The Dallas Cowboys' Draft Grade: %$#&*!-Minus

Let me kick off this week with a detailed breakdown of the players the Dallas Cowboys selected on the first day of last weekend's NFL Draft:









For the reaches, afterthoughts, confounding strategy and appropriately crappy grade, we'd best jump ...

A great weekend for Dallas; a weird one - at best - for the Cowboys. While Dallas became the first city to have three Top 10 picks, a 9-7 Cowboys' team we last saw drastically underachieving and absolutely quitting in a 44-6 loss to the Eagles decided it would assess the college talent atop the NFL's draft board - and punt.

Either patiently genius or characteristically arrogant - give me the latter - the Cowboys traded their second-round pick, high-tailed it out of the first day and veered into oblivion. Dallas' first pick was No. 69, its lowest since 1980 and the first time in the Jerry Jones Era the team didn't have a first-day choice.

For a minute I thought the economy was forcing Jerry to implement a Valley Ranch hiring freeze. But, no, he tells us, it's about building through backups. About strengthening the special teams. About quantity over quality.

In reality, it's 12 long-shot gambles in Rounds 3-7 - a dirty dozen. Can't call it a disaster, because in the NFL Draft not knowing a player's name doesn't equate to knowing their future. (Larry Allen, anyone?)

But I can call it disappointing. And I seriously doubt if fans were wowed.

The Cowboys entered the weekend needing help at safety, maybe a wide receiver. After a first day of foreplay, we wanted Sunday fireworks.

What'd we get?

*A linebacker (Jason Williams) from Western Illinois who wasn't even invited to the Scouting Combine.

*A quarterback (Stephen McGee) whose best passes at Texas A&M were backward.

*Two fourth-round linebackers (Victor Butler and Brandon Williams) with neither the size to play inside nor speed to play outside in the NFL.

*A kicker. That's right, a kicker. You'd think with Mat McBriar and Nick Folk the kicking game was the least of Dallas' concerns, but USC's David Buehler will supposedly get a shot. Equate this to buying a Big Gulp at 7-11, getting 89 cents in change and adding a pack of gum because, well, you had to spend all your money on something.

The Cowboys did finally select a couple defensive backs (DeAngelo Smith, Mike Hamlin and Mike Mickens) and a receiver (Manuel Jackson). Here's hoping it was better late than never. Here's predicting it was too late.

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