A Former Bitter Rival Gives the Dallas Cowboys Brain Trust Credit for Incredible Drafting That Helped Make the Team 1 of the Best in the NFL: ‘The Jones’ are Crushing It When It Comes to the Draft’

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Owner Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys and Executive Vice President Stephen Jones talk before a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on September 29, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The Dallas Cowboys and their owners/general managers/glorious leaders Stephen and Jerry Jones deserve a lot of credit for putting together one of the best teams in the NFL this season. The team is 6-1 and in first place in the NFC East. And, the team has reached these heights despite injuries to key pieces like quarterback Dak Prescott and defensive end Demarcus Lawrence.

How has America’s Team done it?

By drafting incredibly well in the last few seasons, Jerry Jones and his son Stephen have put together a team that features both exciting starters and depth. They’ve built the team so well that even one a longtime Cowboys rival can’t help but give the Jones’ credit.

Stephen and Jerry Jones had crushed the NFL draft for the Dallas Cowboys in the last few years

Owner Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys and Executive Vice President Stephen Jones talk before a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on September 29, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones | Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images.

Whether huddling in the War Room of The Star in Frisco or slinging out picks from a Superyacht (like Jerry Jones did in 2020), the Cowboys front office has built a true Super Bowl contender through the draft.  

The good draft vibes in Dallas started in earnest a decade ago when the Jones’ made a commitment to building from the inside out. This meant taking offensive and defensive linemen and pass-rushing linebackers high and (mostly) leaving the flashy skill-position players for the later rounds.

From 2011 to 2019, the Cowboys’ first- and second-round picks included OT Tyron Smith, C Travis Frederick, G Zach Martin, DE Demarcus Lawrence, LB Randy Gregory, DE Taco Charlton, OT Connor Williams, and DT Trysten Hill.

With the foundation built, Jerry and Stephen Jones shifted their top-of-the-draft strategy and picked some incredible luxury pieces in the last two drafts: CeeDee Lamb, Trevon Diggs, and Micah Parsons.

Most of all, the Jones’ have hit big in the later rounds. CB Anthony Brown (sixth-round), WR Michael Gallup (third round), TE Dalton Schultz (fourth round), RB Tony Pollard (fourth round), C Tyler Biadasz (fourth round), and DT Osa Odighizuwa (third round) are all important Cowboys in 2021.

And, of course, you have to give Stephen and Jerry Jones credit for one of the best late-round picks in recent NFL history. Selecting Dak Prescott No. 135 overall in the 2016 draft is what makes all these other players successful. 

Phil Simms admits that the Jones’ have drafted incredibly well of late

No one knows better what happens when the Dallas Cowboys draft well better than the QB of the New York Giants.

Phil Simms played that role from 1979 to 1993. Early in his career, he suffered at the hands of the great Cowboys teams of the 1970s. Then, as Dallas hit a drafting dry spell and, Simms took the upper hand in the back half of the 1980s.

Then, at the end of Simms’ career, he once again fell victim to great Cowboys draft picks such as Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin.

That must make it hard to admit that the Cowboys are once again building a strong and deep powerhouse through the draft, but that’s just what the QB-turned-analyst did on CBS’s NFL Today pregame show:

The Jones’ are crushing it when it comes to the draft. When you look at their football team, they have a minimum of 25 guys that contribute to the game that are good on this roster. You saw Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard, they got a good tight end, the offensive line is loaded. Oh, then we got Randy Gregory, Demarcus Lawrence when he’s healthy, they drafted Micah Parsons, and then Trevon Diggs. I mean, how’s that for drafting well by the Dallas Cowboys?

Phill Simms on Stephen and Jerry Jones

It probably makes it easier for Simms to give the Jones’ props for drafting since his Giants are a non-factor in the division (or pro football) these days. Or maybe it’s just easy for the former Big Blue QB to say because it’s the truth.

Few front offices have drafted better than Stephen and Jerry Jones have in the last decade, and now their Cowboys are one of the best teams in the NFL because of it.

The Cowboys have a good chance of winning the NFC in 2021

At 6-1, the Dallas Cowboys already have a seemingly insurmountable four-game lead in the NFC East. Now, attention shifts to winning the conference and getting a first-round playoff bye and home-field advantage throughout.

Heading into Week 9, the Cowboys are in a virtual tie atop the NFC with the Arizona Cardinals (7-1), Los Angeles Rams (7-1), and Green Bay Packers (7-1), with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers right behind at (6-2).

In addition to having four games left against its own awful division, the Jones’ squad will also face the lowly Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons. In that mix, they also meet the very beatable Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints.

The big game will be in Week 17 against the NFC West-leading Arizona Cardinals. If the Cards do make it that far with a great record still intact (which will be difficult in the NFC West), that game could be for the conference, and it will be played deep in the heart of Texas at AT&T Stadium.

If the Cowboys can make the entire NFC playoffs run through Jerry World, look out. The ‘Boys could get back to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1995, and it will be in large part because of the stellar drafting by Stephen and Jerry Jones.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference

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