Every team in the NFL has a draft board and it differs based on scheme, fit and need. Thanks to @BloggingTheBoys we have a unique and rare chance to see a teams draft board and that team is the Dallas Cowboys. The board offers insight into where they had players slotted, including a position by round breakdown of the 132 players they found to be draftable.
Nov 20, 2011; Landover, MD, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones gestures on the field prior to the game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
A few of my own thoughts on the board: They had Desmond Trufant as a 3rd round pick. The Atlanta Falcons selected him in the first round at number 22. Obviously this is a major difference in the evaluation of Trufant between two teams. Its interesting to see where these two teams differ in evaluation and theory when it comes to this draft. You have the Falcons who have recently been aggressive to move up for players they really like (Julio Jones and now Trufant) and a team that dropped back in a trade with the 49ers to pick up more picks in what was considered to be a mid round heavy draft.
They passed on the QB’s: I find this a little interesting. You have a QB in Tony Romo who has by most accounts under performed but is being paid like a MVP. It seems to me that we have an owner/GM who was un-willing to test or push Romo with a young high potential QB like Ryan Nassib or Matt Barkley. You could easily say they didn’t want to waste a draft pick on a position they didn’t see as a need. It’s more fun to talk about and consider that they didn’t want to hurt Romo’s feelings or bring in the media with questions about why they drafted a QB when they just signed Romo to such a hefty contract. Here’s the facts though, they had Ryan Nassib slotted as a 2nd round pick and passed on him over and over again.
Dec 16, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) signals at the line of scrimmage against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
They have to feel like they stole Joseph Randle: They had Randle as the 67th best player on their board and got him with the 151st pick in the draft. Insane value for them. For the record, I love Randle and also think they got a steal here.
No Honey Badger: The Cowboys obviously were steering clear of questionable character guys in this draft. Tyrann Matthieu the former LSU corner back was completely left off their board. This probably wasn’t an isolated case with the Cowboys as I’m sure many teams never had him on their board after missing a whole season at LSU due to multiple failed drug tests. Maybe the Cowboys didn’t want to put another character guy in the locker room with Dez Bryant having had a few issues the last few years.
I’m sure there were plenty of “Wow’s”, or “Boy Howdy’s” dropped by the Jones crew during the draft as they had players ranked quite a bit differently than what they were drafted. I love this kind of insight into teams draft rooms and hope we get a reaction from Jerry Jones on this solid work done by SB Nation.