Last week, it was speculated that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was prepared to make a big splash in the upcoming NFL Draft. News of this nature is very easy to believe because as we all know - Jerry loves to splash.
Since the time he took over as the owner of the Cowboys, he’s always been ready to pull the trigger and make a big move. Even the more grown up Jerry that has graced us these last several years still leak out remnants of his riverboat gambling ways. For example, we’ve all heard him publicly express regret after the war room coaxed him out of making two of the biggest possible draft mistakes in franchise history. Let’s revisit, shall we?
On passing up on Johnny Manziel (courtesy of NFL.com)
As (Zack) Martin was handed a Cowboys baseball cap on the Radio City Music Hall stage, Jones was blowing off steam in the war room.
”There’s only one thing I wanna say — I’d have never bought the Cowboys had I made the kinda decision that I just made right now,” Jones explained to Stephen. “You need to drive across the water rather than lay up. And we laid up for this one. ... We just didn’t get here makin’ this kind of decision.”
On not giving up enough to trade for Paxton Lynch (courtesy of Sports Illustrated):
At one point around pick No. 20 in the first round, Jerry Jones debated with Garrett the wisdom of trading second- and third-round picks instead of the current second- and fourth-rounders they currently had on the table with several teams to try to trade up in order to get a choice to use for Lynch.
“The question is, can we really afford to lose two good players—good players—and take a guy as a hedge for the future? I think I’d rather give this two and three and have Lynch”
- Jerry Jones
And Jones was not shy after the draft about his regret in not offering up enough to get the guy he wanted.
“When I look back on my life, I overpaid for my big successes every time,” Jones told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram immediately following the draft. “And when I tried to get a bargain, get it a little cheaper or get a better deal on it, I ended up usually either getting it and not happy I got it. Or missing it.
”And I probably should have overpaid here.”
Clearly - both these moves would’ve be drastic mistakes. Manziel did next to nothing in the NFL while Zack Martin has been an All-Pro in all six years of his career. As far as the Lynch ordeal, that misstep would’ve had a trickle down effect. Not only would the Cowboys have forfeited the picks that landed them Jaylon Smith and Maliek Collins, but they wouldn’t have drafted Dak Prescott in the fourth round after already taking Lynch. What a mess that would’ve been.
The trickle down effect of the Jerry Jones "close calls" for Johnny Manziel and Paxton Lynch. Career starts:— Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) February 16, 2020
Johnny Manziel: 8
Zack Martin: 94
Paxton Lynch: 4
Jaylon Smith, Maliek Collins, and Dak Prescott: 157
Now, why these moves didn’t happen isn’t completely known; however, there’s been quite a bit of war room documentation that details the influence of former head coach Jason Garrett in both these situations. The fortitude to fight off Jones against grabbing Johnny Football:
“Coach Jason Garrett, his staff and the team’s scouts all strongly advised against selecting Manziel”
As well as Garrett really selling to Jerry the idea of drafting Prescott (clip courtesy of Dak Prescott Documentary):
Garrett has certainly been a calming voice in the draft process over the years, and now that’s gone. Instead, the Cowboys have Mike McCarthy who is hands-off when it comes to player personnel decisions as he sat quietly while Green Bay Packers GM Ted Thompson ran the show. And that could be part of the appeal from the Jones family.
McCarthy fits what the Cowboys want: A good head coach and a good company man, who, even though he’s hoisted the Lombardi trophy, will be low maintenance, allowing Jerry to remain The King.
While that could change things up a bit, we should all take comfort that Will McClay is still there so hopefully patience and rational thinking will not disappear. However, there’s another element to all this that should be taken into consideration when it comes to Jones’ propensity to take chances. Stay tuned tomorrow when we identify why a possible Day 1 trade could be on the horizon.