In a controversial draft day move, the Dallas Cowboys traded up in the 2nd Round to select a player they needed to have. Demarcus Lawrence was a player the Cowboys saw as one of only three dynamic edge rushers in the Draft. When the Cowboys pulled the trigger on the trade, the first two players were gone and only Lawrence remained. After the pick Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones, and Jason Garrett talked to the media…
Said Jerry Jones,
At the end of the day [his pass-rush skills] put him in a group of three players that were unique. [The other two] had gone well before he did.
We just really liked him. He’s a right end candidate for us. There are only a handful of right end guys in this draft and we felt like we had come up [with one]. Those impact players go high. They’re first and second round players.
The Cowboys set out on the unfamiliar task of filling the role of right defensive end. As everyone knows the RDE spot had previously belonged to one of the NFL’s best all-time pass-rushers, DeMarcus Ware. With Ware in Denver the Cowboys needed to find an elite talent capable of providing a similarly dynamic pass-rush off the edge. That’s one of the reasons the Cowboys were accepting of losing their 3rd round pick and possibly another future starter.
There are a lot of Defensive Linemen in the draft but we felt like there were only a few guys who could play that spot…who have that elite skill to be able to do that. He was one of them.
And the Cowboys just couldn’t afford to lose him to another team.
Says Stephen Jones,
Lawrence was the last guy we had in terms of the right end spot.
The elder Jones agreed,
This was a need pick. [To draft] a player that could either put some pressure from the outside, or provide us a unique complement to what we have inside and give us two people that have to be blocked. This was the only one that we saw left on the board, [that can] draw two extra blocks in a pass-rush situation, so that made him very exclusive as far as we were concerned.
The Cowboys valued the position so strongly that they were unwilling to play the waiting game and risk losing Lawrence. Instead the Cowboys worked the phones to find a trade partner at the top of the 2nd round.
In the end, a partner was found in Washington as the Redskins gouged the desperate Dallas rival for everything they were worth. Which happens to be exactly one 3rd round pick. Asked if that was too much to spend, even with the need and value of Lawrence.
[We] knew that we might have to give up a little more than the charts read out. As we all know that can happen. It happens sometimes when you really want a guy, and we really wanted this guy. ..We felt like he could go there because of his unique quality and we didn’t want to take a chance on losing him.
That’s basically the story of how Demarcus Lawrence became a Dallas Cowboy in the words of the Cowboys brass themselves. Quotes were pulled from dallascowboys.com and transcripts from blogging the boys.com. I made every attempt to clean up and keep sentences in context. It makes me understand the process involved and the pick itself better, and I hope it clears things up for you as well.
Was Lawrence worth it? Only time will tell but if he’s anything like the Cowboys evaluated him to be, he’ll be well worth the price.
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