Pay Attention Cowboys Fans, Atlanta Paints a Pretty Clear Picture

Posted/updated on: January 9, 2012 at 10:53 am   Print This Print This

Cowboys fans for the past month and longer have laid blame clearly and confidently on a couple of places, the General Manager, Jerry Jones and a young Head Coach who clearly can not handle dual roles of Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator.

Jerry Jones may not be the “talent evaluator” he believes he is, so the role of GM may be a wasted title for Jones to hold along with that of Owner. Hiring a GM to come in assuming that person can be the “talent evaluator” all fans long for is just as skewed a perspective.

Looking back at Cowboys’ drafts, there are certainly some picks that are questionable, some decisions that may not have been the wisest ones. However, good luck finding any team that can not say the same thing.

People still pull up Mike Ditka as Head Coach and “talent evaluator” in New Orleans as an example of a stupid decision. Remember, Ditka traded his entire draft for one sure bet, Ricky Williams. Clearly that was a bad decision right? Check into it, of the picks that Ditka gave up to those clearly wiser “talent evaluators”, how many of those picks made a significant impact. Profootballweekly.com assembled the list:

• 1999 (Round One, pick No. 12) — The Redskins dealt this pick to Chicago, which used it to select UCLA QB Cade McNown. In 15 career starts, McNown was 3-12 with 16 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. He never played in the league after 2000.
• 1999 (Round Three, pick No. 71) — Chicago also was given this pick, which it used on D’Wayne Bates. Other than the 50-catch season he had for Minnesota in 2002, Bates was a bust.
• 1999 (Round Four, pick No. 107) — LB Nate Stimson didn’t leave much of an imprint on the Nation’s Capital — or anywhere, for that matter.
• 1999 (Round Five, pick No. 144) — With its final pick from the trade it made with Washington, Chicago grabbed LB Khari Samuel. One start, three seasons.
• 1999 (Round Six, pick No. 179) — Denver obtained the final two 1999 picks from Washington and used the first of which on TE Desmond Clark, who has collected more than 300 catches and 3,500 yards during his still-active career.
• 1999 (Round Seven, pick No. 218) — With its other pick, Denver grabbed Billy Miller, who caught 200 passes during his nine-year career, most of them coming after he left the Broncos.
• 2000 (Round One, pick No. 2) — The Redskins added Penn State’s LaVar Arrington, who gave the club three Pro Bowl seasons (2001-03) before his play began to rapidly decline. Arrington was a solid player but failed to meet the lofty expectations that come with being a top-five linebacker pick.
• 2000 (Round Three, pick No. 64) — Jamaican-born Lloyd Harrison spent three years in the NFL playing for three different clubs.

Would a similar move be wise, not likely, but that’s not the point. The point here is, be careful who you consider to be the dumb guy and who you consider to be the smart guy as far as “talent evaluation” goes.

Jones, when he has the correct people around him, does as good a job as anybody else in the league at evaluating draft eligible talent. Despite what the “experts” say, there are very few sure bets.

Atlanta presents a great example for Cowboy fans. The Falcons made the playoffs for the third time in four seasons after posting an impressive 10-6 record. Previous years had been marred with turnovers and inability to finish, this playoff birth will be marked with a clear flop after falling to the Giants 24-2.

Two whole points! And those were scored by the defense.

So, what should the Falcons do? News from Atlanta says, fire the General Manager, this one’s no good. Hire a new Offensive Coordinator, this one’s no good. Keep the Head Coach, we’re not sure about him yet. Keep the Defensive Coordinator, he didn’t do too poorly.

Adding in the two additional positions, General Manager and separate coordinator positions, obviously does not fix the problem, it only adds another culpable party to take the fall when the inevitable happens.

As always, presenting what is NOT the solution is fairly simple. Offering a solution, not as much.

For Cowboys fans, patience will be the first key.

No one is sure if Jason Garrett is the right Head Coach for America’s Team and no one will know or agree that he is unless he wins the coveted Super Bowl Title. Until you can be sure, he is NOT the guy, then have patience, and hope.

As well, fans hanging their confidence on Jerry Jones’ as head “talent evaluator” may not be the most comfortable position in the world, but with the right people in place and a little bit of luck…even dumb ole Jerry can find some players that will add talent to a roster that just is not as talented as previously sold.

Again, not suggesting Jones and Garrett go all “Ditka” and trade the draft away, this team has plenty of holes to fill.

But even with a GM and OC, Atlanta no more showed the way to success than the current plan.


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