IRVING, Texas -Let me answer the headline question first: Still like it.
Notice I said like and not love, because I'm not sure many people just love seeing offensive linemen drafted in the first round. They want to see highlights, touchdowns, that wow factor.
And unless you're getting Orlando Pace and seeing all of his pancake-blocks, then it's hard to get too jacked about taking linemen.
But I think most people were in agreement that drafting Tyron Smith, a 20-year-old from USC who was much more mature beyond his age, was the right pick to make, especially since the Cowboys had gone 30 years since taking an offensive lineman in the first round.
It was the right pick then. And yes, it's still the right pick now.
Oh, I've seen him play. Yes, I know that Houston's J.J. Watt appears to be the next superstar defensive player in the making. He's leading the league in sacks with 8.5 and doing it from the defensive end position. That would be a half-sack less than Marcus Spears' nine career sacks. Yeah, let that sink in.
So I get it, what J.J. Watt could've provided for this Cowboys team would be outstanding. He's big, strong, fast, athletic, dominating, instinctive – just everything you want. To me, he's Ivan Drago in a football uniform.
But, the Cowboys had to take Tyron Smith. Look at this team right now – they need help on the line. This line looks like a unit that has had only one first-round lineman in 30 years. They need help and that's with Smith in the fold.
I know Watt looks like a stud player but in actuality, so does Smith, just in a different way.
If you're one of those guys who wants to blame Jerry Jones for not having a better offensive line, you can't have it both ways. He's trying to fix that with Smith and that's just one piece of the puzzle.
Now Watt was certainly on the Cowboys' radar. They liked him a lot and when all of those mock drafts were predicting Watt to go to Dallas, they weren't far off. Sure Watt would've been great, but the Cowboys simply had other needs. And even by drafting Smith, they still have pressing needs on the line.
What's interesting about that 2011 draft is that I was about to type that I'm sure some of the teams before the Cowboys picked would've loved to have had Watt, too.
Then again, names like Cam Newton, Von Miller, A.J. Green, Patrick Peterson, Aldon Smith, Julio Jones and Jake Locker all went before Smith. Then it was Blaine Gabbert and then Watt.
Don't look now, but this 2011 draft might end up being one of the best in recent years.