.