For a couple of years now I’ve written and talked about the “doughnut hole” of talent on this team. The doughnut hole is the gap in talent between the players drafted when Bill Parcells was head coach (2003-2006) and when Jason Garrett took over (mid-2010 to present).
Players drafted from 2007 to 2010 – the period in which Wade Phillips was head coach – would be on their second contracts by now. Teams that are successful in the NFL draft those players, groom those players and keep those players. They fill defined roles on successful teams. They keep teams from having to spend big in free agency to fill holes they couldn’t fill with drafted players.
The Cowboys did a poor job during Phillips’ regime, though one could hardly blame Phillips. Jerry Jones was the one that pulled the trigger on those moves. He still pulls the trigger today. The only reason to feel a little more optimistic about the players drafted over the past few years is that, well, they’re young and you can be optimistic about youth.
This Cowboys team is exceptionally young, and I don’t think that many fans understand that. And it will only get younger after next weekend when the Cowboys draft another 11 players. If you’re the Cowboys or a Cowboys fan, here is what needs to happen during this draft for the Cowboys to take another step forward.