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Counterpoint: Proper Research Lessens The Risk On Trouble Players

IRVING, Texas -- One of the great debates in draft rooms around the league this time of year is, "Is it worth it to your team to take a shot on drafting a player that is a character risk?"

Nothing gets personnel men more passionate than conversations about players that have some issue --whether it is with the law, alcohol or drugs. There are scouts that are willing to put aside their own core beliefs in order to make their points about these troubled players.

So, as I type this, I am not ashamed to admit that I was one of those scouts.

I totally agree with the approach that this Cowboys front office and coaching staff takes when it comes to the character risks when building their team. You have to take these situations on a case-by-case basis -- which is exactly what we heard from Jason Garrett during the pre-draft press conference on Tuesday.

Randy Moss is not Michael Irvin and Randy Gregory is not Shane Ray. To make these types of decisions you have to weigh all the options with the best information that you can gather. In his old days, Jerry Jones would never go out and drill a well unless he had a geologist give him an idea where that oil was located.

It's the same thing with these players. It doesn't matter whether it's a doctor or the equipment manager, someone is going to tell you everything you need to know in the type of character you are getting with the player in question.

A great example of this was before the season when Garrett contacted Alabama head coach Nick Saban about Rolando McClain. There is no doubt in my mind that McClain would not have been a part of this team had Garrett not made that call -- and think where this defense would have been without him. 

There are players that this front office has stayed away from in the past, and those players have gone on to have productive careers without any issues at all. The most recent one has been Tyrann Mathieu of the Arizona Cardinals. There is no question that they could have used a player with Mathieu's talent on the roster, but they were not comfortable at all with what they knew about his background and moved on from there.

As long as the Cowboys continue to evaluate case-by-case and continue to gather the proper information, then adding players that are character risks is really not that risky at all.

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