The biggest difference to me was that Jimmy understood that you build through the draft and that means getting EXTRA early picks not trading them away for WRs.
The more high picks you have the better chance you have of getting quality starters. Jerry has no clue about the value of draft picks and trades them away in bunches for WRs or he trades down over and over to gain a bunch of later round picks where you are less likely to get top quality players.
Jimmy had 24 picks in rounds 1-3 from 1989-1993, that's an extra 9 picks in the first 3 rounds. If you hit on only a third of them that's 8 quality players you picked up just in those rounds. He did better than that and hit on 13 of our 23 (we selected Steve Wisniewski for the Raiders in 1989 for 3 draft picks).
Now look at 2000-2004, only 14 picks in the first 3 rounds and only got 4 guys who started for us for more than 4 years. That's pretty pathetic and set us back for years.
This is one of the major differences between a guys who knows the game (Jimmy Johnson) and a guy who doesn't (Jerry Jones).
Jerry seems more interested in wheeling and dealing on draft day and trying to prove to everyone that he KNOWS something that they don't than on getting quality players to help the team. That has changed some over the last few drafts and it has shown in the guys we have selected: Sean Lee, Tyron Smith, Bruce Carter, DeMarco Murray, and Morris Claiborne.
Still, in the last 4 drafts we have only had 5 picks in the first 2 rounds. Guys taken in the 4th or later rarely make the team, that's why you have got to focus on getting additional picks in the first 3 rounds and making solid selections with those picks. No headcases, no project players, no backups or Special Teamers, no chronic injury guys, no prima donnas, and no dumb players. You can take chances on guys after round 3 but not in the early rounds.
Jerry wants to strike it rich on one throw of the dice so that he can vindicate himself and show everyone that he really does know more than them but it doesn't happen often enough to cover up for all the stupid moves he has made over the years and it just confirms that he STILL doesn't get it.
Captain Nathan Brittles: "Only the man who commands can be blamed. It rests on me... mission failure!"
"Jerry Jones is a billionaire fan who bought his own team for the express purpose of buying his way into the game. He wants to hang out with the players, stand in front of the cameras, be the face of the team (yech), make personnel moves as if this were a video game, and more than anything else, be seen as the guy who made it all happen."