The release of Jason Williams has put a spotlight on the disaster that was the Cowboys' 2009 Draft. To most of us, it is a sign that the team needs to spend a little more time on scouting and a little less time glorifying Jerry Jones's ego, but Wade Phillips just shrugs his shoulders.
He was asked by reporters Wednesday if he was bothered by the fact that only four of the 12 players drafted that year are on the active roster less than two years after they became part of the team.
"I'm not. We keep the best players whether they are first-round picks or last-round picks or free agents. You are not going to be perfect with all of the draft choices, but you are going to have some (rookie free agents) surprisingly come through for you, and we've probably been the best at that with the Tony Romos and Miles Austins of the world. They are probably first-round picks now."
A sigh, a shrug of the shoulders and a "nobody's perfect." Is there a better way to describe the Wade Phillips era?
He isn't wrong about the job the Cowboys have done developing Austin and Romo (although he might not want to make a habit of going to the well of things that Bill Parcells did right), but he's way off base with the assertion that this is an either/or scenario. No one is suggesting that Dallas should be keeping players like Jason Williams or Michael Hamlin on the roster, they're saying that they shouldn't have been there in the first place.
If the Cowboys had done a better job with their actual draft choices, they would still have Austin and Romo and they'd be a much deeper and more talented team because of it. Think about it like digging for oil. You'll strike a gusher now and then by randomly dropping a drill in the ground, but it makes a lot more sense to use research to help you dig in the spots that give you the best chance of hitting it rich.
The real problem with what Phillips had to say isn't with the draft, because you know he will never say a discouraging word about anything Double J has done with the team. The problem is his willingness to accept failure instead of finding it unacceptable.
Every team will make mistakes and, as Wade said, nobody's perfect. It's still okay to strive for it, though, and chances are you'll come a lot closer when you do set that as your goal.
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