During the week leading up to the NFL Draft, and then during the draft itself, I was in Dallas. In related news, I also live in Dallas now.
Anyway, it gave me a chance to see the Cowboys up close, learn how they tick, see how they draft, and gain an understanding for why they did what they did. Hearing them before the draft, then watching them trade for LSU CB Morris Claiborne at No. 6, told me something very pertinent. They think they are gonna be really, really good.
With every move they made, from the blockbuster to add Claiborne, to filling in with projects and role players, the Cowboys think they are one player away. Just like the Falcons did last year with the Julio Jones trade.
After one year, it hasn’t quite worked out for the Falcons yet, though there is (obviously) plenty of time. And they gave up far, far more than the Cowboys did, with Dallas’ move losing them just a second-round pick. That’s why, even if they are wrong — if they team isn’t as good as they think or if Claiborne is a bust — they can make up for it. The second-round pick would have been Utah St. LB Bobby Wagner, but they are OK at linebacker for a year. Unless they know something we don’t.
Are the Cowboys really one player away? Are they delusional? Something in between? We’ll see. But they are heading into 2012 with tons and tons of confidence.