2013 NFL Draft: Dallas Cowboys Final Draft Grade and Analysis
The Dallas Cowboys had specific needs as the 2013 NFL Draft approached. After back-to-back seasons of going 8-8, and missing the playoffs both seasons, the defense quickly became a liability, and the offensive line's inability to keep Tony Romo upright were things Dallas absolutely had to address during last weekend's draft.
Unfortunately, Jerry Jones is still the general manager, and without a mastermind running his draft like a Jimmy Johnson, the Cowboys continued to shoot themselves in the foot round after round.
This draft was one of the worst most fans can remember for Dallas, some are beginning to question whether or not the league office should step in and take control of a once proud franchise, trainwreck that is the Dallas Cowboys.
One of the Cowboys strengths in recent years, has been the ability to take meager talent at the wide receiver position, and turn these players into very productive contributors on the offensive side of the ball.
Players like Laurent Robinson, Sam Hurd and Kevin Ogletree have had huge games as members of America's team. Knowing this is one of their specialties, Dallas should have taken a Miles Austin or a Dez Bryant, and dealt one of them along with a couple of draft picks to move up into the top 5 to get what they desperately needed: an elite offensive tackle to protect Romo, who they just extended for a ton of cash and years. Instead, Dallas did what they've come to be known for: making people curious about the competency levels of the personnel department.
It started by drafting arguably the best center on the board with Travis Frederick from Wisconsin. Sure, he's the top center, but he is far from elite. The Cowboys used six centers last season, so the need was there, but could've been filed later in the draft. The next two rounds saw Dallas take a mediocre at best tight end (another position they DIDN'T need), and a wide receiver (again, a position they were sitting well with). I sometimes think Jerry Jones just throws darts at a board and wherever it lands, that's who he selects.
The decent picks came with their second pick of the third round in safety J.J. Wilcox and their fourth round selection of cornerback B.W. Webb. Both of these kids are hitters, and like to play defense. The duo could easily develop into a pretty good secondary tandem over the next couple of seasons.
Did Dallas turn the corner at this point in the draft? No, and they know it. Dallas left multiple opportunities to select a solid, productive running back to back up DeMarco Murray on the board, and instead used their fifth round pick on a running back who would most likely be headed for some team's practice squad had the Cowboys not drafted him in Oklahoma State's Joseph Randle. Another wasted round for the Cowboys.
They completed their draft with a position they needed, but again drafted well below market or talent value in linebacker DeVonte Holloman. He most likely will be a fringe player and may not even make the 53-man roster coming out of training camp.
Overall, the Dallas Cowboys missed the boat several times, leaving plenty of talented players on the draft board to secure an immediate impact towards making them a contender.
In Dallas, Jerry Jones knows best, and nobody is going to tell him different. That was vastly apparent with the 2013 draft, and has been a pattern of behavior since Jimmy Johnson left town for Miami.
If and when, Jones realizes he needs a smart football mind running his organization, the Cowboys will continue to be throw money around, and be on the outside looking in at the NFL elite.
Final Draft Grade: D-