IRVING, Texas – When it comes to the NFL Draft, there is one word that always surfaces more and more each year.
That's really what the draft is about. And really it's not value, but perceived value. Because no one really knows if this guard is better than that guard, or is this defensive end a better player than the wide receiver you could've picked.
So it always comes down to value. And if the Cowboys were simply picking their own original selection at No. 31 and taken Travis Frederick, this would've been a really good pick.
As it stands, it still could be.
Let's talk about the good aspects first. The Cowboys needed interior line help, and they got it with Frederick. Not only that, by taking him when they did, they got the best center in the draft, period.
See, I actually support that rationale because that's how I play fantasy football. (I'm not comparing the two, I'm just relating the logic.) In fantasy, I'll take a defense or tight end maybe a little earlier than most, just to make sure I get the best one.
Ok, so this isn't fantasy football. Got it. Just saying, the Cowboys might have reached a little to get the best center out there.
Then again, they didn't reach according to their own board. Judging from the hints Jerry Jones was giving after the press conference Thursday night, it sounded like Frederick was somewhere between 20th and 22nd player on their board. If that was the case, then obviously they got a little bit of a break.
Jones also said Frederick will step right in and start – somewhere. It'll probably be center at first, but he could end up playing guard if that's the best spot for him. Either way, they drafted a starter.
Ok, let's get to the part that everyone is upset with: the trade.
Now draft-day trades are not black-and-white. What one team has on their value chart isn't exactly the same for another. But it seemed like the Cowboys could've gotten a lot more with the trade with the 49ers that sent San Francisco the 18th pick in exchange for the 31st and 74th selections. Based on apparent value charts, it seemed like the Cowboys could've received a second-round pick and possibly even more.
However, when asked about losing in the trade, Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones and Jason Garrett all shook their heads in unison. Stephen even said the Cowboys probably won the trade, according to their own charts.
And he also pointed out this draft took on a personality of its own. We saw unique things going on here with six offensive linemen drafted in the first 11 picks. We saw surprises at the quarterback position. And there still hasn't been a running back off the board.
So it's a unique draft to say the least. And trading back to get value wasn't exactly the same as it's been in the past.
However, it did seem like the Rams got a better deal than the Cowboys, moving from 22 to 30 and they got a third-round pick and a sixth-rounder.
So that's really where the issue is with this draft. It's not like the Cowboys didn't get a good player, and pick up a third-rounder in the process. That was the goal coming into this draft, which began with six selections. Now the Cowboys have seven with two in the third-round.
Then again, who is that third-rounder going to be? Is that another Jason Witten or a Jason Williams?
Of course there will always be players on the board that could be more enticing to take. At the time, the Cowboys could've drafting safety Eric Reid.
Stephen Jones said it was "too rich" to take the LSU safety right there. Instead, the 49ers actually traded into the spot and took Reid.
Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd was once a top name on early mock drafts, going as high as the Top 5 at one point. He fell to 24th and went to the Vikings. Jerry Jones said after the draft defensive tackle is a strength and it sounded like they weren't sold on Floyd's ability to get up the field in pass rush, although he was valued as a top-notch run defender.
Overall, I think the Cowboys helped their team Thursday night with the addition of Frederick. It's not a 'wow' pick. It's not a sexy pick. Then again, missing the playoffs two straight years because you can't win the final game of the season isn't that attractive either.
So sexy and exciting or any other flamboyant adjectives should be out the window.
Frederick should help this team right away.
As for the trade … who knows right now because it's not completed. Let's come back Friday night and stack up the 74th pick and Frederick, and then we can compare him next to Reid or Floyd or anyone else who could've been picked at 18.