When the 2016 NFL Draft began there were a lot of Cowboys fans who wanted to see the team acquire an heir to Tony Romo. We’d just watched the team play a season without him and it was, well, not very good.
The newly-relocated Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles traded for the draft’s top two picks and took the highest-rated signal-callers with them in Jared Goff and Carson Wentz which left the Cowboys looking at other positions at fourth overall. Ultimately it came down to Ezekiel Elliott and that’s worked out quite nicely.
Later in the round though, Jerry Jones got the itch to go get his quarterback. Memphis’ Paxton Lynch, the draft’s consensus third-rated quarterback, was sitting there and Jerry thought a star would look great on his helmet. He made some calls and tried to trade up for Lynch but ultimately was outbid by John Elway and the Denver Broncos. Thank goodness for that.
Three years later Lynch has already flamed out with the Broncos and that organization is still trying to find answers at the most important position in sports. They’ve brought in journeyman after journeyman, a process that was highlighted on Wednesday when they traded for Joe Flacco. The Dallas Cowboys were an accepted trade away from potentially being in the same boat.
The 2016 Draft helped shape the Cowboys into who they’ve become
Dallas offered their second- (34th overall) and fourth-round (101st) draft picks to the Seattle Seahawks when they tried to trade for Paxton Lynch. Denver’s offer over the 31st and 94th overall picks sealed the deal and our lives changed forever. The two picks that Dallas kept wound up becoming Jaylon Smith and Charles Tapper, one miss and a potential All-Pro are hard to be upset about.
What’s more is because they missed out on Paxton Lynch the Cowboys took a different quarterback with their second fourth-round pick in Dak Prescott. When you consider that if Dallas had landed Lynch that they likely wouldn’t have either Prescott or Jaylon you thank your lucky stars (no pun intended) that things went the way that they did.
Sometimes in the NFL the best trades are the ones that you don’t make. For the Cowboys it couldn’t have worked out better that the Broncos were the winners on one night as they’ve been the ones who have won more often since. If they’d gone a different direction it could be the Cowboys today that had wound up with Joe Flacco. Who would want that?