Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Dallas Cowboys [Print without images]

Friday, April 26, 2013
Taylor: Cowboys are tough to trust

By Dan Graziano

The Dallas Cowboys had one of the more confusing first rounds of the draft Thursday. They got the offensive line help they needed in Wisconsin center Travis Frederick, but they went about it rather clumsily, trading down from No. 18 to No. 31 and taking a guy they might have been able to get tonight if they'd waited. This leaves their pick open to many possible interpretations. A lot of people hated it. I, personally, was not among them. The one thing on which I think everyone can agree is that the Cowboys' first round was a head-scratcher, and that it required a little bit of time to process and settle on a conclusion.

Jones
Jerry Jones and the Cowboys haven't earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to draft day moves.
Which is why I like the point Jean-Jacques Taylor makes in his column for ESPNDallas.com. Jacques acknowledges that the Cowboys addressed their most glaring need, and that trading out of pick 18 was a fine idea if they didn't have anyone there they liked. But ultimately he concludes that "this team's track record of poor drafting and questionable decision-making doesn't instill much confidence that they got it right Thursday."
Understand, the problem isn't necessarily with Frederick, because the Cowboys definitely need help on the offensive line.

The problem is it feels like the Cowboys wasted an opportunity to get a much more talented player with the 18th pick -- and they still could've had Frederick, the top-rated center and 70th-rated prospect according to ESPN's player rankings. Or somebody just as good, such as California's Brian Schwenke (ranked 72nd) or Alabama's Barrett Jones (ranked 97th) in the second round.

The crux of this is the trust factor. I build a fine case that what the Cowboys did makes sense. Watch:
But all of that reasoning and logic would, as Jacques insinuates, be a lot easier to swallow if it were coming from, say, the Baltimore Ravens, or some other team with an established reputation of nailing the draft year in and year out. The Cowboys' recent drafts have produced some good players who appear to be part of a solid future core, but in general Jerry Jones has a well-earned reputation of drafting poorly. And that's a big reason why what happened Thursday night doesn't sit right with a lot of people. The Cowboys may have had their reasons for doing what they did, but history makes it hard to trust that their reasons were the right ones.