News: Jennifer Floyd Engel-->Love/hate thing

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by adbutcher, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. adbutcher

    adbutcher K9NME

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    Love/hate thing
    Cowboys' draft ploy can be debated, but 2005 is final answer
    By Jennifer Floyd Engel
    Star-Telegram Staff Writer

    How Cowboys draft pick Julius Jones performs in comparison with backs taken ahead of him could decide the argument as to whether Dallas' maneuver was brilliant or boneheaded.

    Ripped as a "loser" by and hailed as "gutsy" and "smart" by Pro Football Weekly, the Cowboys' 2004 draft is nothing if not polarizing.

    The logic, or lack thereof, is in the eye of the beholder.

    You either hate the Cowboys' decision to trade out of the first round and thereby pass on highly rated running backs Steven Jackson and Kevin Jones. Or you love their eventual first pick, Notre Dame back Julius Jones at No. 43 in the second round, believing Julius Jones is just as good as Jackson and that by getting Julius Jones and Buffalo's first-round pick in 2005, the Cowboys got something big for basically nothing.

    Love it or hate it, the reality is the Cowboys did not believe they were a player away in 2004 and instead appear to be laying the foundation to be a legit Super Bowl contender in 2005.

    "I don't necessarily think that because we don't have more big-name players in this draft and the fact we did use some of the value because we had an opportunity again for next year, that it's going to hurt our ability to compete for [2004]," owner Jerry Jones said Sunday.

    The Cowboys capped a busy Sunday in Rounds 4-7 by drafting tight end Sean Ryan, wide receiver Patrick Crayton and cornerbacks Bruce Thornton, Nathan Jones and Jacques Reeves and acquiring fullback Darian Barnes in a trade from Tampa Bay.

    Nobody knows whether Jackson or Kevin Jones will become just such a marquee name the Cowboys' draft lacked. But you can bet people will be checking back to see who is the winner and who is the loser in this. Second-guessing has become a virtual national pastime. We second-guess who so and so chose on The Bachelor and we definitely second-guess who so and so chose in the NFL Draft.

    Of course, it is just guessing. Whether the Cowboys are geniuses or jokes is not going to be decided for a while. If Jackson ends up rushing for 1,500 yards for St. Louis, the Cowboys' decision to trade down will be second-guessed. If the Cowboys end up getting a playmaker like Southern California's Mike Williams (if he petitions the NCAA to return) with Buffalo's first-round pick and/or a special running back like Auburn's Carnell "Cadillac" Williams with their own first-round pick next year, the Bills' decision to trade up will be applauded.

    And if Kevin Jones lives up to his promise that "the next Barry is here," in Detroit, the Cowboys' decision to trade down will go down as a bust. If Julius Jones proves to be the better of the Joneses, Kevin Jones will be the bust, not the decision to trade down.

    "It's never easy to drop out," Cowboys coach Bill Parcells said, when asked if deciding to trade out of the first round was easy.

    What the decision says is that the Cowboys were not convinced any of the running backs on the board were franchise material.

    What the decision indicates is that Jerry Jones is not rushing to keep up with the proverbial Joneses. Because every team in their division spent cash and bought plenty of flash and splash this off-season, except for Cowboys.

    Not only did the Philadelphia Eagles sign defensive end Jevon Kearse and trade for receiver Terrell Owens, they traded up to get Arkansas offensive tackle Shawn Andrews in the draft.

    The New York Giants hocked a decent portion of next year's draft to acquire whom they believe to be their franchise quarterback in Eli Manning.

    The Washington Redskins and first-year coach Joe Gibbs showed they were operating under a win-now plan by trading for a big-name running back in Clinton Portis and a big-time quarterback in Mark Brunell, among other moves.

    And while the Cowboys made immediate impact moves this off-season, namely trading for Keyshawn Johnson and signing Marcellus Wiley, their two biggest off-season decisions point to 2005. They traded for quarterback Drew Henson, who very likely is being groomed to be the heir apparent to Troy Aikman but has spent the past three seasons playing baseball and probably needs a year to be ready. They also traded out of the first round of the draft and the immediate impact players it usually yields for a chance at two such players next season.

    Which means the Cowboys could easily be better this season but still be less competitive than they were in Parcells' first season, when they went 10-6 and made the playoffs.

    "The thing that we all have to realize is some of the bigger names don't necessarily come in [to teams], although, they should the way we are in the NFL today," Jerry Jones said. "So I'm not going to say that because some teams have drafted marquee players and maybe we didn't draft as many that they'll have that kind of immediate impact."

    Love it or hate it, the wisdom of the decision is not likely to be determined until 2005.

    Jennifer Floyd Engel, (817) 390-7760


    © 2004 Star Telegram and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.
  2. baj1dallas

    baj1dallas New Member

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    Building for the future...Parcells has his Megget type scatback in Jones, next year they can take Cedric Benson or maybe they take Clarett in the 3rd round supplemental.
  3. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    Scatback? Julius Jones is bigger than Emmitt Smith. If this guy tacks up 1,200 yards this year and can get a 4.0 ypc average the debate over running backs will be over... for at least a couple seasons.
  4. RatisBeast

    RatisBeast Chevy Guy

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    Building for the future is right. I hope we don't go Clarrett. :(
  5. Tricky-22

    Tricky-22 Git R Done

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    After having the knife to my wrist for a good while on Saturday, I'm starting to cool off a little bit.

    I felt that Bill and Jerry would suprise everyone, but was not prepared for that kind of move.

    I haven't seen Julius play, but I the clips that I saw on ESPN looked a little like another 22 that used to play for the Cowboys.
  6. Tio

    Tio Armchair QB

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    Good article...
  7. Nightshade

    Nightshade Active Member

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    Julius Jones
    Position: Running Back
    College: Notre Dame
    Height: 5-9
    Weight: 217

    Emmitt Smith
    Running Back #22
    5'9" * 209 * 5/15/69

    I didn't believe you when you wrote it.

    But you're right.

    Still, that's as far as I'm going to go in comparing these two guys.
  8. RatisBeast

    RatisBeast Chevy Guy

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    Agreed you should only go that far for now, well also theyboth played with the Boys and are somehow related to Troy Hambrick. One was replaced by him, the other replaced him. :D
  9. 2much2soon

    2much2soon Well-Known Member

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    If anybody is going to be the "next Barry" it will be Darren Sproles. Coincidentally, we may have a shot at him next year.
  10. VACowboy

    VACowboy Well-Known Member

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    I'll go a little bit further with the comparisons.

    JJ is supposed to have superb balance, great vision and was the "most instinctive runner in the draft."

    Sounds like Emmitt, although I agree that the jury is always out until we see it on the field.

    We'll see.
  11. BrownSugar

    BrownSugar One Classy Lady

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    That was really cute, Roy!! ;)
  12. Hollywood Henderson

    Hollywood Henderson Benched

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    I have watched J.Jones play many times, including his 260 some yard game vs Pitt and while I must admit I wasn't thrilled to draft him, I am open to him coming in and showing what he can do...

    I guess I had him listed in my mind around a 4.6 guy, I didn't think he "looked" like a 4.4 guy...
    But, he does have decent vision and cutback ability... I think we made the right moves though, make the foundation strong first...The Oline...Everything else revolves around that...
    Next year we will have good cap space and 2 #1's we can finish the thing!

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