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Jerry vs. Jon: The 3 year summary

April 24, 2013

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Every year when the Cowboys make a pick I check to see the highest ranked player at that position left on my board and write it down. I used to do this for fun but after a few years of keeping tally I realized I was kicking some butt and now it’s almost personal. I know I’m a better talent evaluator than Jerry Jones and the dozen or so scouts and coaches he has working for him. Not only do I know that but I have proof and I will share it with you. Below is the breakdown of each of the past 3 drafts with the players on the left column being the ones Jerry chose and the players on the right being the ones I chose for the same pick. Some will say it’s unfair but I can assure you that all of the players I chose were available to Jerry as well but he chose someone else. In fact I would say he’s the one with the unfair advantage as he gets to choose what position to take, if he wants to trade up or down, and whether to draft another player and let the higher ranked player be taken with a later pick if they suspect he’ll be available. In this system if Jerry takes a CB I have to take a CB too no matter who is the highest rated player on my board. Despite this huge disadvantage I’ve beat Jerry every single year I’ve kept track (2012 has been a wash I’ll admit) but unfortunately don’t have the 2008 and 2009 results due to a computer crash years ago (just check Jerry’s 2009 draft class and you’ll admit I won just by showing up that year). Enjoy and check back on draft day as on each of the Cowboys selections I will post who I would have selected at the same spot. As much as my ego wouldn’t like it I really do hope Jerry one day beats me at this game.

2012

Jerry’s picks                        Jon’s 

Morris Claiborne                  Morris Claiborne

Tyrone Crawford                 Jake Bequette

Kyle Wilber                           Keenan Robinson

Matt Johnson                       Antonio Allen

Danny Coale                        Marvin Jones

James Hanna                       George Bryan

Caleb McSurdy                    Noah Keller

Breakdown: The 2012 draft to this point looks bad for both the Cowboys and I as the only major contributor last season on either board was the same guy: Morris Claiborne. I loved Claiborne coming out of LSU and still really like him despite his penchant for pass interference and mediocre deep speed. On my board I think it’s too early to say Robinson (11 tackles) or Jones (18 receptions) are busts as both are on rosters and were given a lot of playing time as rookies. Either of them could break out in 2013 and make my draft look a lot better and the same can be said of a few of the Cowboys rookies: Crawford (20 tackles), Wilber (5 tackles), and Hanna (8 receptions). To this point it’s clear that Coale and McSurdy are busts as they are no longer on the team’s roster though Coale has been signed for training camp in 2013 so he will have a second shot. Johnson also can be called a bust at this point as he had 0 tackles and was inactive almost the entire season though he did have injury issues. If I was to guess who is the next to break out from this group I would say either James Hanna (#2 TE John Phillips signed with the Charges in the offseason so he is the default #2 TE right now) or Marvin Jones (with a good training camp he could vault from #4 WR to #2 as there is no major talent ahead of him) as both looked good as rookies and are being given a shot by the coaching staffs to do more.

Verdict: A wash as both boards thought Claiborne was the right pick at #6 and to this point he is the only major contributor from either board.

2011

Jerry’s picks                        Jon’s

Tyron Smith                         Nate Solder

Bruce Carter                         Martez Wilson

DeMarco Murray                   Taiwan Jones

David Arkin                          Jason Pinkston

Josh Thomas                        Richard Sherman

Dwayne Harris                     Jeff Maehl

Shaun Chapas                     Stanley Havili

Bill Nagy                               Chase Beeler

Breakdown: This draft is really interesting as it’s very back and forth. There can be an argument either way on whether Tyron Smith or Nate Solder is the better player after 2 years as both were solid RTs as rookies and solid LTs as 2nd year players. I give the edge to Solder as profootballfocus rated him much higher in 2012 though the quick strike offense of the Patriots possibly makes his job easier than the longer pass patterns run under Jason Garrett. For now I give him a slight edge but it will be interesting to compare the two over the next few years. The next two picks are clearly in the Cowboys favor as Bruce Carter and DeMarco Murray have developed into very good, albeit injury prone, starters while Martez Wilson is a backup LB/DE for the Saints (19 tackles, 3 sacks in 2012) and Taiwan Jones is a little used #3 RB for the Raiders that has fumbling problems. Clearly the Cowboys outclassed me on these picks and it’s not even close. Yet just as the tide appeared to be turning towards the Cowboys for once beating me in this game it shifted dramatically as the next two picks didn’t just go in my favor but were so extreme that there’s no arguing that my 2011 Draft outperformed the Cowboys. In the 4th round I chose Jason Pinkston while David Arkin was the Cowboys pick. Pinkston has been the starting LG on the Cleveland Browns the past 2 seasons (22 starts) while Arkin has been a complete bust with not only 0 starts but 0 games played in even in a reserve role. Pinkston is hardly an All Pro but he’s a capable starting OG and is a perfect example of why OGs shouldn’t be drafted in the 1st round as there are so many available in the mid to late rounds. Unfortunately the Cowboys continue to have no ability at finding these and have to consistently add bodies via free agency which reduces their cap space for use at more vital positions. The 5th round pick though is the clincher for me and a true franchise changing draft pick as while the Cowboys chose CB Josh Thomas with the selection my pick was Richard Sherman. Yes Richard “All Pro” Sherman was the highest rated CB on my board at the same time when the Cowboys chose Josh “cut in training camp” Thomas. Think for a moment how the franchise would be different if they had chosen Sherman over Thomas. First off they likely wouldn’t have been ripped to shreds by Eli Manning in 2011 and likely would have won those games which would have caused them to keep the Giants out of the playoffs, put the Cowboys in the playoffs, and likely crowned a new NFL Champion that year. Secondly they wouldn’t have had to spend $50 million on Brandon Carr on an overvalued deal due to the huge hole they had at CB last offseason and this year would have salary cap room to fill the other holes on the roster. Third they would now have Sherman paired with Claiborne and be considered arguably the best pair of CBs in the league with both combining to make less than half of what Carr is making by himself. Fourth they would finally have a trash talking, hard nosed player that would give the Cowboys D the edge I’ve thought they’ve needed for awhile. Needless to say this changed pick would have been a franchise altering move and it’s not hard to argue that if they had taken Sherman instead of Thomas they would be coming off back to back playoff appearances and the franchise’s future would be a lot brighter. Finally I found a starting FB (Standly Havili) while the Cowboys selection (Shaun Chapas) has been cut from the roster numerous times. The Cowboys did find a solid slot receiver in Dwayne Harris though while my selection (Jeff Maehl) was a bust and Harris had a very good 2nd half of 2012 so that at least is a nice bright spot for Dallas and one of the rare finds by Jerry in the late rounds.

Verdict: It was a close one until the Sherman pick but now it’s a slamdunk as anytime you can get an All-Pro in the 5th round you know your draft went well.

2010

Jerry’s picks                        Jon’s

Dez Bryant                           Dez Bryant

Sean Lee                              Navarro Bowman

Akwasi Owusu-Ansah           Reshad Jones

Sam Young                           Selvish Capers

Jamar Wall                           Syd’Quan Thompson

Sean Lissemore                    Jeff Owens

Breakdown: Both chose Bryant who took a huge step in 2012 becoming a Pro Bowl caliber player (no he didn’t get selected but had a better year than Julio Jones or Vincent Jackson who both did). In the 2nd round the selection was solid both ways as Sean Lee has been a very productive player as has Navarro Bowman. The edge goes to me though as while Lee has 195 tackles, 0 sacks, and 7 INTs in 35 games (21 starts) Bowman has been a 2x All Pro with 338 tackles, 4 sacks, and 1 INT in 48 games (32 starts). Bowman hasn’t been injury prone like Lee and even when both are healthy Bowman is a bigger, stronger player that outperforms Lee in every aspect except pass coverage where Lee’s playmaking skills rank near the top of the league for a linebacker. Both were good selections but Bowman’s an All Pro so advantage me. Reshad Jones is clearly the superior pick to Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (22 career tackles, released 4x) as Jones has been a starting safety for the Dolphins the past few seasons (44 games-30 starts) and is coming off his best season (94 tackles, 1 sack, 2 FF, 4 INT). Jones is a starter while Owusu-Ansah is a fringe roster player so a clear win for me with the Jones selection. In the 5th round both picks were busts as Young and Capers both have been cut in their career with Capers (3 games-0 starts) currently a backup for the Giants and Young (18 games-4 starts) currently a backup for the Bills. Young gets a slight edge but neither are more than backups for their teams. A similar situation is in the final selections as the 6th round selections (Jamar Wall and Syd’Quan Thompson) both are out of the NFL with Wall being a safety in the arena football league (1 career tackle in the NFL) while Thompson sat out the year after being a final cut by the Broncos in 2012 (18 tackles, 2 INTs in 2 year NFL career). The 7th round selections with Lissemore and Owens both are reserve DTs for their team and isn’t worth going into as neither have made a major impact.

Verdict: Bryant is the jewel of both draft classes yet while the Cowboys settled for a good but injury prone LB, a backup OT for another team, and a backup DT for their remaining selections I was able to add an All-Pro LB in Bowman and a starting safety in Jones to go along with a backup OT and DT. The 2010 draft was a clear win for me as I added two Pro Bowl caliber players, a solid starter, and 3 backups with my 6 selections. 

Overall: In the past 3 seasons I’ve re-stocked the Cowboys defense with two All Pro players in Richard Sherman and Navarro Bowman to go along with solid starters in Morris Claiborne, Reshad Jones, and Martez Wilson (watch out for him in 2013 in Rob Ryan’s 3-4 scheme, he could break out). The Cowboys have been less successful with Claiborne, Sean Lee, and Bruce Carter. All three are good, young players but none have been the elite players like Sherman or Bowman. On offense the results are more similar with both the Cowboys and I having a Pro Bowl caliber WR in Bryant and a very good but a step below Pro Bowl status LT in Tyron Smith for the Cowboys and Nate Solder for me. The difference is that while the Cowboys have continued to swing and miss with their interior line draft picks I was able to find a solid starter in Jason Pinkston. He would have come in handy the past two seasons with Kyle Kosier (2011) and Mackenzie Bernadeau (2012) struggling so much. Overall the 3 years have been a clear win for me over Jerry and I post this (because I’m an egomaniac?) because it’s a helpful tool to prove to readers who might wonder why they should listen to my opinion on a player compared to Mike Mayock’s or Mel Kiper’s. I have skins on the wall, yes it’s a figurative wall but nonetheless a wall, and I should continue to be your first stop for all draft coverage.

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  1. Top 5 By Position for the 2014 NFL Draft | dfwprosports

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