Jerry Jones 2nd-Guessed Not Trading for Paxton Lynch, Drafting Dak Prescott

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2021

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) pump fakes as he looks to throw a pass in the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

It's no secret that Dak Prescott was not the Dallas Cowboys' first choice in the 2016 NFL draft. Nor was he their second.

In fact, NBC Sports' Peter King noted that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones woke up the day after the draft wishing he had traded up for his first choice, Paxton Lynch.

“When I got up this morning, I second-guessed the hell out of myself for not giving the three," Jones told King the day after that draft. "I have always paid a premium for a premium. So many times my bargains have let me down. I’m not gonna go jump from Dallas' tallest, so let's put this in perspective. But if I had to do it all over again? I'd give the three.”

The Cowboys negotiated with the Seattle Seahawks for the No. 26 pick, with Seattle requesting Dallas' second-round (No. 34) and third-round (No. 67) selections for the Cowboys to move up eight slots. Jones offered a fourth instead, and Seattle wound up taking a package from the Broncos that included Denver's first (No. 31) and third (No. 94) picks. 

The Cowboys later attempted to trade up for Michigan State's Connor Cook in the fourth round—they had him over Prescott on their board—but negotiations with the Browns fell apart. 

Prescott fell all the way to No. 135, at which point the Cowboys finally rolled the dice on the Mississippi State product. It would have been a happy result if Prescott were simply an above-average backup. Fourth-round quarterbacks are not taken to be franchise faces; Prescott was the eighth quarterback selected in the 2016 class.

None of the quarterbacks taken ahead of Prescott are still with the teams that drafted them. Jared Goff and Carson Wentz are the only ones who turned into NFL-caliber starting quarterbacks, and even their teams gave up on them in hopes of making an upgrade this offseason.

As for Lynch, his NFL career lasted all of five games. Cook has 21 passes and one regular-season appearance to his name.

Suffice it to say, sometimes it takes a little luck to successfully run an NFL franchise.