Originally Posted by InmanRoshi
The context changes nothing. The Cowboys not only passed up the best player on the draft, but then reached for self believed immediate needs. The ramifications? The worst of all worlds. None of the "needs" were filled because they picked sub optimal players who were incapable of filling them, and now the best player on their board has since went on to become a Pro Bowler for a position that is currently a "need" on the team.
Thus the reason why drafting for need almost always gets you in trouble. Self perceived "need" fluctuates wildly from moment to moment, and filling "needs" with rookies carries low success rate given that most rookies are not ready to play immediately (and many never pan out, period). You're better off just getting the best talent on the board and filling "needs" by taking fliers on low cost, low investment free agents who can plug and play right away.
I am in with this line of thinking. There are some situations where taking the absolute best player on the board can actually cripple your team (see the Lions and drafting WR's) but for the most part, you take the BPA. The problem comes when teams aren't in a position to draft BPA due to bad contracts, bad free agent signings, and bad drafting.
In the scenario above, the Cowboys actually found themselves in position to take the BPA. They had a star QB, a star WR, a star TE, 3 Pro-Bowlers on the offensive line, a sack-happy defense, two good CB's, and a capable safety. The team also had an influx of talent from the previous draft. The only true position of need was possibly LG and SS.
But instead of sticking to the board and taking the BPA, the Cowboys opted to "bolster" the special teams unit.
was trading multiple picks including the 20th overall for Roy Williams, a player that at the time had only had one great season and was living off of hype.
Key players that were on the board at pick #20 (1st Rnd): C ALex Mack, OT Michael Oher, WR Hakeem Nicks
was trading down out of the 2nd round for a 3rd and 4th.
Key players that were on the board at pick 51 (2nd Rnd): G Andy Livitre, RB LeSean McCoy, OT Phil Loadholt, S William Moore
While Dallas continued to bolster the special teams with the likes of Jason Williams, a player considered a huge reach at the time, other teams were finding quality starters in the likes of Mike Wallace and Ladarius Webb. And for the "hindsight is 20/20" comment that is sure to follow, these were the players that many of us were calling for prior to and during the draft. Instead, we were left asking "who?" when the Cowboys selection was announced as we scrambled to find the latest articles on said player and watched any obscure youtube clip of who these guys were. The said part is that we are still asking, "who?"
Like it or not, the crap fest that took place on the dates of April 25-26 of 2009 set our franchise back. We would have been much better off just staying put and taking the BPA. If the team had taken McCoy, they could have leveraged a player like Tashard Choice in a trade for a future pick while he still had trade value.