The NFL draft has come and gone and the Cowboys seem to be a hot topic of discussion among the football world. Like any draft, the anticipation and excitement is what fuels the event, and for Cowboy fans, it was time for tangible results.
The questions regarding who the Cowboys would draft, what their philosophy would be and would they have any trade opportunities, were all answered over the three-day event. But the questions they faced during and after the draft are bringing second-guessing to a whole new level.
On the surface the Cowboys are in the same bucket as the other 31 franchises simply because it will take time to see how this draft class materializes.
Is Travis Frederick going to be Nick Mangold or Clay Shiver? Is Gavin Escobar going to be Aaron Hernandez or Eric Bjornson? And is J.J. Wilcox going to be the safety his potential says he can become or is this another Pat Watkins?
Conceptually the Cowboys did satisfy many needs on their checklist with the exception of a couple. It would've been nice to draft a tackle and perhaps a defensive lineman but maybe that's a byproduct of not getting enough in the trade with the 49ers.
There is a lot to like about this draft but at the same time there is a lot to question. In fact, the opinions in NFL circles range anywhere from what the hell did they do to watch Frederick be a starter for the next decade.
I must admit that I myself started to pen a suicide letter after the first night of events, but with two days left for the Cowboys to redeem themselves, the draft took a much better turn.
Let's see if others agree.
Over the last year I've really come to scrutinize and appreciate Dan Graziano's work a little more since he covers the NFC East and is always very candid about how he feels. Regarding the Dallas Cowboys draft he goes against the grain of the general consensus and actually likes the selection of Frederick.
Graziano also goes on to say that the Cowboys' plan was done with coherence and he really does a nice job of analyzing pick by pick. The big issue that he stresses is that in a lousy draft class, teams, in this case the Cowboys, are going to stick to their board and draft who they like.
The crux of his opinion still harped on the fact that the Cowboys needed to come out of this draft with a starter on the offensive line, which they did.
Elliot Harrison of NFL.com had a rather interesting article that was broken up into many components. He started out by evaluating items such as best pick, best mid-round pick, observations and winners and losers.
But he then has a caption titled "Worried" and that's where he places the Cowboys and breaks down his thoughts. He actually makes an interesting critique by saying that he didn't so much have a problem with the trade down to the No. 31 pick, but rather the player they selected.
He goes on to mention how the selection of Gavin Escobar was yet another head-scratcher. What I gather out of this opinion seems to be a recurring motif of the Cowboys 2013 draft and it centers around the question of "did they maximize value?"
While that will remain a long-standing debate for the next few years, it appeared that teams had a lesser amount of first-round grades on players than in years past.
Peter King, one of the best football writers in the world, had an interesting take on what the Cowboys accomplished in the draft and backed it up with his defense of the team. He simply called for all the critics to stop killing the Cowboys by looking at the Frederick pick as selecting the best center in the draft.
He followed that up by applauding the selections of Escobar and Terrance Williams and by adding something that was told to him by another GM. That message said that if you wind up with a starter for six or eight years, isn't that worth the 31st pick?
Sounds logical to me. Now let's see if that happens.
A rather interesting article with multiple opinions surfaced on the Cowboys own website, Dallascowboys.com, in which, well, the opinions weren't so great at all.
I was most interested in Mel Kiper's opinion mainly due to his popularity and his passion for the draft itself. He hit on some pretty solid points and he views the Cowboys draft as "a little all over the place." However, he does go on to say that as the draft progressed it did improve.
One part of his opinion that I wholeheartedly agree with is the fact that the Cowboys failed to address tackle and defensive line. But he did like both the Wilcox and B.W. Webb selections.
Yahoo.com's Jason Cole had nothing particularly positive to say at all about the Cowboys' draft and circled back to Frederick being a reach and Escobar and Williams not being immediate contributors.
Overall, the article did feature a few other writers but the opinions were of the same mindset and it centered around average results. Sportingnews.com's Vinnie Iyer had some positive opinions regarding Williams and Escobar but stated that the Cowboys were adding offensive pieces to what they already had.
He does mention how B.W. Webb could actually help this team the most in 2013.
Bob Sturm's article on foxsportssouthwest.com was probably one of the most in-depth opinions I've read from any draft in a long time. He lays out a comprehensive backdrop to the article by demonstrating overlapping tendencies between Jerry Jones and Al Davis. I was immediately hooked.
But aside from that he focuses his analysis of the picks both positively and negatively. I thought his insight on the 12 personnel was interesting which tied into the Escobar selection. Although tight end wasn't that high on the list of needs, the Cowboys may have found another playmaker.
He goes on further to add some nice elements into his article on how Williams was a highly productive college player and could ultimately force Miles Austin out in 2014. Overall, the amount of detail and depth drew me to his opinion and it was an interesting read.
I think this opinion, as well as the vast amount of others, are somewhere in the middle in terms of their assessments. While some totally frown upon what the Cowboys did, some actually see a lot of logic and a well executed plan. Others are simply in the middle of the road.
But when you're 128-128 over a 17-year period, maybe there's a lot of truth in the facts, not just opinions.