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Why the Cowboys missing out on Jamal Adams is both good news & bad news

It’s fine that the Cowboys didn’t land the All-Pro safety, but did he have to go to Seattle?

NFL: New York Jets at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

We can finally put to rest any hypothetical about the Dallas Cowboys making a push to acquire the services of All-Pro safety Jamal Adams. It’s been a hot topic over the last year ever since the former sixth-overall pick of 2017 expressed his unhappiness with the New York Jets. Further fueling this narrative has been how Adam’s has expressed his desire to play for the Cowboys. All it took is for Jerry Jones to pull the trigger.

But alas, he did not.

Instead, it was Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider who was able to finagle a deal to land one of the league’s top safeties. However, it didn’t come cheap. The deal cost the Seahawks their next two first-round draft picks, a third-rounder in 2021, and safety Bradley McDougald. In return, the Seahawks get Adams as well as the Jet’s fourth-round pick in 2022.

Looking closely at this deal, it seems like a steep price. While it would’ve been nice to get a player like Adams on the Cowboys roster, it’s a little bit of a relief that the Cowboys didn’t fork up this much draft capital. Two first-rounders? Ouch. That’s expensive, especially for a team that has a history of putting those first-round draft picks to good use.

The thought of giving up two Day 1 picks seems ludicrous, and we may feel compelled to point our fingers and snicker at the Seahawks for giving up that much. However, Seattle is taking a calculated risk, and there is one thing they have going for them that makes the deal more satisfying - they have been terrible at drafting players early in the draft in recent years.

In April, the Seahawks shocked people by selecting Texas Tech linebacker Jordyn Brooks with their first-round pick, in what many believed was a huge reach. In fact, the Cowboys had five players (CeeDee Lamb, Trevon Diggs, Neville Gallimore, Tyler Biadasz, and Bradlee Anae) who were all ranked higher than Brooks in ESPN’s 2020 draft rankings.

It’s way too early to rush to judgment on this most recent draft as none of those players have stepped on the field yet, but the Seahawks haven’t had much success in the early part of the draft in recent years. Check this out.

  • 2019 top pick: DT L.J. Coulier, career games started = 0
  • 2018 top pick: RB Rashaad Penny, career games started = 0
  • 2017 top pick: DT Malik McDowell, career games started = 0

Sure, it’s early, but if you think Cowboys fans are upset about Trysten Hill’s production, consider what Seahawks fans are thinking about L.J. Coulier. Last year, he played in more games than Hill, yet he had fewer tackles and quarterback hurries than the Cowboys 58th overall pick from a year ago. And trust me, that’s hard to do.

Penny has been okay, but he’s only averaging 33 yards per game in his two-year career, and that is just not what you’d hope for from a first-round pick.

And when it comes to McDowell, he never even saw the field. While he was the team’s top draft selection in 2017, he was actually an early second-round pick (35th overall). Between an ATV accident, driving under the influence, and an arrest for disorderly conduct, McDowell had all kinds of off-field problems. The Seahawks released him the following season, making him an official bust.

Seattle’s front office has a history of marching to the beat of their own drum, and if they are going to falter this badly early in the draft, then why not make a play for Adams. With Adams, he’s a sure thing. They know what they’re getting.

Additionally, the Seahawks have the cap space to afford that looming extension he’ll be wanting. Seattle is in the top 10 in available cap space next season while the Cowboys have a lot of money tied up with many of their current stars under contract. So, for Seattle, this type of trade makes more sense.

To be fair to Seattle, they’ve only been bad at drafting in early rounds of recent years, but collectively they do okay. They have done a good job finding quality players in later rounds to fill out their roster and compete year in and year out. While there have been several new NFC flavors in recent years like the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, and Los Angeles Rams who have all reached the Super Bowl, none of these teams have been able to sustain success. Seattle, on the other had, has been in the mix the better part of a decade.

Since 2012, the Seahawks have pulled off eight straight winning seasons. No NFC team has more wins than Seattle in that span, and they are eclipsed only by the New England Patriots. Just in the past four years alone, the Seahawks continue to show their relevance. Here are the NFC teams with the most wins since 2016:

Looking at the teams who could be the Cowboys biggest threats in the near future, Seattle isn’t really the preferred landing spot for Adams.

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