FRISCO - The NFL Draft is coming and so, maybe, is a major philosophical decision for the Dallas Cowboys: Draft for need (that is, defense) or draft the B.A.A. (best available "athlete'')?
“I spoke to a long-time executive,'' ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reports, "who said that (Kyle) Pitts would completely take their offense to a new stratosphere. He is that kind of talent. So, if Jerry Jones wants to go that route, he’s always a wild card on draft day. But in recent years, the Cowboys have been a little more sensible, so they could get a top cornerback staying where they are.”
Let's break this down, shall we?
1) With all due respect to Fowler, we really don't need "a long-time executive'' to establish that Florida tight end Kyle Pitts is an otherworldly talent who merits a top-10 selection.
2) The "new stratosphere'' quote is fun. As with the comparison of Pitts to LeBron James, it's rather hyperbolic ... but fun.
3) Owner Jerry Jones as a "draft-day wild-card'' is, as of 2021, a myth. This feels like yet another misguided Manziel-type reference. (And an outdated one that suggests, wrongly, that Jerry somehow builds the Dallas Big Board. Which he does not.)
4) When Fowler writes, "in recent years, the Cowboys have been a little more sensible.'' ...
Really? How so? Does the ESPN reporter mean "sensible'' by drafting for need, rather than as a "wild-card''? Fowler doesn't seem to be able to make up his mind here. Just 12 months ago, the Cowboys shocked even themselves by ignoring need and sticking to the board to select receiver CeeDee Lamb.
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"Sensible.'' "Wild-card.'' Which is it?
It is no secret that the Dak Prescott-led Cowboys’ offense, with everybody healthy, looks stacked, while the defense - historically poor a year ago - is still lagging behind; we don't need ESPN to tell us that.
Nor do we need an alert from Bristol to inform us that Jerry is enamored by Pitts, as Chris Mortensen make that clear a week ago.
So what is the moral to the story? It's about whether you, and whether the Cowboys, believe that philosophically, a team should use free agency to fill needs while using the NFL Draft to add talent, regardless of need.
Specific to the Cowboys' fascination with Pitts - a fascination that is completely understandable and surely shared by 31 other teams - we say there is a high unlikelihood that the Cowboys will get Pitts with the 10th pick in the first round; the Atlanta Falcons and the Cincinnati Bengals, at Nos. 4 and 5 respectively, probably won't let him slide.
That leads to another philosophical question, about paying the price for such a trade-up (a first-, a second- and a fourth-round pick?) versus collecting all the darts possible and simply standing pat by using those picks.
The Cowboys have used both philosophies over the years. There is no wrong answer there. But the achievement of another "stratosphere''? As hyperbolic as it is, it is also a tempting vision.