WHAT WOULD BLOGGERS AND TWEETERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT DALLAS DRAFTS OF THE PAST?
WHAT WOULD BLOGGERS AND TWEETERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT DALLAS DRAFTS OF THE PAST?
By Vince Grey
My initial thoughts after reading some blogs was that most fans didn’t care for most of the Cowboys’ 2011 draft picks, with Bruce Carter and Demarco Murray being the most despised. The draft grades from the “experts” were more positive, ranging from one or two As to a D-, but most in the B range.
Since forums, boards, blogging and tweeting came into existence, it sure is amazing how many potential NFL personnel men and draft experts there are out in cyberspace. What’s even more amazing is how so many of them, every year, so vehemently disagree with the players their team takes, as well as when they draft them.
Draft for offense? Idiot, it’s the defense that needs help! Draft for defense? What a moron… any fool can see we need offense!
Trade up? Waste of valuable picks.
Trade down? Quantity over quality never works.
Stay with the picks you have? These guys have no guts or imagination.
I wonder what it would be like to look into another dimension. One where in 1989 the internet and cell phone were as advanced as today. Let’s glance over there via our spiffy new cross-dimensional viewer and see what the world is saying about those earlier Dallas picks…
1989 NFL Draft
The situation: Cowboys have just been sold to Jerry Jones. Jimmy Johnson is hired and Tom Landry is fired. Fan base is in turmoil with most siding with Landry. Media infers the JJs are buffoons with no chance to succeed. Cowboys have top pick thanks to 3-13 record. Most experts feel Tony Mandarich is best player overall and a “can’t miss” prospect. Dallas does need a quarterback but needs offensive line help too.
— New owner and coach are idiots! Take so-so QB over greatest O-lineman ever?
— Mandarich will be 10-yr all pro and hof! Aikman quit Oklahoma `cause he’s a big baby! No quitters at QB for boys!
— Arkansas $$$ = stupid a** owner. Turn dwn sure thing for maybe QB. Where is Tom? We need gil brant…
— Great pick Jimmy. Who’s gonna block for this kid?
— d-fense wins championships. Should have taken deion…
— we take a O-lineman and then trade him to raiders! Idiots! Then take a FB… A blocking fullback. Who needs a FB?
— round 2 way too high to take fullback. Wasted pick with so many other needs. Could have gotten this guy much later.
— finally take a lineman and it’s a freakin center. A real small center. Aikman will get killed. Hope he can run.
— Stepnoski way too small to play. Big NFC east defenses will destry Troy next year!
— Why not take a receiver? Irvin hurt all the time! Guy a bust already. No speed! Can’t believe we passed on Lawyer Tillman for a stupid FB.
— Understand Tolbert lasted till 4th because of bad knees. He’s too skinny to play the run at all.
— Grade this draft a D. Aikman has no line and can’t read defenses. Not tough at all. Defense was hardly addressed. No receivers or tight end. Only TE we have is Cards Plan B castoff named Novacek who can’t block. Terrible start for new coach and owner.
1990 NFL Draft
The situation: First year for Jimmy, Jerry, and Troy is bad. . .as in 1-15 bad. Team stinks in all areas. Going nowhere, trade best player (on paper) for crapload of picks and players to Vikings. Take Steve Walsh in supplemental draft, costing team 1st pick overall and any shot at Cortez Kennedy or Junior Seau. Go into draft set on picking for defense but players they like are grabbed first, and they have to “settle” for Emmitt Smith.
— It’s clear this team feels Aikman is a bust already! Gave up number one for Walsh. Maybe we can trade Troy for a 3rd…
— Trade our best player (Hershel) for a bunch of maybe’s. JJs are fools.
— Let me get this straight. We trade superstar big, fast strong RB Walker for a short, small, slow RB from Florida? How is that a deal?
— Emmitt Smith instead of defense? Guy is too slow AND too small! Will be hurt all the time and out of the league in 2-3 yrs. Bad pick!
— Keep hearing Jimmy loves speed. LOL… will NEVER beat big ol `Skins, Giants and Eagles with runts like Smith! Ha ha!
— Wake up JJ… Parcells wins SBs with power and size.
— Emit Smith is 2 slow!
— Once again we ignore D and O line… Jerry, please hire a guy who can coach in NFL…
— We MUST get a receiver! No question Irvin is a total bust. Has done nothing since being here and is hurt. Trade or cut this loser and let’s move on…
— Right on with Alexander Wright! FINALLY a fast wide out! Speed kills baybee! See ya later Mike Irvin!
— Stole a superstar with Wright. Maybe he’ll light a fire under Irvin and get him to want to play.
— Need to trade Aikman and Irvin NOW. Walsh and Wright are Cowboy’s future.
— Jimmie Jones in 3rd. Another Miami guy who can’t play in NFL… sigh. Someone please stop Johnson from drafting all these Florida guys!
— No picks in rounds 4 thru 8. `nother busted draft for JJ’s.
— Only pick late is Ken Gant from Albany (Nowhere) st. Small, slow DB. Can you say camp fodder?
— Draft grade C-. Reached for Smith when better was available. Wright was great pick, but the others will struggle to even make this bad team.
1991 NFL Draft
The situation: Cowboys now figure Aikman is the man and trade Walsh to New Orleans for several more picks. Surprise many by going 7-9 and probably would have made playoffs if Troy doesn’t get hurt late. Smith signs late and struggles early but comes on for a nice season. Moving up, down, and all around, Dallas winds up with 18 selections (one, Kelvin Pritchett, is traded to the Lions).
— Russell Maryland with the 1st pick. What a joke. Jimmy takes another`cane. Why not trade down and take Turner or Todd Lyght? No love for the 2ndary!
— OT’s McRae and Davis right there for the picking and we take another Miami guy. Our O-line sucks! Will never beat the Eagles with this bunch.
— Alvin Harper to go along with Wright. Why is Irvin still on the roster?
— Harper can fly… awesome pick. He’ll be the number one guy soon. Irvin won’t make end of training camp.
— Cowboys have no pass rush but don’t take (DE) Huey Richardson? What are they doing in there? Huey will be a sack machine, guaranteed.
— We take a stud DT like Pritchett and then trade him to the Lions. Just great. The JJ’s make trades just to hear themselves on TV!
— Lions just made `92 SB. Cowboys at home as usual.
— 3 picks in the 1st and not one O-lineman, pass rusher, or DB. I am stunned at how stupid the JJ’s are.
— Dixon Edwards. Another runt LB. This is the NFC Beast! Can’t win with shrimps!
— Eric Bieniemy was sitting right there for the taking. Mark my words, he’ll be twice the runner Smith will ever be.
— Godfrey Myles… more LB’s! Jimmy has gone LB crazy!
— FINALLY some help for the O-line. James Richards is a stud. He’ll start this year and be in the Pro Bowl next season. Great pick Jimmy!
— More O-line help, but what is Central State U? Can this Williams play?
— Parcells always goes for the big school guys cause they have proven themselves. Jimmy seems to want to grab these nobodies from nowhere tech. That’s why the Giants are in the playoffs every year and Cowboys sit. LOL…
— Erik Williams? Never heard of him. Couldn’t we have gotten this guy later on?
— Stupid pick. Way to high to take a project like Williams. Cowboys really reached here. Might be a decent backup one day.
—- Curvin Richards! Look out Emmitt… he’ll take your spot!
— Faster than Smith and Jimmy loves speed. Emmitt will likely lose his job.
— Tony Hill. Another tweener guy who can’t play DE in a 4-3. Too skinny. Wasted pick.
— Bill Musgrave. Great pick. Might take Aikman’s job one day if doesn’t step it up.
— Some guy named Leon Lett from Emporia State. We’re drafting guys who will never play. Free agent kind of player.
— The Cowboys are clueless on how to draft. Taking players why higher than they should go.
— Last pick is Larry Brown from TCU. At least he won’t have far to drive when he’s cut. LOL…
— Draft Grade D+. Ignored O-line in 1st round, bypassing OT’s like Antoine Davis, Charles McRae and Pat Harlow. All are considered sure fire starters in the NFL. Took too many chances on small school players like Williams and Lett. Best move: Curvin Richards could be a steal. Worst Move: not addressing pass rush or secondary until last pick, and who here thinks Larry Brown is the answer to anything?
I could go on, but I trust I’ve made my point. While these segments are all theoretical, I could easily see many such posts and tweets from the fan base and so called “experts” at the time of those drafts. And you know what? AT THE TIME they didn’t sound all that bad, did they? Until 1991, Michael Irvin looked like a complete bust. Many, many people considered Mandarich a surefire done-deal 15-year Hall of Fame tackle, while Aikman had both supporters and detractors. Even I thought Aikman was too mechanical, though I grudgingly thought we made the right decision.
Back then, I was drinking the Kool-Aid and thought a running back had to be big and/or fast, and Emmitt Smith was neither. I also didn’t have a clue who all these small-school guys were or why we were taking so many tiny linebackers.
The bottom line is, nobody knows right now. The 2011 Cowboys draft class could be an awesome one. Or a stinker. Or just OK. It’ll be at least three or four years before we can make a determination, and does it really matter if the ‘Boys end up winning another Super Bowl in that time?