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 (unless you turned off the 'display signature' setting in your profile), you may have even created one yourself in the three mock draft challenges we've had here on BTB.
What most of these mocks had in common is that they had a built-in causality between the first, second and third picks. Causality is the relationship between an event and a second event, where the second event is understood as a consequence of the first. In the case of our mock drafts, that causality mostly revolves around three positions (offensive line, defensive tackle and safety) and could look like this:
IF the Cowboys draft an offensive guard in the first, THEN they'll draft a defensive tackle in the second and THEN grab a safety in the third.
- A draft like that could possibly have yielded OG Jonathan Cooper - DT Kawann Short - S J.J. Wilcox.
- Another popular option could have been DT Sheldon Richardson - OG Larry Warford - S Phillip Thomas
- A less popular but option could have been S Kenny Vaccaro - OT Justin Pugh - DT Akeem Spence.
- Or how about doubling up on linemen: OG Chance Warmack - DT Kawann Short - OG/OC Brian Schwenke
Notice how how all of these mocks have a built-in causality whereby the Cowboys' first pick drives the next two picks, but in such a way that the Cowboys' three biggest needs are often addressed within the first three picks?
Well, what if that isn't a causality the Cowboys will follow on draft day?
That's exactly the question I asked my fellow writers here on BTB four weeks ago. Here's the ensuing conversation:
OCC: I would not be surprised if the Cowboys don't take an offensive lineman, a defensive tackle or a safety in the first three rounds of the draft. I think it could be something like
1st rd: DE/WR
Dave: If they did that draft, I would need a good, high ledge to jump off.
Tom: I think the team is not nearly as concerned about the things we are. I can see the team not drafting one of the "priority" needs. The good news is that we will probably set records for traffic if that happens.
Tom: I see the team as really looking more BPA and less position of need, because they don't see the needs for most positions as all that different. I think they would see an excellent WR as just as helpful to the team as a G or S in the first three rounds. It may totally piss a lot of us off, but we'll just have to deal with our disappointment if it happens.
Joey: I really think if Tavon Austin ends up in Dallas I think this becomes the most dangerous offense on football
Archie: Dude if we draft Tavon Austin I'm gonna be so flipping happy. I think he'd be a perfect fit.
Joey: Between he and Dez that's 15 to 20 touches a game that could end up TDs from anywhere on the field.... I think he changes any offense he goes into... Get him 7ish carries a game from te RB spot & 7-10 catches a game he's gonna score 10 times a yr
KD: If Tavon Austin gets 7 carries behind this offensive line without major improvement he is not making it past week 5.
Coty: I generally like bigger players, though. I'm much more endeared to the guy who flattens defenders than the one who shakes him out of his shoes. I could do with another big receiver, though. This Patterson guy I just picked up for Pitt would be nice. I think 5'9 and running a 4.3 isn't nearly as impressive as 6'2 running a 4.3. You can teach Patterson to have Austin's skills, but you can't teach Austin to have Patterson's size.
KD: Coty, have you watched Austin? There is no teaching anybody the skills that he possesses. You either have that escapability or you don't. Someone reviewed his 2013 TDs and determined 14 of the 15 would have been scores in two-hand tag football. He may not very able to stand up against the pounding of the league, but what he's got is very rare in the league. I've come around on him (not saying I want to draft him) but I see the infatuation. There's a Patterson every year.
The conversation continued for quite a while, and I believe Coty was eventually made to see the light on Tavon Austin. But the point here is that as Cowboys fans we have been collectively obsessing over OL, DT and S to a degree that, to paraphrase Dave, we're likely to "jump off a high ledge" if the draft doesn't hit early on the three need positions, and with a causality that we like.
But what if the Cowboys don't do what we hope they do?
You've been following this team for a while, 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. You have three more days to prepare for that eventuality.
Because there is one universal truth to your Cowboys fanhood: 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 after a while. You will start defending those picks. Over time, you may even grow to love those picks. It is what we do.
After all, we are fans.