In the 2011 draft, the Dallas Cowboys looked to address an aging and unimpressive offensive line in the first round, by taking Tyron Smith out of USC, but according to Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan, his brother--who had just taken over as the defensive coordinator earlier that offseason--would have brought in defensive lineman JJ Watt if he had had his say.
Of course, Watt went to the Texans, and four games into his sophomore season, is being mentioned as one of the best defensive players in all of football. Rex Ryan, whose Jets are scheduled to play Houston this weekend, explained the story to reporters in a conference call this week, saying that Rob was more than a little high on Watt a year and half ago.
"Well, the first thing, you love the fanatical effort," Rex said of Watt, via the Dallas Morning News. "The guy plays with his hair on fire and that’s something you notice. But the size, strength, athleticism; it’s rare to find a guy with that kind of combination.
“I know my brother was wanting him when he was in Dallas. He lost out in that battle. They took that tackle instead. We kept saying, 'You got to get this kid, you got to get this kid.' And sure enough, Houston ends up with him.
"(Watt) might be the first overall pick if you’re having that draft all over again. He might be the first overall pick. Certainly, he makes a huge difference and an impact. Really, it’s a guy, as a defensive coach all my life, it’s one of those rare guys that comes along once in a long time and he’s doing a tremendous job."
Of course, especially knowing what we know now, we’d love to have Watt in a Cowboys uniform. That said, we’d hate to see what the Cowboys o-line would look like without Smith, who has been the team’s best lineman since coming in as a rookie last year.
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