Its over. The long, agonizing wait is finally over. After months of discussing prospects, reading and creating mock drafts, the real thing will finally kickoff tomorrow.
For NFL fans alike, this is an exciting weekend. Every team’s fan base is full of optimism, hope, anxiousness, and maybe just a little pessimism as well. The NFL captivates fans across the globe and has all of us glued to the television even during the offseason, for what feels like news-worthy events almost monthly. Whether its free agency, the combine and pro days, the draft it self, or even something as trivial as the schedule release which now is must see television and a primetime event.
We all have an idea of how the first two or three picks in the draft will go, and arguably the draft really begins with the Atlanta Falcons at pick number four. By now its been discussed at length just who we all think the Cowboys should draft, and there are many different ways the board could go. As Dallas sits at number 10, they have a great opportunity to let the draft come to them and very well could be staring down a player they have coveted all along. They could also have opportunities to trade back and collect draft capital, or they can stand pat and take the best player available. Either way you look at it, we should feel good about the fact that the Cowboys can come out of Thursday night with an elite level football player. However, the draft will be won on Friday and Saturday, and the team needs to parlay a good night one into a highly successful and productive weekend.
This team has talent and it has a coaching staff with a winning pedigree. However, the fact remains that the Cowboys need to find a way to put it all together and find the formula for consistent success. As Cowboys fans we should be excited for the future of this team. Being optimistic and excited at the prospect of this team’s future for years to come is completely justified. They have locked up a young star quarterback to lead the franchise, there are many offensive weapons to be hyped about, and although the defense has underperformed, there certainly is talent on that side of the ball to feel optimistic about. That being said, this team doesn't come without criticism, and that does come with the reality that the defense needs help, and the team has underperformed as of late. Every year fans and media members alike believe the Cowboys have a chance to have a stellar season and it is time to make that a consistent reality.
The importance of drafting well can’t be understated and that is where the fortune of this team is going to change, one way or the other. The idea of selecting productive players in the first three rounds to impact your team early on shouldn't be a foreign thought, it is almost expected and the goal is to head into Day 3 with players that can help you right away, already drafted the two days prior. The second round has been viewed as a ‘gamble round’ for the Cowboys as of late and with so many needs and glaring holes on this defense, it would be in the best interest of the Cowboys to stick to their board and draft the best player available to help now. This year’s second round selection is a top 50 player and will be considered a premium pick that should be viewed as an immediate impact player. The Cowboys need to capitalize on last year’s regular-season woes that gave them this draft position and make sure they won’t pick this high again anytime soon. Stick to your board, take the best player available, and trust your scouts and the staff that have been watching these players for months.
When you say this team can be good, your aren't wrong. There are reasons to be excited about this team and you do not have to listen to your non-Cowboy-fan buddies accuse you of being delusional for feeling this team can make a quick turn around. The fact of the matter is that these things are true and are realistic. However, the fact also remains that the Cowboys need to be more consistent as an organization. They need to prove to us that year in and year out, even if there are injuries, this team can still stay afloat and make noise in the playoffs. This is a franchise with a championship legacy, a franchise known as America’s Team, and this team is among the most valuable franchises in sports. We all agree that it is time to cash in on the field and that starts with consistently drafting well. Doing so will put them in position to be a perennial playoff team who threatens for a championship every year.
Granted, it is easier said than done, but the reality of the situation is the Cowboys have to turn the corner sooner rather than later and if it is not now, then when?