Thursday, May 8, 2014
Maybe Jerry Jones can draft a little bit
By Todd Archer
IRVING, Texas -- Hey, want in on a little secret? Come a little closer, OK? And be quiet.
You ready? Jerry Jones might not be as bad at drafting NFL players as many believe.
If we use Pro Bowl selections as a barometer, which can be dicey, then Jones ranks near the top of the league. Sometimes the Pro Bowl picks are injury replacements and were second-, third- or possibly fourth-alternates depending on whether the first-team picks were injured or playing in the Super Bowl.
That being said, since 2003, the Cowboys have drafted 12 players that earned Pro Bowl berths. Only the Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers have more with 13.
Since 2006, the Cowboys have had seven Pro Bowl selections come from their draft room. Only the 49ers (nine), Chiefs (nine), Denver Broncos (eight) and Minnesota Vikings (eight) have more.
Of the 2006-13 group all seven were one-time picks: Anthony Spencer (2012), Nick Folk (2007), Jason Hatcher (2013), DeMarco Murray (2013), Tyron Smith (2013), Dez Bryant (2013) and Mike Jenkins (2009).
Smith and Bryant have the best chance to be perennial Pro Bowlers.
The 2003-13 group consisted of five players and four made multiple Pro Bowl appearances: Terence Newman (two), Jason Witten (nine), DeMarcus Ware (seven), Marion Barber (one) and Jeremiah Ratliff (four).
Assessing a successful draft on Pro Bowls is not the best process, and the high number of Cowboys might show how top-heavy this team has been. Successful drafts are about finding starters in every round, or at least contributors over a four-year period, whether they sign second contracts with the team or not.
The Cowboys have been able to find Pro Bowlers, but Jones has not been good enough in being able to supplement those players with the bulk of their picks.
That’s a big reason why this team has missed the playoffs the past four seasons.