A Killer Decision

It was the decision carrying a thousand implications. The Keith Davis retention should be applauded by Cowboys' faithful, especially as it relates to both depth and value. Yes, it carried financial implications the organization probably hoped to avoid, but even these dollars can be reallocated.

Davis will get his "up front" monies, but the remainder of the contract terms are subject to restructure at any juncture, and who knows, could actually be renegotiated prior to training camp. So, put your salary concerns aside. The Jones family has been in business, big business, for a few years, and they'll make the numbers work.

Looking back, the organization has come full circle with Davis, and it's his persistence and development that make for a great story. Keith Davis is a fighter chocked full of determination. Do you think Keith Davis, once bounced for an ill-advised rendezvous in a strip club parking lot, has a sense of loyalty to the Dallas Cowboys? Do you think he'll fly around the field with extra effort and pride displaying sincere thanks? This single signing tells you all you need to know about the premium Bill Parcells places on special teams. Davis has both the talent and charisma to recreate the Kenny Gant days. The self-proclaimed moniker of "Killer" will be on full display, and Bruce DeHaven couldn't be happier.

With Davis returning to the fold, certainly common sense (cents, too) and logic would dictate the Cowboys wouldn't be looking at defensive back with their first selection in two weeks, right? Tap the brakes. When has common sense and logic ever applied to Jerry Jones? Like the "age" factor, the argument of tying up salary dollars in a particular player, position or area of play is asinine. Is there something wrong with trying to build the best team possible? Should the Cowboys be faulted for potentially wanting the best secondary on the field of play?

So, when it's their turn on the clock and there sits Michael Huff (probably not), Jimmy Williams, Donte Whitner, Tye Hill, Kelly Jennings and Ashton Youboty are the Cowboys expected to turn their collective heads and say, "we can't?" What if the Cowboys Draft board has one of these guys rated as the best value proposition or player available at No. 18? No, we can't because we already have too much invested in the secondary? Come on now, that's pure bunk!! The Davis signing, by providing depth, allows them to take the Draft as it comes to them. Don't reach. If the Cowboys remain at No. 18, and the best player available is a defensive back, you take him. Simple as that.

Now, with all this in place and the Cowboys in position to remain flexible and receptive, what should they do come Draft Day? Call Buffalo. Find the biggest sucker, most desperate partner or target the organization that just can't live without a particular player. They'll be out there. They always are. Before the collective moaning and groaning sets in with the thought of completely moving out of the first round, consult the value boards before rendering an opinion.

Here's the link.

Let your eyes and mind hone in on rounds two and three. What do you see? More than a few names of guys who would be a "core" match for your beloved Cowboys? Ladies and Gentlemen, there are a ton of football players who will be taken with picks 33-97. What if you could have three selections in the first 97, potentially recouping your lost fourth round selection and still come away with an additional first round selection next year? Would you pull the trigger? Is there another Julius Jones deal out there? Could Jerry Jones, of all the general managers, find a suitor? If your answer is no, great news. The NBA and NHL playoffs will be kicking off in short order. Give another sport a whirl because this is the Dallas Cowboys, where anything can happen, and probably will.

Did you really think Terrell Owens would be running your quick slant or skinny post in 2006? Enough said.

It would take a "stand firm" stance to net Florida State menace Ernie Sims, but if ever there was a young man totally consumed with playing football and administering pain, he's your guy. Even moving down, but not out, of round one could be profitable (with extra picks) while still hunting the likes of Manny Lawson, DeMeco Ryans, Eric Winston or Nick Mangold. All would have great appeal, but the value proposition and strength of the 2006 Draft clearly resides in rounds two and three. The Cowboys just need to camp out, cherry pick and grab all the low-hanging fruit available. While the initial fight is awesome, isn't the greatest aspect of fishing reaching for the gaff and landing net?

Call it boldness or complete insanity, but the Cowboys stand to net a second-rounder who potentially could throw as many skins on the wall as recently departed, former second-rounder, Larry Allen. There isn't a spot on the current roster that couldn't use depth and solidification. Time to build for the future.

Let's throw around a few cinder blocks and see if any of these fellows could provide some stability. Thomas Howard, Charles Spencer, Stanley McClover, Antonio Cromartie, Bobby Carpenter, Max Jean-Gilles, D'Qwell Jackson, Chris Chester, Jeremy Trueblood, Andrew Whitworth, Maurice Stovall and Ryan Cook. These guys doing anything for you? What if you could have three, maybe four (by trading an acquired fourth-rounder to get back into round three)? Can you find four potential impact players in this group? Have you seen how big, not to mention productive, Ryan Cook is? If D'Qwell Jackson is a late third round pick, the authorities need to be sent to Valley Ranch to arrest Parcells, Jones and Ireland for grand larceny. Move over Chris Canty, you're no longer known as the biggest heist amongst the current regime.

It's about to be Christmas in April, and once again people, to include past and present players, are starting to talk about the Cowboys again. Maybe talk is the wrong word. It's more like pure defiance and bad-mouthing. Turn on the NFL Network. There's Deacon Jones telling Rich Eisen, Rod Woodson, Warren Sapp and the entire world how Terrell Owens is the worst disease known to professional sports. And then a commercial break where Joey Porter is popping off on how he was thoroughly courted and promised this and that by the Cowboys only to have them go a different direction in 1999. It's once again become fashionable to bash the Boys, and that's a beautiful thing. The talk originates from a nervousness and spite mentality. There's movement and progress afoot, and the famed blue star is once again moving up billboard charts everywhere. Life is good.

OK, one last exercise before departure. Grab a pencil and paper. Write down the names of the divisional opponents across the top of the paper. Below each team list the names of bone fide, Coordinator-scary, game changers for each squad. Remember, bone fide, must-account-for players. Without seeing yours, it's assumed the lists aren't long, and the Redskins probably account for the most impact players. Close? So, why do this? To highlight the individuals you must account for, as they possess the potential of keeping the Cowboys from playoff contention. Now, are the Cowboys positioned to either nullify or equalize these impact players? Do you really come across a name for which there is no answer? If the jury is out on any, it's probably the duo of Strahan and Umenyiora. See, it's still about doing everything it takes to win your division. Do that, any you position yourself for post-season play. Six annual games that command your full attention. Putting a few more equalizer pieces in place two weeks from today will help shut the division door. Good thing too. There's a "Draft" headed this way.

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