The last time we saw Jamal Adams he was right in Dak Prescott’s face, forcing an unsuccessful two-point conversion that kept the Dallas Cowboys from tying up the game against the New York Jets. That’s not how we wanted to remember Adams, and many fans were hoping we’d get another chance to see him play this season, only in a different uniform. But alas, the Cowboys were unable to swing a deal to land the Jets’ young star safety.
Whenever the Cowboys front office comes up shy in completing a big trade, there’s a lot of regret flying around. Why didn’t Jerry Jones just give up a little more? Well, the Cowboys once again showed a willingness to stick to their guns and not cave under pressure. It would’ve been great to add a talent like Adams to this team, but the cost was just too high. When you really think about it, there are some good things to come out of a deal not getting done.
Here are three reasons why it’s just better that this big trade didn’t happen.
1. Safety is not a dire need
Last season, it was glaringly obvious that the team had problems at wide receiver. The team overestimated the talent they had, and it left the offense high and dry until the arrival of Amari Cooper. Props to the front office for waving the white flag and rectifying the problem.
But the same is not true this season when it comes to the safety position. Sure, if you go up and down the Cowboys roster, it’s easy to figure out that safety is one of their weakest, if not the weakest, position groups. That is not to say this group is terrible, because they’re not. It’s more of a testament to just how strong this team is in other areas. The Cowboys safeties aren’t hurting this defense. Pass defense is a combination of things, including the ability to rush the quarterback, but as you can see - this team isn’t giving up a lot of yards through the air. The Cowboys defense is ranked in the top 10 in both passing yards allowed and yards per attempt.
While the Cowboys safeties aren’t holding this team back, shouldn’t they take a chance and push their chips in the middle by upgrading with a talent like Adams?
That kind of thinking might be worth considering if the Cowboys window of opportunity was closing, but it’s not. There is no need to panic. Sure, we all want a Super Bowl and we want it now, but that “one player away” type of mentality can get you in trouble.
2. Draft capital is precious
Do you love Amari Cooper? Do you like having La’el Collins around for a while? Raise your hand if Dak Prescott is the quarterback you want leading this Cowboys football team. If you’re like me, then all of these things appeal to you and it should bring you great satisfaction that those players will be wearing the star for years to come. Sure, Prescott and Cooper haven’t signed new deals yet, but that’s just a formality. It’s going to happen.
Many feel the Cowboys have nothing to worry about when it comes to keeping their stars together for the long haul. They’ll make it happen; however all of that is predicated on the fact that they can continue to replenish talent through the draft. For the Cowboys to be able to afford to live so lavishly and retain all these great players, it means they absolutely must find quality players who can play on dirt-cheap, cap-friendly rookie deals. And guess what? The Cowboys are great at picking players.
3. Picks give you options
Last year, it was pretty evident the Cowboys needed some big help at wide receiver. If they would’ve waited until April’s draft to get one, they’d either have to draft for need by taking the best available WR or risk passing up on a receiver if a player from another position was the best player on their board. Neither of those approaches were likely to improve the wide receiver group, so the Cowboys instead took matters into their own hands by going after the guy they wanted.
And by now, we all know how great of a deal it was for the Cowboys, But just in case you don’t, here’s some perspective - there were 28 receivers drafted in April and not a single one of them have more catches, yards, or touchdowns than Amari Cooper. The Cowboys got themselves the best WR without actually having to draft one.
At this time a year ago, the Cowboys had a strong feel for what position required the biggest upgrade. Right now, it’s not as clear, and that is liable to change by season’s end. Safety will still be one of their needs, but will it be the team’s most pressing concern? What if they can’t afford to keep Maliek Collins and Trysten Hill isn’t progressing. What if both Byron Jones and Anthony Brown leave in free agency next offseason? Having those picks gives the team options, and those options are very important for a team that tries to draft as pure as possible.
It would’ve been great to add Adams to this team, but the Cowboys have a good system going for staying competitive year in and year out. Dealing away a bunch of premium draft capital puts their process in jeopardy. Passing up Adams may actually end up being a good thing for this organization in the long run.