They say that time heals all wounds, but the reality is that we will always feel something there, and on Sunday a particular bit of pain is going to be felt all over for the Dallas Cowboys when the Pittsburgh Steelers come to town.
It isn’t just that the Steelers are undefeated and that the Cowboys have watched their season implode. More than the fact that just about everything that could go wrong has gone wrong for Dallas, in just a couple of days they will have to watch a defensive player that could be helping them salvage this season continue to wreak havoc for one of their oldest rivals. That’s right, the T.J. Watt wound is indeed still the fresh cut we are talking about.
Enough time has passed to where Watt will be eligible for a contract extension in the offseason, there is still regret over the team drafting Taco Charlton instead of him back in 2017. Who knows how things would have turned out if Dallas had not listened to what they thought was a voice of reason, even Stephen Jones noted on Friday that it’s hard not to think about it.
Stephen Jones regrets that the Dallas Cowboys passed on drafting T.J. Watt in 2017
Will McClay has done his best to fall on the we-should-have-drafted-T.J.-Watt sword over the last three years, but that may have just been him being noble. Appearing on 105.3 The Fan on Friday afternoon, Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones noted that the reason that Dallas chose to draft Taco Charlton over Watt three years ago was because then-defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli was worried about how the latter would stack up against the run.
Stephen Jones tells @1053thefan that Rod Marinelli was concerned with how T.J. Watt would hold up against the run in a 4-3 scheme.— David Helman (@HelmanDC) November 6, 2020
He adds that if they had the chance to do it over, obviously they would. Especially now that they’re in a different scheme.
Entering Sunday’s game between the Steelers and Cowboys, PFF has Watt as literally the highest-graded edge rusher against the run, so it was a bad call from Rod Marinelli. There is no question that Dallas goofed by selecting Charlton, who the team released a few games into the 2019 season, over Watt, and Sunday will likely serve as a three hour-long exercise as to why.
Watt seemed like exactly what the Cowboys needed at the time, so much so that even those around him thought that he would be wearing a star on draft night. Literally.
Spoke to #Steelers OLB @_TJWatt on playing vs #Cowboys. He shared on draft night 2017, after a pre-draft visit to Dallas, he took a call with Cowboys on clock. Family member put a Cowboys cap on Watt’s head, but call was from Mike Tomlin, not Dallas. Steelers took him at 30.— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) November 6, 2020
This is a pick that will live in infamy as far as the modern-day Cowboys are concerned, and the success that Watt has with Steelers will continue to haunt them. Watching him pick up a sack on Sunday, against whoever is playing quarterback, sure is going to hurt.