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Why the Cowboys should stay the course with their roster-building strategy and not be like the Rams

The Cowboys shouldn’t get too caught up when those lottery tickets hit.

NFL: Houston Texans at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams are going to the Super Bowl. Hurray for them, that’s an incredible achievement and they deserve credit for the accomplishment; it’s a big deal.

Of course, watching the Rams journey that arrived at the location of this year’s biggest game, which conveniently happens to be their own field in SoFi Stadium, wasn’t always filled with an overwhelming sense of confidence that their front office was making the right moves. Acquiring players like Matthew Stafford and Von Miller took an awful lot of draft capital. Signing a player like Odell Beckham Jr. took a leap of faith that the drama and lack of production in Cleveland wouldn’t carry over to LA. In short, the Rams decided to live in the moment and deal with tomorrow’s problems tomorrow.

Earning a trip to the Super Bowl makes it appear as if the Rams made all the right moves and a case could be made about how the Cowboys could learn from what Los Angeles did to reach this point. In fact, a case has been made by my colleague, Tom Ryle, so make sure to check this out.

We discussed this idea among many other things on the latest BTB Roundtable on the Blogging The Boys podcast network. Make sure to subscribe to our network so you don’t miss any of our shows. Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.

The issue with this riverboat gambling roster-building is that this type of approach is extremely dangerous. Trading so much draft capital away is essentially punting away your ability to be successful in future drafts. Sure, they can hit on later picks, but that’s asking a lot of your player personnel department. Additionally, whatever draft picks they do use are going to be incredibly important because cheap rookie deals are desperately needed to fill out their roster.

But the Rams are in the Super Bowl. How can you argue with their approach? Well, maybe we won’t, but that doesn’t mean what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Whether we adamantly agree with it or not, the Cowboys have done a pretty good job utilizing their draft picks. They just drafted Micah Parsons who, as a rookie, was a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year, and the year before they selected Trevon Diggs who is coming off an 11 interception All-Pro season. That’s really good. Let’s not forget CeeDee Lamb, either. The Cowboys also have some big hitters taking up a lot of cap space, so those rookie deals are crucial to sustaining a good roster in upcoming years.

Many would like to see the Cowboys dabble a bit more with making moves, but are we sure they’re not? Trading for Amari Cooper was a big move. Trading for Robert Quinn, despite knowing they were getting a one-year rental, was also clever use of late-round draft capital. Or even adding Michael Bennett in October of 2019 at the cost of a late-round flyer was helpful. Suffice to say, they’re making moves.

And if that’s not splashy enough for you, allow us to remind you that there was a time when Jerry Jones was a lot splashier. Do you remember the Joey Galloway trade or the Roy Williams trade? Those were actions of an antsy owner who felt his team was just “one player away” from winning a Super Bowl and he was willing to take big chances to make it happen. Needless to say, those moves didn’t work out.

Every year, NFL teams make huge moves in hopes of bettering their ballclub. Sometimes those risks result in hoisting up the Lombardi trophy, other times that same risk may be running through the end zone with his jersey. For every OBJ that works out, there’s a Kenny Golladay that doesn’t. For every Von Miller that balls out, there’s a super expensive J.J. Watt who can’t stay healthy. For the Cowboys, they are careful about what moves they make. They are coming off a remarkably well-done free agent offseason, so it’s hard to be too critical of their decision-making.

The Cowboys should always be open to making moves, and evidence says they are to a point. They might not be the moves we want them to make at times, but we have to tip our cap to the quality of roster-building they’ve been doing. Sure, it hasn’t helped them bring home the prize, but that doesn’t mean it’s not coming. Stay the course and when it comes to roster-building, they need to keep doing it their own way, the Cowboys' way.

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