Draft Philosophy Different with No Parcells

Bill Parcells made a point of shunning any pet cats in the draft room. Pet cats, according to Parcells, were prospects a scout or coach liked, grew fond of and made a point of trying to draft that pet cat.

The funny thing is Parcells had a few pet cats of his own. Jacob Rogers, a draft bust in 2004, was one of Parcells' pet cats. So was defensive end Marcus Spears.

It is said the Parcells wanted to draft Spears before linebacker DeMarcus Ware in 2005 but was overruled by owner Jerry Jones.

Of course Jones is not immune to pet cats, considering he was the one who lobbied against rhyme and reason for Quincy Carter.

But with Parcells gone, Jones has the final say in the draft room. And it's his mission to make sure no pet cats get drafted.

He said the Cowboys will only be partial to the draft board in the 2007 draft.

"There won't be that potential lobbying that you might have gotten that might have influenced that draft board that really you shouldn't do," Jones said. "You should put your highest-rated player by the guys that spend 100 percent of the time out here.

"I think this is going to be the purest scout-evaluation (draft) from the December grade."

With a new coaching staff in place, the Cowboys are especially likely to stick to their draft board.

The scouts, led by chief scout Jeff Ireland, have done most of the work and the Cowboys will lean on their labor. They will rank and draft according to the board.

"The only times coaches and scouts don't see eye to eye is around draft time, because coaches start liking players," Ireland said. "You have to fight that. I think we've done a good job of that.

"But you can't manufacture these players; they all can't fit the blueprint," Ireland said. "It happens on every staff. You don't want guys falling in love with players or need positions. Those are the traps; people start believing we need a receiver, and a fifth-rounder becomes a third-rounder.

"You have to fight that with the scouts and coaches. That's why it's my job to look at every player and decide."

With Parcells as the coach and man with the final say in the draft room, the Cowboys had middling success the last four years.

The Cowboys have 10 picks in the 2007 draft. Jones said he wants a success rate of at least 70 percent.

Bottom line is- he wants his first day picks challenging for starting spots.

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