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04/23/2013

Why Jason Garrett's influence is a positive for Jerry Jones

Cowlishaw_0730spo001IRVING, Texas - As much as you may hate head coach Jason Garrett right now, the Cowboys are better off with him in the draft room than not.

If you look at the Cowboys' drafts run when the coach had a stronger personality (Jimmy Johnson, Bill Parcells, Garrett), those classes produced better results than when the head coach was simply agreeable (Barry, Chan Gailey, Dave Campo, Wade Phillips).

For whatever the reason, Jerry agreed more with the likes of Jimmy, Bill and Garrett. Jerry was led by those voices. The other guys - Barry, Chan, Campo and Wade - were more led by Jerry.

Some of the Cowboys' problems have to be traced to a pair of drafts under the combination of scouting director Tom Ciskowski and Wade. The classes of 2008 and '09 are a massive reason why this team finds itself swimming in mediocrity.

124735000_crop_650x440The only player left on the Dallas Cowboys from either the '08 or '09 drafts is nickel defensive back Orlando Scandrick. That is one player out of 18 draftees who is still with the team. Those two classes should comprise the guts of this team. 

In '08, the team drafted Felix Jones in the first round. Save for the truly special, running backs should never go in the first round. Defensive back Mike Jenkins was pretty good for the time he was year but between his injuries and the development of Morris Claiborne he became expendable. And I always hated the pick of Martellus Bennett because he was too much of screw off.

The '09 draft was a disaster.

To Ciskowski's credit, the team has hit on a decent number of picks in '10, '11 and '12 - Dez can play. Sean Lee is a player, when healthy. Sean Lissemore has something for a 7th rounder. Tyron Smith, Bruce Carter, DeMarco Murray and Dwayne Harris are all legit. Claiborne looks as if he will be worth the trade up to acquire him. Tyrone Crawford should be a decent pro. 

The lack of players left from '08 and '09 says either the draft board, or the picks, were a mess. The quality coming from the classes of '11 and '12 says the board was a bit cleaner, and the final pick was influenced by the head coach.

Twitter @MacEngelProf

tengel@star-telegram.com

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