Cowboys: 10 Worst Decisions By Jerry Jones

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Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

No. 9 – Drafting Shante Carver

In 1994, the Cowboys were back-to-back defending Super Bowl champions who had learned to appreciate the rare commodity of a dominant pass rush. Former San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Charles Haley had been acquired just prior to the start of the 1992 regular season and immediately laid the foundation for the league’s top defensive unit in Dallas.

The first of of those two Super Bowl wins over the Buffalo Bills came upon Haley’s arrival, but it was becoming evident that Haley’s career was in the twilight. Jones worried that his dynasty might be vulnerable at his defense’s most important position sooner than later.

The ’94 draft featured two Hall of Fame players, and the Cowboys drafted one of them, so we can’t say that the whole effort was a failure. Offensive lineman Larry Allen probably had more to do with the incredible success of Emmitt Smith‘s later years than any other player.

But the draft didn’t start well.

Jones traded a first and second round pick to then-arch rival San Francisco for the right to move up just a few spots to select a player that probably would have been available in the second or third round. The Cowboys received the 49ers’ first and seventh round picks in return.

Acquiring Shante Carver out of Arizona State was immediately criticized as drafting for need, and subsequently costing too much for a player that just wasn’t worth it.

Carver would play with the Cowboys – and in the NFL – for just four years before venturing into league’s like the CFL (Canada), XFL (Ridiculous) and AFL (Arena) before retiring in 2004. He ended up with just 11.5 career sacks while proving not only that he was nowhere near a first-round talent, but also that he probably shouldn’t have even been drafted.

That said, this wasn’t the only monstrous failure on the part of Jones that same offseason – more on that coming up.

Next: Firing This Legend Was Inexcusable