Alabama's Julio Jones might have a grade worthy of a No. 9 pick, but his position isn't a high need.
Jones said this weekend he's not dismissing him, or anyone for that matter. Imagine the firestorm he would've created if he went ahead and dismissed him. So Jerry did the right thing, but let's not confuse his ambiguity for a story. Jerry also followed it up by saying the quarterback position is in "outstanding" shape and that these early picks, including the first- and second-rounders, need to play right away. We all know Newton or any other first-round quarterback isn't going to come in and play over Tony Romo.
That's why best-available player doesn't always work.
Let's go even deeper than quarterback, which is a position I think is pretty obvious that you can't take in the first round.
What about wide receiver? And it doesn't matter if you cut Roy Williams or not. The Cowboys still have a two-time Pro Bowl receiver in Miles Austin, who happens to make $9 million per season, and then Dez Bryant, a first-round pick last year who could be the most talented player on your team, when he's healthy.
If you caught any of the combine coverage, especially on Sunday, you saw that Georgia's A.J. Green and Alabama's Julio Jones have entered that "freakish" stage. Not only are they great receivers, but phenomenal specimens as well, who can jump and run with anyone.
Green will likely be long gone when the Cowboys pick at No. 9, but what about Jones? He'll probably be there for the taking. If the Cowboys are grading on best player, I have a hard time thinking Jones' grade won't be right there as the highest, or at least one of them.
But can you take a receiver? This team would be the Detroit Lions from a few years back.
Those guys sell jerseys, while an offensive tackle probably won't. (Never really saw more than a handful of Larry Allen jerseys at games and he was arguably the best offensive lineman in NFL history).
At some point, the Cowboys are going to have to take an offensive lineman in the first round. Or maybe they can go with a big-time defensive lineman. It could be a safety, or a cornerback - maybe a middle linebacker.
But positions like wide receiver, quarterback and even outside linebacker, just really don't make sense. Yeah, I know 3-4 defenses are built on speed-rushers and Texas A&M's Von Miller could be the next great one. But if he comes here at No. 9, either he's playing 20 plays a game as a situational pass-rusher, or you've got Anthony Spencer on the bench.
I'm all about upgrading your team, but not for the "robbing Peter to pay Paul" scenarios.
So in my opinion, let's just drop the "best-available player" moniker for right now, especially in the early rounds.
Just like Herb Brooks said, maybe this team should be looking more for the "right-available player."